I am dedicated to ensuring every item of equipment serviced by my store is serviced/repaired at high standard and importantly in accordance with manufactures specifications. I do not service any brands of equipment I am not certified for as even though you will find some shops do, it is illegal and jeopardises the safety of our divers. And I do not advertise brands I am not certified for and outsource the servicing elsewhere. Whilst I can still make a profit through outsourcing, I prefer for every customer dealing with Dive Repairs to have their equipment serviced by myself, at my standard.
On receipt of items I do an initial inspection and if possible I will ask my customers if they have any issues with their gear they would like me to address. This provides me with information on the items and it also allows me to inform customers of any visual damage which will need to be addressed/repaired. I start a service report by taking down details of the items such as make, model, serial numbers and I also draw a diagram of the configuration to reference when reassembling the items.
I ensure I obtain service kits/parts for the make and model of the items being serviced. I do not mix and match any components as it voids warranties and jeopardises performance/safety. I have the relevant manual/schematic on hand to reference during the service.
I then go on to conduct pre service checks by supplying air to the regulators to test their functionality and line pressure. The results of this test indicate problems/worn items within the regulator. For example if the line pressure is high there may be a worn seat or a damaged knife-edge. A second stage free flowing may be a result of the orifice needing adjustment, the cracking effort is too low, the lever is bent or there is simply debris seizing the spring in a purge cover.
Now I am aware of the state of the items, I go ahead and dismantle them using scuba specific tools. In doing so I keep an eye out for any signs of wear and damage to the components. I clean metal components in a ultrasonic cleaner with a solution of Divosheen and water for air cleaning and Biox and water for O2 cleaning. All other components are washed and scrubbed in warm water with a chemical free cleaning solution (Earth).
Prior to reassembly I ensure all replaceable parts are replaced with those from a service kit. I re assemble the items ensuring I have a schematic on hand. Tribolube is used for all my services as it is an O2 safe lubricant. I ensure the right amount of lubricant is used for the right component. O’rings for example have three purposes in a dive regulatorr. They are dynamic, static and locking. Each type requires a different amount of lubricant, or none at all.
When assembled, I then go on and repeat this process for the other stages of the regulator. I clean all hose ends and pressure gauges in an ultrasonic cleaner including the high pressure spool and I replace all hose and gauge o-rings and also the BCD hose core valve.
Now all my items are cleaned and reassembled, I go on to reassemble the set ensuring it is in the same configuration as I received it (unless otherwise advised). I supply 200 bar of air to the first stage and check the line pressure and make any required adjustments to the second stage. When the line pressure is set I then check the “cracking effort” of the second stages. In short, cracking effort is the effort required by the diver to inhale through the mouthpiece of a second stage and “crack” the seal allowing air to pass and be supplied to the diver. The cracking effort on a primary second stage will be set slightly lower than an occy as we don’t want our occy to free flow whilst getting knocked about during our dives.
When I have tuned the first and second stages with 200 bar of air supplied regulate the air supplied to 50 bar. When the air supply pressure becomes less, different types of regulators will preform differently. Testing with 50 bar of air supplied confirms the regulator is preforming as it should.
Now my testing and tuning is complete I can go on to do my final checks, which is testing for leaks. It can appear items have no leaks through sight and sound. By submerging the items in water with air supplied will reveal any minor leaks, especially in hoses and their connections, which are obviously very important to identify.
When free from leaks I blow dry the regulators using clean air and hang them to dry. Once I have annotated all testing and tuning results on my service form, I am happy the service is complete.