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looking for advise on what to do - regulator service problem

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by rick00001967, May 11, 2012.

  1. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: canada
    just looking to get some other peoples thoughts to maybe help us decide what to do about a recent regulator serving issue.

    my wife and i own our gear. i use an apeks atx200 reg set w/the egress spare 2nd. she has an aqualung titan lx supreme with a similar spare 2nd. we do not have a local authorized dealer to do our annual servicing required to maintain warranty. we send them out of town to the closest dealer. they have done the work for 4 years now. this year, we got them back a few weeks before our trip to cozumel/playa del carmen in april. right away i noticed some very minor things. the hose supports were slid about half way up the hose, and the soft seals on the 1st stage were not straight. sounds very minor i know. but it got me thinking.......if they take such little pride in what they do, what else might they have done, or not done. after a better inspection i found my wifes spare 2nd hose was barely hand tight into the 1st stage. not cool. we were both quite upset about it and contacted the dealer. he agreed this should never happen and said he would take steps to make sure it did not happen again. that is where we left it. then we were about to enter the cenotes outside of playa and my wifes 1st stage starts blowing air from the cyclinder connection. turns out, the yoke nut was loose. it obviously never got tightened either. luckily we found a wrench that fit to tighten the nut.

    so my question to you all is.......what would you do ?? should i contact the dealer again and discuss what happened with the intention being to continue using them for service. or should i look for a new service provider.

    i must admit that my wife and i are inclined to let them know what happened and also tell them we will be taking our business elsewhere. but after contacting several other dealers by email for info, i actually spoke to one by phone who suggested maybe i was over reacting and "these thngs happen". and maybe i should look for some type of compensation from the dealer but i should continue using them.

    any thoughts about this would be appreciated.

    GROBIOG Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: SFL
    They did a good job for 4 years now right?

    Not sure what you mean about talking to them to get a compensation?
    If you feel it's faulty, have them look at it and fix any problems at no cost, provided something was wrong.
  3. Zung

    Zung Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Geneva, Switzerland
    If the outside is bad, the inside could be as bad or worse. Potentially dangerous.
    I'd demand my money back, then I'd find another shop.
    Wolfie and Bigd2722 like this.
  4. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Orca

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    been there, done that, got quite animated in my discussions with them, got a fair refund, and now go elsewhere.... no plans of ever using that shop again (and I had more than 4 years of good with them - there attitude and manner of business is not what it used to be, and not what I will tolerate).

    On a side note, I would have checked the operation of my equipment before being out on a boat somewhere....
    chrpai and Jim Lapenta like this.
  5. LeadTurn_SD

    LeadTurn_SD Solo Diver


    Absolutely, positively no excuse for a regulator leaving the work bench of even a half way competent tech in that condition.

    Mind-blowing incompetence.

    With work that sloppy, I'd take the regulators to a different shop, and have them re-serviced.

    Many of us have learned to service our own gear.... partly because it is an enjoyable hobby.... partly to avoid situations like the one the OP encountered.

    Best wishes.
    chrpai, Bigd2722 and Jim Lapenta like this.
  6. redacted

    redacted Guest

    The good news is at least they didn't just wipe them down with a cleaner and ship them back to you. Such errors do not occur with good shop techs. The fact that they apparently got you through you trip suggests they did not screw everything up. It would appear the tech did not get to do the final tightening and inspection before the regs got shipped back to you. I would have them inspected to make sure proper adjustments were accomplished and I would expect the original shop to pay for that extra service.

    The really sad thing is it may not be easy to find a better shop. Why don't you ask Aqualung for help?
  7. jacked_72

    jacked_72 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Dallas, TX
    Definitely find a new shop. I couldn't trust them again. Have the regs gone through again and get the old shop to pay for the expenses or dispute your credit card bill. I would be think that they'd be happy to pay that small price to not have a lingering question over your gear and your safety. As for the other shop's reaction, there is a lot of "there but for the Grace of God go I" in the diving industry and they all make mistakes. We all do. While we shouldn't have to, the diver has to catch their mistakes because we're the one that ultimately pays the price if we don't.

    I work on my own stuff because I want to know it is done right, whether it is a car or scuba gear or plumbing or whatever. The attitude that the service industry has these days is awful. And they way they want to deal with is by "fixing" what they didn't fix the first time. It becomes a war of attrition before you just give up and do it yourself or hire someone else to do what you already paid for. If I were me, I'd contact the manufacturers for the equipment that gave you a problem since they are presumably "authorized dealers" and because the manufacturers make such a big deal about only dealing with those they authorize. They should stand behind these shops they force us to deal with. And if they didn't give me satisfaction, I'd move on to a manufacturer that actually cared more about keeping its customers alive.

    You also need to figure out what minimum double checking you need to do once you get your regs back so you don't have a similar problem in the future while in the water. Are the hoses tight? The nuts will be hidden by hose protectors. Are the secondary covers on straight? Are they reasonably tight? Are the yoke nuts on tight? Do you hear any escaping gas? Do the purge buttons work? You're going to have to find a tank to test them on before you get on your vacation and its too late. Are the regs clean? Any remaining corrosion? (Indications that they may NOT have actually been serviced.) Did you get the old parts back so at least you have some indication that the repairs were actually made? No one teaches this stuff in the OW class. The manufactures don't want YOU putting a wrench to THEIR gear. The manufacturers should realize that an educated consumer is a good consumer and not try to hide "service" in the veil of mystery. They ought to embrace showing the consumer what to do to make sure things were done right after a reg service. This is called redundancy. Its a good thing in this case. Maybe a complaint to one of the manufactures will get them thinking about publishing a what-to-do-after-you've-had-your-regs-serviced checklist for the diver.

    I don't think that you'd ever find any statistics on it, but I'd be willing to bet that more than 90 percent of regulator failures happen on the first dive after servicing. Why? Someone didn't do his or her job right. The scuba industry wants to tell us that all of this life support equipment is life support and it justifies spending big initial money and annual smaller money. The weak link is the guy turning the wrench who may have been distracted, sleepy, overworked, etc. These regulators are pretty simple devices once you get into one. Most have very few moving parts. Manufacturers should not try to make it mysterious, but should show the user how to protect himself -- and relying on the sleepy/distracted/tired guy in the mail-order repair shop doesn't always cut it. Same holds true for the local repair shop.

    Find a new shop. Complain. Educate yourself. And don't wholly rely on somebody else.
    rick00001967 and Bigd2722 like this.
  8. j2s

    j2s Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: florida
    Another example for divers to learn 'self-maintanence'.....'Authorized dealer' [or not] is meaningless......'Warranty' is a euphemism for "We want to keep you on OUR HOOK"......It all comes down to the individual who does the work.........On any given day, hit or miss ;( !!!!!......
    halocline and Bigd2722 like this.
  9. Bigd2722

    Bigd2722 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Winter Park, fl

    absolutely agree, all of my reg failures (8 in 17 years) have been on the 1st dive after service. now i work on my own
  10. scubafanatic

    scubafanatic Great White

    or going cenote (cave) diving.....

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