Question about equipment maintenance and repair

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by PNelson, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. PNelson

    PNelson Angel Fish

    13
    0
    0
    Recently purchased some used gear and was going to take it into my local dive shop for general maintenance.. Was BLOWN away by how much they charge for service! To take a look at my octo kit and bcd was going to cost an estimated $200 for labor and parts kits.. This really seems like a rip off to me.

    Am I just being unrealistic? Is there a checklist of what you can do yourself to ensure that your gear is safe for diving?

    Thanks in advance for your comments and advice.

    Philip Nelson
    San Antonio, TX
    10 year novice diver.. ;)
     
  2. halocline

    halocline Orca

    7,126
    1,543
    113
    Gee, I wonder where you went.....send me a PM, tell me about your gear.
     
    PNelson likes this.
  3. Peter_C

    Peter_C Orca

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    5,889
    732
    0
    $25 a stage for labor and $25 a stage for parts is quite normal for some brands.

    Safe for diving, means knowing the service history, and the current condition of said equipment.

    FWIW you can come very close to buying a brand new set of regs for the amount the lds is going to charge you, plus what you originally paid for the reg set. Plus with HOG the parts kits are reasonably priced.
     
    PNelson likes this.
  4. Damselfish

    Damselfish Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast US
    7,568
    433
    83
    How much of that $200 is for the BC and how much for the regs? Checking out a BC yourself is not difficult, it's been discussed on any number of threads here you can probably find.

    Getting regs serviced by a shop is rarely cheap, over surprisingly little time you can expect to pay more for service than the original purchase. That's the catch with used regs. If you get a really good deal on some high end reg, and better yet can service it yourself, it can work out. But if you don't have the tools and knowledge to service your regs (most people don't), and don't know the history and have proof of recent service from someone you trust, it's harder for it to pay off. As said, by the time you pay for service on top of whatever you just paid for the regs, you can be most of the way to buying something new. You'd generally be paying to service new regs after a year or two as well, but at least you'd have a newer/known reg. Personally, I think used regs are a game best left to folks who have pretty good knowledge of the market, probably have multiple regs, and can service them.

    (I've even heard of people buying lower end but still perfectly fine new regs, using them for a few years until they seem to need service, and just selling them and buying a new one instead of getting them serviced.)
     
    PNelson likes this.
  5. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    2,594
    494
    83
    Was it for just your oct. ( back-up 2nd stage ) or your whole regulator ( 1st, 2nd and oct. ) and your B.C.?
     
    PNelson likes this.
  6. PNelson

    PNelson Angel Fish

    13
    0
    0
    That was for whole reg and BCD
     
  7. diverrex

    diverrex Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LA - North Hollywood
    1,724
    289
    83
    I pay $33 per stage for my service, $99 total and parts are free from Scubapro, so by the time you add parts and the BC service $200 is probably not too unreasonable.
     
    PNelson likes this.
  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,352
    13,489
    0
    There is very little to service on a BC. Depending on the type, you might be able to replace the entire inflator unit with a generic one from Trident for about $40. Other than the inflator unit, the only "service" is to make sure the dump valves are clean and operating and that the bladder holds air. (One caveat is if you bought one of the i3 units. I know nothing about how they are serviced.)

    We pay about $150 per set to get singles regs serviced (one first stage, two second stages) WITH my husband's instructor discount. Service is painfully expensive.
     
    PNelson likes this.
  9. oly5050user

    oly5050user Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    3,416
    455
    83
    Rate here in Westchester NY (one of the expensive areas in the country to live in) is $59.for labor on a regulator annual service plus parts..if in warrenty as in a new original owner scubapro regulator parts may be free. service is on 1st stage/2nd stage/alt air source./spg spindel..for bcd its $25. service consist of disassembly/assembly cleaning of inflator and cleaning interior of bcd..being that the regulator you purchased was used there are no free parts,so rebuild kits can add to cost and easily double/triple service fees. his is why it may not be worth it to buy used gear unless you either get it for less than 1/2 of what it cost new and know how to do your own service and have the ability to get the parts and tools to do the job properly.
     
    PNelson likes this.
  10. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    2,594
    494
    83
    I just returned from a Scubapro service clinic. Proper B.C. maintenance was emphasized. It is very important that your B.C. is serviced!

    $200 is a fair amount of money for a complete system, but may be in the ball park.

    The question is " Is it worth putting that money into used gear? ".
     
    PNelson likes this.
  11. Aqua-Andy

    Aqua-Andy Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern NH.
    1,103
    340
    83

    Sounds like a sales pitch to me. Did they mention how important it is to pay your local ScubaPro dealer to do this service, and how this is a very profitable service for the shop?
     
    MarkHerm, halocline and buddhasummer like this.
  12. scubasam1212

    scubasam1212 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: tampa
    136
    13
    0
    Depending on place of residence the prices are going to vary. I am not sure how many dive shops are in San Antonio but here in Florida we have plenty of shops so naturally prices come down a little. Ballpark price range depending on brands would normally be $100-$130. For full gear servicing including parts and labor on full regulator and BCD. If you have hoses that are bad or non normal replacement parts you tab could run up. You might think you are getting a good deal by buying off craigslist or yard sales but you can usually find better gear at around the same prices new from you LDS. If you want to by used it might be best to by out of a LDS rental equipment.

    ---------- Post added ----------

    BCDs are neglected the most out of all the gear we see. But we do not charge anything to make sure a BCD is working properly when we service a customers gear and if an inflator needs to be rebuilt or a dump gasket/spring replaced usually only runs a customer and average of $10-$20
     
    PNelson, oly5050user and beaverdivers like this.
  13. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    2,594
    494
    83
    No, but they did mention the liability of not doing professional service.

    As a fellow Tech diver, I'm sure you understand the importance of proper service.
     
    LiteWeight and PNelson like this.
  14. halocline

    halocline Orca

    7,126
    1,543
    113
    This post manages to both defend the practice of over-servicing based on some vague question of consequence for not doing so, AND the practice of discouraging someone from buying 'used gear' because it costs so much to service. So I guess what beaverdivers is saying is that if you had purchased new (i.e. more expensive and profitable to the shop) then of course it would worth servicing, in fact "VERY IMPORTANT". But, since it's 'used' gear (apparently it doesn't matter whether you're talking about a 1 yr old MK25/S600 or a 20 year old dacor, because the OP did not specify) it's worthless and you're better off doing guess what; BUYING NEW GEAR. :shakehead:

    IOW, this post represents EXACTLY what is wrong with the current model and attitude of scuba gear sales, at least in some shops. Gear is sold in part based on its durability and reliability, and then the SAME gear, used, is often deemed dangerous and not worth fixing. Amazing how many people fall for this nonsense.

    PNelson, why don't you post about your gear or as I said send me a PM and maybe I can advise you in a rational manner. $200 for a complete rebuild of 3 stages and a complete rebuild of the inflator and dump valves is high but not outrageous on the part of the dive shop, but that's partly because the cost of the rebuild kits for most regs IS outrageous, probably $80-100 in this case. For a few o-rings and seats! The issue is that you probably do not need everything rebuilt, just checked out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
    MarkHerm likes this.
  15. DiverG

    DiverG Reached My 2nd Goal!

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Houston, Texas, United States
    1,490
    293
    83
    I just had service done on an Atomic 1st stage, an Atomic B2 2nd, a Seaquest XR 2nd, and a BCD service. Labor was $49.95 for the regulator set. Parts cost me $36. BCD service was $19.95. Total cost $108.77.
     
  16. MarkHerm

    MarkHerm Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Europe
    126
    48
    28
    So the Scubapro Platinum Dealer was told by the Scubapro Service Clinic that BC service was very important and even the liability of not doing professional service was mentioned?! Too funny!! :balloons:
     
    awap and couv like this.
  17. beaverdivers

    beaverdivers ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    2,594
    494
    83
    If you don't have your B.C. serviced, it may not hold air or may continue to inflate when you hit the inflate button. Also, if you have an integrated reg. it may not work properly.

    Let's use a car as an example. If you don't follow the proper maintenance, your car will have a problem. Do you change the oil in your car or wait til it stops working?

    If you are buying a used car, don't you look at the worn tires, rusty frame, dented hood, clanky engine and say is it worth putting " Good Money " into bring it back to life.

    Or is the used car in good enough shape to bring it in working order, so it won't cost an arm & a leg.

    As far as keeping new gear up todate, it is much less expensive especially if you have Free parts for Life.
     
  18. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    15,935
    7,399
    113
    But as we have seen the free parts for life policy is subject to being dumped at any time. Unless of course you buy all kinds of stuff you do not need. And let's just be really clear, parts are not free. When one can buy a reg for $250.00 that performs just as well with the same features as one costing $800.00 how is the free parts a bargain? Especially if to keep that "free parts" deal you need to pay labor every year. Miss it and you are SOL. While the other requires a rebuild every two years and with paying for parts is actually less per year when broken down.

    And a BC service takes about 20 minutes. But if you get a BPW it can be done in less. However gear maintenance when taught as it was by my OW instructor (PADI) and practiced by the diver resulta in a BC that rarely, if ever, needs service. Rinse, drain, rinse, drain dry is what keeps a BC from needing serviced.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
    Aqua-Andy likes this.
  19. halocline

    halocline Orca

    7,126
    1,543
    113
    You guys sure love the car analogy, too bad it's so full of B.S. Scuba gear simply does not wear in the same fashion that cars do and is MUCH less expensive to repair. Cars are in use on a daily basis and subject to FAR more wear and tear than scuba gear, and are complex machines with all sorts of expensive parts that require specialized tools and difficult labor to service. This is NOTHING like working on scuba gear. Regulators are designed to be completely rebuilt for a tiny fraction of the original cost of the regulator, and then function exactly as new. And, especially with regulators, performance and reliability have not really improved in a couple of decades, so a top-shelf regulator from the 1980s will perform just as well as a current reg. BTW, what exactly is a "clanky engine" and what possible relevance could it have to scuba gear? Sure sounds good, though, it makes the customer think of that old VW bug falling apart on the side of the road. You don't want that to happen underwater with your "life support"...:shakehead:

    The 'free parts for life' scam is one of the bedrock sales gimmicks of the scuba gear industry, and still SP decided to abandon it. I really don't understand why, they were just giving away a few pennies worth of o-rings and seats, but able to claim that the value of their kits is upwards of $30 each. Of course the dealers will get the worst of it; they've lost one of the main selling points for paying full retail cost for a regulator AND coming into the shop every year, regardless of use. No wonder you're scrambling for any sort of sales pitch you can come up with.
     
    couv and Aqua-Andy like this.
  20. NetDoc

    NetDoc Chairman of the Board

    40,448
    7,002
    113
    Wow... when did "Free Enterprise" become a scam?

    First, I think the car analogy is fine and it holds here. Some people want the FULL Cadillac treatment where everything is inspected and serviced by a professional. They may not be mechanically inclined so they rely on someone they trust to verify that all systems are go. What's more, they don't mind paying a fair wage to get this done and don't expect the technician to work for slave wages by candle light to keep things cheap. It's their right to ask for this service and no one is being ripped off or being over sold in the process.

    Some people like the less than full Chevy treatment where the minimal amount is done and sometimes done on the fly. Often they wait until something breaks before they give it any attention. When that happens though it seems it's always someone else's fault.

    Most of us are somewhere in between and a few of us have taken matters into our own hands. Personally, I have seen more than my share of failed inflators here in the Keys. What does that tell me? People are taking the Chevy approach with their BCs and only deal with them when they break. That's OK when they break on the boat as you're gearing up for a dive. You have a number of people who can evaluate it and repair it on the fly. I do remember the panicked look on one diver's face last year as his inflator button stuck, sending him to the surface like a Polaris missile. In a clearly futile effort he shook that hose like it was a snake on a plane, but to no avail. His BC was still farting when I joined him on the surface and unplugged his inflator hose. Fortunately for him, we were only at @ 20 ft.

    FWIW, I was a mechanic in a former life and spent 30 years in the automotive field. I wasn't the cheapest guy in town but I was one of the most thorough. My best compliment was from a customer who had followed me from shop to shop, yes even to different cities, for me to work on his cars. He said that since I had started servicing his car, he had never, ever been stranded on the side of the road. The best repair, in my book, is the one you never had to make because someone with the gift of insight took care of it BEFORE it happened. No, not everyone wants the Cadillac treatment, I get that. But then there is no shame in offering it and asking for enough money to pay your technician fairly and to turn on the lights and AC in the shop. Don't blame him if you just want to be cheap. And please, don't blame him if/when your gear ever fails at an inopportune time at a favorite dive site because you neglected it.
     
    beaverdivers likes this.

Share This Page