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#51687
What Scuba Regulators Have Longest Service Life?
Greg - 11/20/2014 6:54 AM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 40

Most equipment manufactures and dive shops will say to have your regulators serviced every year or two. But I don’t believe I’ve ever seen regs that have a longer service lifespan. Do you know of any scuba regs that last more than two years without requiring maintenance?

What is the real issue with regulators that require maintenance anyways? Is it the o-rings? Corrosion due to salt water diving? Build-up of sediment due to muck diving? Plastic parts breaking?

Thank you!
#377
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Scuba-Stu - 11/20/2014 8:44 AM
I still have and use A Dacor Viper from the mid 90’s and a pair of U.S. Divers Conshelf 19s that work well. I really don’t think it is a Manufacturer question I think it is related more to the person and how well he cares for his/her gear
#377
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Scuba-Stu - 11/20/2014 8:49 AM
Sorry mis read the Question, I am of the belief the service recommendations are a liability issue so if the equipment fails and injury occurs the company has a way out
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hcdiveteambrian - 11/20/2014 10:23 AM
I’m using a Dacor alternate second stage that I bought in 98. It’s a piece of junk, breaths pretty hard, it’s never serviced and it’s what I use, probably has 400+ dives on it, and at least 17 yrs old. I bought it used.
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hcdiveteambrian - 11/20/2014 10:25 AM
I use it as my primary second stage btw.
#3083
RichKeller - 11/20/2014 1:09 PM
I do my own service when the reg just does not feel quite right. Usually it only needs a minor second stage adjustment but a total overhaul on both stages maybe every 2 or 3 years. This is done mainly to replace the rubber parts as they have the shortest life. I have no issues with corrosion or muck build up as I clean them very well after each dive and I do a fair amount of mud dives when I am salvaging something. I got rid of my newer regs and replaced them with old Scubapro regs from the 70s so there are no plastic parts that need to be replaced.
#413
searly28 - 11/20/2014 6:13 PM
I’m using an old Mares mr12 III from the 80’s. Love it. Bought it used on ebay with a Dacor octopus. Checked it out on a tank, then a shallow spring dive on the Waccissa River. This was a couple of years ago. Slightly heavy breathing on both, so had both serviced. Been working perfect the last two years. BTW, don’t know how long it had laid up, but when I took it in for service, they checked it and said I could still dive with it fine, if I wanted to put the service off awhile. Had them go ahead, and watched while they did it. Clean as a whistle inside, looks and works perfect since then. I know a lot of folks say don’t buy off ebay, but I’ve got $165 in the regs and 1st stage, including the servicing two years ago. Won’t have it serviced until I detect a change.
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John_giu - 11/20/2014 6:33 PM
This is a hot button issue for me.
I am willing to service my regulators annually
Except that everyone who touches them make them worse.
When I first purchased my Mares Abyss 42 set they breathed
like I was breathing air at the surface.
I believe one time they came back satisfactory.
I had one tech complain they were junk!
Well they are in fact a well regarded set and two he’s an idiot
that could not seem to adjust them.

I even had the Mares rep intervene in one repair to get it right.
I’m more likely to drown AFTER having them serviced than to just run them into the ground
#3720
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tstormdiver - 11/20/2014 8:30 PM
Aqualungs are amongst the oldest that I have serviced. I recently had to break the bad news to an owner of a very old Aqualung (1st stage looks like a flying saucer), that after contacting Aqualung’s technical support, I was told that that regulator could no longer be serviced & vital parts were no longer available. I have also serviced many old conshelfs & have had someone donate a very old Royal Aquamaster double hose regulator to the shop.
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tstormdiver - 11/20/2014 8:31 PM
The biggest problem with servicing many vintage regulators is that the manufacturers have stopped making & supporting parts for them.
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Eric_R - 11/20/2014 8:59 PM
I’m still using my mares MR12-III and MR12-IV that I bought 27 years ago.
They’ve been in warm water and ice diving and have never malfunctioned.
#413
searly28 - 11/21/2014 8:34 AM
I ran into a bit of a problem on the Mares mr12 seat. Went on the internet and found out one of the other prevalent regulators used the same seat. Don’t remember which, now, but could find it again. Anyway, rest of the parts were available in a kit. On the older stuff, sometimes the parts off of a newer regulator will work. For what it’s worth.
#5471
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/22/2014 6:35 AM
Salt water corrosion is a killer for your regs. But if you rinse them out after a week of diving on vacation they should be fine. If the inlet 1st stage filter is dis colored then have it serviced. I only see a corrosion problem if they let the regs sit for 9 months until their next dive.s Brass doesn’t corrode. The parts get discontinued. You can get a reg. repair kit by searching the internet. Dive shops will sell them to you by internet.
My choice is to get 200 dives on a set of regs then buy a nice used set from a private party. Most new divers give up the sport even before 50 dives. I service my own and friends regs to a T for free. I was also auth’d/ serviced over 360 regs in the past 12 months.
ScubaPro’s always went well for me to service/retune. Its all about how the regs are tuned to your own likings. The comfort of breathing comes from mainly the 2nd stage. I would suggest getting a 2nd stage with a balanced flow threw piston.
Cold water diving below 40 degrees at 80ft should get as much metal in the 2nd stage as possible and have the 2nd stage tuned harder to breath.
Warm water divers above 50 degrees can usually get away with the cheapest regs on the market. Its all about how the regs are tuned after re assembly. Get the cheap ones and throw away before servicing.
Manufactures offer servicing each stage for $75 labor plus parts because they really don’t want to do the servicing anyways. But the service offering looks good for marketing.
#5471
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/22/2014 6:51 AM
Mares MR12 and also the MR12S poppet seats are all the same from pre 2004 till now. The poppet seat part # is 46186216. The rebuild kit for the MR12 is 46185002 int/din. Remember that the MR12 is the 1st stage only. 2nd stages sold with the MR12 can be the Epos, Axis Rebel Prestige Proton Rover and not limited to those 2nd stages.
#413
searly28 - 11/23/2014 12:08 PM
I certainly am no expert. So you can probably clear this up for me. There is nothing but a serial number on the 1st stage. The 2nd stage has Mares MR12 III on the purge button, and also says Mares on the mouth piece. No other names. Also, when it was serviced they indicated they had the kit for the Mares reg, but not the seat, which was when I mentioned another seat that would work, which they had. Like I said, working great the last two years. If this was other than a Mares 2nd stage, wouldn’t it say so?
#5471
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/25/2014 6:52 AM
All of the above listed 2nd stages are all Mares. Just different models. You should get 1 kit for the 1st stage and 1 kit for the Mares 2nd stage that’s made for the model of the 2nd stage. There is no reason why the seat didn’t come with the kit. There are 9 different models of 2nd stages that have been sold with the MR2 and 3 different service kits for those 2nd stages. Your Mares poppet seat part # most likely is 46200204 unless if its an octopus. I have one seat here so give me an address and I’ll send it to You. Scuba80@hotmail.com
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/25/2014 7:26 AM
I checked for Mares12 III. Its older then most of us on earth. That’s back when Mares is basically a Dacor. Dacor parts will work. But why ? Your 2nd stage is about 30 years old. Just get a another lightly used 2nd stage that’s 20 years newer for the Mares 1st stage. The kit for your 2nd stage is discontinued. And the shelf life is about 5 years for the kit. If your still diving after all of these years then you deserve going to a dive shop and getting the cheapest that would be a lot better then what your using. Take care
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searly28 - 11/25/2014 10:59 AM
Appreciate the info. Cleared up some questions I had. All I know is it works great and breathes very easy. I knew it was from the 70’s or 80’s. Regulator is rather like me, I guess. Old, but still kicking. :-)
#413
searly28 - 11/25/2014 4:14 PM
I did a lot of research on the Hogs, today. Think I’ll pick up a set, since I have the DIN Pro valves on my tanks. Really like the fact that you can buy the parts kits. Found them on DRIS. Really like the prices on the Hogs, too. Thanks for the input.
#413
searly28 - 11/26/2014 6:31 AM
I haven’t seen anything either, so far. I’ll give it a couple of days, just to see if anything comes up. After that, I’ll see who has the best deal. So far looks like Dris, Cave Adventures, etc are all running the same prices. No hurry, the Mares works great, always has. Matter of fact, when I get the hog, the Mares will just move to another hose.
#5471
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/26/2014 4:19 PM
I like DRIS. They are out of Plainfield IL. I haven’t bought anything from them but my diver buddies say they are all treated well with price and service. Don’t hear anything bad about DRIS around the area either.
Hogs are sold to everyone that is certified. Business is retail and selling is a sale.
If You want HOGS that’s the fun of shopping for new stuff. SAFE DIVING !
#413
searly28 - 11/26/2014 4:40 PM
Not a problem. I have hoses, and I have the IP pressure gauge already. Also have been through Vance Harlow’s book " Scuba Regulator Maintenance and Repair", which I picked up a couple of years ago. However, don’t think I’ll quit on my Mares either. The brass in it seems to keep some moisture, so no cotton mouth, and what the heck, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

BTW, I think that was a Conshelf kit that was put in the Mares 2 years ago. Think the Aqualung and Titan work also, for those that are still using them.
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searly28 - 11/26/2014 7:46 PM
I also ran across 2 or 3 folks complaining of the Hogs breathing wet, for them. Don’t know if adjustments could have an effect on this or not.

Cave Adventures, about 60 miles from here in Marianna, is a Hog dealer, also. Looked on his website. He has the Zenith, but is out of stock on the Classic. Prices run the same as DRIS.
#5471
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/27/2014 5:31 AM
Glad your doing your homework. I can suggest but am going to stay out of the middle of this one. Hog isn’t a tec. regulator. That’s because it doesn’t have an upflow system. If your diving warm waters above 45 degrees. The cheapest avail. will do fine.
To answer the original question about service intervals. If the carburetor on your car works then don’t fix it. OK Then after 10 years sell it before the radiator hoses start leaking. LOL
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searly28 - 11/27/2014 10:18 PM
Picked up a Hog Zenith from Dris at midnight. For $75 figured it was worth the gamble. Where else can you get a new 2nd stage regulator for that price. Got a couple of other things while I was there. Will see how it works out, if I don’t like it, I’ll post it for sale on Dive Buddy. :-)
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searly28 - 11/28/2014 3:06 PM
Yep, only one. I’m not a Tech diver, by any means. Though I am considering going back for a 1st stage, also. Just don’t have enough info on the 1st stages. Haven’t seen the Classic with the 1st stage on sale. At $179 for the set, just about everywhere, I could pick one of those up anytime, and have another 2nd stage, too. Right now, wondering if the swivel is worth the extra $30. Really like how compact the D2 is, and it’s on sale for $129 at DRIS.
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btw2459 - 11/29/2014 7:18 AM
Dive Gear express does an older model Dive Rite regulator set (1st and 2nd stage) for $199. I’ve got one for my pony bottle and it is just perfect.
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searly28 - 11/29/2014 10:36 AM
I scooted over to DGE to take a peak. Looks pretty good. Have you been using it long, and it’s working out well for you? Does Dive rite sell the kits for it, also? One of the main reasons I decided to try the Hog was being able to by the service kits.
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DiveBuddyChgo - 11/29/2014 11:00 AM
North East Scuba Supply northeastscubasupply.com/regulator-service-kits/ if You need parts or service kits.
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MDW - 1/24/2015 5:44 PM
I bought 2 sets of used Poseidon Jetstreams from 2 different sellers on eBay about 12 years and dove them for about 6 years before servicing. In the meantime, I liked them so much I bought another set also off eBay as a "spare" which I used while I had each of the first 2 serviced one at a time. They really didn’t need service, but I figured it was about time. Since then, I have bought 2 more sets of these and had that 3rd one serviced because it was getting a little IP creep in it. So right now I have 5 sets (total cost less than what one new set costs today), and only one has actually ever needed service in the 12 years since I got the first ones. So on average, I’d say they go at least 8 years without needing service, and probably much more since I have no idea how long the previous owner had gone without before selling them to me. I do about 100 to 150 dives a year on these and they hold up well. Two caveats - I dive mostly fresh water so your mileage may vary with salt water use and when these do need service, they require special tools and are fairly different from most other regs in internal design so I can’t work on them myself.

I have tried the "only get serviced as needed method on other brands of regs and have found they need tuning more often, but still go way more than 1 or 2 years and are easily serviced at home with the right kit.
#5471
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DiveBuddyChgo - 1/25/2015 3:51 AM
I have all the service tools from Poseidon and Poseidon factory receipts from that purchase. Also all of the manuals and downloads. If your interested then let Me know. Mike Bartenfelder 847 852 9383