PADI members operating in Europe should be aware that in the last year there have been changes to European Standard EN250. This Standard concerns the manufacture of underwater breathing apparatus and the changes concern how alternate air sources are used. The effect of these changes will be gradual as equipment manufactured under the requirements of the previous version of the standard will be around for many years. You should be aware of the standard changes however so that you know when to implement some of the changes concerning the configuration of alternate air sources.
- An octopus rig is not a preferred option if the depth is greater than 30m or the water temperature is less than 10°C, instead an alternative fully independent system is advised.
- Regulator first stages which are not designed for cold water performance shall be marked with “>10°C”.
- Regulator first stages may be marked with a lower working temperature if specified by the manufacturer.
- Regulators first stages will be stamped with an “A” if they are compatible to be fitted with an alternate air source (octopus rig).
These changes will come into effect gradually as more regulators are manufactured according to the revised standard. If you have any questions on how you can use a particular regulator, you should approach the manufacturer for advice.