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XL4+ Setup froze today

Discussion in 'Apeks' started by CanadaDan, May 17, 2020.

  1. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    What settings were off? You really need an IP gauge, knowing is better than trusting.
    Umuntu likes this.
  2. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
    I wouldn't blame Apeks or doubt the quality of your gear too much, sometimes stuff happens.

    Typically "cold water" regulators have a big change on the first stage, but I don't know if they have any huge differences on the second stages.

    The first stage has to allow the water pressure to push against some internal surfaces. In non cold water regulators, some water is allowed inside--it's kept from the air you are breathing, but is on the other side of an Oring and piston, or diaphragm, allowing the regulator to keep the pressure at ~135psi over ambient. That presents a problem for cold water use, so cold water regulators keep the water further away with some medium in the middle that allows the pressure to still be pushed against the inside parts. For example, piston regulators can be filled with lubricant, but a diaphragm regulator like yours has an outside seal, then a plastic rod which transmits the pressure.

    But second stages, as far as I know, don't have that large of a design change. They might focus on the material used and maybe a design like fins to allow heat exchange, but I think the internals are the same as any other.

    I think that's ok because the pressure drop, which causes the risk of freezing, is a different level. Instead of regulating 3000psi to 135psi, it's regulating 135psi to 14psi.

    I would not worry about reservicing everything, just confirm IP is set right and stable on the first stage, and you might have them put a new low pressure seat on the second stage. It is possible that the seat was defective, or that it was damaged during installation. For example, a slightly out of round sealing surface, and not pressing the purge button when making an adjustment, can cut a small surface in the seat that causes issues. It might also be as simple as the shop not having the machine to cycle the regulator before setting cracking pressure, and/or setting cracking pressure on the low end of the spec and now after a few dives, it is slightly out of spec.

    See if they can confirm the current cracking pressure before doing any work on it, and then inspect the seat with a magnifying glass to look for imperfections, but I wouldn't be overly concerned that your regulators are wrong for the purpose based on this one incident.
  3. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan DMC ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
    Owning this one... it was totally my own doing.

    Upon servicing my tech found water in the first stage... which could only have really happened if I was careless and dripped into it while switching tanks between dives. I actually remember water spilling out of of my drysuit collar-ring when I bent over while changing tanks. It must have splashed into the uncoupled yoke valve on which I hadn't secured the dust cap. There was a time when I would blow out the filter every time I took the first stage off and put the cap in but I've gotten complacent and lazy about that lately apparently. I also need to be more cognizant of water on my gear.

    Despite living in the middle of Canada I've never done any ice diving training and had not educated myself in the possible extra precautions and protocols of diving in sub 5c water. Diving this early in the season here requires more prep and caution with my primary & inflators than I anticipated.

    On the plus side this was a great lesson learned with rather low risk attached. I will have this example to share with students (I'm finishing my DM now... goes to show a pro card doesn't mean you have anywhere near all the answers) and dive buddies forever.

    Reg's are on the bench being dried, cleaned and serviced. I'll be back in the water next weekend.
    tickledone, Ben_3, Dark Wolf and 2 others like this.

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