Q:

When should you replace the CO2 cylinder in an inflatable PFD?

A:

The CO2 cartridge in an auto-inflating personal flotation device must be replaced when it has been punctured. This happens when it automatically inflates after the wearer goes into the water. The cartridge is also punctured when the manual lever is used to inflate the PDF.

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In addition, this PDF is able to be inflated by blowing into the oral inflator tube. However, this does not puncture the CO2 cartridge.

Whenever an inflatable PDF is going to be used, a safety check should be conducted. To ensure that there are no leaks in the vest itself, the cartridge is removed, and the PDF is orally inflated. The cartridge is inspected to be sure it is unused. After being replaced, the mechanism is examined to guarantee it is screwed in securely and not leaking.

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