Regulator must be serviced by a trained technician at least once a year. If
you use your regulator extensively or commercially, it should be serviced every
six months or every 50 dives. This will entail bringing in your warranty in order
to save money on parts and in some instances, labour (which is seldom included
in the warranty). Sharky's services all makes and models of regulators.
A competent inspection will usually reveal whether or not the regulator is
in need of an overhaul or a simple cleaning or tune-up. No amount of washing or
careful use can entirely prevent your regulator from becoming out of tune. A simple
tune-up will usually involve adjusting the first stage valve to the correct intermediate
pressure, along with perhaps a second stage adjustment as well.
The most important maintenance procedure you can perform on your regulator is
a complete, fresh water rinse immediately after, or within a few hours of your
last dive. Even if you don't have a chance to rinse off your other equipment right
away, try to see that your regulator gets a fresh water rinse as soon as possible,
regardless of whether you have been diving in salt or fresh water.
If allowed to remain inside your regulator, dried salt crystals and sand particles
can damage the precision parts inside. the chlorine and acids in swimming pools,
as well as the mineral and alkaline deposits present in fresh water lakes and
rivers can also cause corrosion and damage to many regulator components.
To properly rinse a regulator:
1. Make sure the dust cap is securely in place on the first stage air inlet
and that it has a watertight seal.
2. Use warm (not hot) water to rinse or soak your regulator. This will dissolve
any dried salt crystals that may have accumulated in the interior.
3. Direct a low pressure stream of fresh water over the first stage, and allow
it to run freely through any open ports. If your first stage uses a piston-type
valve, pay attention to rinsing all salt and sand out of the water chamber, as
sand particles or salt build-up can interfere with the operation of the piston
by causing damage to the piston o-ring.
4. Rinse the second stage by directing a stream of fresh water into the mouthpiece
and allowing it to exit through the exhaust tee. Flush water around and outside
of the entire second stage, concentrating on the swivels, and LP and HP cracks
and crevices. Do not push the purge button, unless you are holding the hose and
first stage high above the second stage and away from the water, or unless the
regulator is pressurized on the tank.
5. Another option is to immerse the entire assembly in a tub of warm water,
always ensuring that the watertight dust cap is securely in place. This would
be advisable if a period of time has lapsed after your dive without rinsing the
regulator. Allow the regulator to soak for five to ten minutes, sloshing it around
to loosen any stubborn particles.
6. The purge button should never be pushed while the regulator is completely
immersed in water. This opens the second stage valve, allowing water to flow through
the hose and back into the interior of the first stage assembly. Remove the yoke
screw and rinse the yoke and screw threads while holding the dust cap in place.
After rinsing, lubricate lightly with silicone spray.
7. Allow the regulator to dry thoroughly before storing it. Always dry it away
from direct sunlight to protect the rubber parts.