Eye Opening Results Over a Two Year Period With The Aqualung ACD
I’m sure most divers at some stage have rinsed their regulator off after a days diving and forgotten to put the dust cap in place – why it’s called a dust cap is a bit of a mystery, it’s main purpose is to keep moisture out of your first stage and maybe calling it something more appropriate might trigger good habits in new divers. The auto closure device (ACD) on Aqualung systems has been around for a while but getting it fitted now in the long run can save money and reduce the risk of failure for the more forgetful/lazy divers amongst us.
More Damage Than You Think
If you’ve let clean fresh water into your first stage then simply letting it dry before you use it again should avert any problems but if you’re using a rinse tank that other divers have already used then for sure there will be some salt in the tank, this will overtime damage your system. Not only can it cause corrosion inside your first stage but your entire system. Corrosion in the pressure gauge is of great concern and can result in false readings or the needle sticking completely – frequently tapping your finger on the gauge during a dive is a good habit to get into.
How Does It Work?
It’s a one way valve that is opened only when the first stage of your yoke valve is firmly attached to your tank. Mechanical pressure from screwing your first stage onto your tank depresses the ACD and allows for a normal gas flow, when you release your first stage after a dive the ACD will automatically seal the first stage and keep 1 bar of pressure in your system so no water or other contaminants can get in. The upgrade kit is now available for all Aqualung first stages, it simply fits onto the inlet of the first stage.
No water or contaminants can get into your system during rinsing or storage. Your regulators will maintain peak performance for a longer time, the first stage will retain its internal lubrication longer, reduces the chance of damage and false readings on your pressure gauge and is safer for nitrox use. Quite a list!
What We’ve Found
2 years ago we fitted half of our 40 school regulators with the auto closure device and the result has been quite staggering. The year before fitting the ACD we had to change 20 pressure gauges. After fitting ACD just 5 had to be replaced all on the non ACD fitted regulators. There was also a huge difference to the inside of the first stage, the regs fitted with ACD were pristine and only needed hand cleaning, the non ACD regs as usual needed ultrasound cleaning to remove oxidisation. Needless to say we’ll be converting all of our regulator sets to ACD at the next service.
In Thailand the ACD converter retails at THB 3,000 (US$85). Roughly the same price as a new pressure gauge. So if your service engineer gives you a disapproving look when you hand over your regs this simple device maybe the ideal solution for you.
Posted in Equipment We Like on .