How to Test a 2nd Stage SCUBA Regulator

How to Test a 2nd Stage SCUBA Regulator
There are several things to consider when purchasing a second-stage SCUBA regulator. Although the allure of a good bargain might be tempting, remember that your regulator is a lifeline when searching the murky depths of the ocean. If you decide to purchase a second-hand regulator, you should ensure that the regulator is working correctly by completing both visual and simple preliminary tests. Once you are sure that it has been well maintained and it is compatible with your present equipment, then you can enjoy another dive and a bargain.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Regulator SCUBA tank Bucket Water
  • Regulator
  • SCUBA tank
  • Bucket
  • Water
Step 1
Inspect the hoses and second stage of the regulator. Look carefully for any cracks, discolored places, corrosion or other marks that may show there has been a prior malfunction or it has been repaired.
Step 2
Connect your scuba tank to the regulator. Check the tightness of your hoses.
Step 3
Check to see whether the suction in the regulator resets after you hold your breath. Do this by putting the mouthpiece in your mouth. Then inhale through the mouthpiece and hold your breath. If the regulator is watertight, it will hold a vacuum until you either exhale or remove the mouthpiece.
Step 4
Check the tank valve by turning the knob and pressurizing the regulator.
Step 5
Push gently on the purge valve to check the rate of airflow. Release the purge valve, and listen for air leakage. If you have to push hard on the purge valve for air to flow out, then it may have a salt buildup or need a valve adjustment.
Step 6
Fill a bucket with water. You will only need to fill it about two-thirds full. If you don't have a bucket, you can also perform the next test in your kitchen sink.
Step 7
Submerge the regulator in the bucket, and check to see if any bubbles emerge from the second stage. Should bubbles emerge, it could mean one of two things. First, you could have buildup of salt or matter that needs to be cleaned out. Or you could need maintenance on your O-ring or valve.
Step 8
Take the regulator out of the bucket. Hold the mouthpiece facing up, and submerge it in the bucket. Make sure it is still facing upward. This will show you the depth at which it begins to free-flow. Should the regulator start to free-flow before the mouthpiece is submerged or before it is 1.5 inches deep, you will need to have the cracking pressure lowered. This requires the service of a professional.

Tips & Warnings

 
Before you go out on a dive, you should have your regulator tested by a service technician. Never go out with a malfunctioning regulator. If you try to repair your regulator yourself, this may not only worsen matters, but you could void any potential warranties you have for the regulator.
 
Before you go out on a dive, you should have your regulator tested by a service technician.
 
Never go out with a malfunctioning regulator.
 
If you try to repair your regulator yourself, this may not only worsen matters, but you could void any potential warranties you have for the regulator.

Article Written By Krista Raye

Krista Raye is a Steel Magnolia who began writing professionally in 2009 with eHow, Answerbag and Trails. She has 10 years teaching experience in middle and high schools. Raye holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in secondary English education and a Master of Arts in adolescent English education.

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