How to Set Up Double Tanks for SCUBA

How to Set Up Double Tanks for SCUBA
Diving with dual scuba tanks allows you greater air reserves, and with most setups, the ability to install redundant or backup regulators. With two tanks for air reserves, you can use the additional air capacity for deeper or longer dives. Having the ability to have a backup set of regulators along with the additional air capacity creates a safety margin not available when diving with a single tank. With these benefits comes a need to set up the equipment properly.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Setting up Dual Scuba Tanks

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two scuba tanks with valves that allow for a crossbar manifold Crossbar manifold Dual scuba tank bands and hardware Tools for installation (wrenches, screwdriver, and pliers)
  • Two scuba tanks with valves that allow for a crossbar manifold
  • Crossbar manifold
  • Dual scuba tank bands and hardware
  • Tools for installation (wrenches, screwdriver, and pliers)
Step 1
Select scuba tanks based on desired weight and air capacity. Aluminum tanks are typically lighter, have lower pressure ratings and require larger size to hold the same air capacity as steel tanks, which are typically heavier but can hold equivalent air capacities in smaller sizes. The choice is generally a matter of personal preference.
Step 2
Lay the two scuba tanks side by side. The manifold valve has two opposite-facing individual valves that will be screwed into the top of each tank. Screw these in so that the primary valve is facing forward on both valves, with the secondary openings for the central section (the actual manifold crossbar) to be able to be installed later. These valves should be tight, but not too tight.
Step 3
Install the manifold crossbar between the two tank valves by screwing it in place in the side opening of each valve. This does not need to be tightened at this point but just screwed in to keep it in place for later tightening.
Step 4
Slide the tank bands up from the bottom of the tank. The top tank band should be a few inches from the crown of the tank with the bottom tank. Position the second tank band into by measuring the distance between mounting holes in the backplate you will be using with your buoyancy compensator. The bottom tank band should be the same distance from the top band as the distance between the mounting holes in the backplate.
Step 5
Secure the tank bands using the mounting hardware (a screw, a nut and a wing nut). Slide the screw through the screw holes with the end of the screw toward the direction the regulator valves face. With the screw in place, thread on the nut and tighten it down. Do this on both tank bands. The wing nuts can then be screwed on loosely for use later when installing a buoyancy compensator backplate.
Step 6
Tighten the manifold crossbar by rotating the crossbar until it is centered between the tanks, then tighten the nuts that are a part of the manifold crossbar. Tighten this until it is snug.

Tips & Warnings

 
Diving with dual scuba tanks might mean you won't need to wear a weight belt when diving. If only a small amount of weight is needed, it is possible to eliminate the weight belt and instead put a limited amount of weight on the dual tanks mount. Consider this when setting up your dual tank setup.
 
Diving with dual scuba tanks might mean you won't need to wear a weight belt when diving. If only a small amount of weight is needed, it is possible to eliminate the weight belt and instead put a limited amount of weight on the dual tanks mount. Consider this when setting up your dual tank setup.
 
Before diving with new equipment configurations, including dual scuba tanks, seek appropriate training from a qualified dive training professional.
 
Before diving with new equipment configurations, including dual scuba tanks, seek appropriate training from a qualified dive training professional.

Article Written By Jason Blair

Jason Blair is an active pilot and the executive director of the National Association of Flight Instructors. Blair actively writes in the aviation industry, primarily for the magazine Mentor, targeted at flight instructors.

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