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Old 17 December 2013, 10:03   #1
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Old life jackets

Your thoughts please:

I have a set of hammar action life jackets and a kid's inflating jacket that I bought in 2008. The firing mechanisms are now out of date. Other than that, the jackets are in good nick and are fitted with removable crotch straps.

I should now replace the mechanisms and have them tested. However, the costs of this are such that I'm considering replacing them with new.

Am I right? If I do this I'd remove the CO2 cylinders and crotch straps and dump the jackets...

It seems like a waste as a couple of the jackets never got used, ever.
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Old 17 December 2013, 10:17   #2
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Difficult one in this throw away world. Cost of each action would guide me but if it's cheaper to buy again is there a training centre near you that would benefit from them
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Old 17 December 2013, 10:42   #3
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I had a similar thing with some even older life jackets in the summer. In the end the kids and I put them on and jumped into the sea

They all worked fine despite everything being way out of date, but I threw them away afterwards.
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Old 17 December 2013, 11:51   #4
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I dont understand how they can actually go out of date.

Either the CO2 cylinder has gas in it or its empty - which should be obvious.

The firing mech can be checked to see if it still works - cant it ?

Can you not test it yourself and just replace the CO2 cylinder ?

I have a diving lift bag that uses a CO2 cylinder, which costs very little to replace. Are the jackets not the same ??
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Old 17 December 2013, 12:00   #5
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Originally Posted by Trimix View Post
I dont understand how they can actually go out of date.

Either the CO2 cylinder has gas in it or its empty - which should be obvious.

The firing mech can be checked to see if it still works - cant it ?

Can you not test it yourself and just replace the CO2 cylinder ?

I have a diving lift bag that uses a CO2 cylinder, which costs very little to replace. Are the jackets not the same ??
The firing mechanisms are date stamped with an expiry. Hammar mechanisms are pressure activated. As John says, they will probably still work, but are beyond their intended operational life. They cannot be tested, just used (fired). The CO2 cylinders are OK, I just need to check them for rust and weigh them. They would be good spares if they check out.

Looks like the skip so...
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Old 17 December 2013, 12:42   #6
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I have several jackets with the moisture activated trigger mechanisms not the pressure activated ones. They date from 2003 or so and the last time I serviced them was in roughly 2005. Even though they are long past their "intended lifespan" of 1 year the cartridges are fine and if they "fail" they are just going to inflate. So I still have them and occasionally wear them. Normally I'm in my diving drysuit and skip wearing life jackets since I float like a cork without a weightbelt on.

Anyway, is there some UK law or insurance regulation stating that you have to service these at the prescribed interval?
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Old 17 December 2013, 13:00   #7
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Anyway, is there some UK law or insurance regulation stating that you have to service these at the prescribed interval?
Life jackets are not required in the UK, full stop. They are a legal requirement where I live in Ireland. I'm not sure how my insurance company would react if a passenger drowned with an expired, non-functional LJ on...

I know I'd be annoyed if I realised that I was about to drown with one on...
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Old 17 December 2013, 13:01   #8
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. Anyway, is there some UK law or insurance regulation stating that you have to service these at the prescribed interval?
Only for commercial operators (and, it might be argued, for good practice)
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Old 17 December 2013, 13:08   #9
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How much is the recharge kit?I've got a nice unused out of date Hammar here as well.
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Old 17 December 2013, 13:10   #10
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if you take into account that a new lifejacket, even a good quality one, is around 120, compared to a full tank of fuel I think they are good value for money and probably should just be replaced when the arming system is out of date, you've most likely had your monies worth out of them
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