Aqualung Legend LX First Stage Failure at depth

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Jestertac

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My first stage failed at about 100-110 feet salt water. The regulator (Aqualung Legend) had about 50 dives (slightly less than a year) from factory new. I spearfish so after the initial descent my dive buddy and I split up-I was solo with a first stage failure. I had about 1500 psi left in my tank when it sucked dry and my gauge read critical (less than 200). Fortunately I use a 19CuFt pony setup instead of an octo, so I switched to that to make my ascent and complete my safety stop. The odd thing was my first stage didn't completely fail, it would slowly pressurize so I had air by the time I reached the surface which instantly depleted when I started to inflate my BC. Just to note for people considering a pony setup...I had 700 PSI left in my pony bottle after a fairly quick ascent to 50 feet, followed by a more leisurely ascent to 20 feet while swimming towards to dive boat. I dive in the Puget Sound so it was all instruments because it's dark, cold, and low visibility. Having something to focus on and a game plan helps to mitigate any panic or anxiety that might otherwise cause further problems.

I researched online and found the ACD the likely culprit, and had that confirmed when it was serviced by my local dive shop. This creates some real trust issues considering how rare first stage failures are supposed to be. I could have made an emergency ascent from 100 feet, but would prefer not to. I'm glad I had my pony setup, and I dive independent doubles when we dive twins. When vacationing, I use a spare air since I can easily travel with it.

I wish I had bought the Scubapro Mark 21. I own three aqualung legends, so unfortunately I don't see myself upgrading anytime soon.

The technician said the ACD cannot be bypassed, but I may be able to switch to DIN to get around it. I run steel faber tanks with DIN inserts so I may go this route during the next service intervals. I will need to figure something out to switch to yoke when vacation. I think DIN is very rare where I vacation.

When the yoke is tightened on the scuba tank, twist slightly to make sure there is no binding and the yoke is not too tight. If your first stage regulator nut moves at all, I would instantly cancel the dive and have it serviced. That large nut needs to be tight.

After reading some of the replies, I want to address some issues.

My tanks are high pressure steel tanks that I have bought new and are not even up for a visual inspection yet. They continue to work well and I keep them in great shape.

My gear is meticulously and scrupulously maintained. This is life saving equipment and it is treated as such after every single dive (unless diving multiple dives consecutively in one day). This is a 2-3 hour process for me after diving; I'm very thorough.

I brought the failed setup in to my dive shop with the manager of over 25 years diving and instructing to demonstrate the problem. We then removed the regulator and re-tightened it, achieving the same results again. We tested the pressure with his system to confirm my gauges weren't faulty. Eyebrows were raised to say the least.

After getting the regulator serviced (it was only due for an inspection according to Aqualung in a couple of months) the tech confirmed parts were loose and not torqued properly inside. He said the regulator and filter looked perfect, and well maintained.

My regulator did not get hard to breathe, it simply stopped and I sucked on vacuum. The Aqualung Legend is over-balanced so this may contribute to that fact.

I'll have to ponder whether to get the ACD removed, or upgraded. I have the old/flat style of valve, and have some skepticism about the safety of the newer style valve because of the failure I experienced. I will have to re-read that section when I have a little more sleep.
 
OP
databob

databob

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Wow - that has my heart rate up! Your symptoms are identical to mine. 1/2 tank, no air from first stage, slowly came back when I got back on the boat. Glad it worked out well for you. I had the issue, another person on this thread did as well, you and there is a DAN report on the same failure.
 

rsingler

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The technician said the ACD cannot be bypassed, but I may be able to switch to DIN to get around it.
Spend the time to read through this thread. There are several options open to you apart from converting to DIN, which will preserve your safety and eliminate this problem. We have an Aqualung shop owner participating in this thread, so you'll be getting good advice.
 

Jestertac

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Excellent, thank you for the helpful advice!

I have learned a lot from this website and I sincerely hope that others can benefit from the problems associated with this regulator.
 

Jiminy

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Just curious where are these regulators assembled? Any have any insights on the factory?
 

JackD342

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Just curious where are these regulators assembled? Any have any insights on the factory?
The boxes say "Made in France," but of course various components may be produced elsewhere.

It looks like the problem item belonging to @Jestertac was one of the May 2017 Consumer Safety Notice listed serial numbers.
Which means it is possible that the part had been under-torqued at the factory as identified in the CSN, and if it was already on the shop's shelf when the notice came out it may have been overlooked by them and sold in that condition. Probably no way to know for sure, but that seems to me to be the most likely scenario.
 

BoltSnap

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Just curious where are these regulators assembled? Any have any insights on the factory?

Most in France with Apeks in the UK.
 

jd950

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In case it is of interest to anyone still following this thread, my LDS has ordered in three of the new shutter valves for my three ACD regs. When they come in I will get those installed. That and trying to be sure the regs are serviced someplace I am comfortable with will hopefully take care of the issue.
 

PoolsOpen

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How much $ for the new type of shutter valve?
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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