FREE FLOWING REGULATORS TIPS AND TRICKS
Free flowing regulator skill is an important skill to master, though it’s very unlikely you’ll ever use it. Here you’ll find all you need to know about this open water skill.
Why do we need the free flowing regulator skill?
Scuba regulators have a fail safe mechanism designed to free flow incase of malfunction, instead of cutting your air supply. It’s all thanks to a simple downstream valve, which when flawed will always stay opened rather than closed. It’s very unlikely your regulator ever free flow non stop. It’s more likely the regulator will stop free flowing when facing its mouth piece down. In case the regulator doesn’t stop free flowing you need to know how to breathe from it. Breathing normally from a free flowing regulator is uncomfortable and risky due to the force of air bubbles flow. As you may run out of air quickly this way, the free flow regulator skill is timed for 30 seconds, enough time to slowly ascend to the surface without risking yourself fue to a rapid ascent.
Reasons for a free flowing regulator might be:
- Non existing environmental seal on a very cold water dive.
- Diving in silt, sand and gravel that might get stuck on the second stage’s valves.
- Ill maintained scuba regulator.
Free flowing regulator skill objectives
Where to practice the free flow regulator skill?
How to master the free flow regulator skill?
- Kneel on the sand, empty your BCD completely.
- Take a deep breathe and pull the regulator out. Remember to keep exhaling and never hold your breathe.
- Method A: Place a finger at the middle of the mouth piece and place the regulator close to you mouth so that the finger prevents it from entering your mouth fully.
Method B: Pull the left side of the regulator’s mouth piece out while gently biting on its right side, thus breaking the seal of your leaps around the regulators mouth piece.
- Tilt your head to the right. A lot of bubbles are coming out of solution, tilting the head simply prevents bubbles from pulling the scuba mask from your face, or blocking your view. Tilting the head to the right is easier due to the second stage hose coming from the right side of the regulator, and tilting the head to the left side may be difficult or uncomfortable.
- Push the regulators purge button to simulate a free flow regulator scenario.
- Don’t seal your lips on the mouth piece. Simply sip the air from the regulator.
Free flowing regulator tutorial video
Free flowing regulator tips and tricks.
- Always check the air supply prior to practicing free flow regulator skill, as it uses air very fast.
- Note that your lips might feel dry and very cold due to air flow.
- Some feel more comfortable elevating the tongue against the mouths palate to avoid sipping water accidentally.
- As air might break the scuba masks seal against your face, or in extreme cases even knock it off, it’s recommended you hold your mask while performing this skill.
- You may need to clear your mask from water at the end of the skill.