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The importance of regulators in DIVING

By January 21, 2020Diving Knowledge, Equipment

The importance of regulators in DIVING

In Dive Life we have all your DIVING equipment and regulators are a very important part for your enjoyment and your safety.

Today we are going to tell you why these pieces are fundamental.
Here we go…

The function of the Diving Regulator is none other than to reduce the air pressure found in the tanks passing it to the ambient pressure at which the diver is. Of course, this environmental pressure will vary depending on the situation of the person at any time.
It is more than obvious to talk about the enormous importance of this element within the team. That is why it is convenient to know it well; know the options offered to us in the market, their characteristics, maintenance, etc.

TYPES OF REGULATORS
To begin, we will comment that currently the regulators are characterized by being “in demand”, that is, they give the diver the amount of air that he breathes or demands at all times, unlike the old or military regulators, which deliver the air so constantly which undoubtedly supposes an enormous expense of air in addition to a constant bubbling that hinders the vision of the diver.
Although in principle we can talk about two types of regulators: the bitrachea and monotrachea, the truth is that today the diving regulator used by the vast majority of divers is monotrachea with two stages, although at the beginning the only notable difference between the two is that the bitrachea has the two stages together, while the monotrachea has them separated by a low-pressure hose.
But without a doubt, the two-stage regulator is much more convenient to use thanks to its low weight, low volume, and high performance; so it is used in recreational diving.
Let us know the function of each stage in these regulators:

First stage: it is the high-pressure chamber. It reduces the high pressure at which the air coming from the cylinders reaches an average pressure.
There are two types of first stages: piston or membrane, later we will talk about them.
In this first stage, the valve is a seat made of a silicone-like material, which makes the necessary contact to let the air pass and cut it. This is where the friction occurs with the necessary air so that a sudden pressure change does not occur and so that the air temperature remains constant.
The second stage: regulates the average air pressure of the hose to the ambient pressure, which is set according to the depth at which the diver is at each moment.
The air reaches this second stage through a hose formed by several layers of rubber and fabric.
In it, is a piston that lets air pass at the required pressure.
This is the part of the regulator that is located in the mouth and this is where the safety mechanisms are located, which can be of two types: Upstream Valves or DownStream (most used this second); in such a way that if at any time a component of the regulator fails, the air that reaches more pressure than is due will leave as a continuous flow directly from the mouthpiece.

REGULATOR MAINTENANCE
In addition to being essential in any dive, the regulator is one of the most delicate pieces of diving equipment, so it is advisable to carefully monitor its maintenance.
The first rule that we must comply with is to wash it properly and with fresh water after each dive. Of course, before doing so, we will put the cap on the connection to the bottle to prevent water from entering. For this, it is not convenient to apply a high-pressure water jet.
When we are sure that we have removed any remaining saltpeter or residue, we will dry it and then hang it in the shade in a dry place. We will place it with the second stage down, to drain any possible remaining water that may have remained in the hoses.
When storing it, we will take special care that none of the tubes are bent in a forced way, since that would undoubtedly damage the regulator.

In addition to this, we must respect three golden rules in the regular use of the regulator:

For transport, keep it always separate from the rest of the equipment and with great care.
Never take the tanks by the regulator (even while in the water).
Never leave the regulator exposed to the sun or high temperatures.
Apart from this maintenance that we could define as daily, it is necessary that each regulator pass a series of more technical periodic inspections, necessary to guarantee a correct operation throughout its useful life and maintain the guarantee.

For an active diver who makes an average of more than 15 dives per year, an annual review is recommended. Between one review and another it never hurts to verify that the regulator does not send whistles or noises when we inhale since if it does it is a clear symptom that it needs repair. The attention we will also pay to the state of the first stage conical input filter if it is oxidized or has residues we must send the regulator to be repaired as soon as possible since that filter is a faithful reflection of the state of the whole equipment.

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