Nitrox is simply any mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. Air is made up of 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. The name "Nitrox" usually refers to oxygen-nitrogen mixtures containing more than 21% oxygen. Other names for this gas are EANx, Enriched Air Nitrox and Safe Air. There are two standard Nitrox mixtures. Nitrox I containing 32% oxygen and Nitrox II containing 36% oxygen.
The main benefit to diving with Nitrox is the reduced amount of nitrogen in your breathing gas. Less nitrogen means less risk of getting decompression sickness (DCS), or "the bends". Using Nitrox can also extend your bottom time. Because no-decompression limits are based on nitrogen absorption, less nitrogen means more bottom time. Many divers also claim that they feel less fatigued after diving with Nitrox (as compared to diving with air).
The increased oxygen percentages in Nitrox can become toxic at shallower depths than air. Nitrox I has a depth limit of 130 feet sea water and Nitrox II has a depth limit of 110 feet sea water. For this reason, Nitrox training is a must. Nitrox, like all other breathing gases (including air), has its safe limits at depth so it is very important to know and understand these limits before you make your first Nitrox dive. You will also need a Nitrox Certification card to purchase mixed gases. To fully understand the benefits of using Nitrox it is important to receive proper training. Classroom sessions include information on the theory of diving Nitrox, blending, dive tables, gas analyzing and dive planning. Upon completion you will receive your certification allowing you to use Nitrox for all your diving adventures.
For many years there has been the misconception that Nitrox is a Deep Diving "Mix" for highly trained commercial divers. In fact, Nitrox II is toxic after 110 feet. The greatest benefits of Nitrox are found between 0 and 130 feet, and require just a little more training and experience. Nitrox is another tool for divers to use. It is not designed to replace air. Nitrox is ideal for recreational diving. You can gain a safety advantage OR longer bottom times using Nitrox. In either case, many divers report less fatigue and a sense of well-being after Nitrox dives.
In addition to feeling better after diving, the decrease of of nitrogen accumulation also allows:
Most of your regular scuba equipment will work without modification for use with Nitrox. You will need a Nitrox Yellow and Green tank sticker. If you haven't purchased your equipment yet, Nitrox ready regulators have longer life using Nitrox than regular regulators. That is it! Your regulator, pressure hoses and other equipment will work just fine.
The prerequisites for the Nitrox certification are simple. You must be at least 15 years old and a certified Open Water Scuba diver with 10 logged dives or Advanced Open Water Certification from any agency!
Recreational Nitrox divers are NOT at risk of oxygen toxicity as long as they stay within the Recreational Nitrox Diving Limits. Just as there are dive tables for Air diving there are dive tables for Nitrox diving. Students in the Recreational Nitrox Diver Program will learn about these tables just as they learned about other tables in their first Scuba diving program.
All students MUST be at least 15 years old and have Open water Certification with 10 logger dives or an Advanced Open Water Certification Card.Bathing suit and a towel. The course includes your manual, Nitrox tables, all gear and Nitrox Air and PIC card for...
This course is designed to give the necessary skills and knowledge for diving with Enriched Air Nitrox. The course consists of a minimum of four hours of lectures and classroom exercises. The student will develop a working knowledge of Enriched Air Nitrox, physiological aspects of breathing oxygen at elevated partial pressures, computation of equivalent air depths, use of dive tables, oxygen analysis, dive planning, and special equipment requirements. Upon successful completion of classroom training students will complete a minimum of two dives under the supervision of an Enriched Air Nitrox instructor.
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