What Is The Life Span Of a Life Jacket?

May 19, 2022 4 min read

The life span of a life jacket is an important factor to consider when choosing one. Life jackets are extremely useful devices that provide maximum buoyancy in cold water and when hydraulic failure occurs. However, life jackets do have limited life spans and you must replace them when they are no longer effective. Therefore, you must make the effort to prolong the life of your life jacket and replace it as soon as it expires.

Inflatable Life Jackets

Inflatable life jackets are one of the most popular types of personal flotation devices. They can be worn by almost anyone and last for years if cared for properly. Regular maintenance of the inflatable vest includes checking the CO2 cylinder and inspecting it for rips and missing components. Replace the CO2 cylinder when needed and wear it on water for at least one hour every day. The jacket should also be inspected for tear or perforations on a regular basis.

Inflatable life jackets come in a variety of styles. Generally, Type I life jackets are the best option for swimmers. These are lightweight, comfortable, and effective in a range of conditions. In addition, the bright orange color and reflective tape patches are a great choice for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water. Aside from that, you can choose a life vest with an adjustable crotch strap for a secure fit.

Foam Filled Life Jackets

A foam-filled life jacket has two distinct parts: a fabric bladder and a heat-sealed nylon urethane bladder. The connecting bladder has a one to three-year life span, but this lifespan is often compromised by excessive wear. Cleaning and storing foam-filled life jackets is essential, as overheating and UV damage can accelerate fabric determination. It's a good idea to replace your life jacket at least once a year to prolong its usability.

Foam life jackets are not as effective as inflatable life jackets, but they do have their benefits. While inflatable ones require a pump to inflate, foam jackets stay on automatically. Depending on the design, foam is also less likely to lose its buoyancy if the wearer doesn't use it. A foam-filled life jacket is an excellent choice when the wearer doesn't want to be stuck in the water for long.

PFDs Eith CO2 Cartridges

Life jackets with CO2 tanks require special attention to ensure their effectiveness. As with any safety device, materials on life jackets wear out over time. When they become unusable, worn, or ripped, they are considered expired. However, life jackets with CO2 cartridges are no exception. Regular inspection and recharging is recommended. To check the CO2 cartridge, look for a green/red indicator on the life jacket's CO2 service level.

Self-inflating life jackets must be checked every two to three months to ensure they are still in good condition. Check for corrosion or rust on the cylinder. CO2 cartridges should last for ten years when stored correctly. However, if they are stored incorrectly, their life span may be shortened. Regardless of the CO2 cartridges' expiry dates, it's a good idea to check the cylinders regularly.

Foam-Filled PFDs

A life jacket is a type of personal flotation device (PFD) that is made of foam. They are worn by divers and other water sport enthusiasts. They provide buoyancy and allow the wearer to move freely. They can be easily mass-produced and inexpensively manufactured. Listed below are the differences between each type of PFD and how they are used. If you're unsure of which type of PFD you need, consult the following information.

The United States Coast Guard and Under-writers Laboratories monitor life jacket manufacturing. These agencies maintain high standards for life jackets. If you're looking for a new life jacket, choose one with a Coast Guard stamp. This will ensure its safety. Moreover, many sailors leave these straps unclipped, which makes them uncomfortable while in the cockpit. Loose straps may get caught in the rigging and other hardware, and are difficult to gather in if they go over sideways.

Service Intervals for Foam-Filled Kife Jackets

If you regularly use a life jacket, you must regularly check its condition. Whether it's foam-filled or not, it should be inspected periodically. Foam-filled life jackets have an estimated lifetime of 10 years. If you use it for recreational purposes, the life jackets need to be replaced only when they lose their buoyancy. If you notice any signs of wear or damage to the material, you should immediately dispose of them.

Once the life jacket is removed from a boat, it must be rinsed thoroughly, then hang it to dry. After drying, check it carefully for signs of mildew or puckering. Store it in a cool, dark place to prevent bacterial growth. In addition, it should never be exposed to chemicals such as chlorine bleach. These chemicals can weaken the exterior fabric and destroy the foam. Never place anything heavy on it, as this may cause it to rip or tear.



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