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** stupid question time ( again  
 ) **

Was at Stoney yesterday and my Apex ATX-50 seemed to free-flow at about 5M, just by the Nautilius, finishing off my three minute stop,when I did a regulator exchange over to my pony regulator to test. As I removed the ATX-50 from my mouth, air continued to flow from the ATX-50, tried putting my hand into the mouthpiece to stop it, as I was shown on the surface during Open Water training, no joy, turned the breathing resistance down to minimum ( silver dial on side of reg ) and then turned the switch from + to -, the flow seemed to decrease but still a reduced flow.  

Did a few checks with the regulator whilst surfaced, putting it back into the water,  free flow continued in and out of the water, got it to stop by placing the regulator straight down but soon as I put the regulator in its normal position ( as if in my mouth ) the flow would start again.

Water temp was 7c, was this a free-flow due to the water temperature or is this a possible failing regulator ? One of the diving party was using Apex ATX50/40 as I was and didn't experience any issues.  Was under the impression that the Apex was able to cope with this sort of temperature ? Or is it worth putting it back to the dive shop, reg is only a couple of months old for investigation ?

Went in for a second dive on the same kit to test and experienced it again.

Would be nice to get into a pool and do some further tests but trying to get pool time locally is a hassle.

Thanks in advance for any advice

Andy
 

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I'm no expert, but I do have an ATX40 that had the same problem.

First time it was after I hadn't used it for a while, so I gave it a vigorous rinse at the surface and it cleared up, guessing that was probably some salt or dirt that had jammed in it.

The second time was after getting put on the bottom of the pile in a rib, that went away the next time I had it serviced.

If you are feeling brave I would consider taking it apart and giving it a good clean (there are instructions for that on the web), or taking it back to the shop. If it is still under warranty I would probably just try and take it in to an apex dealer and have them sort it.

Hope it helps

Conor
 

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P.S. its not a stupid question. If it is still flowing out of the water then there is something wrong.
 

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I've just tested it again, by filling the bath up and setting up a rig by the side, putting the reg into the bath and trying to breath from it, seemed okay, I could get it to flow by moving the regulator backward and forwards under water.

The reg is under warranty, may drop an email to the shop and see what they say.
 

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I had a similar problem on Saturday at Guildy - my Scubapro S600 started to gently freeflow after about 12 minutes.  Again, the reg is coldwater okay, so I was surprised by the freeflow.  However, this is the coldest I've used these regs.

Wanted to check it out since I'm off to Sharm at the weekend, so I popped into the LDS today.  They gave it the  okay and suggested the following to stop it doing this:

1. Keep the regs out of the cold before use - ie. don't leave your kit outside for ages before the dive.  My buddy had a problem while kitting up which left my equipment outside and unused for longer than usual.

2. Don't breathe off it in the buddy check.  I'd breathed in on mine, but not out.

3. Turn the flow dial in 1.5 turns before the dive starts.  Mine was in 1 turn (possibly different for your Apex regs).  After things had iced up, turning it in further is not going to have any affect until any icing has thawed.

HTH,
dan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Will drop Apex an email tomorrow morning asking for their opinion, shop I brought it from only opens a few days a week so won't be able to do anything till end of week / Saturday.

Andy
 

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Easiest check (for TX, think it's the same on ATX) - unscrew 2nd stage faceplate and check the lever height. It shouldn't stick up higher than the case - if it does, they've over-tuned it and it will be prone to freeflow.

Next check - IP gauge - too high an IP will make your most sensitive reg prone to freeflow.

If those are both OK, get the shop to look at it.
 

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I had a free flow off a brand-new ATX40 on leaping into the drink from a high boat - reg underneath.  Worked fine ever since after a shutdown though.

I have noticed a very gentle free flow out of the water on an ATX 50.  This was after a rough shore exit.  If you untwist the plastic front disk (and it's a b*gger to do) you can get at all the bits of stone which caused this particular freeflow.  It's worth checking there aren't a few bits lodged in there.  I think Dom posted a sequence of pictures showing you how to do it.
Other than that they've been great for me - hope you get yours fixed.
 

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Not Apex again.

I too will be speaking to them after all three of my ATX 40s leaked at Capernwray on Sunday. They have all been serviced at the factory and my octopus ATX40 has been back three times with the same problem. I even went to the factory and watched them sort it out and it seemed ok. But just try using it in the cold - every winter so far it has been a problem. Fourth time lucky??

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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A helpful response received from Apeks this morning.  Have emailed the dive shop asking if I can drop it in for them to take a look or is this something I can do ?

"The regulator definitely hasn't had a freeflow due to cold water conditions
it sounds like the regulator is set up a little too sensitively. I suggest
you take it back to your local dive shop and ask them to check the lever
height it will probably need a slight adjustment of the 2nd stage seat.
If you have any further queries don't hesitate to contact me."

Andy
 

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Andy,

Does the ATX have the knurled knob on the end like the TX 50 had? If it does then I suggest screwing this in a bit as this (if I can remember correctly) alters the cracking resistance of the reg.  

On my TX 50 I can easily get it to freeflow if this is backed of a few turns. There's an 'o' ring inside here as well that gets worn on one side and can cause a freeflow (time for a service) You can also just turn this 'o' ring around for 'field repairs' if necessary. It'll stop the freeflow for a while.

Regards, Ian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Brought the resistance dial all the way in, the flow reduced but didn't stop.  Thanks for the information, going to give it back to the shop tomorrow and see what is said.

Andy
 

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This is a bit of a familiar thing with APEX regs (see later for my thoughts on Scubapro) and is not a problem once you know how to deal with it or prevent it. I have 2 xTX50, 2x TX40 and my girlfriend has 2 x ATX50. Our club also has 30 sets of TX40s, so this is a reg and a problem I know quite well.

The bottom line is that if the venturi is set too loose (or on + on the TX40s) they will freeflow if the purge button is pressed or if the reg is held mouthpiece up while underwater (try pressing the purge button on it when in a warm house, the same will happen). Easy way to stop them is to chuck it in your mouth and breathe.  You can try setting the interstage pressure or adjusting the 2nd stage lever, I find this doesn't make much difference. I find that being careful and sensible will keep you out of problems

As to scubapro. The information given above seems to be the standard line. How a company can advise not breathing off your reg on the surface I am not sure. 2 members of our club have these regs and have had the same problem during summer and winter. They do not get a proper freeflow i.e uncontrolled bubbing, but a slow trickle of bubbles. I think their regs were eventually replaced.

Hope this helps

Paul
 

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Hi Andy

Mine to are going back to the factory, see thread on ATX 40s, if you want them done on warranty, stay clear of "home" improvements. This whole thing seems considerably rare on the TX range, it's the ATX that suffers.

James  
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>A thing that can cause this problem is not rinsing your kit properly after use, it is good to soak in warm water as well, especially if you think your kit will become bone dry, due to storing in a centrally heated house. Salt crystals are little buggers and form all over the place.

Turning down the venturi assist, will only stop a free flow caused by air flow, i.e. dropping your rag diaphragm down into water, it will have no effect on a free flow caused for any other reason. The cracking resistance adjustment button on the side of lots of regs does exactly that, adjust cracking resistance, and IMHO should be turned up until the reg free flows and then turned down until the free flow just stops, I should add, tuning and detuning your reg will wear out the seat in the second stage.

I would also not recommend removing the second stage cover from Scubapro regs to adjust the height of the lever, as this is set with the cover in place and is hard to get right any other way.

Not breathing from your reg while your 1st stage is still in air is a normal suggestion, AFAIAC for cold weather diving, I am not suggesting that you should not test your reg before starting the dive just that you do it with the first stage immersed in water, it is possible to have an air temp of minus deg C but minus deg C would make water quite hard.
 

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<font color='#000080'>We had a similar problem on my wifes ATX50/ATX40s.
I spoke to the Tech Support Guy at Apeks (we had a dive booked the next day) and he talked me through the adjustment process.

You should be able to press the purge valves about 2mm before any air is released... some regs are set too sensitive, so as the seats bed in, they become even more sensitive and liable to a constant leak/freeflow.

Fixing it was simply a case of GENTLY adjusting the screw in the inlet until the purge button had 2mm travel..

abucks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Well had no response to my mail sent to the dive shop, so wife took the ATX50/40s back into the shop this morning and they confirmed they'd received my mail.  

Just have to wait and see if they'll make any adjustments.

Andy
 
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