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Old 03-12-2016, 09:33 PM   #1
Ron S
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Regulator questions.

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, so if not, feel free to move it.
I started scuba diving 17 years ago. At that time, I bought a set of well used rental regs from a dive shop going out of business. It's a Sherwood magnum first and second stage. I then added a new Air 2 and analog gauge. Used the crap out of that gear since.
Last time I took the gear in for service, the shop said the piston in the first stage was corroded. The said it could be fixed, but would cost more than it was really worth. They said it's basically functional, but no longer really a balanced regulator. They recommended replacing my 1st and probably my second stage.
Since I mostly freedive now, except of work, where I use my issued gear, I didn't bother to replace my personal regs. Now, I'm taking the family to Hawaii on vacation and the folks I'm going with are planning a couple tank dives.
The wife had a fit when I said I wanted new regs, but I hate to rent. looking online, new first and second stage regs can be had for around $200 or so, which is about the max I could justify spending at this point. I'm just wondering how the quality of stuff at that price would compare to my old gear?
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Ron.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:54 AM   #2
Keysdivers
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Re: Regulator questions.

Nothing at all wrong with used gear. I would suggest you take it into your local dive shop and just have it checked
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:28 AM   #3
fuzzybabybunny
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Re: Regulator questions.

I mean, a balanced reg simply means it's just as easy to breathe from at depth than at the surface.

If your first stage is no longer balanced but functional, I'd just roll with it. It'll just be a bit harder to breathe from when you go deeper.

The cheap $200 regs you mentioned might be brand new, but they might NOT be balanced either, by default. Cheaper regs tend not to be balanced anyway.

For really high value, balanced regs, do a search for HOG regulators. Stands for Highly Optimized Gear. Kind of a small little-known brand without the sexiness factor, but they consistently make great stuff without the same markup as the big name brands.
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:31 AM   #4
kehloken
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Re: Regulator questions.

17 years ago it's possible it's this reg http://www.800howdive.com/magnum.reg.htm
Go ahead and open the ports in the first stage take a look in there and see if there's any corrosion. As in take the Reg off your air2 line also.
Check the filter where the tank hooks up and see how green that looks.
If it looks like something you don't want to breathe out of then don't.
More than likely it will be just fine, there is a white build up that will be in the ports Where you can see in.

But cheap regs will do just fine to go do some dives.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:56 AM   #5
Ron S
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Re: Regulator questions.

Thanks guys. The shop said my stuff was safe to dive with, and when I got certified I used non-balanced regs with no issues. Last summer I had my gear down to 60' (freshwater and 6,000' elevation), with no issues.
Oh, and Kehloken, looking at that link, my stuff is even older than that!
Ron.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:37 PM   #6
quatin
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Re: Regulator questions.

I don't think balanced regs make a difference till 100 feet. Even then, it's when your air gets below 1000 PSI. If your regs got an annual service, I'd take them.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:04 PM   #7
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Re: Regulator questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quatin View Post
I don't think balanced regs make a difference till 100 feet. Even then, it's when your air gets below 1000 PSI. If your regs got an annual service, I'd take them.
Well that's the kicker. I had been having my personal gear serviced annually, but then when I was issued gear for work and the boss was paying to service that, I quit using and servicing my personal stuff. After a few years of non-use, I took my regs in. They did an "inspection", for about $40, and said that due to the condition of the first stage, a full service for just the first and second stage would be over $200.
New, their first and second stage regs started at around $600 if I recall correctly. They suggested waiting till they had some used gear come in on consignment.

I hate buying stuff online instead of supporting my LDS, but geez, if I can buy a brand new, non-balanced Oceanic first and second stage for less than $180, it's hard to pass up...
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:16 AM   #8
quatin
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Re: Regulator questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
Well that's the kicker. I had been having my personal gear serviced annually, but then when I was issued gear for work and the boss was paying to service that, I quit using and servicing my personal stuff. After a few years of non-use, I took my regs in. They did an "inspection", for about $40, and said that due to the condition of the first stage, a full service for just the first and second stage would be over $200.
New, their first and second stage regs started at around $600 if I recall correctly. They suggested waiting till they had some used gear come in on consignment.

I hate buying stuff online instead of supporting my LDS, but geez, if I can buy a brand new, non-balanced Oceanic first and second stage for less than $180, it's hard to pass up...
I would not take regs that have been sitting on the shelf for a few years. That is especially hard on the gaskets compared to casual use. What's worse is you're trying to take them on vacation. That would be the waste of a trip if your regs blew. You should just rent regs.

If you want to buy used, try craigslist and ebay instead of through a LDS.

*Edit
I just noticed you're in California. Go to Dolphin Scuba Center in Sacramento. They run an online shop as well, so I have them ship me stuff to Florida. Their prices are very competitive even against LeisurePro. I just saw a Mares Rover 12 reg set for $200. I bought it for the same price at LeisurePro on my Hookah setup 3 years ago. Decent reg set for warm waters. They also have a ScubaPro set for $300.

This way you're supporting a "modern LDS". They don't just whine about online competition taking away business. They catch up with the times by selling online and with a brick & mortar shop.

Last edited by quatin; 03-15-2016 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:33 AM   #9
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Re: Regulator questions.

Go to your local thrift stores you can find some awesome Treasures my wife found a really nice setup scubapro regs for $10. had them serviced and they have been some really nice regulators. Or Craigslist
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
Ron S
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Re: Regulator questions.

I should add that I've had multiple issues with regulators failing, and each and every time, it was immediately after they were serviced by that dive shop. I'd have to take stuff back and have them fix whatever they goofed up. Usually a torn o-ring, etc.
As to Dolphin Scuba, that's my favorite shop. It's 2 hrs. away, but I have family in Sacramento and also have to drive through there to get to the coast. I love stopping in there and have bought a lot of gear there. I looked at their online stuff, but didn't see anything less than $300. They used to have a "June Madness Sale", on Father's Day weekend, with crazy deals, but they stopped doing it.
As to used gear, I know you can get lucky and find a bargain, but it's a roll of the dice. One of my co-workers went that route when he first started diving. Got several sets of gear really cheap from E-bay, local consignment shops, etc. In he end, he said the stuff was cheap for a reason, and cost more to have serviced and brought up to a safe level than if he'd just bought new in the first place. That would probably be my luck as well...
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:43 PM   #11
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Re: Regulator questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
I should add that I've had multiple issues with regulators failing, and each and every time, it was immediately after they were serviced by that dive shop. I'd have to take stuff back and have them fix whatever they goofed up. Usually a torn o-ring, etc.
As to Dolphin Scuba, that's my favorite shop. It's 2 hrs. away, but I have family in Sacramento and also have to drive through there to get to the coast. I love stopping in there and have bought a lot of gear there. I looked at their online stuff, but didn't see anything less than $300. They used to have a "June Madness Sale", on Father's Day weekend, with crazy deals, but they stopped doing it.
As to used gear, I know you can get lucky and find a bargain, but it's a roll of the dice. One of my co-workers went that route when he first started diving. Got several sets of gear really cheap from E-bay, local consignment shops, etc. In he end, he said the stuff was cheap for a reason, and cost more to have serviced and brought up to a safe level than if he'd just bought new in the first place. That would probably be my luck as well...
Mares Rover 12S for $200.

http://www.dolphinscuba.com/essentia...with-yoke.html
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:50 PM   #12
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Re: Regulator questions.

Hey Ron, you want to buy a balanced regulator. Not only do they breathe easier at all depths but they have a much higher air flow. I would look for a good quality used reg, but make sure it’s a model that is still in production so that you can get parts. Look for Aqualung, Scubapro, Oceanic, or Apex. There are other good brands but the ones I listed are brands I have had experience with over 15 years in the dive business. One other thing to consider is that any reg you buy should be serviced before you take it out. Factor that in when you are looking at new vs. used. If you’re open to new, take a look at an Apex ATX20. It’s reasonably priced and has performance specs that are comparable to much more expensive models.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:03 PM   #13
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Re: Regulator questions.

One very important thing is to dive your regulator that you decide to use, before your vacation. so many times I serviced reg set and set them to factory spec and then when dove they free flow because the customer wanted the easiest breathing easiest breaking reg possible. Then they complained they free flowed. So make sure you dive your newly serviced regular before your vacation, If there is an issue you can deal with your LDS not some 5 star PADI tourist rip off place
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:04 PM   #14
Ron S
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Re: Regulator questions.

[quote=Smash;2094405]Hey Ron, you want to buy a balanced regulator. Not only do they breathe easier at all depths but they have a much higher air flow. QUOTE]

But Robert, wouldn't having reduced air flow and much harder to breath at depth strengthen my lungs and improve my freediving???

Seriously though, the issue just got resolved. I was talking to the boss about this. With our various budget issues, our team hasn't been able to train as often as we should. As a result, he pretty much insisted that I take my work gear, which is serviced regularly, on vacation and log all my dives as training. I'll be using the Apex 50 regs. I'm used to, which is nice.

I tried to get him to spring for air fills and guide boat fees too. I was told not to push my luck...

Thanks for all the advice guys!

Ron.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:40 PM   #15
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Re: Regulator questions.

I still have this for sale, I only used it twice since 2011 and I recently (3 months ago) Serviced everything willing to let everything go for $500 OBO. It's older gear but I didn't put much use on it.

http://spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=100838
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