Update on St. Vincent's Snark III...
- You may remember how enthused I was about the condition of the original hoses on this regulator? Well, they had taken a stiff set with the mouthpiece held very close to the regulator body. I hung the regulator body on the wall and hoped the hoses would migrate outward under their own weight. This was in May. Just a few weeks ago I looked up and saw one of the hoses had actually torn away at the horn. So much for original hoses.
- I finally got around to servicing this regulator last night and "servicing" is really all I had to do to it. Insides were pristine.
- First step after removing the old hoses was to check the Over Pressure valve (OPV). This is on the back exterior and is actually the "3rd" stage. Since the 1st stage is downstream, an OPV is needed in case the 1st stage leaks. So, I wanted to be sure the OPV is working fine before putting anything under pressure. It had a tiny bit of watermarks and corrosion but all cleaned up easily with a Q-Tip and food grade silicon lube.
- Next I removed the front can and diaphram. The diaphragm looks fine but I replaced it with a new VDH Mistral diaphragm. More importantly, the big mushroom exhaust valve is in excellent shape... Those are hard to come buy when you need to replace one.
- My two previous Snark III projects had leaky 1st stage diaphragms. So to check for that on this one, I mounted the regulator to a 3000 psi scuba tank and gently eased the pressure on. First there is no leak at the OPV. Second, there are no leaks coming from the first stage IP adjustment... Sprayed this area with soapy water and no leaks. I DID notice that the lever is a compound linkage like a USD Mistral... So it was VERY easy to depress. I began to suspect this will be a VERY EASY BREATHER.
- At this point there was nothing left to do but close her up and install a hose loop. I installed the VDH EDPM hoses with a curved Voit mouthpiece. Hooked it up to a 3000 psi tank and test breathed... Wow. I compared it to my other Snark IIIs (easy breathers as well) and I think it breathes even easier than they do! I'll have to wait 'til the 3rd Sunday in Dec to test it in the "open swim" public pool.