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Inflatable PFD question

Post By: anglerwannabe      Posted: 8/7/2020 1:03:40 PM     Points: 58707    
When (if ever) do you change the CO2 cartridge in your pfd? I've had mine for several years now and the indicator still shows green.... but I'm not a very trusting person in these sorts of things and am considering changing it.

 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Aug. 7, 3:06:43 PM     Points: 56239    
I believe there's an expiration date on your cartridge as well I believe they recommend that you replace the biscuit every two years. At least my brands.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Aug. 7, 4:01:55 PM     Points: 58707    
thanks Cisco. So do you deploy it before you change it?
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Aug. 7, 5:22:39 PM     Points: 56239    
I don't. Thoes things are violent when they go off. I just replace the biscuit. Ive used 20 year old co2 cartridges in a pellet gun and they still work. My concern is the biscuit. I've had them get old and deploy in the boat before too. I've never not had one work.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Aug. 7, 7:47:13 PM     Points: 30093    
I believe the C02cartridge is punctured when installed on the vest. If the gauge reads good, itís holding pressure. If there were a leak it would show that.

If it makes you feel better to replace it periodically, go for it. But, much like a fire extinguisher, if itís reading good on the gauge, it should be good.

Replacement recommendations help them sell more stuff.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Aug. 8, 6:27:16 AM     Points: 56239    
The green gauge just shows that it's armed. It does not puncture the cartridge until the biscuit dissolves or you pull the cord. You can unscrew it at any time.
 Reply by: RPG      Posted: Aug. 8, 8:16:57 AM     Points: 8817    
Here is what Cabela's website says about their replacement "biscuits":

Mustang Survival Replacement Bobbin for Inflatable Life Vests
Fitting all Halkey Roberts-type automatic inflatable PFDs, Mustang Survival Replacement Bobbins for Inflatable Life Vests are a great way to keep your automatic inflatable PFD in top operating condition. A properly operating bobbin, the mechanism that triggers auto inflatables to inflate, is key to the readiness of an auto inflatable life vest. Manufacturers recommend bobbin replacement every three years to prevent accidental inflation of your auto inflatable PFDs for recreational use, and more often for those who use their vests on a more regular or professional basis. Bobbin fits the following Mustang Survival vests: MD3087, MD3084, MD3031, MD3017, MD0200, MD3053, MD3054.
Manufacturer model #: MA-9210-I.

Replacement bobbin for all Halkey Roberts-type automatic inflatable life vests
Key component to a properly operating auto inflatable PFD
Manufacturer's recommend bobbin replacement every three years for recreational life vests
 Reply by: riper69      Posted: Aug. 8, 8:31:59 AM     Points: 3357    
I would pull it once a year
I pull my air bag for avalanches twice a season
 Reply by: richw88      Posted: Aug. 8, 10:48:49 AM     Points: 18    
There is no expiration date for the CO2 cartridge. The soluble sensor buttons, yes, but no need to replace the CO2 cart.
HOWEVER, if you've never tried it, it's sometimes educational to activate one. Personal experience - My first one, a belt-type, had a factory-installed cartridge that wasn't installed correctly, and I wore it 4 years before I found out I'd been carrying a non-functional PFD around.
Once I installed a cartridge correctly, I tried it out (once burned, etc) and found out I couldn't get the vest over my head - the opening was too small. This wasn't an off-brand this was a Stearns/Simms belt PFD. I had to cut the front membrane open to make it usable.
Those are just two things that can cause a malfunction. There are many others, so activating one in field-type conditions is pretty cheap insurance.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Aug. 8, 12:43:14 PM     Points: 58707    
great stuff guys! Cisco and Brian... I agree with both of you lol. Here's the thing, I have both types of inflatable. For The Boss I got the self inflatable, for me you gotta yank the handle. I haven't replaced the cartridge in either because it's green


When I flipped in Spinney in 2014 my inflatable wouldn't deploy. So it's in the back of my mind.

Riper - I'm leaning to doing exactly that.

Rich - good stuff, thank you for sharing your story