When Should You Discard A PFD

PFDs are designed to survive regular use; thus, they don’t provide the same level of protection as life jackets.

Each individual on board requires a personal flotation device (PFD). An essential characteristic of an authorized standard jacket is the ability to float a person face up even if they are asleep so you may take proper breaths.

There are two types of life jackets: inflatable and non-inflatable.

Because of their generally more compact forms, inflatable life jackets are a popular alternative for various aquatic sports. In addition, they may be more convenient to move into and comfier.

Inflatable PFDs vary from normal foam PFDs in that they generally include a carbon dioxide cartridge that inflates the life vest while you’re in the water. Depending on the inflatable PFD you have, this may be done manually or automatically.

Because the air or CO2 provides the PFD’s buoyancy from the cartridge, they must be inflated to function properly. (Read Type IV PFD Advantage)

discarded pfd

PFDs with Foam Filling

When you think of a typical life jacket, you generally think of foam-filled PFDs. Closed-cell foam is often used to create this sort of PFD. The air in the foam is trapped inside the material, and it is this trapped air that allows the foam to float.

In contrast to inflatable PFDs, which must be inflated to become buoyant, foam-filled PFDs are often buoyant by nature. Foam life jackets are suitable PFD for children and adults since they are meant to be low-maintenance and keep you floating with no effort. Ill-fitting life jackets should not be considered.

What exactly is a PFD?

The personal floatation device is often used in conjunction with a life jacket. Your life jackets must be authorized when on the water’s surface, whether you’re in a boat or kayak, and they must be the proper size and in good working order to be effective.

Because a PFD’s ability to provide buoyancy diminishes as it becomes worn and old, it’s essential to understand how to maintain your PFD and test for the proper buoyancy. In addition, it’s crucial to understand when it’s time to get-go of your PFD and prolong its own life. They aren’t supposed to endure for very long, so knowing when to discard or replace them will benefit them.

When Should You Discard A PFD Away?

Check out the main reasons you should reject a PFD and determine when you must make a decisive decision.

its over

When It’s Over

Fading, like other gadgets, is a symptom that the PFD has to be discarded. It’s usually due to poor storage or excessive exposure to the sun.

Fading does not imply that your PFD is no longer functional. However, there’s a possibility it’ll go in a certain route. Then, as soon as you see that the PFDs have faded entirely, you should prepare to replace them since it is always better to be safe than sorry. (Learn How Should You Check A PFD To See If It Is In Good Condition)

Air Leakage

Another issue that leads you to reject your PFD is this one. It will not be particularly useful if you discover an air leak. However, if wind leaks are discovered, it is often preferable to adjust quickly. (Read Do Alligators Attack Kayaks)

However, just compressing a PFD unit will not reveal an air leak. As a result, you will discover a device leak. If you notice a leak, fix it right away. Alternatively, you will not be safe if you are confronted with danger outside the river.

When Things Start to Become Dirty

A personal flotation device (PFD) must be maintained clean at all times. Please make an effort to maintain it clean and free of dust and pollution. Dirt may gather and become extreme if you do not clean it correctly. On the other hand, it may also become useless if too much dirt collects. As a result, you’ll have to utilize the modified PDF instead.

Ensure a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) has a Transport Canada clearance stamp or label before buying it. Everyone on your boat has to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) appropriate for them. Each individual’s PFD must be the right size. It must be accessible on a marine voyage. It should also be accessible at all times when on board the pleasure boat.

You can prolong the life of your PFD by taking good care of it. There is no expiration date on a personal flotation device or lifejacket. However, bear in mind that if your PFD has been patched or changed, it will become invalid; as a result, it will no longer be functional and will need to be replaced and recycled.

How Do You Know If Your PFD Is Working?

Examine Your Buoyancy

Before you go out on the water, double-check that your PFD will still offer you extra buoyancy. Wearing it in a swimming pool or a safe body of water is one approach to testing it.

Try to float in the water while wearing your foam-filled PFD as you usually would. If your life vest is functioning correctly, you should be able to float freely while keeping your head and chin out of the water. The life jacket should also not shift around or rise beyond your shoulders when you’re wearing it.

Examine the CO2 Tank

If you’re going out with an inflatable PFD, ensure the gas cylinder isn’t expired or empty before you go.

If the life vest has been inflated, you should replace the cartridge with a fresh one and double-check that it is correctly linked to the mechanism that allows it to inflate the PFD. It’s also a good idea to replace the cartridge or cylinder if it seems to be damaged, such as with rust.

Examine the Straps

Before each usage, make sure the straps that secure your life jacket are in good working order. Straps are prone to deterioration since they are subjected to wear and strain.

You may check for fraying or weakening by visually scrutinizing the straps, especially the shoulders and waist. Another approach to test the straps is to tug them hard to see whether they can withstand the added strain.


discard away pfd

When Should You Throw A PFD Away?

  • If the material has any tears or abrasions, it is no longer buoyant.
  • Damage to the buckles or webbing of the straps
  • If the fabrics have faded or have been damaged by the sun because of ultraviolet radiation
  • If the air cartridge has reached the end of its useful life,
  • Due to frequent exposure to severe temperatures as a result of the use or inadequate storage
  • If the cloth surrounding the foam in your life vest is loose

Because a personal floatation device (PFD) allows you to float in the water, it also has virtually identical qualities to those of a life jacket.

Nonetheless, it differs from the life jacket in a few ways. In comparison, it would be ideal if you wore a PFD that has been certified by the US Coast Guard because a faulty PFD may result in a boating disaster.

When Should You Discard A PFD (2)