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Regulator servicing kits - how old can they get before they are garbage?

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself - DIY' started by Trixaren, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Trixaren

    Trixaren New

    I guess somewhat unusual info request.

    I own an old Aqualung Spiro Nordic reg (with an addition of atx100 second stage as it breaths easier at depth) that requires servicing - it has now been over 3 years since last servicing. I went to my local shop and they said they cannot service it anymore as there are no more servicing kits available for the nordic stage 1, at least not in UK.

    So being me I went online and found a few services packs for it, however, they are from 2004 and 2005. When I asked about it in the store they said that the service kits are too old. But them being a store I am not sure I trust them (especially after messing up my computer).
    So my question is, are these service packs too old or are they still ok? would you use one that is this old?
    what is the life expectancy of a service pack?

    thanks for all your help!

    Spiro Nordic & XTX50 owner
  2. redacted

    redacted Guest

    They would be newer than most of my kit stock. Inspect the parts and use them. Find a new shop.
    BIGJACK likes this.
  3. Trixaren

    Trixaren New

    I thought there was a "best before" for rubber parts ?
  4. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Turkey
    As far as I know generally there is shelf life for rubber parts. But there is not a specific shelf life for rubber as rubber is the general name of a very big group of material. Up on the quality of the rubber generally it changes between 5-15 years. Some of them has lower shelf life as 2 years and some doesn't have any shelf life. You must be more specific about the material of the rubber in order to learn its shelf life.
  5. Team Innovative

    Team Innovative Dive Shop

    Fedaykin is correct.. The issue with rubber is not necessarily how old it is, it is how the parts were stored. If a O-ring for example was manufactured last month but was left out on a work bench in humid or very dry elements it will not be usable VS a O-ring manufactured 3 years ago kept in its packaging, in a drawer away from elements it should be fine...Most parts of a service kit should be okay .. With that being said, this is your source of air, our recommendation is to always take your first and second stage to a shop that is certified for service for the specific manufacture.
  6. redacted

    redacted Guest

    Well, of course it is.

    The USA scuba industry has no problem making a nice profit by coersing divers into paying for unnecessary service.

    Most modern o-ring materials have a shelf life of 10 to unlimited years as long as they are properly stored. If you really believe an o-ring failure will seriously put you at risk, you are doing something wrong.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2016
    rhwestfall, buddhasummer and Doby45 like this.
  7. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    Please don't give non DIY answers to DIY questions.
  8. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    Your call. Try to buy on approval. Does the rubber look/feel hard or surface looks oxidized?

    I've gotten back TWO secondary regs that failed at depth as two spacer rings were used to capture diaphragm between them. Factory certified rep.

    Do it yourself. You care more about you than most anyone else.

    A quick search came up with this: What is O-Ring Shelf Life?

    Two things kill elastomers really fast. Oxygen free radicals (from either ozone or peroxide) and ultraviolet light (direct sun). Plastic is a wonderful shield for UV. Just being behind plastic is really good for sun protection.

    A year or so ago, I asked a pharmacist for an old dropper-bottle for "ear beer". Made it up using a bit of hydrogen peroxide. The rubber bulb was useless in a month. I use a new formulation with no peroxide and the new bulb is still fine.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  9. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    Pardon my cut and paste from a similar thread:
    Consider this, Bigfoot-Daisy sells service kits on eBay-some of which are over 20 years old. Do you think the editor of Regulator Savvy and wife of the author would be selling questionable kits?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  10. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

    Total nonsense. Humidity, or more accurately, moisture, better not cause rapid deterioration of o-rings, considering that they're used, well, in the water. Similarly, lack of humidity will not cause any deterioration of synthetic rubber either. For all practical purposes, they don't absorb moisture from the air.

    Ozone, direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, sure those can degrade elastomers, especially depending on the material. But a MONTH? Do you really think these materials are that fragile? How do they ever last for years in regulators, on boats, in airplanes, etc....

    Statements like this from dive shop technicians do little to inspire confidence.
    rhwestfall likes this.

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