There's a Beach in My Regulator!
Regulator breathing wet? Free flowing? Power inflator won’t deflate? Venturi lever won’t budge?
There’s a list of things that could be going on (annual service time, perhaps?), but often the culprit is sand. As innocent as the beach looks, those little tiny grains can wreak havoc on your equipment.
In your regulator's first stage, it can get tangled up with your main spring and do all sorts of bad things with your intermediate pressure. In power inflators, sand and small rocks can get in the way of your dump button and not allow you to remove air from your BC. With your second stage, sand is particularly evil. It can get between the o-rings that allow it to be water tight, which will let water in with every breath. It can get between the seat and the crown and prevent a seal from forming there, which will give you freeflow. And it can get between the Venturi lever control and the box of your second stage, which will prevent you from adjusting Venturi and/or ease of breathing.
So how can you prevent all this from happening? I mean, sand’s everywhere. We’ve all come back from the beach and found sand in places we didn’t know we could get sand four days later. Thankfully, there are some easy things to keep most of this stuff on the beach.
1. Octo Keepers
I’ve had enough sand come out of an octo (your alternate air source) to make a replica of Kalama Park on the bench! Securing your secondary is not only a great way to keep it available in case of emergency, but it keeps it off the ground as you’re setting up and off the coral and sand as you dive. As you break down your gear, if you can’t find a non-sandy place to set down, keeping your octo in its keeper until you’re ready to completely unhook your regulator can keep it from dropping into the sand as well.
2. Gear Wash
Rinsing your gear is great for keeping corrosion at bay and for keeping that inevitable batch of silty sand out of your stuff. Be sure to rinse out the spring compartment of your first stage (unless it’s environmentally sealed), as well as your second stages. If you’re at the beach park and there’s a shower, you can fill up your second stage through the mouthpiece as you stand there, swish it around, and dump it out. Just be sure not to press the purge button as you do this, as it will let water into your nice clean reg hose. You can do the same if you wash your gear in a bucket. Same move, less showering.
3. Care while Swimming Near the Bottom
Power inflators love to drag in the sand if you’re cruising along close to the bottom. The mouthpiece acts as a great shovel and you can end up amassing an amazing amount of gunk (and damaging a lot of reef!). If you use your left arm to streamline it across your body as you get up close and personal with that urchin, you can save your gear and the reef.
4. Regular Service
As best we try, the environment always wins. Keeping your gear serviced keeps it clean, happy, and functioning properly (and of course can maintain your warranty)! We are always available for questions and tips, so come on in...and bring your gear!
May 2, 2013 @ 9:25 pm
Spiders and gecko eggs?!? Yikes! I hope this never happens, when I take a breathe from my reg!!!! I am deathly afraid of spiders!!
May 2, 2013 @ 5:32 pm
I had a customer that took a breathe from her regulator and got a gecko egg!
May 1, 2013 @ 7:28 pm
Thanks Kelly for the tips...and happy to have you sving me when gunk attacks...mahalo
May 1, 2013 @ 5:35 pm
Weirdest? How about a spider and her next of eggs in a 1st stage? AH!
May 1, 2013 @ 5:35 pm
Kelly, besides SAND, what's the weirdest thing you've ever seen in a reg?