Regulator Replacement Suggestions (frequent diver)

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Diver-6873

Contributor
Messages
163
Reaction score
105
Location
Kralendijk
# of dives
1000 - 2499
So I am thinking of replacing my Atomic B2 and undecided. While I do love the B2. It also requires more cleaning/maintenance than maybe others (even though that’s not their marketing message). Internal Secone stage components do seems to like me. That said, I’m not ruling out a new Atomic but looking at the other top rated units as well. One thing I love about the atomic the second stage swivel but that’s easy enough to add to any regulator as long as it’s a quality part and doesn’t become a common point-of-failure.

I dive 200-300x per year - all Caribbea/Warm Water. Dives are mostly 32% and at/near recreational depths. There is some travel but not a lot, so travel weight is probably not a concern.

Being in the Caribbean, ease of service (how often is such an open/debatable topic) Is important. Most shops here focus on one, possibly two, brands so the shop for service will be determined by the brand selected.
 
For starters, you should probably consider a sealed diaphragm design. This keeps water and grit out of your ambient chamber and reduces the potential for damage. My personal favorite is Deep6. Any good reg tech who is qualified to service a sealed diaphragm should be able to service them and Deep6 provides the service kits (their signature series reg comes with a service kit when you buy it). If that seems like a non starter, then maybe look at the one of the sealed diaphragms from SP, or whatever brand your shop services.
 
While I do love the B2. It also requires more cleaning/maintenance than maybe others (even though that’s not their marketing message).


This is NOT true at all, it requires the LEAST service/maintenance/cleaning than anything else on the planet ESPECIALLY if you have a sealed first stage. I have owned several Atomic regulators, including the B2, since circa 1997 and they have been the MOST reliable, least service most cost effective regulators I have owned. I have been an active instructor since 1987 and owner of a dive center with active training and rental fleet since 1994. I have used many other brands/models from most big name international companies and I can say that the Atomic regulators are the most reliable ones compared with the others by a wide margin, Scubapro comes close second, . I have ST1 and B2 for my personal single tank recreational diving, M1's for SM diving, SP MK25/MK19 with S600/G260's for technical diving and Z2's for dive school use (my Atomic Tx regulators were stolen few years ago during the wars we have had here). I also have several Scubapro regulator models, Mares (all sold out now) and Cressi regulators in the Dive School's training equipment fleet. I have phased out Mares and Aqua Lung and trying to get rid of Cressi, the most problematic regulators. I am keeping the Scubapro and Atomic only for my personal and dive school use, everything else was either sold or waiting to be sold. I am an active diver/uw photographer and active instructor.


For your profile, the Atomic will require least service and will be most cost effective compared with the others. If your B2 doesn't have a sealed first stage, you can have it sealed. Titanium Atomic regulator will be the most resistant to corrosion but that is not cheap (especially the TFX) but it is worth it for me, I am getting the TFX very soon. Even the least expensive Atomic regulator, the Z2 will be great (but it doesn't have the hose with the swivel).


Can you please elaborate and tell us why you say:
It also requires more cleaning/maintenance than maybe others
 
This may sound harsh, but it sounds more like you need to revisit proper regulator care than trying to find something more maintenance free.

Aside from that, a sealed diaphragm first might be a good choice.

Last option is a stupid simple unbalanced first like a ScubaPro MK2 and a high performance balanced second with a polymer air barrel so the only metal in the second is the spring, lever, and maybe the orifice. This would drop the cost of maintenance greatly, but you still need to take care of your gear rinsing/soaking it in CLEAN water properly.
 
This may sound harsh, but it sounds more like you need to revisit proper regulator care than trying to find something more maintenance free.


Yes, ^^^^ is probably the issue not the B2.
 
What about your B2 is driving more cleaning/maintenance? Is it sealed?
 
The problem area for me seem to be the second stages (primary and octo). Even though I clean them, after (nearly) every day of diving - very occasionally day #2, over time the salt build up becomes a problem so something is not getting a good flag/rinse. The (sealed) first stage still seems good with general maintenance.
 
You should be soaking your regs in freshwater. A rinse alone isn't going to get all the salt out. Give them a good rinse, run water through the mouthpiece and diaphram cover. Then soak them for several hours, ideally overnight. After the regs have been soaking for a bit, it's also a good idea to run a little extra water into the rinse or swirl it around a bit to help move the dissolved salt
 
Yeah soaking overnight is probably a good idea if you skip days of rinsing, especiallly. It always seemed to make a big difference for me wrt corrosion, there should never be long term salt deposition.
 
The problem area for me seem to be the second stages (primary and octo). Even though I clean them, after (nearly) every day of diving - very occasionally day #2, over time the salt build up becomes a problem so something is not getting a good flag/rinse. The (sealed) first stage still seems good with general maintenance.


Does your tap water have high mineral content? I "occasionally" soak my regulators in bottled water (10L bottles). Also, if you are using the same rinse bucket many other divers use, the water in the rinse bucket maybe closer to sea water than to fresh water.
 

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