The floating gas powered units are the best choice for recreational diving due to their essentially unlimited lateral range of movement.
Divers easily tow a floating unit along with them, so they can move about without restriction in range.
In contrast, with deck units (e.g., electric units and deck-mount gas powered units), the divers’ lateral range of movement is restricted by the length of the hoses. (Although it is possible to use hose extensions to lengthen any hose.)
Deck-mount gas powered units are sometimes used for recreational diving when placed in a dinghy, although towing would be more difficult than with our floating units.
This is a viable option when drift diving is the norm. The dinghy can then be driven back to the boat at the end of the dive.
However, it is important to note that the floating gas powered units can also be used as deck units by simply not inflating the float. The engine/compressor case has white rubber feet on the bottom to protect the deck.
The 12 volt DC electric deck unit is sometimes used for certain types of recreational diving.
Kayakers have placed the 12 volt DC units in kayaks when exploring river beds for artifacts and other “treasure”.
Diving treasure-hunters with metal detectors use the 12 volt DC in a dinghy to search beach bottoms and freshwater areas for coins, jewelry, and other “treasure”.
Practical (e.g., boat maintenance)
The electric hookah diving systems are the most common units when the main application is some kind of practical application, such as;
Boat maintenance (e.g., unfouling a prop, cleaning or inspecting the hull, free an anchor, etc.)
The 110 volt (60 Hz) AC electric systems deliver more air than the 12 volt DC system, so they are usually preferable when 110/120 volt (60 Hz) AC power is available (i.e., a generator aboard a vessel, or shore power).
If 110/120 volt (60 Hz) AC power is unavailable where the system must be used, then the 12 volt DC system is an excellent alternative electric unit.
There are commercial applications for both the deck mount gas powered systems, as well as the 110 volt AC electric systems.
The Air Line hookah dive systems are a sensible alternative for applications where conventional scuba gear is used.
There is no need to deal with scuba tanks.
Think of the savings in cost and time, if you never had to deal with filling a bunch of tanks.
Less deck space and weight requirements than with tanks.
All of the scuba diving compressors used in Air Line systems are rated for continuous heavy-duty use.
You can run them all day with a little gas or electricity.
Think of how many tanks you’d need to dive all day!
And what if you run out of filled tanks before the job is completed, or the tank on your back runs out of air right when you’re in the middle of some operation?
The bottom line – You will always have as much air as you need to get the job done!
The appropriate system will be determined primarily by your air delivery requirements, which will be determined by;
The maximum number of divers that will be on the system at a time.
The maximum depth those divers will need to attain.
The air flow volume requirements of any ancillary equipment that might utilize some of the air (e.g., lift bags, dry suits, etc.)
Commercial users most often use the deck mount gas powered hookah dive systems.
Gas powered units deliver the most air.
Commercial users typically will operate from a boat or other platform, so there is no need for a floating gas system.
Some examples of commercial uses for the deck mount gas powered systems are;
Boat salvage and other marine salvage operations
In-water boat repair/maintenance
There are also commercial uses for the 110 volt AC electric systems.
When 110/120 volt (60 Hz) ACpower is available and/or gas powered systems are not an option.
When the required air delivery for the application is less than the gas powered systems.
When noise level is a consideration (e.g., in a marina).
Some examples of commercial uses for the 110 volt electric systems are;