Maintaining your regulator in a pristine shape
Diving equipment is definitely not the cheapest accessory out there, yet your safety and even your life depend on some of this equipment. If they get damaged because of improper maintenance, not only will you lose the money invested into purchasing them but you can also put your safety in danger. One of the crucial parts of scuba equipment is the diving regulator. Its purpose is making sure that the gas mixture you breathe from your tank is delivered at a proper pressure, regardless the depth you are diving in. So yes, you can guess that a faulty regulator will cause you breathing issues underwater which is not something to look forward to.
Looking after Your Scuba Equipment
Before getting into the water, it is best to test your regulator on land. Attach it to the tank, take a few breaths from both regulators, primary and octopus, and check the SPG - Submersible Pressure Gauge to see if the device reads correctly. You should also check the pieces that compose the regulator. The hoses should not have any cracks, the mouth piece that goes in your mouth should not have holes or cracks either and the metal parts should be free of corrosion. In case you have hose protectors for your hoses, you will have to take them away and look underneath for the previously mentioned issues. If you notice any cracks or signs of corrosion you will have to take your regulator to a professional to remediate the problems. To further check your diving regulator you will have to put it on the tank and inhale from it with force. Ideally if everything is working correctly your regulator should not let any air escape, it should breath easily but not free flow and your SPG - Submersible Pressure Gauge should not move.
After you are done diving there is a set of actions you can do to make sure the regulator is properly maintained. This will ensure a long life span of the device without operating flaws. It is always recommended for the regulators to be rinsed after each use, especially after diving in salt water. When you do this, you will also have to make sure that the second stage purge valves does not get depressed and that the dust cover for your first stage stays tightly in place. Next, clean the second stage hoses and make sure you pass some fresh water through second stage mouthpieces being sure that it comes out through the exhaust diaphragm. Finally, you will also have to rinse the low-pressure inflator fitting, by putting it under running water and working the slip coupling back and forth a few times.
These are not complicated tasks and anyone can do them to make sure the regulator will work without a problem. If you’ve already decided that scuba diving is the thing for you and managed to acquire a complete set of scuba equipment it would be a shame not to properly care for it. However, even if you do take proper care of your equipment you should have your regulator inspected by a professional at least once a year, depending on how frequent you dive. Especially if you haven’t dived for a long period of time and are planning to go on a diving vacation. Proper regulator maintenance will not only save you money and pro-long the life of it but will also offer you a safe diving experience.
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