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Review Deep 6 Regulator Service Class

Discussion in 'Deep 6 Gear' started by rob.mwpropane, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane Contributor

    I'll preface this review by saying I've been diving for 3 years, so this is from my perspective. I'm sure the other guys in the class (who I'm sure all had WAY more dives than me) will have a little different take on things.

    I decided to post this in the beginners section (move if needed) because after the class yesterday I REALLY believe it's beneficial for everyone to take a service class to understand how to better take care of their regs, even if you never plan to actually rebuild one. I think any class would work, but as with anything in scuba it really boils down to the instructor more so than the class, and @cerich, owner and operator of Deep 6 Gear, did not disappoint.

    The class (yesterday 2/23) was scheduled 9-4 so be ready to take in a lot of information, but again, if you never plan to rebuild a reg you can still learn a lot just by watching and listening. Chris had a ton of pointers on how to just take better care of regs between service intervals, especially after using in salt water. How to air them out so they're REALLY dry before you throw them in the bag for the next trip. What to check / look for as far as loose parts, and how often they should really be serviced.

    Everyone was asked to bring as many of the tools from the manual as they possibly could. This helped the class move along a lot smoother than if there was only a set or two to pass around. For some of the more special tools I purchased through Amazon and Scuba Tools, a lot of the other stuff I already had laying around. I attached a pdf with the tool list from the D6 manual. Where I got my tools and anything I would do different based off of my experience is listed on the second page.

    Most of us arrived before 9am so we had a little time to kill and you could already tell right off the bat Chris was down to earth. He jumped right in with warming up the crowd. I don't think anyone in the room felt out of place or like maybe they were in over their head (which was a fear I had going in). It really was a class I think everyone could get something out of, even if you never bought tools or planned to bring a reg.

    Class started and we jumped right into the 1st stage. It was interesting listening to Chris as he started to pull apart the 1st and explain what the manual / scuba industry says and what's actually done in real life, all the while mixing in stories of different experiences he's had over his million years in the industry (ok, maybe not that many:D....but it felt like that compared to me).

    We worked on the 1st stage for about the 1st 3 hours or so, which is amazing because it didn't feel like 3 hours at all. Again, it helped a lot that everyone had 90% of the tools needed, so we weren't really ever waiting for anyone to catch up or trade tools. Chris would move through a part removal with some explanation and then wait to see if there was any questions or if someone was having issues or needed help before moving on. What was really great is that during this process we found that someone in the class had a pretty dirty reg and it was a little overdue for service (looking at you @tursiops :wink:) but what a great learning experience. It's amazing how much gunk can really get built up in a reg and then to think it was still just trucking along breathing just fine.

    We had finished the 1st stage around 12-12:30 and Chris was nice enough to order pizza. Instead of starting on the 2nd stage and having to stop in the middle to eat we waited the 25 minutes or so for it to get there. The entire time Chris was either talking about his experiences at different places diving, or experiences with the industry itself, how it's changed over time. Where he was, how he got started and where he is now. He couldn't have been more down to earth wearing jeans and a t-shirt (a deep 6 t-shirt of course:p).

    If I'm being honest it didn't have a class "feel" to it. It felt like a couple guys getting together to eat pizza and talk about diving and regulators.

    2nd stage started after lunch and again we jumped right into it, again @tursiops reg was the highlight of the class to see how messed up a reg can be on the inside. I believe we finished around 2:30 or so, a little earlier than Chris expected, but a lot was due to everyone having their own tools.

    Overall I give the class a 10/10. If you can't tell already I'm a fan of Deep 6. I own some of their gear and I value their business model. If I call / email / post I feel like I get honest answers. If I order something and don't like it or it doesn't work for me it can be returned, no questions asked and the absolute best part is their prices are REASONABLE for diving equipment. That alone is like finding a unicorn in this hobby.

    The only suggestion that I thought might be helpful for the class to have would be a book or a few photos with how bad a regulator or parts could get. Like a before and after guide. Having a dirty reg in the class was really helpful to see where water and salt can get and what type of damage it can do. Had we not had that I think pictures could of done just as well. This was really just and afterthought though. Everything was great. My classmates were great and I hope one day they'll invite me to go diving with them:)

    If anyone made it this far and has any questions you can ask me anything. I hope I didn't miss too much, I'm sure my classmates will chime in if I did. Really was a great day!
  2. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane Contributor

    Here's the tool list. The first page is exactly how the tool list is in the manual. The second page is a small description where I got the tool, any notes if needed, and each can be clicked on and linked to wear I go that tool.

    If anyone has better recommendations for where to get tools or what works better please feel free to post.

    Edit: added a link for pictures
    Dropbox - 20-02-23 D6 Service Class - Simplify your life

    Attached Files:

    Dark Wolf, txgoose and -JD- like this.
  3. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    I feel obliged to comment!
    Yeah, it was a great class.
    Yeah, my Deep 6 Signature reg set was pretty dirty.....after maybe 300 dives on it in less than 3 years, but still working great and still passing all functional tests. The good news is that provided the class with some good visuals and an opportunity for Chris to discuss post-dive maintenance in detail.
    I agree with Rob above; excellent class for all levels, time and money well-spent.
  4. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane Contributor

    To me that was really an unexpected highlight of the class. To see first hand how a reg can get funky and then listen to what Chris would do to remedy any issues that might cause.
    Dark Wolf and cerich like this.
  5. aviator8

    aviator8 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    Did you guys take pictures you can share, and point out what changes in reg care would have help avoid the funk? I plan on taking this class myself after my first services. Ill probably drive down to Forsyth to take it when I do.
  6. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    and just like that, I realize that the next really badly gunked up reg that comes here for service I need to set aside and send the cust a new reg instead of a serviced one.

    Because, yeah, good point, some folks won't have seen a somewhat dove hard where compressors aren't so good and put away wet reg
    kmarks, Dark Wolf, Schwob and 4 others like this.
  7. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    The best course I have ever done in scuba was Chris and I servicing a reg of mine on my workbench. I learned more about regs and the practicalities of them than I had in the previous 20 years I had been scuba diving.

    Free advice, Chris ordering pizza is one thing, if you can set things up where he will cook for you, your life will change.
    RyanT, Andy in Gap, cerich and 2 others like this.
  8. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane Contributor

    Well then.....I guess class was 8/10 without the home cooked meal. I'll have to hurry and change my rating:D....
  9. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane Contributor

    Does anyone have a heated ultrasonic cleaner that they like and can recommend for reg service?
  10. Andy in Gap

    Andy in Gap Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lancaster, PA
    Great write up Rob! I agree it was a great course, well worth the time and money. How often do you get an opportunity to have the guy that designed your regulator teach you to tear it apart and put it back together?
    You reach a point in diving when you realize no one is coming to save you. You are responsible for you. Your dive plans, what gas you're breathing, the maintenance of your gear. The guy who cares the most that his regulator is in good working order is me.
    Kensei, Dark Wolf, RainPilot and 2 others like this.

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