Diving with nitrox limits how deep you can go so why should you dive with nitrox?
The depth you can dive with nitrox dependents on the percentage of oxygen you have mixed in with your air. The most common enriched air nitrox mixes for scuba divers is 32% and 36% oxygen, but how deep can you dive with this amount of oxygen?
So how deep can you dive with nitrox? With 32% nitrox you can dive to a maximum depth of 33 metres (110 feet). Whereas with 36% nitrox this reduces to 28 metres (90 feet). Nitrox extends your dive time and in some cases is nearly double that of atmospheric air at the maximum dive depths for nitrox.
How deep can you dive with nitrox?
The depth you can dive using nitrox is dependent on the percentage of oxygen in your air. The maximum Enriched Air Nitrox you can use is 40% oxygen.
To find out more about nitrox, what it is and what the advantages are of diving with nitrox, please have a read of this article: What are the advantages of nitrox diving (Pros and cons of nitrox diving)
But in order to find out how deep can you dive with nitrox, please have a look at the nitrox comparison table below. I thought this was the best way to answer this question.
How deep can you dive with nitrox comparison table
NM: Nitrox Mix Percentage
MDM: Max Depth Metres
MDF: Max Depth Feet
NDST: No Decompression Stop Time
PT21%: Max Time at Depth On 21% Oxygen Atmospheric Air PADI Dive Tables
BT21%: Max Time at Depth On 21% Oxygen Atmospheric Air BSAC Dive Tables
The depths and times in this table have been based on BSAC/PADI air dive tables and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA nitrox tables. This has been done for comparison purposes only and this should not be used to plan or carry out your dive. Please use the tables associated with your diver training or use a dive computer for your dive times.
In many cases in the above nitrox comparison table, the no stop decompression dive time at the maximum depth allowed for the percentage of oxygen mix is almost double that of 21% oxygen mix.
If you’re not too keen on doing decompression stop dives, but you’re also frustrated at the short amount of time you can spend as say 28 metres (90 feet), if you use a 35% oxygen mix, you increase your dive time from 25 minutes to 48 minutes.
Most common nitrox mixes offered at dive shop air filling stations
Having given you the full list of oxygen percentages from 28% through to 40%, you are more likely to be offered either a 32% or a 36% mix from most dive shops.
With both these common nitrox mixes, you can do most dives up to a maximum of 33 metres (110 feet) on the 32% mix and 28 metres (90 feet) on 36% nitrox.
Why should I dive with nitrox?
The reason why you should dive with nitrox is because it extends your dive time. As shown in the above nitrox comparison table. In many cases this is nearly double that of atmospheric air (i.e. 21% oxygen) at the maximum dive depths for the level of nitrox.
The other reason why many scuba divers site using nitrox, is for safety reasons.
Some divers plan their dive based upon diving with atmospheric air at 21%, but then dive using say 32% oxygen. However, they must then make sure they don’t exceed the maximum depth limit for 32% nitrox to avoid suffering from oxygen toxicity.
Diving in this way creates an extra decompression buffer. This is due to the fact that where the oxygen percentage is higher, conversely the nitrogen mix is lower.
When the nitrogen content is lower in the air you breath at depth and under pressure, the less nitrogen is absorbed by your body and tissues. As a consequence of this, your decompression time will be shorter and you’ll have much less nitrogen in your body when you finish your dive than you would if you had dived on 78% nitrogen.
Further more, your dive interval will be shorter too, as you’ll have less nitrogen to release in-between dives.
I hope you enjoyed this article about how deep can you dive with nitrox
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about how deep can you dive with nitrox), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.
Have fun and be safe!