Oli van Overbeek
3 Key Steps In Regulator Servicing
AND WHY YOU SHOULD GET YOUR REGS LOOK AFTER!
If you want to feel confident in your regulators working and performing to their highest ability getting them serviced and looked after by a trusted technitian is an absolute must, this obviously goes hand-in-hand with you keeping them clean and dry between service intervals.
Table of Content
- The 5 most regular seen problems
- The 3 key elements to servicing
- What you can do yourself
Oli van Overbeek is an experienced technical instructor trainer, examiner, course author and regulator and ccr service technitian.
“Regulator's are arguably the most important part of your diving kit, they allow you to breathe in what is inhearantly an alien environment, ensuring that they work under all given conditions.”
- v. Overbeek
Top 5 Most Common Issues
Seawater inside a 1st stage starts eating away at the chrome, some of the sealing surfaces may not seal adequately anymore if the chrome has been removed. Salt water inside will also make it's way to the pressure gauge, even small quantities that enter the pressure gauge will slowly start destroying the gauge from the inside causing it to stick or simply not funciton at all.
Incomplete Previous Service
We get an alarming number of regulators in that have been ''serviced' where parts are recyled, or just cleaned. It's important to be aware of what you are buying.
Some manufacturers might authorise a part service where only o-rings are changed, but not all are ok with that, and as the end user you need to know what you are paying for, are you paying for a full service & overhaul? or are you paying for an inspection and clean? Are official parts being used?
Insufficient cleaning post dive, wet regulators sealed in a box or a bag, letting salt water sit on metal surfaces, etc.
All of these cause build up of unwanted elements on your regulator, heavy deposits on the din wheel, chrome being worn away, or heavy mould growth inside the 2nd stage.
Exceeding Service Interval
Be aware of your service interval, exeeding it could void your diving insurance! Regulators that come in just after the service have epired are often in far better shape than those that have been used and used far after the service period expired. The latter often need new internal parts, new hoses, etc.
These rounded-toe shoes provide an antibacterial, deodorizing cushion to keep your feet fresh. Anyone who has bunions should pay special attention to the toe box. Rounded or square boxes are better because pointed ones will add more pressure in that area. These heels from Vivaia have rounded toes to prevent worsening bunions, and their upper areas are knitted with flexible stretch. They’re also quite low at a little less than two inches to ease the pressure from your feet. And they have a non-slip rubber sole to help you stay put. If you have wide feet, we recommend selecting one size up for extra comfort.
3 Key Elements To Servicing
Yeah we might be slightly obsessive, we clean in 4 stages:
- mild food grade acidic solution in a heated ultrasonic bath
- Basic solution to neutralise the acid
- purified fresh water bath
- hand wipe with alcohol and lint free cloths
O-Rings & Kits
Manufacturer approved kits, yes they are more expensive than some of the bits out there you can buy but they are tracable, and help us ensure the job is done correctly.
O-rings that are not included (such as HP swivel) or the odd O-ring that needs to be replaced are taken from our extensive stock of EPDM O-rings and are fully oxygen clean.
Testing, Testing, and Testing
All regulator 1st stages are set within the manufactures band of approved IP's (interstage pressure) and all 2nd stages are set to the right mm setting on our magnehelic. Finally we do the 'diver' test, our tech's will breathe the reg and check if they would be happy to dive it, is it smooth, does it breathe nice?
Warranty - 3 months RTB
After the final test is done, the reg is sanitised and the mouthpiece is afixed with a low profile cable tie. Paperwork is completed and the reg is stored ready for colleciton or shipment. If for any reason you are not happy with how your reg performs, or you have an issue we will sort it out for you without any argument or "it's just bedding in", it will just get sorted for you, you have 3 months from collection to call us up on that promise.
Fun Facts About Reg Servicing
We once had a regulator that had been stored in a damp cabinet in Thailand after each dive (with other regulators), the amount of mould inside was so bad the technitian was afraid to leave the room in case the reg grew legs and spawned into a new life form.
Water ingress into the 2nd stage is often a pebble stuck in the exhalation diaphragm, maybe don't drag your octo on the bottom or through the reef ;)
The 2nd cause is often a small tear in the mouthpiece, pull it off immediatly and replace when back on the boat.
Instructors are notorious for looking after their own kit. "it's not broken so it doesn't need fixing", this is especially true abroad, be careful what you rent or use from a dive centre and make sure you thoroughly test it before taking it on a serious dive.
Look after your regs, get them serviced in time, they are your most important piece of kit! Drop us a line or book your regs in through the link below if you want to get some servicing done!