HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE YOUR SCUBA DIVING REGULATOR ?

OUR TIPS TO CHOOSE YOUR SCUBA DIVING REGULATOR 

CHOOSE ACCORDING TO YOUR SPORT AND DEPTH

conseil choisir détendeur plongée piston simple subea

SIMPLE PISTON REGULATOR

Recommended for level 1 or 2 divers, the simple piston regulator should be used for dives down to a maximum depth of 20 m. Consequently, this type of regulator is used in diving clubs.

conseil choisir détendeur plongée piston compensé subea

THE BALANCED PISTON REGULATOR

For dives over 20 m down, use a balanced piston regulator. Depending on your planned dive, you can also adapt systems such as anti-freeze for cold water or even the venturi (or vortex) to make it easier to breath when you are at great depth.

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  BALANCED DIAPHRAGM REGULATOR

The same as for the balanced piston, the balanced diaphragm regulator is recommended for dives over 20 m deep. On the other hand, it is rather more recommended for dives in heavily polluted water, dirty or very cold environments as the system is isolated from the ambient environment.

HOW DOES A DIVING REGULATOR WORK ?

As its name suggests, it "regulates the air".

Your diving cylinder is filled with very high pressure air: up to 230 Bar (B) or more rarely 300 B. Specifically, this means that your cylinder contains 200 times its volume. So, for a 12 l cylinder inflated at 200 B, you have 2,400 litres of air on your back. But when it has been compacted so much, the air is too dense to be used directly by your lungs. The regulator, as its name suggests, is going to "regulate the air" in the cylinder to make it consumable.
Modern regulators now have 2 stages :
- the first stage, fixed on the cylinder, makes the pressure drop from 200 B to 10 or 15 B.
- the second stage adapts the average pressure to ambient pressure, from the surface to 60 m.
All regulators, from the bottom of the range to little titanium beauties, are subject to strict European standards and rigorous testing. This thereby guarantees your minimum safety and makes breathing comfortable. Furthermore, regulator mouthpieces are interchangeable : do not hesitate to test several in order to improve your comfort. At Subea, we have even brought in orthodontists as partners to manufacture the mouthpieces.

YOUR REGULATOR AS A MODULE

There are different outlets on a diving regulator that are :
- average pressure that concerns the 2nd stage, the direct system and the octopus.
- high pressure for the pressure gauge.
Using modules will help you organise the different hoses on the left and right of your head. You can also install a swivel head on your regulator to make it easier to organise the hoses.

CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A DIVING REGULATOR

There are several types of regulators, each with its own characteristics.
conseil choisir détendeur plongée configuration int subea

         INT / YOKE SYSTEM

Fitted with 2 O-rings for sealing, meaning half as many leaks! But this system is often more fragile and delicate to handle.

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                 DIN SYSTEM

Light and compact, the DIN system lets you use cylinders inflated at 300 Bar. On the other hand, it just has one O-ring.

conseil choisir détendeur INT plongée sous marine subea

UNBALANCED DIVING REGULATOR

This is the most common type of regulator used in diving clubs. The unbalanced version is designed for divers who do not go down more than 20 metres. It can be fitted with an INT or DIN configuration for fastening the cylinder. 

conseil choisir détendeur INT plongée sous marine subea

BALANCED DIVING REGULATOR

The balanced piston regulator is recommended for dives over 20 m deep. It comes in DIN and INT configurations. Some regulators have systems adapted to your sport such as anti-freeze for cold water or even the venturi effect that makes it easier to breath in by means of an acceleration of the air intake.

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REGULATOR PACK

There are also regulator packs that include a regulator, a pressure gauge and an octopus. You have several choices of configuration: DIN or INT system, simple or balanced piston, etc.

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THE PRICE OF THE DIVING REGULATOR

There are regulators for all budgets

Going up the range, you have balanced regulators with a swivel head to arrange your hoses perfectly. Models get smaller, lighter (particularly thanks to the use of carbon or even titanium) and more flexible to use. But it's best to test out your future regulator in real conditions, at least in a pool. Why not make the most of your diving centre to try different models? Often, there's nothing like it to know whether the exhaust tees - the part that guides the air bubbles you breath out - are effective: they must be wide enough to keep your field of vision clear of your bubbles.

MAINTAINING YOUR DIVING REGULATOR

We do not waiver from our rule: all diving equipment deserves maintenance!

Would you like a few tips for maintaining your diving regulator? Check out our specially dedicated recommendations for upkeep without forgetting to send it for a check over!

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ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

alexandre vendeur decathlon toulon
Alexandre, salesperson at Toulon Decathlon

I have been a salesperson at Toulon Decathlon and a dive instructor for 4 years. Before joining Decathlon, I was in the marines where I took part in many operational dives. This was when I took the army diving certificate that is now equivalent to FFESSM level 3.

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