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Oxygen cleaning regulators
joe_bird - 12/25/2017 3:52 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 5

So the time for me to service my regulators is coming up again. I have seen and opted for oxygen cleaning services in the past and heard that if you dive Nitrox at all, even once since the last service, you should have your regs oxygen cleaned. I am skeptical of this as it pertains to recreational scuba diving and regulators, as it seems like a way for some dive shops to get a little more out of our wallets. I could see for technical gear used with higher oxygen contents for deco stops how this may be beneficial, but for recreational mixes, not so much. My question is, is oxygen cleaning my regulators a necessary part of servicing for recreational Nitrox divers?

For context, I may dive Nitrox on very few dives per year (4-6 maximum), typically only when on vacation, and never higher than 36%.

Merry Christmas and safe diving everyone!
joe_bird - 12/26/2017 10:28 PM
Awesome. Thanks for the help guys.
pmedic73 - 12/26/2017 11:10 PM
Just my 2 cents... I work at a dive shop that does gas blending. I will let you know that if your tank is not O2 cleaned, a dive shop won’t (or shouldn’t) fill it with any Nitrox blend. Your tank will need to have a Nitrox VIP and the sticker to match (should be colored different than a regular VIP). As for the regs, I would make sure that when you have them serviced, they use the proper lube on the seals (most do anyway). The new stuff on the market should be ok for mixes up to 40% as is. It’s always good to make sure though as this IS life-support equipment.
MDW - 11/01/2018 1:09 PM
CGA, DOT, and OSHA require O2 cleaning for any tank with 23.5% or higher O2 content (yes, NOT 40%).

As for regulators, I would think the same limit should apply, at least to first stages where the same high pressures are present. Maybe I could see a little slack on the second stage where the pressure is lower and the volume and flow is restricted.

That said, I keep everything O2 clean (tank, valve, hose, reg, BC) if it will be used with Nitrox. And that said, it’s not rocket science to O2 clean stuff (BTW, speaking of rocket science, NASA requires O2 cleaning for anything over 21% O2).