FAQ about SCUBA hoses

Products - SCUBA Hoses

FAQ about SCUBA HOSES

In July 2019, Dive Gear Express was notified of a safety concern regarding specific lots of low-pressure rubber regulator hoses. The rubber hose material is now suspected of not adhering to the ANSI Z86 7.1 standard for low-pressure hoses. Although we are not aware of any specific failure mode as a result, in theory it means the hose could fail during normal operation and the diver could sustain serious injury or loss of life. The hoses have a month-year code for date of assembly stamped on the ferrule of the fitting. Any rubber regulator hose purchased from Dive Gear Express between February 2018 and July 2019 with a five-character date code between D0218 and D0918 should immediately be removed from service. For further details please read Rubber Low-Pressure Regulator Hose Safety Notice.

The suspect hoses were sold through a very wide variety of wholesale and retail outlets, but our safety notice ONLY applies to hoses sold by Dive Gear Express during the dates mentioned. The notice also only applies to regulator hoses used in breathing applications, not low-pressure BC inflation or high-pressure SPG hoses, even though they may also have similar identification codes.

The Miflex™ extreme performance braided flex SCUBA hoses are manufactured in Italy with more than thirty individual performance and safety automated tests. We stock only black color hoses except for the 40-inch regulator hose, although Miflex brand low pressure hoses are manufactured in a rainbow of colors available from other retailers. Miflex hoses are distributed in the US by XS Scuba and are individually packaged with a reusable vinyl pouch.

DGX Premium braided flex SCUBA hoses are manufactured in Taiwan. The finished hoses are pressure tested by the manufacturers and each are again tested by us immediately prior to shipping to the consumer. The DGX Premium hoses are manufactured to our specification for length and thus are available in an exceptionally broad range of individual lengths. Our unbranded generic hoses have a lower retail price as a result of being sourced directly from the manufacturer in bulk packaging.

Cosmetics, construction, and flexibility of the low pressure braided hoses are similar with only minor differences between Miflex and DGX, but the high pressure versions are significantly different. The Miflex high pressure hose outside diameter is a third thinner, more flexible and includes protectors on the fittings to improve impact resistance. The DGX Premium high pressure hose includes a woven Kevlar layer creating a typical outside diameter that better fits consoles and boots.

All hoses are designed to meet CE EN250 standards and are Nitrox Ready. Our long experience with the branded Miflex and generic DGX Premium hoses has been both have similar reliability in the field. Regardless of brand, every product we sell is backed by Dive Gear Express 5-star quality customer service.

The first stages of modern SCUBA regulators have 3/8-inch 'Low-Pressure Ports'. The second stages of modern SCUBA regulators have 9/16-inch fittings to connect the regulator hose to the second stage body. These fittings are very standardized and your regulator almost certainly is compatible with these same fittings on our LP regulator hoses. However, there are a few rare exceptions: A few brands of first stages include one special low-pressure port that is 1/2-inch, notably some Apex and older Aqualung models. For these rare exceptions we stock first stage port adapters.

Older Poseidon brand second stages are also a special case. Historically, Poseidon incorporated the OPV for their upstream second stages in a unique fitting on the end of their non-standard low-pressure second stage hose. In 2008 Poseidon updated their designs (the Mk3 designation) to no longer require a Poseidon-specific low-pressure regulator hose, but we do have a solution for using standard regulator hoses with vintage Xstream and Jetstream second stages. Cyklon regulators have unique compatibility issues, for more information see our Poseidon Cyklon Regulator page.

A few brands of second stages used with full face masks have a unique fitting, notably the Interspiro AGA models. In fact the fitting is generally referred to as the 'AGA' fitting. For the rare AGA and Poseidon exceptions we also stock LP regulator hose to second stage swivels that adapt their unique second stage fittings to standard hoses.

The first stages of modern SCUBA regulators have 7/16-inch female 'High-Pressure Ports' and every analog submersible pressure gauge (SPG) uses a 7/16-inch male fitting that mates with a female swivel fitting on the other end of the HP hose. These fittings are very standardized and are almost certainly compatible with these same fittings on our HP hoses. Some early vintage (perhaps better described as 'antique') first stages have the high-pressure port size same as a 3/8-inch low-pressure port, but these are extremely uncommon (and dangerous.) For these rare exceptions we stock first stage port adapters.

All submersible pressure gauges also use an air spool with two tiny #003 O-rings to connect the male gauge fitting to the swivel connector on the HP hose female fitting. We always recommend replacing the air spool, or at least the O-rings, whenever you replace the HP hose. Almost all gauges use an air spool with a center flange. However, some inexpensive plastic body gauges use an air spool without the flange. If you have a plastic body gauge you will have to reuse the old air spool from the gauge with the new HP hose.

Some dive computers with an integrated digital pressure gauge, use a special proprietary quick disconnect HP hose that allows the computer to disconnect from the hose without using tools. That special hose is only available from a dealer for your dive computer. Most air integrated dive computer versions use a high-pressure quick disconnect adapter that works with a standard HP hose. Just to be clear, we are not talking about instrument console housings that contain an analog SPG, those work with a standard HP hose.

Most drysuit inflation valves used in recreational diving can accept a standard BC quick disconnect inflator hose, but need a longer length. For drysuit divers, where the hose routes under their arm to a chest mounted power-inflator, the typical length is {30 in | 76 cm} or sometimes {36 in | 91 cm} depending on the locations of the power-inflator relative to the first stage supply. However, most drysuit divers prefer a quick disconnect fitting with a wide flange that makes it easier to get a positive lock with the inflation fitting. To provide this popular drysuit inflation solution, we recommend our EZ-ON Quick Disconnect Adapter that works with any standard low-pressure regulator hose.

It's probably not the SPG or hose itself that's leaking. All high pressure SCUBA hoses use an air spool with two tiny #003 O-rings to mate the swivel connector on the female hose fitting to the male gauge fitting. If the air spool O-rings are worn, the assembly can have a slow leak around the swivel. Even when an O-ring has failed completely or the spool is omitted entirely, a tiny flow restriction present in the high pressure port of the regulator and/or the male hose fitting will cause a leak to be much slower than expected. We recommend replacing the air spool, or at least the spool O-rings, whenever replacing the hose. See our video on Leaking SPG Spool Replacement.

Measure the hose from outside end of the female fitting to the o-ring at the base of the male end (i.e. the threads on the male end are not included.) A variation of ± {0.5 in | 13 mm} is allowed on an un-pressurized hose and keep in mind that when pressurized, hoses will change in length anywhere from 2% longer to 4% shorter.

Yes, but it is not practical for us to supply custom length SCUBA hoses in small quantities. Hose manufacturers typically have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of at least 100 hoses in any custom length. Finished goods lengths are subject to variation that depends on the hose material and construction, but typically about ±0.5 inch. Manufacturing lead times are typically 90 days ARO. If those requirements are not an obstacle, please contact us to discuss your needs.

The Alert Diver article titled Air Hoses: A Closer Look has triggered some inquiries regarding material used in the construction of our double braided flex hoses. We've reached out to all our hose suppliers and they assure us we are not receiving any hose constructed with an inner lining of Polyester-based Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) that cause failure of the hose in hot and humid conditions. Regardless, all hose materials have a finite life time and best practice is replace all scuba hoses with over five years of service or 500 dives.

Dive Gear Express suggests replacing all SCUBA hoses every five years of service or 500 dives, whichever comes first. Keep in mind that all hoses will fail sooner or later either due to age, storage conditions or handling. Scuba hoses, regardless of brand and materials, require some minimal care. Do not allow hoses to receive prolonged exposure sunlight, as the heat and UV from strong sunlight will significantly shorten the life of the hose. Do not attempt to flush the inside of the hose with any form of solvent or other chemical, new hoses are factory clean and if you have any reason to think they are no longer clean then the hose should be replaced. Prior to every dive trip you should always pressurize and inspect your hoses for mechanical damage, corroded fittings, bulges and leaks.




     
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