Why And When Should You Discard A PFD

  • Post category:How To

It’s the end of the boating season, and you’re getting your boat ready to be put away for the winter! As you’re going through everything, you come across your personal flotation device (PFD). You remember that you bought it last year, but you never really used it, and it’s been sitting in a storage locker on your boat. So, the question is, when should you discard a PFD?

A personal flotation device, or PFD, is an essential piece of safety gear for anyone spending time on the water. 

The U.S. Coast Guard says that you should inspect your PFD every year and discard it if it shows signs of wear or if the foam has become waterlogged.

Some PFD is designed for specific activities, such as kayaking or canoeing. If you use your life jacket for multiple activities, you may need to replace it more often.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and replace it sooner rather than later!

In this blog post, we are going to share when to discard your PFD; let’s start; 

When Should You Discard A PFD?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think much about your personal flotation device, or PFD, until you need it. But did you know that, like many other safety products, your PFD has a limited lifespan? 

In fact, a study conducted by ResearchGate found that nearly 85% of boaters don’t know how to properly care for their PFD. 

It is important to know when to discard a PFD, as they do have a shelf life. Most PFDs have a service life of between 5 and 10 years, but this can vary depending on the use and materials.

PFDs are made from different materials, and each type has its own service life. The most common type of personal floating device is the inflatable one. This has a service life of 5 to 10 years.

However, even if your PFD is yet to expire, it’s still a good idea to inspect it regularly for signs of wear and tear. If you see any cracks, tears, or other damage, it’s time to get a new PFD.

It’s also important to remember that just because a PFD is expired doesn’t mean it’s no longer effective. In fact, an expired PFD can still provide some level of protection. 

Of course, even the best-made PFD can’t protect you if it’s not properly fitted! So, make sure to check your’s one before heading out on the water. And, if you have any doubts about whether or not it will fit, get a new one.

How to check A PFD before Discarding it?

It is safe to say that the majority of us have at least one PFD, or personal flotation device, in our homes. Whether it is an old life jacket from a past boating trip or a more recent purchase, most of us have at least one PFD. 

It is estimated that over 70% of all PFDs in the United States are not properly maintained and are not in proper working order. 

That means that more than 7 out of 10 PFDs out there could fail to provide the flotation and protection they are designed to give in an emergency situation.

But how many of us actually know how to properly check a PFD before discarding it?

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your PFD is in good working order before you discard it. 

First, you should always check the manufacturer’s expiration date. Most PFDs have a life span of between 5 and 10 years. If your PFD exceeds its life span, it is time to discard it.

Second, you should check the buoyancy of your PFD. To do this, simply put on the PFD and jump into a pool of water. If the PFD does not float you, it is time to replace it.

Third, you should check the straps and buckles of your PFD. Make sure that they are secure and not frayed or broken. If they are, it is time to replace your PFD.

Finally, you should check the zippers of your PFD. Make sure that they are not jammed or broken. If they are, it is time to replace your PFD.

By following these simple tips, you can easily check your PFD before discarding it. Make sure that your PFD is in good working order and will provide the flotation and protection you need in an emergency situation.

How Often Should You Replace Your PFD?

It’s that time again! The weather is getting warmer, and the days are getting longer. Do you know what that means? It’s time to start thinking about replacing your PFD!

But how often should you actually replace your PFD? And what are the signs that it’s time for a new one?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not it’s time to replace your personal floating device:

Once you have your new PFD, be sure to keep it in a safe place. You don’t want to accidentally leave it somewhere and have it become lost or damaged. 

Additionally, you should make sure to inspect your PFD regularly to be sure it is still in good condition.

Different Types Of PFD and how often do you need to discard them

It’s no secret that PFD is a vital piece of safety gear, but did you know that there are different types of Personal Floating Devices? And that you need to discard them after a certain amount of time? 

Let’s take a look at the different types of PFD and how often you need to discard them.

Inflatable PFD

Inflatable life jackets are a great invention. They are comfortable, easy to use, and, most importantly, they save lives. But, like all things, they have a limited lifespan. 

Eventually, the material will degrade, the seams will weaken, and the inflation mechanism will fail. 

So, how often should you discard an inflatable PFD?

The answer, unfortunately, is not cut and dry. It depends on a number of factors, including how often you use it, what kind of environment you use it in, and how well you take care of it.

In general, we recommend that you discard an inflatable PFD every two to three years. But, if you use it frequently or in harsh conditions, you may need to replace it more often.

Foam PFDs

Foam life jackets are the most common type of life jacket. They’re made from a variety of materials, including closed-cell foam, which is designed to provide buoyancy and support. 

Foam life jackets will typically last for about five years before they need to be replaced. This is because the foam can break down over time and become less effective. 

Additionally, the jacket may no longer fit properly after five years, so it’s important to get a new one that fits properly. But, if you use it regularly, you may need to replace it sooner.

Hybrid PFDs

Hybrid life jackets are a combination of an inflatable life jacket and a foam life jacket. They’re usually made with a foam core and an inflatable outer shell.

Hybrid life jackets are the most expensive type of life jacket, but they’re also the most versatile. They’re ideal for boaters who want the best of both worlds: the durability of a foam life jacket and the compactness of an inflatable life jacket.

Generally, you should discard your Hybrid PFD every 2-3 years to be on the safe side. 

If you don’t wear it often, or if it’s been stored properly, you may be able to get away with wearing it for a bit longer. But, if it’s been exposed to harsh chemicals or sunlight, it’s best to replace it before.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and replace it sooner rather than later.

How And When Should You Replace The CO2 Cylinder In An Inflatable PFD

It’s necessary to know when you should replace the CO2 cylinder of your inflatable floating device because a faulty or empty CO2 cylinder could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. 

CO2 cylinders are used to inflate inflatable PFDs. They’re typically made of steel or aluminum, and they’re filled with compressed CO2 gas. 

The CO2 cylinders come in a variety of sizes, but the most common size for inflatable PFDs is 15 grams.

Most inflatable PFDs have a built-in indicator that shows when the CO2 cylinder needs to be replaced. This indicator is usually a small, round window that’s located on the front of the PFD. 

When the CO2 level in the cylinder drops below a certain point, the indicator will change color from green to yellow or red.

Here’s what you need to know about replacing CO2 cylinders in inflatable PFDs;

How To Extend The Life OF Your PFD

It’s no secret that personal flotation devices (PFDs) don’t last forever. In fact, most have a lifespan of only about five years.

However, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your PFD. With a little bit of care, you can get many more years of use out of your life jacket.

Here are a few tips on how to extend the life of your PFD:

By following these tips, you can extend the life of your PFD and get many more years of use out of it. 

But, once a PFD reaches the end of its service life, it is important to replace it with a new one. Wearing a PFD that is no longer effective can put you at risk in the event of an emergency. And as you know, when you should discard your PFD, don’t hesitate to buy a new one!