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Scuba Tech Tips: Regulator Storage

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Alec Peirce Regulators - Tech Tips Nov 2019

By Alec Peirce and Selene Muldowney

Many divers don’t know how to properly store their regulator to prevent damage causing additional service costs. Alec shows us the steps he uses to prepare regulators for long term storage.

This particular tech tip was suggested by one of our viewers. The best time to store a regulator is after it has been serviced. The worst time is to store it after a dive south.  Have the regulator serviced after your dive trip whether it’s a salt water or fresh water dive trip. You don’t want to regulator sitting in storage after your trip with the potential of salt water left on it. 

How do you properly store a regulator?

Here is a typical regulator; first stage, safe second, primary and an air integrated gauge. This particular one has been serviced – I just serviced it. You insure the dust cap is in good shape and the regulators are all working properly. It is bone dry and if you are not sure – hang it in your basement or somewhere for a day or two. The best thing to do is seal it in a plastic bag. You need a large bag – here we use a 13”x18” inch freezer zip lock bag. Best thing to do is coil the regular up and make it super small. Then place it all in the freezer bag. Once in – close it up. We suck out all the air from the bag because the air is hard on the regulator as it causes corrosion. Now it is good to go for long term storage – some people hang them up which is not a bad idea but really for long term storage the best solution is to bag it up. 

What I want to share next came from one of our readers who wanted to share that if the second stage purge button is depressed it takes the pressure off the second stage spring and the rubber seat and by keeping the pressure off the rubber seat it doesn’t get a permanent impression on it. This is true. He was wondering if it is a good idea to keep it depressed ever so slightly. He sent a picture of a way he devised a means to depress the seat with a pill bottle. This was intended for long term storage.  It is not critical but perhaps if you plan to keep the regulator stored for a year or more – it may be a good idea. 

To illustrate this point, I put together a demonstration and got together three big brand regulators. 

Scubapro – they were the first brand to use the second stage spring relief system.  They have a special little tool that you remove before diving – it goes into some of their regulators and turns to take the pressure off the second. They also used a little system with some of their earlier regulators that used a paddle to push in the second stage purge button. If you can’t find the paddle you can slip a toothbrush in there.

Daycor another popular scuba company from years ago – no longer with us – created a regulator that came with a clip that said “purge button depressor”. It did the same thing – ever so slightly pushing down on the purge button. Later models removed the clip – people were losing them. The later model used a little black clip integrated into the regulator. Pretty Slick!

Sherwood also used a similar system with an integrated system that takes the pressure of the seat. Easy to use and slick. 

Thanks for the email – gave us a chance to talk about regulator storage.