Apropos of the above, Paul (JJFlash) gave this article on Divernet in answer to another question on free-flwoing regs. Well worth a read for those using regs in cold-fresh water......that'll be all of us then
Freeflows can happen from first and/or second stages.
We've all seen second stages freeflow - when people first get in the water and their reg bubbles away until they turn it over or lift it out of the water. They can also go off if theres a bit of crap or ice in the workings.
Second stage flows are more tricky.
Usually due to icing but sometimes can be component failiure/maintenence related.
If the first stage freezes, usually due to water temp and usage (the quicker the air passes thru the stage,the greater the temp drop), It wont usually stop until you turn the cylinder off. When the first stage is flowing the second cant contain the pressure so is forced to flow - handy really cos it saves your hose.
Sorry if its a bit long winded, i'm still high on dotty!
What I do is keep my tanks in the trunk (booth) of the truck and leave the heather going. I would have set up my wings and regs from home. After I get into my dry suit, then I sling on the tanks and hurry to the edge. The only stop is to rinse the mask and wear my fins. DO NOT LEAVE THE TANKS IN THE COLD OVER NIGHT!!!!!!!!
During this winter, here in South Western Ontario we had an average of -17c. We had a few days at -36c and even fewer highs of -2c. I still manage to find a spot even when the mercury was in the high teens (below zero that is). The trick is to take care not to expose the metal to the frigid cold --- once you're submerged you would reach 3 or 4deg above freezing very quickly. This will reduce the chance of free flows.
I recommend not to breath while in the surface nor inflate the suit and wing. If you have to wait for buddy, do that in 3m of water. The other thing is the breathing rate -- keep this steady and under control. Unless you flood your suit or mask you shouldn't gasp for air. In that case you're in deep sh1t any ways. I found that these details minimize the chance of free flows. Some folks might also bring up the "brands" of regs in the dicussion >>>>>> I use the Oceanic DX4 1st stages with delta sub zeros and I also use an Alpha 7 on my deco tank. There are several good cold water regs out there.
For safety always dive with an alternate source and make sure that the surface could be reached even if all the regs free flow. It is a bit hard on those teeth fillings to ascend with a free flowing reg but it isn’t impossible.
Take care and don't let the cold stop you from diving.
This is where one of my dislikes for Apeks originated."Long ago" blah blah,Apeks released their latest reg,I forget which one in particular but I'm going back to possibly pre Manta days here.Various people told the designers that there would be problems in UK/cold water with free flows when asked,but depite this the reg was released and was soon blowing off merily everywhere in cold water etc.
This is'nt the problem I have,lots of regs,especially then,would free flow in these conditions.Apeks response however was to release this bloody thing to overcome the problem.
The feeling was that if "it" had been right in the 1st place there would'nt have been any need for it.Re-design can be expensive for a small company(as it was)so an alternative was sought and here it is.
At best it's compensating for inadequate design.How would you feel if a starting handle was an option on your new car?Thankfully now they're much better!!!!
Actually, I've heard some convincing arguments from some people lamenting the demise of a starting handle on cars, wouldn't want to try using one on my diesel though
Re freeflows and Apeks regs, in the 4 or 5 years I've been using my TX40s, I've only once had a free flow on them, and that was due to purging it to fill a dSMB (in January at Capernwray), and partially because I was messing about with the 'tuning' the day before. I just tweaked the allen screw on the LH side of the reg to re-adjust for winter conditions, mind you I do mean a "tweak", ie about a 16th of a turn, and no, I'm not recommending home servicing of reg sets by unqualified personnel (in case anyone does this and their family sues me ! uttahere: )
No,I don't think they have any problems at all now,the later generations of regs up to and including the TX range were fine,in fact I've never had a problem with Mantas either.
My beef was with their device and reasons behind its introduction.The starting handle was the only comparison I could think of at the time!
I thought you were going to Andydales'on Saturday night Steve,I took my Old Man's Aga Twinverts up.
Lawrence D gives some good advice above. I'm diving in extremely cold water at the moment as we've had a long, cold winter. We're used to the temperature in the sea being zero at the surface but the last time I dived (last Thursday evening) it was still zero at 15 m, which is unheard of (it's usually about 4 Celsius at this time of the year at that depth). My TX40s have never free-flowed under water but one did free-flow on land, for the first time ever, a couple of months ago (the air temperature being minus 7). I had come to trust it so much that I was in the habit of test-breathing it before jumping in, against all the recommendations. This time, I paid for doing that. I haven't done it since.
As regrds Apeks' free-flow control device, I suppose it could save a dive, provided you had 2 DVs on your reg. Even if it didn't, it might save an expensive nitrox fill for another dive. Maybe I should get a couple.
(Edited by John Gulliver at 12:54 pm on Feb. 24, 2003)
Hey John, you want to come and help me move these 20 inches of snow from my driveway? LOL We were dumped on quite nicely over the weekend. When is it going to calm down, this winter? Today with the wind it feels like -19C. That's when you want to shield the regs and tank from the cold and find that 4 deg spot in the water very quickly. At least I can say that mostly when it is this cold the water is clear here. Marine life tends to hang out in very deep areas at this time of year. One would find it hard to believe that in the late summer months the water in certain areas can get as high as 19 to 20C even at 40 or 50 meters of dept.
Sorry Hobby, I feel bad now that you put yourself out on my account, I will have to recompense you with some "neck-oil" when we do meet up
I was indeed going to go but got asked to do some instructing with my old club, it's kinda hard top say no to their DO when he's peddling hard luck stories about trainees desperate to get in the water.