A scuba regulator is a costly investment. Since you have bestowed your hard-earned cash, might as well take good care of your own scuba regulator. After all, it’s your lifeline underwater. With regular maintenance, you’re bound to prolong the life of your gear; thus your safety is guaranteed.
Scuba regulator maintenance typically includes visual inspection, cleaning, and proper handling of regulator parts. Luckily, the steps for pre- and post-dive care are pretty straightforward and easy to do. These measures will keep your scuba regulator in top-notch shape so you’re dive-ready every single time.
- Check your first stage O-ring for any leaks. If there’s any, ensure that it is properly seated and not damaged. Replace the first stage immediately if you see any signs of damage.
- Test your regulator and octopus by taking a few breaths in them. Both should not have any free flow.
- Next thing to check is the mouthpiece. Make sure no damage or tear is present. Otherwise, replace the mouthpiece at once.
- The regulator’s second stage should not be overlooked as well. See to it that there are no corrosion and housing has no cracks.
- Gauges should be in good working condition.
- Computer’s battery should have enough power for the entire dive.
- Check your hoses. Slide it back and see that there are no cracks or corrosion on metal fittings.
- The last step is inspection of the cylinder. Simply disconnect the regulator, remove the dust cap, breath on each regulator with all your might and put up a vacuum. Your regulator is in good working condition if it lets in very little to no amount of air.
The rule of the thumb prior to diving is to replace any damaged, torn, worn, or broken parts of the regulator. If you see any signs of corrosion, damage, tear, free flow, or improper reading, have it checked and repaired by a professional at once.
- Right after diving, rinse your regulator immediately. If you can’t wash it off at the dive center, do so right after getting home.
- Don’t forget to make sure that the dust cap is dry before putting it back on your regulator’s first stage. While doing so, see if it is securely attached.
- Use only clean water and proper rinse tank for washing your regulator.
- Do not press your second stage’s purge valves when cleaning your regulator. Doing so will only allow entrance of water into the system, which in turn, might develop rust from within.
- Make sure that everything is rinsed off thoroughly, including mouthpieces and exhaust diaphragm. You’ll know that everything is good if water passes through these without problems.
- Don’t forget to rinse the fitting on your low pressure inflator. Hold it under water while pulling its cover back and forth.
- Shake out excess water from the mouthpiece. Hang your regulator in open air to dry. Keep it away from direct sun exposure. You can leave it hanging there or stored in a cool dry place.
Additional Care Tips
Always, always use clean water for rinsing your regulator. Most dive shops have a rinse tank that allows you to wash your gear conveniently. When not in a shop, you can always use fresh water at home.
The dust cap should remain dry and securely attached. To make sure it’s dry, blow off the water using air from the tank.
A golden rule when rinsing your gear is to work on the levers, instead of the purge. While soaking, move the levers or buttons back and forth so as to loosen any attachment on your regulator. Pushing the purge button enables water to enter the second stage and the go up the first stage. This is, obviously, something you don’t want to experience.
The initial rinsing must be, if you can, followed with a stream of water. To do this, run the stream of water on both stages, while the dust cap is attached and tightened securely. Doing this will eliminate any particles that are possibly left by initial rinsing in the regulator’s openings and chambers.
An ideal storage for your regulator is a place where sun’s rays cannot pass through, dry, cool, and free from fumes that might cause damage. The hoses should be stored in a way that they are not bent and can be conveniently grabbed anytime when needed.
To prolong the life of your regulator, it is recommended that you have it serviced by a professional once every year. The good news is, most manufacturers these days require servicing so the regulator with remain under warranty. To know if you have this privilege, check your manufacturer’s terms and policies.
You’ve just had all the necessary steps in scuba regulator maintenance. These measures should let you enjoy diving for many years to come. Treat your regulator with care and gentleness and it will do the rest for you.