How could I make an open circuit diving apparatus?

For a quick summer project I always wanted to scuba, Hookah Style. Hookah SCUBA diving is basically diving without the tanks and with a surface line. Well I wanted to build one of these for my friends pool. First of all I wanted to build this all myself using store bought materials. I get the concept but I want to know two things. 1. Would A fish tank Airpump supply breathable Air, now I thought of this for two reasons, it is oil-less and If it is suitable for fish than it must be suitable for humans (fish are more sensative to that kind of stuff). 2. how would I build the mask, could I just get a half face mask and add an airline (inhale through nose, exhale through mouth) or would I have to build some sort of thing that works like a gas mask? Any Input would be wonderful! EDIT: I believe I will be using a small (oil less) air compressor instead of an airpump

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To get an idea of the pressures involved, try this little thought experiment:

A human being is just a bit less dense than water. That is, if you have two containers, one filled by a human being and another filled with water, the two containers will weigh about the same.

So, imagine that instead of being on the bottom of a swimming pool filled with water, your friend is on the bottom of a pool filled with sumo wrestlers. Can you picture your friend lying on the bottom of an empty pool, his chest supported by an aquarium pump, while a quarter-ton bodybuilder takes a bellyflop on top of him? I hope you can see why safety is an important issue.

If you do decide to pursue research on home-built surface supplied diving gear, I urge you to not use your friend as a guinea pig, but to instead use an actual guinea pig (or mouse, or suitable testing equipment).

fleazy4216 years ago
You can use a compressor as long as you run monolic or another breathing air acceptable oil, also in the commercial inustry we use twin tank off the shelf compressors extend the intake, put monolic in and run km bandmasks off them.
jskingry7 years ago
Actually and air compressor is the way to go.  But....  It must be an oil-less compressor capable of providing the volume of air needed.  You really need a felt filter post compressor to filter any particles and a regulator that has been adjusted to work with the lower compressor pressure.  It is a really neat project, email me if you really want to pursue and need some assistance or advice.

lemonie7 years ago
The fish pump wouldn't provide enough air. There's serious potential to die attempting this. The Self-Contained system was designed because it's way better than the system you're thinking of. You could find a webpage where someone has actually done this, come back and ask "what about this?"

bwpatton1 (author)  lemonie7 years ago
Yes definatley a larger fish pump than what I assumed, The fish pump was the only thing I could think of as a pump, besides an air compressor, which i really dont want to use, even though I may, I may possibly use a Hookah compressor which is meant for this.
bwpatton1: DO NOT USE AN AIR COMPRESSOR! I cannot stress this enough. I'm a certified scuba diver, and one of the most important things you learn in your training is that the air you put into your tank must be absolutely 100% clean. An off the shelf shop air compressor is not meant to be used for breathable air. The tank may have oil or other residues left over from manufacturing. Breathing contaminated air can cause major health problems, possibly even death. I know this site is about diy stuff, but you should really look into getting a real diving hookah system rather than making one yourself. They are specifically designed for breathing from.