Regulators. What are they and why so many types?

Written By : Armand Coetzer
February 2, 2020

Throughout the years regulators have been upgraded and redesigned, every step and every upgrade is one step closer to getting a better flow of air and better comfort that also increases durability. As a scuba diver you will always have 2 regulators in your total diving system. The primary regulator is the one that you will be breathing from, the secondary regulator is +- 30cm longer in hose length so that your buddy can breathe from your cylinder while still remaining within reach of the air sharing buddy.

All regulators have a failsafe in them that will make the unit “free flow” or gush out air, so no matter what happens to the regulator it will not stop giving you air unless your cylinder is empty… this however can be simulated by pushing the purge button in the middle of your regulator. The purge function can be useful for not only

There are 2 types of regulators, the first will be the open regulator that lets water through the unit as it works, the second regulator is an environmentally sealed unit, which means that your regulator and the inside parts will not freeze even in -0 degree temperatures.

There are many types as well as shapes and sizes, how do you know which one will work the best for you? The most popular brand is the Mares Rover set. This regulator is the top regulator for schools as it does not break easy but is also made for comfort and maintains a good breathing rate while in strenuous use.

Advanced divers can start looking toward the Mares/Scubapro range of regulators that are a little more expensive such as the fusion 52x made by Mares, it is designed so the diver can breathe easy but when needed with the twist of 1 knob you can increase the output capability 2x stronger. The Scubapro s600 is made for a very sensitive breather and is made to last with the hard abs plastic housing.

Interested in buying a regulator set?

The regulator is what keeps the diver breathing, so finding the correct version is vitally important. As a beginner I would recommend something easy to use and to maintain as well as cost effective. Being an advanced diver, you can start looking towards buying something more to your own specific needs while keeping comfort in a very high regard. Professionals can look toward something in the Durable but comfort level, this is where the regulators start getting expensive, and the more parts on the inside to create easy flow of air…the more parts need to be replaced when servicing the equipment.

Regulators last for a very long time if the diver keeps the unit clean as well as out of the sun so the hoses does not perish. Washing a regulator is easy, as long as you do not push the purge button in the middle of the regulator (This lets water into the hoses) you can rinse and disinfect your regulator after every dive.

Different mouthpieces can create a different feel while diving, if you grind/bite your teeth while diving you should get a mouthpiece that can be hard enough to resist the wear. The best one all-round is the moldable mouthpiece, it functions like a gum guard and is formed to the shape of your teeth, so you don’t have to bite down on the mouthpiece to keep it in your mouth. Regulators are a very important part in the total diving system, keep them maintained and the regulator will keep going for a very long time.