Technical q&a Forum

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Question
Posted : February 21, 2007
Hi, I'd like a course that gives me technical training to repair regulators, - dive gear in general. While they're ten to a penny in the USA it's hard to find one here. Does anyonme specialise in this or offer such a course? Thanks. Gary in London.

Answer
Posted : February 21, 2007
Hi Gary,

This is somewhat in part a thorn as it is a responsible act. The training in this area is (at the moment?) highly restricted to suppliers/stockists of the various equipment manufacturers – each doing their own training (understandably) for their own regulators.

No one really offers a pan regulator – or pan equipment detailed servicing course to my knowledge (compare this to the car industry where you can do the specialised detailed training then learn the quirks etc through manuals &/or additional training for each of the suppliers and their models etc). At the moment access to spares is also highly controlled.

A few courses do exists for the basic servicing and repairs – but we are talking hoses, o-rings, mouthpieces, minor adjustments etc – not servicing. As a technical instructor and explorer I found doing some of this technical/specialist training invaluable – even though I can service regulators etc – I don’t. I use this skill to understand problems and solve problems underwater – I also know in the field how to solve problems and fix them inside my own kit. I do not consider that a service or fix other than that moment of need for myself – i.e. my own personal use.

This is an area I haven’t discussed, but have often wondered personally though, how this stacks up when it comes to Fair Trading, although it is one I do have a lot of sympathy with the approach of the manufacturers as liability of repairs can have as much damage to reputation as it can the consequences to the individual concerned. This is why some technical servicing facilities at some dive shops and sites do not do ‘certain’ regulators or BCD’s etc. As each service technician has had to do each and every manufacturers course somewhere between free to the facility/site and several hundred pounds a shot!!! Try doing that every other year as many of these are only valid for two years….

The US is a very buoyant marketplace for diving and I don’t know why these courses are widely available – roll on that happening here! The motor industry turned itself around and put its turnover margin into spares and not soley into the exclusivity of servicing. We all need to be careful what we wish for – I know many servicing centres find the very low margins in this work and very high costs to operate a good servicing centre make them very unattractive business propositions – we all want servicing at rock bottom prices – for what is largely life saving equipment – it’s a difficult problem.

On a different tangent if the Scuba Kit is used for teaching work or Hire then do be very careful about self repair and maintenance. Those undertaking such work (including part time and freelance instructors and dive leaders) have a legal duty of care to have the servicing and maintenance of all of their kit ACCORDING to manufacturer’s recommendations. This must be able to be proved in terms of proper paperwork proving this work has been done and to what standard and by persons so qualified to be able to fulfil those Manufacturers Recommendations.

Look up those businesses offering Equipment Speciality courses and be specific with the school(s) as to what you want to get out of it. Search google with ‘equipment speciality courses’.

Happy hunting. If you wanted a bit more than this, post me a reply on the forum and I’ll have another think…
Answer provided by ADM Diving

Andrew Dawson-Maddocks
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