What is Nitrox?
Nitrox is any combination of oxygen and nitrogen. The air you breathe today is a form of Nitrox, which is 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Nitrox mixtures with greater than 21% oxygen are referred to as Enriched Air Nitrox (EANx). The “x” refers to the percentage of oxygen in the mixture. The most commonly used Nitrox mixtures are EAN32 (32% oxygen and 68% nitrogen) and EAN36 (36% oxygen and 64% nitrogen).
How do I benefit from using Nitrox?
Nitrox has many advantages over diving standard air. Nitrox, when used with standard air tables or computer, provides an increased safety factor and is great for divers wanting to be more conservative underwater.
Nitrox significantly increases your available bottom time within the no-decompression limits. It basically lets you stay down longer.
Using Nitrox reduces your possibility of getting decompression sickness. It also helps to reduce nitrogen narcosis, which happens at depth and is caused by the nitrogen in your breathing mixture.
As reported by many divers, Nitrox can significantly reduce your fatigue levels at the end of a day of diving. This can be extremely beneficial when traveling or when diving many consecutive days.
If you participate in decompression diving or stayed down a little to long, Nitrox reduces the amount of decompression when no-decompression limits are exceeded.
Do only technical divers use Nitrox?
No. Recreational divers are using Nitrox more and more. Most training agencies have Nitrox training courses and Nitrox is available at many dive shops today.
Is Nitrox for deep diving?
No. That’s simply a myth. Actually, Nitrox is used within recreational diving depth limits. The ideal range for using Nitrox is 40 to 130 feet. The higher oxygen percentages require keeping the use of Nitrox to these depth limits.
Can diving Nitrox be dangerous?
If you’ve heard that diving Nitrox is dangerous, it was probably from someone who lacked the proper certification, knowledge, or experience to accurately communicate about Nitrox. With proper training, diving Nitrox is no more dangerous than diving standard air. Both air and Nitrox have strict depth and time limitations.
Do I have to be certified to dive Nitrox?
Yes. There are important precautions and limitations when diving Nitrox. Taking a certification course will properly train you in the use and application of Nitrox. To get a Nitrox fill, you must present proper certification.
Where do you get Nitrox?
Nitrox is becoming more and more available at dive shops around the world. Check with your local dive shop, they probably have it, especially if they are teaching Nitrox courses.
Do I have to buy new gear to dive Nitrox?
No. Your standard open water diving gear will work great with Nitrox. Your tanks should be properly cleaned for using Nitrox, which can be done at your local dive shop.
How do I get started diving Nitrox?
As long as you have a basic open water diving certification, you can sign up for a Nitrox course. Contact your local dive shop to see when their next course begins.
Is Nitrox used in decompression diving?
Nitrox is extensively used in decompression diving. By using Nitrox at predetermined depths greatly reduces the amount of time required at the stop depths. Decompression diving is an advanced form of diving and requires training and understanding of specific principles.