Inflator valve sticking

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Jim Mitchem, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Jim Mitchem

    Jim Mitchem Angel Fish

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    I have an Oceanic Islander, a few years old. This past weekend I noticed that I kept having to release air from it to remain neutral and that I used more air then normal. I think the inflator valve might be sticking a little and allow air by.

    Is there anything I can do to it to maybe fix it myself?
     
  2. 3D diver

    3D diver Loggerhead Turtle

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    My BC was stored for a few years & the inflator valve is sticking a bit too. I can hear it & feel the button sticking & just pull the button out when it sticks. I've been running extra fresh water through it trying to clean it out, hoping it's just salt, with no luck so far.

    I'll spring for a BP&W if it doesn't straghten itself out soon, but am interested in any practical fixes too.
     
  3. g1138

    g1138 Scuba Instructor

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    If it is leaking you should be able to hear it, especially underwater.

    Try filling your BC with water through the inflator hose (use only the deflate button). Fill it half to a quarter way (no need to be precise) and then top it off with air. Swish the water around and then empty it through the inflator hose (holding your BC upside down, depress the deflate button). If there's any salt deposits it should dissolve out. If you have no corrosion then this should fix the problem. Otherwise you can buy a new inflator assembly and reconnect with zip ties. That or take it in for service. Cost of repair of an inflator assembly is usually near equal to replacing one if you're looking at buying generic.
     
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  4. Scott L

    Scott L Giant Squid

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    Yeah, just replace it.
     
  5. Namreg 58

    Namreg 58 Nassau Grouper

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    Most inflators use what is known as a Shrader valve (car tire valve). Simply replace it and you are good to go.
     
  6. CT Sean

    CT Sean Surface Interval Member

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    You can get the service manual for it here: http://www.frogkick.dk/manuals/oceanic/bcd/ (it's the one with reliant in the title)

    Doesn't really tell you how to service it - it looks like its a "it works or it's replaced" type of deal from a dealer perspective. It does have a blow-up diagram though - if your handy you can disassemble it a bit and see if anything looks funky
     
  7. jonnythan

    jonnythan Knight Scublar ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Most inflators are basically non-serviceable.

    Replace it.
     
  8. awap

    awap Giant Squid

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    actually there are fairly thorough instructions in [​IMG]12-2801-r01Alliance.pdf1360 KBytes if that is your inflator. It does not appear to use a schradder valve or any special seat - just o-rings so it should be doable.

    That is the kind of part I like to keep a spare on hand in case of any problems so maybe you should replace it and repair the old one.
     
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  9. NCadiver

    NCadiver Scuba Instructor

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    You need to soak it in water and vinegar and press the buttons while you are soaking it. The vinegar help break up the salt.

    Several years ago oceanic stop selling the individual part to service the inflator. The service kit now is the entire inflator with is more cost effective and faster to service.
     
  10. awap

    awap Giant Squid

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    I have no doubt that is true for the operation providing professional service at going prices; but for the DIYer, that is just not the way we think about it. I made a pretty good hourly wage before I retired but I don't mind working for a couple hours on my own stuff rather than paying someone else to screw it up. And I hate to throw away something that I can repair and re-use.
     
  11. Jim Mitchem

    Jim Mitchem Angel Fish

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    Hey

    Thanks for all the input. I guess I will take it off my BC and try cleaning/soaking it a bit and see. In the meantime ill order a replacement - being on Hawaii everything is almost double what I can find online.
     
  12. jonnythan

    jonnythan Knight Scublar ScubaBoard Supporter

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    You can get a standard inflator for $40 shipped to Hawaii from LP.
     
  13. awap

    awap Giant Squid

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    I thought Oceanic used a smaller corrugated hose so a Std inflator may not work.
     
  14. jonnythan

    jonnythan Knight Scublar ScubaBoard Supporter

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    That's possible. Pretty lame if true.
     
  15. CT Sean

    CT Sean Surface Interval Member

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    They do, and it won't. You could get a whole standard inflator assembly but that's starting to become an expensive fix -70 bucks at divegearexpress.com

    Scuba.com lists the Oceanic replacement inflator for 45.00. Being an oceanic dealer I would think LP can get it also, though you'd have to call - maybe you'll get a better price as well. Personally I'd figure out how to take it apart and clean it out myself - it likely is just dirty inside, as mentioned above.
     
  16. Jim Mitchem

    Jim Mitchem Angel Fish

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    I know I can measure it when I take it off but do you happen to know the size of the hose?
     
  17. awap

    awap Giant Squid

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    I beleive Oceanics are 7/8 ths inch diameter while almost all others in the industry are 1 inch.
     
  18. CT Sean

    CT Sean Surface Interval Member

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    I'm betting it's 3/4". The OD of the hose itself is only 1"and it's safe to say the wall is thicker than 1/16". If you really need to know I can take the hose off my wife's BC and measure the ID.
     
  19. Jim Mitchem

    Jim Mitchem Angel Fish

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    Thanks. But you don't need to do that. I'm just going to take mine off before I order one
     
  20. Peter_C

    Peter_C Orca

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    I am amazed no one mentioned lubing it after cleaning it. Shoot some lube into the LP inlet and depress the inflator button. This is something I do often to keep my inflator from sticking.
     

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