Proper scuba regulator maintenance is essential to prolong the life of your gear, like your favorite BCD.
It should be serviced annually by a professional, but you’ll also have to take extra steps to maintain it.
Using this guide, you’ll be well prepared to deal with any regulator maintenance to protect your investment.
Learning Regulator Basics
Before you get your regulator, it is essential that you first know how to handle it properly.
Considering most of the servicing it will require should be done by a professional, it can be a delicate piece of equipment.
There are two main components to know: the first and second stages.
The first stage of your regulator connects to your tank, and it reduces the pressure of your breathing gas.
Depending on the regulator you have, it could reduce the air pressure from 3,500 pounds psi (per square inch) to 125 to 160 psi.
Your mouthpiece is directly attached to the second stage component of your regulator.
It takes the reduced air pressure from the second stage and transforms it to an even lower value. This process is known as taking intermediate air pressure and making it ambient pressure.
The first stage reduces the pressure from 3,500 psi to 125 to 150 psi; the second stage can lower it to 58.8 psi or less.
The second stage of your regulator is essential, as it allows the air to be delivered at a comfortable breathing speed and pressure.
How to Maintain Your Regulator
Learning how to maintain your reg correctly is an easy two-step process that includes inspection and cleaning.
You’ll also want to make sure you follow through certain things before and after you dive.
Fortunately, everything is simple enough for beginners to learn how to take care of their equipment.
The maintenance you’ll be required to do for your predive is more of an inspection than anything else.
It allows you to make sure all of your gear is working properly before getting into the water.
Step 1: Check the Regulator
First, you’ll want to make sure that you can breathe comfortably from the octopus and that your gauges have accurate readings.
Step 2: Inspect Hoses
Take the time to look at all of the hoses attached to your regulator to ensure there aren’t any cracks or tears.
Step 3: Check the First Stage
You’ll want to make sure you look for any corrosion signs at the first stage of your regulator.
Step 4: Check the Second Stage
Lastly, make sure that you inspect the second stage housing for any splinters or cracks.
When it comes to maintaining your regulator, what you do postdive is of the utmost importance.
You’ll want to ensure the entire unit is adequately rinsed and cleaned before putting it in storage.
You should also take this time to inspect your gear again to ensure nothing was damaged during your dive.
Step 1: Rinse the Regulator
You will surely want to take the time to rinse your regulator with the purge valves open and the dust cover on the first stage.
Step 2: Rinse Second Stages
For a more thorough rinse, ensure that you run warm water over the mouthpiece and through the diaphragm of your regulator.
Step 3: Rinse Fittings
The last part to rinse is to make sure all of the fittings have been cleaned, including the low-pressure inflator and slip couplings.
It can be a great idea to make sure that you regularly clean your regulator, even if it hasn’t been used for a while.
You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any traces of sand, silt, dust, or dirt trapped in hard-to-reach places.
Fortunately, cleaning your regulator is just as simple as cleaning any other piece of scuba gear.
Step 1: Rinsing
The first step is to make sure the regulator is rinsed using fresh warm water.
During this process, you must make sure the dust cover is in place and then use a low-pressure hose to knock away silt.
Depending on how dirty it is, you might do this process twice, but the primary objective is getting rid of chunks of dirt.
Step 2: Soaking
Once you’re satisfied with the silt you’ve removed, prepare a warm freshwater bucket. Alternatively, you can fill your bathtub or bathroom sink with water, as long as it’s clean.
Submerge the regulator in the bucket or sink and let it soak for up to 10 minutes.
During this process, make sure you swish the second stage in the water without pressing the purge button.
You’ll want to make sure the clean water can effortlessly flow through the exhaust tee and mouthpiece.
Step 3: Second Rinse
By now, the regulator should be clear of most traces of dirt, but for good measure, a second rinse is a great idea.
You can take the regulator out of the water and rinse it again, paying attention to the connections and swivels.
You’ll have to pull back any hose protectors so that you can clean the first stage connections.
Step 4: Drying
After you’ve finished cleaning your regulator, you can shake it to get rid of excess water.
It’s recommended you let it dry in direct sunlight to ensure there isn’t any leftover water trapped in crevices.
Protection and Storage
Every diver knows that investing in diving gear can be costly, and you’ll want to make sure you protect your investment.
With proper storage using protective cases and bags, you can prolong the life of your equipment. Not to mention, it can give you peace of mind while traveling.
1. Regulator Bags
The most important thing to consider investing in is a regulator bag, as they can be used for travel and storage.
For divers who like to visit new locales, a regulator bag features plenty of storage and padding for your delicate accessories.
You can pack it in your carry-on luggage or your checked bags without the worry of damage. You’ll also want to consider investing in a regulator bag for everyday storage.
Whether you keep your gear in a storage unit or your garage, these accessories are ideal for warding off dust and deterioration.
2. Scuba Gear Hangers
Another critical piece of equipment to consider installing is a scuba gear hanger. These are typically marketed towards BCDs, and they are a convenient place to store your gear.
These hangers are specifically designed to hold all of your expensive equipment and are made from heavy-duty, reliable materials.
Opting for Professional Servicing
It can be tempting to repair or maintain your regulator on your own, especially if you’re an experienced diver.
However, as you’ve invested a substantial sum in your gear, it’s best to rely on professionals’ help.
Many sensitive components go into the manufacturing of regulators, many of which require special skills and tools.
There are plenty of professional repair technicians in your area that can help you with your annual maintenance and repairs.
Scuba Regulator Maintenance: Final Thoughts
Doing scuba regulator maintenance is simple, especially if you take the time to do it right after a dive.
With these easy-to-follow steps, your gear will be protected perfectly and preserved for your next dive.