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Online shopping

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by Rider04, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Rider04

    Rider04 Guest

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: North Dakoa
    6
    0
    0
    I have been looking online and have found some great deals. I have talked to a few different lDS and they caution me about purchasing online equipment. Is it difficult to set up your reg and guages when purchasing online? When purchasing new equipment is there any type of warranty?
     
  2. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,529
    2,108
    113
    Welcome to the board.
    There are several things to consider.
    There may or may not be a warranty with regs you buy on line. Some brands forbid on line sales and if you buy online, they do not honor the warrany and other brands are OK with it. If you read the warranty carefully, what you find is it's value other than a materials failure -which is unlikely -is to supply your repair tech with free parts when the reg is seviced. You will have to pay for the labor and the parts are not that expenive. It's value is debatable....and has been debated a lot of times on the board. Some on line dealers provide you a "warranty" that matches the manuf's....problem is you must send the reg back to them and wait for it to return. You still have to pay for the labor and shipping both ways....which is about what the parts are going to cost..might as well have it done locally and forget the warranty. Even if it comes with a warranty, can or will anyone local repair it? Some store brands or lesser know brands are hard to get parts for and it's stupid on their part as far as I am concerned but some shops get real snotty and refuse to repair regs bought on line.

    Setting up a reg is a 2 part process, first just screwing it together. That part anyone......well I have met a few that couldn't :) ...should be able to do. It's nothing more than removing the port plugs and installing the hoses where you want them with your fingers then snugging down the hoses. Snugging is the key here, these hose fitting and parts are brass, DO NOT crank down on them like they are hardened steel, just past hand tight is all they need. The Orings do the sealing, not the metal to metal contact so there is not need to torque the dickens out of the connections. The only thing you may would screw up would be hose configuration..where the hoses are located and half of that is personal preference anyway so it's no big deal, just move them if you are not happy. The second part is a different matter, while regs come from the factory tested, but to get the best preformace from them they should be checked and tuned. This takes a little skill and a few tools that most divers do not have. Not saying you can't learn, it's not that hard but it's not something you learn in any dive class. Then you have the problem of the horses rear dive shops. Many refuse to touch a reg if they know it's been bought online or at another shop for that matter. I personally will not deal with a shop like that but if they are the only game in 500 miles it's difficult to avoid them. If they will work on your mail order regs they are likely to charge you a fat setup fee if you carry one in and you have little good will between you.
    SO, bottom line you may save some money or you may not in the long run. A lot depends on the deal you get, what the equipment is and how your LDS acts.
    An alternative that often works well for new divers is to buy used gear locally- avoid Ebay. There is nothing wrong with good quality used gear and it can often be had at a great price. The dive shop may well have sold it and they really don't need to know how you got it. They may have used training gear that they will sell. You don't have a warranty but see the warranty discussion above.
     
  3. Solly

    Solly Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Grenoble - France
    514
    25
    28
    Herman, which regulators need this second step and what kind of tuning is needed? I just got my first reg set and I managed my way for the assembly part, I played with the IP adjustment knob hence I had to get an IP gauge and re-tune it back, however if I didn't 'screw' it in the first place I wouldn't have needed anything more than to jump in the water .... thanks to clarify this point :)
     
  4. CaptBill

    CaptBill Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Key West
    38
    0
    0
    I have to disagree with Herman just a little. I sell new and used regs on Ebay. The new ones are tuned by me before being sent to the buyer. I also offer 2 years free service that includes parts and labor. So there are good buys out there for new equipment if you are not stuck on buying a "Name" brand. For used reg sales if I have serviced the reg I say so, if not I say that.
    Now if anyone is wondering I sell Promate regs and I dove mine to 140ft on the Vandenberg. It breathed beautifully at all levels and I had no problem with free flow in the 2-3 knot current on the down line.
     
  5. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,252
    5,827
    113
    Buy from Scubatoys, they'll set it up before they send it to you. I think it's free. You get a summary sheet for your reg afaik. And they're an authorized dealer for everything they sell. LeisurePro which also has great deals provides their own warranty equivalent to the mfr's for any non-authorized items they sell. They're also an authorized dealer for some brands - those typically won't be priced any better than your local dealer. But what herman mentioned applies, you have to send it back to them in NYC.
     
  6. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,529
    2,108
    113
    IMO, all of them. These are mechanical devices coming down an assembly line, sooner or later one is going to be a little off or just plain fail. IP's are usually given as a range of values, 125 to 145 psi or 135 +/- 5 psi for example. The cracking pressure of the second stage is also somewhat subjective so if you end up with a first stage at one end of the scale and a second at the other, they are both "in spec" but may not breath as well as it could if the 2 were tuned together. I am guessing what you care calling an "IP adjustment knob" is actually the cracking pressure adjustment on the second stage. IP is never an obvious user adjustment. Depending on the reg it may be external or in the case of piston regs, you have to dissamble the reg and install or remove "adjustment washers" to set the IP..not the correct name but a little more descriptive. In reality, as long as it's in the correct range, IP is not that big of a deal. If your second stage has a cracking pressure adjustment...one you can screw in and out to control how hard or easy the reg breaths you don't need to do much although I still like to check IP, just to make sure it's where it should be. There is no specific place a cracking pressure adjustment needs to be set, it's a user settting so where ever you like it is fine. That said, it assumes that the adjustment knob itself is adjusted properly, again something a tech would need to do.

    Sounds great Bill but I think will agree with me, you are the exception and not the rule. You really never know what you are getting off Ebay, there are great deals to be had but there are ripoffs as well. It's hard enough for me to sort them out much less a new diver. Then there is the horses rear dive shop to deal with if he does not want to ship regs off for service and wait for them to return or worse yet, if it needs a little adjustment. Not so much a big deal if you have several regs like most of us do but for the new diver with his first reg it's a little different issue.

    I looked at the Promates a while back, nice regs. They are Apex/ Old Zeagle clones, dependable regs so I see no reason for the Promates should not preform just as well. I went so far as to get a manual and a service kit for inspection, quality seems on par with the Apex kits. The only issue I have with Promates is the lack of repair shops, not so much for myself but for the average diver who is off on vacation and needs something done.
     
  7. CaptBill

    CaptBill Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Key West
    38
    0
    0
    I have to reluctantly agree with you on an Ebay problem with purchasing regs. It's better if you're an experienced diver when making the purchase.
    I just recently closed my repair shop which I had located in an LDS that sold and wanted to cut back on costs, me :shocked2: so I now do everything from home. To my wife's delight :rofl3:
    While working at the LDS the previous owner and I had an understanding on equipment repairs that came through the door. If you took the time to come to the shop we would do everything in our power to help you. We didn't care where you bought the reg because we felt that when you needed to purchase a new reg or something else you might remember that LDS that was nice to you. (It actually did work) BTW, over the years I've had to fix a few regs that just came out of the diver's LDS repair shop before they went on their trip to the Keys.

    Yeah I like the Promate Regs. I tested the low end as a rental on a dive charter for 2 years. Worked great, and except for the DM dropping a tank on the 2nd stage, nothing broke. I do have to offer that buyers ship back to me for service, but since the service is free for 2 years it's a good deal.
     
  8. EastcoastdiverLLC

    EastcoastdiverLLC Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Hagerstown Maryland
    229
    0
    0
    Thanks for the Kudos Herman,

    Send those repairs my way...

    Gary
     

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