Respect Your RegulatorRegulator hoses are the Rodney Dangerfield of scuba; they get no respect. They're under lots of pressure, asked to be flexible and strong, and most divers abuse them without a second thought. But regulator hoses actually deserve respect for three good reasons. They're marvelously engineered to perform in demanding conditions. They keep us alive and diving without a 70-pound copper helmet on our head. And, they'll last for years when abused and even longer if they're cared for properly. Six Ways to Show Respect:
- Inspect hoses before every dive trip. Push back the hose protectors and check for bulges and cracks near the swedge fittings. Look for cracks, fraying or abrasion along the entire hose.
- Don't trust that it will make it just one more dive. Always replace a damaged hose regardless of how insignificant the damage may appear. They're inexpensive compared to an aborted dive or an accident.
- Push back hose protectors during rinsing. If you don't, salt may stay trapped inside the hose protector and get re-deposited onto the fittings.
- Don't over-coil or fold hoses for travel or storage. Loosely coiled is the best travel position, hanging straight is the best for storage. If you need to coil, keep a minimum 10-inch diameter in the center of the coil.
- Watch out for hard items during travel and storage. Seemingly innocent objects like a mask storage case or weight belt buckle can dent hoses if heavy objects are stacked on top of them for long periods of time.
- Slow dry-rot during long-term storage. Use a light application of silicon-based spray protectant - such as those sold for auto interiors - if you're not diving again soon.