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Do I need a service again?
Pixel - 2/16/2012 9:15 AM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 9

So....I had my reg serviced about a year or so ago. Dived once since then. (shame on me). Except for rinsing it off in my bath every now and then, do I need to service it again before I go on a dive? I like to think I can just pick up and go throw myself and my reg in water and be good to go.

Same goes for Bcd. Both have been happily hanging in my bathroom for a year and a bit. (I think I might cry).
dalehall - 2/16/2012 11:31 AM
To be honest, I don’t service mine every single year, but I do clean it and test it every so often when I’m in dry-dock. I do get it serviced no less than every other year. The question you really need to ask yourself is do you trust your life to that piece of equipment that has been hanging up for a year? Although it may not be all that cheap to service it, my first thought is better safe than sorry.. Of course, no one here has seen your equipment and can really make the call, you just have to decide if it’s worth the chance or not..
Maybe, if you know anyone at your LDS, you can get them to do a visual inspection/test on it instead of charging you for a full service..
John_giu - 2/16/2012 12:23 PM
As stated above it is your choice. But if you bought the regs new you will receive free parts from most of the name brand manufacturers as long as you service them each year. Service runs around $50-$60 for the set, 1st and 2nd stages and octopus total. You might get a better price but it should not be more. I don’t bother servicing my B.C.D. but even in the event of a critical failure I can dump weight and surface. (OK unless the inflator sticks open and then I can disconnect).

For me, my life is worth more then $60 a year. There is a school of though that if it is working leave it be. I have talked with people who told me their regulators breathed worse when the got them back from repair. Once after having my gear service the first stage came back with what they call creep. Because of an "O" ring which was installed wrong the intermediate pressure (the pressure leaving the first stage on it’s way to the second stage) would increase or creep over time. Find a good repair shop and even then double check the operation of your gear we you get it back.

All this being said, if the regulators were stored in a cool dry place and no water accidentally got into the first stage they are probably safe to dive with. I would at the very least hook them to a tank and breath from both the primary and octopus. Chances are if they breath on the surface they will at least feed you air on a dive.

My rule is before you buy any other scuba gear spend the absolute most you can afford plus another 20% on your regulators and keep them in good working order. In my opinion little does more to ad to your diving enjoyment then and easy breathing high quality regulator.

Flipperfeet - 2/16/2012 12:53 PM
My answer when I ask myself the same question (or when anyone else asks me) is:

How much do you consider your life to be worth?

Pretty simple, really.
Greg - 2/16/2012 1:05 PM
This deserves to be a survey question. I’ll post one soon.
Greg - 2/16/2012 1:11 PM
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/16/2012 2:16 PM
I usually get my regs serviced every other year and always do a test dive with them after being serviced before any trips because there is a better chance of them failing right after service than 13 months down the road. Regs that are only used once a year should be checked more often because they may have corroded from not being put away properly or the valve stuck to the seat.

Disclaimer, I dunk wash my regs while pressurized and then flush the 1st stages with a squeeze bulb to get all of the salt out after every dive even on liveaboards.

I service my BC’s myself, once before a trip I told my daughter to check her equipment, she didn’t and her BC big hose had more holes than Swiss cheese and the dump valve cable had snapped. BTW, if you ever need that cable, some manufactures won’t sell it to you go and / or it only comes with the dump valve. Go to West Marine, they sell SS cable by the foot, have the ferules and the swedge press right there on the bench to press them :)
Pixel - 2/17/2012 12:54 AM
For those wondering, I have a Mares Proton 42 Metal, She dives reg. And an Aqua lung Pearl I3 Bcd.

I think I’ll take my reg for a sight inspection when I go diving again, and if it needs the service then I can rent from the shop. Didn’t know you could just "look" at a reg. Service is pricey. Paid over R250 last time.
Dutch - 2/17/2012 10:32 PM
Mares parts are notorious for not being cheap. If you are diving nitrox, they will use Christo lube to lubricate the o-rings when doing your service. Christo lube has the nasty habit of caking after around 100 dives or two years. Atomic gets around that by loading the first stage with it so that it does not "dry out" and continues to lube long after others have caked badly. If you are not diving Nitrox, demand that the shop use silicone and not Christo lube. When you decide to start with Nitrox, have the reg serviced and set up for it again.
smileyg - 5/20/2012 6:00 AM
I don’t have my service each year and have done this practice for years. But..I carry pony tank for backup. Do you have a pool to do simple test? Do you rinse your bc out thoroughly and check the dump valves? I guess I’m cheap, lived longer then I ever expected. I have had equipment fail before and returned to the surface safely.