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terrillja
08-26-2007, 19:56
I was wondering if anyone knows the minimum temperature that you can use the Zeagle RaZor at. I dive in Northern NY and NH, and obviously don't want it to freeze. I have always heard that a diaphragm reg is more reliable in cold water, and didn't know if the flow-by piston design would freeze up in the mid-high 30s and low 40s.

ScottZeagle
08-27-2007, 15:52
From our resident regulator expert, Jim Fox:

A first stage freeze-up usually involves ice in the spring chamber. A
basic diaphragm design, allows water into the spring chamber and thus can
experience freezing problems. Zeagle does offer several of its diaphragm
first stages with a " dry sealed system" so that first stage freezing is not
an issue, but the RaZor is fairly freeze resistant too. This is due to the
razors ability to absorb heat from both the tank and the surrounding water.
Unlike a regulator sitting at the end of the tank valve, the RaZor's body is
screwed into the tank itself. This direct metal to metal contact allows
heat that the tank absorbs from the surrounding water, to be channeled into
the RaZor's body to counter the cooling effect caused by expanding air at
the main valve. The piston cap also contains a series of fins that help
absorb heat from the surrounding water to keep the spring chamber relatively
warm.

There are a great number of variables such as breathing rate and water
temperature that determine whether regulator will freeze are not. In water
40 F and warmer, most regulators will not freeze at normal breathing rates.
Even at 35 F to 40 F, if the diver avoids long continuous extractions of
air from the regulator (for example does not hit the drysuit inflator while
inhaling), freezing can be avoided. At temperatures below 35 F, extreme
care has to be taken no matter what style of regulators being used, to avoid
freezing.

Generally speaking, except for high flow conditions, the RaZor should not
freeze in water temperatures above 40 F. Below 40 F, a sealed diaphragm
first stage would be preferable. This assumes that the diver is trained in,
understands and practices Cold Water Diving Techniques.

terrillja
08-27-2007, 16:01
From our resident regulator expert, Jim Fox:

A first stage freeze-up usually involves ice in the spring chamber. A
basic diaphragm design, allows water into the spring chamber and thus can
experience freezing problems. Zeagle does offer several of its diaphragm
first stages with a " dry sealed system" so that first stage freezing is not
an issue, but the RaZor is fairly freeze resistant too. This is due to the
razors ability to absorb heat from both the tank and the surrounding water.
Unlike a regulator sitting at the end of the tank valve, the RaZor's body is
screwed into the tank itself. This direct metal to metal contact allows
heat that the tank absorbs from the surrounding water, to be channeled into
the RaZor's body to counter the cooling effect caused by expanding air at
the main valve. The piston cap also contains a series of fins that help
absorb heat from the surrounding water to keep the spring chamber relatively
warm.

There are a great number of variables such as breathing rate and water
temperature that determine whether regulator will freeze are not. In water
40 F and warmer, most regulators will not freeze at normal breathing rates.
Even at 35 F to 40 F, if the diver avoids long continuous extractions of
air from the regulator (for example does not hit the drysuit inflator while
inhaling), freezing can be avoided. At temperatures below 35 F, extreme
care has to be taken no matter what style of regulators being used, to avoid
freezing.

Generally speaking, except for high flow conditions, the RaZor should not
freeze in water temperatures above 40 F. Below 40 F, a sealed diaphragm
first stage would be preferable. This assumes that the diver is trained in,
understands and practices Cold Water Diving Techniques.

According to Joe, 45 is about the minimum that the RaZor should be used in, which is the max temp that the water is under the thermalcline, it only gets colder with more depth. Looks like I need to look at different first stages that are rated to colder temps.