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View Full Version : Octopus needs annual servicing?



superkingkong
11-03-2007, 01:44
Hi guys,

hmm... often i heard of regulator needs to be serviced, but what about the octopus? do we need to send it for servicing annually as well?

Cheers,

Puffer Fish
11-03-2007, 02:10
Hi guys,

hmm... often i heard of regulator needs to be serviced, but what about the octopus? do we need to send it for servicing annually as well?

Cheers,
I know this will sound a bit weird, but it may be more important to have your octo serviced annually than your primary. As you use your primary on every dive... usually wash it carefully... usually are looking for any issues... odds are, you will know when most things are not working quite as they should (I know, there are lots of exceptions). But an octo tends to just sit there, until you or someone else really, really needs it.

Think of it this way... if you are parachuting, which chute absolutely, positively has to work when you pull it?

SarahBella
11-03-2007, 07:24
Having the octo serviced is like having the dive insurance...I do both hoping I will never need/use it. The LDS we take our gear to does it all for one price because we bought both from same company and we bring it in all together. The cash is worth the piece of mind...I dive with my teenage children and husband so a little extra money is worth it.

WV Diver
11-03-2007, 07:47
Absolutely, Puff is right (did I just say that out loud?) :smiley2: Your octo needs servicing annually just like your primary. It is seldom used and is open to the environment (even if you have a cover for it) and water and particulate matter flow through the octo much more than the primary.

I use my octo on occasion for dives at the lake when we are doing skills and just doing fun dives. It is good to know how it breathes and that it breathes. It gives you confidence in your equipment and makes you more comfortable overall.

superkingkong
11-03-2007, 20:58
thanks for the input.

btw, i've read somewhere that they advice us to use our octo during the safety stop in every dives. that way, we get to test it. i guess it's a good idea too.

okidiver
11-03-2007, 23:49
definitely. what else are you going to do at your safety stop? try your octo. make sure its working properly.

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 00:01
thanks for the input.

btw, i've read somewhere that they advice us to use our octo during the safety stop in every dives. that way, we get to test it. i guess it's a good idea too.


Defintely always good to test it out, I usually breathe mine for several minutes..

Just remember if you do switch to your octo during safety stop - make sure you control your buoyancy and exhale when you swap - ive seen some divers take their reg out to switch and they start to sink/float - very dangerous!

superkingkong
11-04-2007, 00:26
thanks for the piece of advice, guys :)

JahJahwarrior
11-04-2007, 00:29
Lets be careful as we say "needs" servicing. The rubber on my hoses is still fine after a year, what should lead me to think the rubber in the reg is in dire need of replacing? Having a reg looked at every year isn't a bad idea but manyo f the parts will last many many years.

The only real reason that something just has to bserviced is to keep it in warranty. I've never bothered, as all of my gear is used and no warranties ever seem to transfer. I check my gear before and after every dive, and have never had a problem. Most of my gear has been serviced within the last two years but my octo is going on only God knows how many. But I dive long hose and in an OOA situation I get my octo, so I'm not screwing anyone else over by my choice to not have it serviced. But it doesn't need it, really, so I don't bother. :)

It won't hurt it to have it serviced ever year, but if you'll let it go three years without servicing, and save the money you would have spent on parts and labour and gas and whatnot, you can probably buy a new set. Many places charge something like $60 to $90 in labour, and you can get a first and second stage combo for around $100-$120 if you look hard, then you add an octo ($60?) and put your old SPG on, replacing the spool orings ($1), and for three years' service fees you have an entirely new set of regs!

superkingkong
11-04-2007, 00:43
Interesting calculation there :)

well, i guess we are just scared of something that might happen in the middle of "nowhere"




I check my gear before and after every dive, and have never had a problem.

BTW, how do you check? do you take it apart? or just inspect it visually?

cheers

texdiveguy
11-04-2007, 00:46
Your octo if you dive with one should be cared for in the same manor as your primary reg. second stage...and on each dive test breathed at depth. You should maintain the recomm. manufactors suggested service schd.. You may even have to increase this service schd. particularly if you dive salt water conditions on a regular basis.

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 00:50
There is no reason not to service your regs, sure it is money - but it is investment and peace of mind..

If you cant afford it, maybe you should look at rentals, but it should definitely be a cost that you consider. Most manufactures only will honor warranty when you get it serviced regularly and on time and just to save $50 isnt worth ruining a warranty - sure you can buy a new one for $100~ but why? Sure you pay for it in maintenance in 2 years, but why throw away a good regulator?

It definitely pays to get it serviced as yo never know when it could fail because of a worn part or even a manufactured defect..even if it *looks* ok and is taken care of.- all of which could have been avoided if you would service your gear like it should be.

JahJahwarrior
11-04-2007, 01:53
I wrote a really long post but realized that no one would care to read it.

If you want to pay to get your regs worked on yearly, by all means, do it. But it's far from necessary, and I feel that while the statement I just made is biased, its not purely opinion. My octo I got used, it had been sitting in a garage for years. I have no clue how oldit is or anything. Breathes great, rubber is in decent shape, and I have no concerns diving it. If regulators really needed yearly service to avoid killing you, I would be dead. :) Of course, it would be a logical fallacy to assume that every regulator doesn't need yearly service, but I think if you treat them right and take care of them, it's not necessary. I dissassemble my second stages to look at the diaphragms before every dive, and every few months I take them off the hose to look at the other orings and seals in them. I check the first stage filter every time I put it on a tank and when someone has an IP guage handy I'll check the pressure. I stay on top of my gear, but I don't have it serviced yearly. I am more than willing to pay to service it when it needs it. (except I don't really trust any LDS's at all. The one that last serviced my gear did a shoddy job and left it in a condition to freeflow like mad, if it had happened at depth instead of at the surface, I would have been out of air in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes, and depending on how deep I was, that could have been an issue. The second shop I took it to becuase I thought it was a little touchy when I tried it in the pool before taking it to deeper water told me it was fine . When two shops try to kill you in one week.....)


Oh, and I wouldn't replace my regs every three years. And if I did, I would overhaul my original set and sell it cheap to some newbie who needed gear to help fund the purchase.


I could afford it, but why? I'll use the money to invest in a slung 40 cubic foot pony. That'll save me if for some odd reason I had an issue with my backgas. And if I can't afford $60 to service regs, well that's only a few weekends of reg rentals. Not economically worth it, which is why I purchased all of my own gear right off the bat.

I'll add that when I originally bought regs that had been sitting for a while, I got them overhauled right away. Gear that's newer and that I've taken care of, I don't see the need as greatly.

ReefHound
11-04-2007, 08:26
It definitely pays to get it serviced as yo never know when it could fail because of a worn part or even a manufactured defect..even if it *looks* ok and is taken care of.- all of which could have been avoided if you would service your gear like it should be.

This is not a fair statement. You never know when a piece of gear could fail... regardless of servicing history. Getting it serviced doesn't ensure you avoid such problems. Based on my experiences and observations, most problems occur "right after" servicing. I've become a big fan of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". But definitely inspect carefully and maintain well.

One could say why throw away a good reg after 2 years, one could also say why throw away good money every year. Annual service shouldn't give you "peace of mind". You need to be mentally and physically prepared to handle gear failure at all times. Even if you get your stuff serviced once a month. Annual service is not a substitute for safe diving skills.

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 09:15
I never said annual service was a substitute for safe diving skills. And sure, absolutely - failures can happen right after service - and that is where you should be prepared - but it sure does decrease the risk if you do get your gear serviced regularly by a reliable shop.

Yes, everyone should know what to do in a gear failure - but I also see no reason to kill a warranty just to save some money - even if it is enough to buy a new octo in a couple years. If that is what you plan to do - then go right ahead - it is your gear so only you can make the decision :)

Puffer Fish
11-04-2007, 09:32
I never said annual service was a substitute for safe diving skills. And sure, absolutely - failures can happen right after service - and that is where you should be prepared - but it sure does decrease the risk if you do get your gear serviced regularly by a reliable shop.

Yes, everyone should know what to do in a gear failure - but I also see no reason to kill a warranty just to save some money - even if it is enough to buy a new octo in a couple years. If that is what you plan to do - then go right ahead - it is your gear so only you can make the decision :)
This has to be one of the most sensitive issues in diving.

I can tell anyone, first hand, that the most likely time you will have a regulator issue, is right after servicing... I have had it happen... humm, need to take my shoes off to get the right count... well, more than ten...

I also just had a octo serviced, that while using it, had the second stage valve spring break, and go into uncontrolled free flow.

If you are doing what JahJah does... then service is not much of an issue... wonder how many people that is? (Nice work, by the way).

If you bought your reg from authorized dealer, and the company requires annual service to get the free parts... then I would think you should do that (or if you don't, then you should have bought from some grey market supplier and saved the money)

If you take long trips... don't have the tools or technical skills to check everything, then I would suggest you have them serviced and do at least one dive before the trip.

Oh, and some regs get easier to breath with wear, some get harder... you should know which you have.

I don't think there is one "right" answer to this issue.

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 09:37
[quote=NitroWill;86446]

I don't think there is one "right" answer to this issue.


Nope, there really isnt - because in the end the person will do what they want to - just good to give multiple experiences - as that is what the board is all about :smiley20:

RoadRacer1978
11-04-2007, 09:57
As with so many topics it is really a matter of personal preference and experience. Like Will said that is what is great about this board. We can each give our opinion as to what we do and why and that will give another person some tools to make a more informed decision instead of just doing something out of ignorance.

ReefHound
11-04-2007, 11:28
I never said annual service was a substitute for safe diving skills. And sure, absolutely - failures can happen right after service - and that is where you should be prepared - but it sure does decrease the risk if you do get your gear serviced regularly by a reliable shop.

Yes, everyone should know what to do in a gear failure - but I also see no reason to kill a warranty just to save some money - even if it is enough to buy a new octo in a couple years. If that is what you plan to do - then go right ahead - it is your gear so only you can make the decision :)

I would question whether annual service decreases the risk as you allege. It's not supported by my experiences and observations. Sure, someone who is hard on their stuff and never inspects or services is destined for a catastrophic failure but that's introducing multiple elements.

Knowing what to do in the event of gear failure is what gives peace of mind, not having had "annual service". I've seen too many divers who do seem to substitute service for preparedness. That's why when you said to get annual service for peace of mind it raised alarms.

As for warranty, you responded to jah jah who said warranty was a non-issue because he buys used.

JahJahwarrior
11-04-2007, 11:56
For the record, if I bought my gear new, I would probably get it serviced annually just to keep the warranty good, and get those free parts, as that would drop the cost of service somewhat, and if I look around I can find a place to service it more cheaply than $60, just not much mroe cheaply, maybe $50. But I could probably part with $50 a year to know my parts are all brand new and whatnot.

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 12:00
Scubatoys does regulator service for $49.95 ;)
Scuba Regulator Service and Repair (http://scubatoys.com/store/regs/regrepair.asp)

ReefHound
11-04-2007, 12:09
Scubatoys does regulator service for $49.95 ;)
Scuba Regulator Service and Repair (http://scubatoys.com/store/regs/regrepair.asp)

Yep, and that includes the octo so that's why I get it done... at Scubatoys.

in_cavediver
11-04-2007, 12:40
I can't help but chime in here. I service my own gear (9 regs and counting) and I do it based on need, not age. Even at the $50/yr point, I'd be looking at $450/yr. Its right up there with VIP's which I do myself as well. ($15/yr x 14 tanks = $210/yr)

For some facts. O-rings last a long time in lots of locations that don't get replaced each year. Case in point, do you change you computer's battery door o-ring each year? How about the o-rings in your power inflator? Didn't think so.

Now, objectively looking at regs. For sealed diaphram first stages, which I have lots of, I have yet to see ANY dirt, damage or problems after YEARS of non-service. So long as the seals hold, they just work. My non-environmental regs, just about the same story. The only difference, I have seen a deposit on the 'exposed' diaphragm side. Mind you, that side does nothing but transmit pressure so it could be loaded with slime, sand and gunk and still work flawlessly. The internal guts who actually do the regulating all look pristine.

Piston first stages may be different. I don't own any so I can't comment.

2nd stages are a different story. Generally speaking, every two years a good thorough dissasmbly and cleaning is warranted. The fact is while its apart, why not put in new parts comes into play. The other aspect is that the sealing surface for the valve sometimes will groove and slowly develop a slow leak. Adjusting to remove the leak causes a decrease in performance. Replacing the seat cures the problem and restores full performance.

Claiming its required, necessary or dangerous not to service your regs annually is nonsense. I consider this more akin to an annual doctors checkup. Not a bad idea but hardly life threatening.

I'll also add that the most common time for failures is right after servicing. I've seen it, I've heard horror stories and yet we continue to hear the same lines. The second most disturbing part is the whole 'authorized tech' only crap. Regs are simply mechanical devices. If you can change your car's/lawn mowers oil, you can likely service your own regs. All it takes is the parts and a few specialized tools.

JahJahwarrior
11-04-2007, 14:50
Scubatoys does regulator service for $49.95 ;)
Scuba Regulator Service and Repair (http://scubatoys.com/store/regs/regrepair.asp)

But then there are parts, to replace every rubber piece will probably be $20-$30, and shipping is $5-$10.

:)

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 14:57
Scubatoys does regulator service for $49.95 ;)
Scuba Regulator Service and Repair (http://scubatoys.com/store/regs/regrepair.asp)

But then there are parts, to replace every rubber piece will probably be $20-$30, and shipping is $5-$10.

:)

Not if you choose one of the many manufactures that will provide free parts as lon gas you service your regs on regularly :smiley20:

ReefHound
11-04-2007, 15:06
Um, once again, he buys stuff used so parts warranties don't apply. And the brands that cover parts are often more expensive so you are simply pre-paying the parts.

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 15:08
Um, once again, he buys stuff used so parts warranties don't apply. And the brands that cover parts are often more expensive so you are simply pre-paying the parts.

Something that should be considered when buying used! And thats not necessarily true, I know of many great priced regs that include the free parts for life (such as the RS-130 @ only $170!

JahJahwarrior
11-04-2007, 15:35
Or selling used. It really hurts the resale market of items like regulators to know the warranty does not transfer. I keep receipts for most everything, especially my truck, I can show you exactly whatI have spent on her, and exactly where I hvae done everything mileage wise, I'm not the original owner, but really I think maybe companies should say they'll provide a warranty for as long as there is a complete maintennance history going to the beginning of the truck, verifiable from receipts. Same thing with regs--if I can show that a regulator has always been serviced yearly, I think the warranty should remain in effect.

By not having the warranty transfer, companies reduce the likelyhood that a customer will sell their old regs and purchase new ones, which would be good for GDP, and they reduce the likelihood of the purchaser of the used reg ever getting it serviced. Apparently, scuba companies do not care for their nation or divers. :)

By the way, here are Tusa's rules on the RS-130
1. Regulators are guaranteed against defects in material and workmanship.
2. The Lifetime Warranty is non-transferable and is valid for the original purchaser only.
3. The Lifetime Warranty does not cover damage from improper usage, neglect, alteration, loss or unauthorized repairs.
4. The Lifetime Warranty does not cover the cost of inspection, preventative maintenance of labor necessary for repair.
5. TABATA USA or its dealers reserve the right to charge for replacement or repair if signs of abuse are evident.
6. The regulator must be inspected and serviced annually within 30 days of the anniversary date of purchase.
7. Replacement or repair of defective parts will be at the discretion of TABATA.
8. The Lifetime Warranty is not applicable to Rental Dive School or Commercial use.
9. A service record and used parts must be returned to TABATA within 30 days of service for warranty record updating.

This Warranty is void if:
a. The regulator is not registered with TABATA within 30 days of purchase.
b. The regulator is not serviced yearly by TABATA or an authorized dealer.
c. Signs of abuse or neglect are apparent in examination.
d. The regulator is not rinsed in fresh water after all usage, including chlorinated water.
e. Rust has been introduced into the regulator from the diving cylinder.

Bolding was added by me. Only the original user gets it, and only if they register the regulator within thirty days, and get it serviced 335 to 395 days after original purchase date for the rest of their life. They don't get it if they use it to train a student, or if it's not rinsed in fresh water after every use, which could mean you have to rinse it between dives if you want to get technical. And if any rust ever comes out of your tank, you are SOL, so pretty much you'd better get your tank vip'd ever air fill just to be safe. :)

superkingkong
11-04-2007, 15:59
Really appreciate all these inputs. That's the greatest thing on this board.
I agree with Nitroxwill and RoadRacer1978... each one has their own opinions. it's just a tool for some to be able to make their own decisions.

i'm really eager on how many of you do not send your reg for annual servicing :)

CompuDude
11-04-2007, 19:32
I have a service tech I can trust.

I get my regs serviced every year.

It's my life, and it's your life... if you feel safe skipping service for your regs, so be it. I don't.

Puffer Fish
11-04-2007, 19:48
Really appreciate all these inputs. That's the greatest thing on this board.
I agree with Nitroxwill and RoadRacer1978... each one has their own opinions. it's just a tool for some to be able to make their own decisions.

i'm really eager on how many of you do not send your reg for annual servicing :)
When I was teaching, I did all my own and I attended servicing classes on each regulator I used for me and the students. Now, I have them serviced by people I know, but I am there when it is done. With any Regulator, there are only a couple of wear parts (like the seat in the second stage), but as the parts are free, I don't mind that they get replaced. If I did not travel so much to dive, I would not do it annually.