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Still confused about inflator and hose maintenance

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself - DIY' started by Aloha Joe, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. AFdivedoc

    AFdivedoc Instructor, Scuba Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    I'll have a look at the inflator when I sevice my BCD, especially before a trip. I connect it to a regulator and run it through a couple of inflate/deflate cycles. If there is any leaking, stickiness in the action or obvious crud in the mechanism, I pull it off and have a closer look. Check the Schroeder valve in the hose for leaks by immersing it in water while pressurized. These occasionally need replacing, but be sure to inspect the entire hose to see if it is worth keeping (look for cuts, bulges, etc--easiest on a rubber hose). For the inflator, any major corrosion of the metal or scoring of internal plastic parts and it goes in the trash and I replace it with a new one. Since I'm a DIY nerd, I'll clean it up and swap out the o-rings if everything looks good and I have the time. I pool test the ones I rebuild. If I can't put it in the pool, I just go with a new inflator. I always carry a new DGX inflator in my save a dive kit. I used to carry a repair kit, but whats the point of trying to service one out in the field when replacements are cheap and easy to carry around? I probably replace half of the ones I decide to tear down.
    Aloha Joe, Dark Wolf and James79 like this.
  2. Umuntu

    Umuntu Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Traveller
  3. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower


    Umuntu and Aloha Joe like this.
  4. O-ring

    O-ring Beyond the Pale ScubaBoard Supporter

    This. I tried to service 2 Halcyon SS inflators last month and no matter what I did they still leaked a little bit. I ended up tossing them and ordering 2 from DGX.

    Agreed. Even if you replace them on 3-4 wings and buy a spare from DGX for your save a dive kit you will still be under $100 all in.
  5. DiverGuam

    DiverGuam Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives:
    Location: Guam
    The nice thing about the Schraders is depending on the inflator, it's ten seconds to fix the inflator, and you do not need to break the seal on the corrugated hose, and it's easier to carry Schraders and the tool in even a basic save a dive kit.

    You can do the same on the K-Valve, kinda, but if the inflator is sticking, usually that stamped tool people have to service them is not going be able to get the core out without a pre-soak. A proper sturdy pin spanner will, but most people don't carry that, or the entire replacement core with them in a simple save a dive kit. The videos above are dreaming about that tool actually removing a worked core. You can mostly use the stamped steel barrel shaped tool, but that will also fail with truly worked inflators.

    The bad thing (or good thing, depending on how you feel about it) about the Schraders is max inflation speed is limited. If you are doing negative descents for seriously deep dives, you really have to plan ahead on inflation.

    If you switch to so called balanced inflators, that's just not an issue.

    In the end, something that is ten seconds to fix, and easy to carry the parts to fix, is more reliable than something that needs complete replacement. You have to learn how not to strip out the plastic seating area though, which most people don't learn, which is why so many simple Schrader inflator overhaul kits just put a big plastic thing with a pre-installed Schrader valve. Because the assumption is that most techs would strip the plastic threading.
  6. Umuntu

    Umuntu Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Traveller
    I've noticed on a recent service that some manufacturers are putting a dab of loctite on the threads too.

    Also, the heavy duty metal button inflators attract a lot more corrosion with poor rinsing practices.
  7. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    Replace instead of servicing. More garbage to a garbage full planet. Why do not service ? Simple, we want to sell more. Selfish.
    Also, no silicone grease to lubricate the o-rings ?
  8. James79

    James79 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    I try both... Fix if I can, replace if rebuild doesn't do it. For the save a dive kit, I replace... Then the bad one be worked on at my leisure.
  9. O-ring

    O-ring Beyond the Pale ScubaBoard Supporter

    +1. I kept my leaking Halcyon ones and may give service another go at a later date, but it is telling that they have dropped them from the product line. As far as I can tell from looking at pictures all their new wings come with the same inflator that DGX sells.
  10. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    I use the Zeagle inflator, since they are threaded on I can quickly switch it out either with another one or an Atomic SS1, so far when one gets sticky I just unscrew it and toss it in a bucket of water for a few days.
    saxman242 likes this.

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