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PNelson
June 12th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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.. ;)

halocline
June 12th, 2012, 11:46 AM
Gee, I wonder where you went.....send me a PM, tell me about your gear.

Peter_C
June 12th, 2012, 12:09 PM
$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.

Damselfish
June 12th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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.)

beaverdivers
June 12th, 2012, 02:55 PM
Was it for just your oct. ( back-up 2nd stage ) or your whole regulator ( 1st, 2nd and oct. ) and your B.C.?

PNelson
June 12th, 2012, 07:28 PM
That was for whole reg and BCD

diverrex
June 13th, 2012, 03:28 AM
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.

TSandM
June 13th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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.

oly5050user
June 13th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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.

beaverdivers
June 13th, 2012, 11:28 AM
There is very little to service on a BC. .... 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. ... Service is painfully expensive.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? ".

Aqua-Andy
June 13th, 2012, 01:19 PM
I just returned from a Scubapro service clinic. Proper B.C. maintenance was emphasized. It is very important that your B.C. is serviced!


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?

scubasam1212
June 13th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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 ----------


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?

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

beaverdivers
June 13th, 2012, 07:40 PM
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?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.

halocline
June 16th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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? ".

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.

DiverG
June 16th, 2012, 11:29 PM
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.

MarkHerm
June 18th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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:

beaverdivers
June 18th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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.
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.

Jim Lapenta
June 18th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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

halocline
June 18th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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.

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.

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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.

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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. You're almost right here. Most Scuba Gear just sits, and it sits for longish periods of time. Do that with a car and you'll find it's not nearly as reliable. Grease, even crystolube separates over time and the volatiles evaporate leaving a thick sticky residue. This inhibits the internal parts from operating like they should. It's my opinion that regs that just sit for long periods of time should be thoroughly cleaned and re-lubed. This being America, you are free to take your chances and sue others when you get hurt.


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. O rly? You are wrong on both counts. FPL is not a scam and SP has not abandoned it. I have to wonder why people make statements which sound full of bravisimo but are ultimately full of crap. BTW, I agree that keeping a new regulator up to date is often less expensive than trying to rehab on old one. Heck, I do my own rebuilds and am handed old regs all the time. Most of them are simply relegated to the Old Reg bin. They've got verdigris where there should not be any and they simply aren't worth my time or the money in parts. Here's some advice the next time you are about to make such volatile statements...


:caveman:



Before someone asks: I don't do anyone else's regs but mine and Mselenaous'. ScaubaBoard and teaching keep me busy enough. I do teach reg repair for a couple of brands if you want to learn. It's a fun, day long class here in Key Largo.

halocline
June 19th, 2012, 09:32 AM
O rly? You are wrong on both counts. FPL is not a scam and SP has not abandoned it. I have to wonder why people make statements which sound full of bravisimo but are ultimately full of crap. BTW, I agree that keeping a new regulator up to date is often less expensive than trying to rehab on old one.





Whether the 'free' parts for life program is a scam or not is a matter of opinion. IMO it's a scam. You're free to disagree of course. It's definitely more expensive to an average diver (say 50 dives/year or fewer) to follow this program than to simply service a reg when it needs it, provided the reg gets decent care. It's also definitely true that rebuild kits priced at $30 or more are marked up beyond any reasonable cost of manufacture and distribution. It is a fact that SP has recently changed their policy on free parts for life so that purchasers of new regulators no longer get the program. Now you have to buy both a regulator and a BC. (or computer, I believe) And current owners can no longer miss a year and get back in simply by paying for parts one year. That's definitely abandoning the policy IMO, although I suppose someone could argue that it's just 'modifying' it so that most customers don't qualify.

If most of the old regs you are asked to service get relegated to the 'Old Reg bin' then you're not probably much of a service tech, are you? And this whole business of 'keeping a regulator up to date vs 'trying to rehab' an old one is nonsense. The only difference between rebuilding new and old regs is that old ones might be dirtier, so you spend a little extra time cleaning them up. Big deal... Abused regs, new or old, that's a different story, but even they can often be put into service for a very small fraction of the cost of a new reg.

I understand you own this website and you want to protect your sponsors. But the whole idea of this forum is free exchange and open dialogue so that some of the mis-truths and disguised sales-pitches can be exposed for what they are. Unlike a dealer posting on this forum, I have zero economic interest in whether someone buys a new reg, keeps an old one, goes for one brand over another, etc.. When a dealer uses his posts on this forum for nothing more than sales pitches, those posts ought to be criticized.

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 10:34 AM
Whether the 'free' parts for life program is a scam or not is a matter of opinion. IMO it's a scam. It doesn't meet any legal criteria of being a scam and I dare you to prove it differently. Instead of discussing things amiably, you want to start trash talking things you don't like or agree with. It's disingenuous to call something a scam that isn't. It's ironic that you are accusing ScubaPro of lying by resorting to telling a lie. That's libelous and hypocrisy at it's finest. Unfortunately, in this industry we have a pervasive attitude that if we don't sell it, teach it or dive it, then it must be junk. It's time we broke away from that sophomoric baditude and start to approach things reasonably.


It is a fact that SP has recently changed their policy on free parts for life Oh, so now it's "changed" and not "abandoned". You either don't communicate clearly or you're set on distorting the facts to bolster your unsubstantiated rant. The former is unfortunate and the latter is libelous and again: just another lie.


If most of the old regs you are asked to service get relegated to the 'Old Reg bin' then you're not probably much of a service tech, are you? Not one that you'll get to use. Let's be realistic, it's obvious to me from this that your standards are a lot lower than mine when it comes to regulators. That's OK. You can take the beat up ol' Chevy route and I'll take the Cadillac route. I won't hate or disparage you for settling for less and I certainly don't understand your need to vilify me for wanting the best and not wasting my time on gear that has past it's prime. It's why you don't see me in the vintage divers group very often.


And this whole business of 'keeping a regulator up to date vs 'trying to rehab' an old one is nonsense. So, just how many regulators have you rebuilt or rehabbed? Anyone who has serviced regs for a living can tell horror stories about abused and neglected regs. Everyone wants the technician to take out their magic wand and make that old pitted thing work like new! It's unreasonable to think that a reg with two or more years of crud, corrosion and pitting will be easier to rejuvenate than one only a year old. Do you think vipping tanks every year is a scam as well? Maybe you think that you should only service a tank when it's absolutely needed... like right after it explodes. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I didn't invent that saying, but I certainly believe it.


The only difference between rebuilding new and old regs is that old ones might be dirtier, and pitted, and corroded, and stripped, and dented, and flooded, and put together backwards, and the list can go on. Again, you might want to do a little research. It's obvious you haven't seen many regs that come in for service or repair.


I understand you own this website and you want to protect your sponsors. But the whole idea of this forum is free exchange and open dialogue so that some of the mis-truths and disguised sales-pitches can be exposed for what they are. Unlike a dealer posting on this forum, I have zero economic interest in whether someone buys a new reg, keeps an old one, goes for one brand over another, etc.. When a dealer uses his posts on this forum for nothing more than sales pitches, those posts ought to be criticized. Wow... now my integrity is being questioned by someone who has admittedly distorted the truth and defending that distortion. If I was truly as diabolical as you make out, I would have simply deleted the thread or any harsh comments. But, as you so clearly pointed out, this is a FREE exchange and OPEN dialogue which means my opinion counts just as much as yours. No more and certainly no less. While you might have "zero economic interest" it seems to me that you are trying to save face and defend the indefensible comments you just made. It's my opinion that you have a very naive view of regulator repair and what's entailed. That's your right and you also have the right to find the very cheapest route to have yours serviced at the intervals you want them to be serviced at. That doesn't make another approach a scam or even ill advised. Moreover, when I point out obvious inaccuracies in your posting, it doesn't make me some evil guy motivated by greed and trying to protect someone at all costs. I don't think the guy I am defending even advertises here: go figure. I just hate to see anyone needlessly bashed out of ignorance and spite.

To clarify, I don't spend a lot of time courting advertisers and I take great pride in not knowing everyone who is advertising with us. I have others do that. I spend my time on the community as well as teaching various aspects of Scuba.

Aqua-Andy
June 19th, 2012, 11:57 AM
NetDoc, You make some valid points in your first post. No, there are people that want nothing to do with there gear maintenance (some have no business at all doing there own maintenance) but there are some of us that do want to do our own. I think this is where most of the sour grapes come from. I am in the auto business and I also believe there are many similarities between the two, but one big difference is you can freely purchase parts and do all your own maintenance on your vehicles with out voiding your warranty. The automotive industry tried to adopt a system similar to the scuba industry many years ago and it was found to be unlawful, why is it different for scuba? When I made my original post in this thread I was not trying to start a flame war but just giving my opinion, Yes it did sound like a sales pitch to me and I'm sure that is how it was presented in the ScubaPro seminar (fact? I cant be sure, I was not there but I have been to enough seminars put on by manufacturers to know this is the main reason for the seminar in the first place.).

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 12:13 PM
NetDoc, You make some valid points in your first post. No, there are people that want nothing to do with there gear maintenance (some have no business at all doing there own maintenance) but there are some of us that do want to do our own. I think this is where most of the sower grapes come from. I am in the auto business and I also believe there are many similarities between the two, but one big difference is you can freely purchase parts and do all your own maintenance on your vehicles with out voiding your warranty. The automotive industry tried to adopt a system similar to the scuba industry many years ago and it was found to be unlawful, why is it different for scuba? When I made my original post in this thread I was not trying to start a flame war but just giving my opinion, Yes it did sound like a sales pitch to me and I'm sure that is how it was presented in the ScubaPro seminar (fact? I cant be sure, I was not there but I have been to enough seminars put on by manufacturers to know this is the main reason for the seminar in the first place.). First, I don't know of any manufacturer that voids their warranty if you do your own service. No, you might invalidate the free parts for life feature, but working on your reg should not invalidate the warranty.

As for parts... it's a PITA. In the automotive arena there are lots and lots of aftermarket parts manufacturers which forces the OEMs' hands. Let's be realistic: regs just aren't that hard to rebuild. Any mechanic who can rebuild an E2SE GM Carb can do most any reg with their eyes closed. The biggest problem facing the Scuba Tech is where to get the parts. They are out there, but it can be problematical to find them... especially on the older and off brand regs. I need both first and second stage kits for my four stage bottle regs which were called "Cochran". Actually, I just need the seats and first stage diaphragm as I have enough o-rings to rebuild the Space Shuttle. All of them are now in the Old Reg bin and destined for naught until I happen across those items.

But if regs are neglected, BCs are grossly neglected. Most people don't service them at all until they fail and I find that alarming. Yes, I keep a spare inflator in my Save a Dive kit, but I also replace parts every year. I hardly ever have an issue with the BC that gets wet all the time... its the ones that just sit that seem to fail prematurely.

HowardE
June 19th, 2012, 12:30 PM
First, I don't know of any manufacturer that voids their warranty if you do your own service. No, you might invalidate the free parts for life feature, but working on your reg should not invalidate the warranty.


Taken from a major manufacturer's website...


Warranty coverage does not extend to damages caused by improper use, improper maintenance, neglect, unauthorized repairs, modifications, accidents, fire, casualty or normal wear and aging.


and another


In order to maintain this warranty, it is mandatory to perform annual service on the regulator by an Authorized Dealer service facility and maintain proof of service records.
For details on the warranty please consult an Authorized Dealer.

Maybe you should ask someone in the Q&A Forums?

Aqua-Andy
June 19th, 2012, 01:08 PM
Taken from a major manufacturer's website...


and another



Maybe you should ask someone in the Q&A Forums?


Howard, I'm sorry but questions like this are not allowed in the manufacturers Q&A forums, it's right in your special rules post;).

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




As for parts... it's a PITA. In the automotive arena there are lots and lots of aftermarket parts manufacturers which forces the OEMs' hands. Let's be realistic: regs just aren't that hard to rebuild. Any mechanic who can rebuild an E2SE GM Carb can do most any reg with their eyes closed. The biggest problem facing the Scuba Tech is where to get the parts. They are out there, but it can be problematical to find them... especially on the older and off brand regs. I need both first and second stage kits for my four stage bottle regs which were called "Cochran". Actually, I just need the seats and first stage diaphragm as I have enough o-rings to rebuild the Space Shuttle. All of them are now in the Old Reg bin and destined for naught until I happen across those items.



This is my point exactly. Regs are not rocket science but the manufacturers will have you believing they are. They feed us all the "life support" stuff instead of coming out and being honest with us and say "it's just not in our or your local dive shop's best interest to openly sell parts". E2SE Carb? Whats that? I must not be old enough;). I can rebuild a 6L40 trans though.

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 04:02 PM
damages caused by i Note the operative caveat. If you do something that does not DAMAGE the reg, then it's still under warranty.

diverrex
June 19th, 2012, 04:31 PM
Note the operative caveat. If you do something that does not DAMAGE the reg, then it's still under warranty.

But you conveniently did not comment on the second set of warranty language which says you must have "...annual service by an authorized...".

halocline
June 19th, 2012, 04:40 PM
Net Doc;

1. I did not accuse scubapro of lying.
2. I did not question your integrity.
3. I did not make you out to be 'diabolical.'
4. I did not vilify you.

Did you criticize me for not 'discussing amiably?';)

JahJahwarrior
June 19th, 2012, 05:34 PM
People do love the car analogyÖ

Modern cars pop up service reminders based on a few metrics, but that doesnít mean you have to service it then or it will break down, itís just a guideline. I treat my regulators the same way: I rebuild them based on a service reminder, or when they start to not breathe right, or face an IP creep.

Same with BCís. I donít baby them. Eventually they leak a bit through the inflator, and I rebuild them. No big deal to do a dive manually inflating in the meantime.


Service charges can seem high, and there are three main components: technician time, overhead, and parts.

Technician time:
Iím pretty fast at rebuilding a few models of regulators. What can I say, I learned from the best (NetDoc). I use only a few brands, so Iím servicing something every few weeks it seems. Iím fast, and getting faster. To rebuild something different, Iíd have to find the manual, download and print it. Then, find the best deal on parts and order them. The rebuild would be slower because Iíd have to reference the manual. So, if I were working for a shop, Iíd calculate a padded average amount of time to avoid losing money on my time. ustomers seem to prefer this model to charging by the hour, when they donít know up front what the charge will be. If you have someone educated working on your regulators (you want this!), they probably will want $15-$30 per hour for their time.

Overhead:
If you want a certificate that says you know how to rebuild regs, you have to attend a clinic. You might need to supply current model regulators to practice on. There might be show fees, travel fees, hotel fees, and food. Then you have to invest in tools. I donít even have all of the fun tools, nor the top of the line tools, and I can tell you, itsí expensive to have a fully outfitted regulator repair bench! You also need liability insurance, a business license, a tax professional, and a lawyer to draft your waivers. Donít forget the electric bill and your PO box and maybe a 1800 number. Youíll also want a printer, and to set up a deal to take credit cards. Probably a vacuum and things to clean up, and some bleach for your bathroom.

Parts:
Parts arenít cheap! The cheapest seem to be $12-$20 per stage. If I had to guess, Iíd say for a $20 rebuild it, the parts costs the Taiwanese factor $2.50 which they sold to the regulator branding company for $5. That company probably sold them to the dive shop for $10 which resells them to us for $20. Before you call foul, remember they needed a lot of overhead stuff as well as a financial incentive to make the parts. Profit turns greed into helpful actions.


Lets assume that for every dollar of direct labor the shops expects to pay $1.50 in overhead. They pay their mechanic $30 per hour, he works for 1.5 hours to rebuild your first stage with 2 second stages and an SPG. The parts kit for the 1st stage cost $20, the second stages each cost $12, and the SPG orings and cristolube cost another $.25.

Time: $45
Overhead: $67.5
Parts: $44.25
Total: $156.75+tax

Thatís in the ballpark of what I hear a lot of people pay. If you adjust it down to paying the mechanic $15 per hour then the total price drops to $100.25. $100-$150 is pretty typical for a completed overhaul.

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 06:52 PM
But you conveniently did not comment on the second set of warranty language which says you must have "...annual service by an authorized...". I have no problems with that caveat. If you want to keep your warranty in force, you have to follow the rules laid out from the onset.

I think you SHOULD have your gear serviced annually, especially if you don't dive it often. Howard was taking exception with the fact that I suggested that working on a reg does not de facto void the warranty. If you try to perform surgery on a reg with a hammer and a chisel, and damage it, then why should anyone expect a warranty for an issue that they caused.

NetDoc
June 19th, 2012, 07:03 PM
People do love the car analogy…

We can always count on you for the makeup analogy! :D :D :D


I’m pretty fast at rebuilding a few models of regulators. What can I say, I learned from the best (NetDoc). I use only a few brands, so I’m servicing something every few weeks it seems. I’m fast, and getting faster. First, thanks for the more than kind words. Secondly, it's important to note that JahJah's speed does not come from working at a frenetic pace. On the contrary, it comes from his deliberate and systematic approach to servicing regs. He's in no race against the clock and his real goal is precision and not speed. He illustrates the conundrum: Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. IOW, JahJah is quick because he's so slow and methodical.

Finally... JahJah is an MBA and does cost analysis for a living. Some people will tell you that he acts a bit anal when it comes to facts and figures. In his defense, I must point out that this is no act! :D

chrpai
June 19th, 2012, 07:15 PM
I'd love to know the cost anaylsis for repair vs replace then. I own Hog D1 first stages (apx $150 replacement cost ) and second (apx $100 replacement cost each).


One day I'll know all this myself, but for now if I have to pay $100 to get service ... is it really worth it? I have my hunches but would listen to other opinions if the math proved me wrong.

Aqua-Andy
June 19th, 2012, 08:27 PM
I'd love to know the cost anaylsis for repair vs replace then. I own Hog D1 first stages (apx $150 replacement cost ) and second (apx $100 replacement cost each).


One day I'll know all this myself, but for now if I have to pay $100 to get service ... is it really worth it? I have my hunches but would listen to other opinions if the math proved me wrong.


I would say defiantly not worth it. When they are in need of service just send them to me for proper disposal, I'll even pay the shipping costs. But seriously a HOG D1 cold goes for $180 and the D1 second is $110 at DRIS so service would cost you 36% of a new set. I would do the service, but if you decide not to my original offer is still valid;).

diverrex
June 19th, 2012, 08:36 PM
I'd love to know the cost anaylsis for repair vs replace then. I own Hog D1 first stages (apx $150 replacement cost ) and second (apx $100 replacement cost each).

One day I'll know all this myself, but for now if I have to pay $100 to get service ... is it really worth it? I have my hunches but would listen to other opinions if the math proved me wrong.

Depends on use of course, and of course whether you service the reg or you pay a technician to. But if you are paying say $30 a stage labor plus parts I think a good argument can be made to consider keeping the reg for 3 or 4 years, maintain it well, don't get it serviced, and after 3 - 4 years so it used and buy anew reg. Or get it serviced every other or even third year.

I own ScubaPro and have an investment of more than $350 in the reg and of course want to keep my parts for life going so I fork over $100 a year for service. The first time I miss an annual service and they want to start charging me for parts I'll switch to every other year service.

Peter_C
June 19th, 2012, 10:27 PM
I own ScubaPro and have an investment of more than $350 in the reg and of course want to keep my parts for life going so I fork over $100 a year for service. The first time I miss an annual service and they want to start charging me for parts I'll switch to every other year service.

I just let my Scubapro "parts for life" and all future warranties with them slide into oblivion. One of my posts in the manufacturers forum was pulled by Howard because he said I was antagonizing them with questions. Well Scubapro answered my question of "Would you send us an email before service is due" by sending me an email before mine expired. I applaud SP for letting their customers know when the service due date is coming up via email, assuming they have yours.

Since we already have one set of HOG regs, and I did not feel like paying to continue the warranty at $25 a stage x4 for labor, I figure on Black Friday I will make the switch myself to HOG and just stock service kits for them. In Kona, HI one of the HOG's started free flowing due to a little corrosion. I was able to completely tear the second stage apart on the beach with an adjustable wrench and a tiny Leatherman. If it had been my Scubapro reg I would have had to get my specialty tool which got accidentally left back at the villa. Or go at it with pliers...

In the end selling my Scubapro gear and replacing with HOG, I will actually come out with more cash in my pocket :confused:

BLoaf
June 19th, 2012, 10:34 PM
Is another problem with trying to self service gear that the parts are only sold to dive shops that carry the brands?

awap
June 20th, 2012, 08:53 PM
Well, I almost regret going to Cozumel for a week and missing this amicable discussion.

Maybe SCAM is not the best word. I did find this list of possible alternatives:









blackmail (http://thesaurus.com/browse/blackmail), cheating (http://thesaurus.com/browse/cheating), con (http://thesaurus.com/browse/con), con game, crooked deal, deceit (http://thesaurus.com/browse/deceit), deception (http://thesaurus.com/browse/deception), dirty pool, double-cross, double-dealing, extortion (http://thesaurus.com/browse/extortion), fast one, flimflam, fraud (http://thesaurus.com/browse/fraud), hoax (http://thesaurus.com/browse/hoax), hosing, hustle (http://thesaurus.com/browse/hustle), racket, rip-off, shady deal, shakedown, sham (http://thesaurus.com/browse/sham), shell game, snow job, sting (http://thesaurus.com/browse/sting), sucker game.

And maybe none of these quite fit right either. The truth is that all regulators do not need to be rebuilt annually as attested to by some mfgrs now recommending a 2-year service cycle. But, for some people (who don't take very good care of there gear) and some conditions (like 10 dives per week), even annual service may not be enough. So the manufacturers simply safe side it and go with 1 year. The fact that it helps to make money for there customer LDSs is just a fortunate side spin-off. My regs go 3 to 5 years (or more) between rebuilds and I have not had any problems. But I do keep a spare set of regulators on hand just in case. For the diver who just doesn't want to be bothered, annual service may be the best way to go - if you can find reliable service. I got into DIY because I did not in 4 separate attempts.

PNelson
June 23rd, 2012, 09:44 AM
LOL! I have to say.. This has been a very educational thread!

awap
June 23rd, 2012, 10:06 AM
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.

Did they site any specific cases where a Scuba service was held liable for failing to provide "professional service"?

beaverdivers
June 24th, 2012, 11:47 PM
No, but I can give you a beauty.

Largest settled lawsuit in SCUBA history. 1980's - Diver dies from drowning in USVI. Older diver enters the water, panics, boat crew grabs B.C. corregated hose & tries to pull diver out of the water. Hose breaks, diver drowns.

Wife & baby awarded suit.

13 years later I trained her son. She was still close friends with her lawyer.

Do you think I made absoutely sure all his gear was properly serviced?

Aqua-Andy
June 25th, 2012, 08:38 AM
Did they site any specific cases where a Scuba service was held liable for failing to provide "professional service"?

I would like to up the ante on this question. Has any manufacture or dive shop ever had a law suit brought against them because they have sold parts to the consumer?



No, but I can give you a beauty.

Largest settled lawsuit in SCUBA history. 1980's - Diver dies from drowning in USVI. Older diver enters the water, panics, boat crew grabs B.C. corregated hose & tries to pull diver out of the water. Hose breaks, diver drowns.

Wife & baby awarded suit.

13 years later I trained her son. She was still close friends with her lawyer.

Do you think I made absoutely sure all his gear was properly serviced?

What does this have to do with proper service? I can pretty much guaranty the corrugated hose on any BC would fail if put under this amount of stress. Did the win the suit because the previous person who worked on the BC installed the hose wrong or some idiot on the boat tried to pull the diver up by a piece of equipment that was never meant to support that kind of weight?

beaverdivers
June 25th, 2012, 09:56 AM
The jury consisted of local islanders that probably did not know how to swim and thought SCUBA diving was crazy.

The captain probably grapped what he could, I am not sure of his IQ.

Perhaps the corrugated hose was worn.

Yes, you are correct, a corrugated hose is not made to lift a diver out of the water.

A wife with baby wins every time.

If my student, the teenage - grown up baby, had any gear problems, then I would be in hot water.

Aqua-Andy
June 25th, 2012, 11:27 AM
The jury consisted of local islanders that probably did not know how to swim and thought SCUBA diving was crazy.

The captain probably grapped what he could, I am not sure of his IQ.

Perhaps the corrugated hose was worn.

Worn or not they pulled him up bu the corrugated hose and it broke, they caused the fault and should have known better as they are "professionals looking over the operation".

Yes, you are correct, a corrugated hose is not made to lift a diver out of the water. Yes I agree;)

A wife with baby wins every time.

Only if you provided the gear or worked on it.

If my student, the teenage - grown up baby, had any gear problems, then I would be in hot water.

No matter what you do you are screwed buy what you just said.



Yes I do agree equipment maintenance is important, but when statements like posted earlier are said by a manufacturer I believe indeed it is more marketing and scare tactics than caring for the customers welfare.

MarkHerm
June 25th, 2012, 05:14 PM
Yes I do agree equipment maintenance is important, but when statements like posted earlier are said by a manufacturer I believe indeed it is more marketing and scare tactics than caring for the customers welfare.
Agreed. The stated case does not contribute anything to this discussion. It neither shows issues due to improper BC service nor with legal liabilities for not getting professional maintenance.

TSandM
June 25th, 2012, 07:06 PM
I'm still trying to wrap my head around regular service for a BC.

A BC consists of a bladder, one or more dump valves, and an inflator assembly. (If you have an integrated octo-inflator, then of course the regulator part needs regular service.) The dump valves are simply a plate or plug with a spring, and a cord that pulls the plug against the spring and allows air out. Other than inspecting the spring from time to time, to make sure it hasn't corroded, there is nothing there to service.

The bladder needs to be rinsed out by the user, but there is nothing there to service. If you want to unscrew a dump valve and look inside the bladder for salt crystals, you can easily do that at home.

The inflator assembly is the one thing that requires periodic maintenance or repair. The o-rings there are moving and are susceptible to getting salt or grit into the innards. As I said, if you have a standard corrugated hose, you can buy the entire replacement unit, made by Trident, for something in the neighborhood of 35 to 40 dollars.

I really don't understand the push to have professional servicing of BCs.

I do think that it is quite a reasonable point to make, that the cost of service has to be figured into the degree of "deal" that someone is getting when buying used gear, but I think it's primarily an issue with regulators.

NetDoc
June 27th, 2012, 07:11 AM
I'm still trying to wrap my head around regular service for a BC. It all depends on how comfortable and competent the individual is in inspecting, evaluating and repairing their BC as well as their inclination to want to do it. I am a master certified Automotive and Heavy Truck ASE certified Technician but I simply hate changing oil. If I trusted someone down here in Key Largo to do it like I trust the Bumby Ave Goodyear Tire and Rubber #2456 in Orlando, I wouldn't go near the drain plug. But I don't make it close to them very often any more, so I get my hands all oily! Some people just don't want to be bothered or feel ill equipped to make those decisions or effect any repairs. That's OK... that's when having a shop do it for you makes sense. What doesn't make sense is to simply neglect it year after year and then blame the manufacturer when the rig seems to fail prematurely. I've seen thar incredulous look more than once with the diver loudly proclaiming that their gear is a piece of junk since it only lasted 2, 3 or 4 years. Few seem to want to accept responsibility for their own gear.

If you are not going to do it, then please, please, please have SOMEONE do it. It doesn't matter what your motivation is for not doing it: just make sure it gets seviced! No, it's not hard, it's not rocket science and it doesn't cost a bunch of money. However, if you want your gear to keep operating dive after dive, you need to have it serviced. Neglect is not a viable service plan. Since this thread started, I have gone through my personal regs and three BCs. It was a good reminder that my gear needed to be serviced and since I am heading to Cozumel this week and to the Sea of Cortez in about a month. I don't want to have any gear failure or other surprises so I am getting some dives on the newly serviced gear BEFORE I leave town. Even if it's only in a pool, get some time on newly serviced gear and make sure it's up to your standards.

BTW, Mini-Season is coming up for the Florida Spiny Lobster. The shops are probably already getting an influx of gear to be serviced. They'll see gear that hasn't gotten wet in five/ten years and customers that expect to be able to throw $20 at them and get it all serviced. Tanks from the 60's, BCs with termite and roach damage, regs that are covered with more vedigris than chrome will all show up with divers expecting that the years of neglect can be resolved with a flick of the Scuba Tech's magic wand. What's funny/tragic are the divers who bring in their equipment less than a week before mini-season expecting it to be ready on time. It's important to PLAN AHEAD for these events. Some of the parts are hard to find and neglected gear has the propensity to have seized parts and fittings that require long soaks and extra time to disassemble. Even more important, please don't inspect your gear the night before and expect to dive it without incident. Neglect that results in a gear emergency on your part is not the shop's or manufacturer's problem. You and you alone are responsible for the gear you dive. Say "no" to trust me dives by vetting your equipment before you splash.

NetDoc
June 27th, 2012, 07:21 AM
As a caveat, I checked the date of the OP. I actually serviced my Atomic Regs about two weeks prior to this thread (I think). However, I serviced my Hog regs, and my BCs (Zeagle and Hollis) since this thread started. I should note that I only have a few dives on the Hollis in about two years. I still found verdigris on the valve parts, so I am glad I checked it out. Verdigris leads to pitting and corrosion. Those are not good for scuba gear. Neglect, no matter how benign it might seem, is not a viable service option. At least not for me.

diverrex
June 27th, 2012, 06:54 PM
Part of the issue with these type discussions is that tend toward the two extreme sides when often something in the middle is the more realistic circumstance. In this case one end is a BC should be serviced every year with the other being that never need serviced. I think a quality BC that is regularly maintained well can at least go several years without any actual service either by user or shop. But at some point in it's life it may need service. I think what many of us object to is the industry standard claim that this is a life support piece of gear and should be serviced every single year and at maybe $30 a pop for maybe no more than blowing it up and rinsing it out.

When the LDS talks about how customers should be loyal and not buy online maybe they should realize it needs to work both ways and not try to overcharge for minimal service on something that probably doesn't need any service.

A good LDS to me would be one where you could take your BC and they would look at it and say it's just fine no charge.

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