FAQ about SCUBA hoses

Products - SCUBA Hoses

FAQ about SCUBA HOSES
The choice is largely a matter of personal preference, the price is about the same. Rubber hoses haven't changed significantly since the beginning of diving. Compared to rubber, the braided flex hoses (introduced in the early 2000's) are much lighter weight and much more flexible. Depending on hose lengths, a regulator setup using flex hoses is going to be about 2 pounds lighter than comparable rubber hoses. Some divers prefer the weight, but frequent flyers often choose flex over all other considerations when they want to travel as light as possible. Flex hoses are sometimes promoted as more durable than rubber and while true it is also irrelevant because you should replace your hoses every five years of service regardless. A few of the early flex hoses had an issue with the material of the inner lining, but that issue was addressed long ago and should not be a factor in your decision. Today, we can detect no difference in reliability for either material and we can also say that braided flex substantially outsells rubber.

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.

Yes, we have a solution. BC integrated alternate air sources are sold under a variety of different brands and models, but often referred to generically as an "Air2" after the most common one. We offer high-flow adapters that allow any length standard regulator hose to be converted into a quick disconnect hose for BC integrated alternate air sources. For more information visit DGX Adapter: LP Reg Hose = BC Integrated 2nd Stage.

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 older Apeks, Dacor, and Mares 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 hose compatibility issues and often require special hose fittings or adapters.

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.

There are no standard lengths for sidemount hose configurations because most experienced sidemount divers carefully optimize their sidemount rig, thus we don't offer sidemount hose "kits". The type of sidemount harness used, type of cylinders, whether the regulator low-pressure ports are fixed or swivel, plus exactly how the tanks are rigged and carried will all affect the lengths needed.

As a starting point we can only offer some observations regarding typical configurations with swivel turret regulators and aluminum 80 cylinders diving our harnesses. Many divers prefer a {60 in | 1.5 m} regulator hose on their left side configuration, but some divers still prefer the {84 in | 2.1 m} LP hose. The right side LP hose is typically { 22 in | 56 cm } but some divers find they prefer a slightly different length that depends on how they like to route their right side hose. The lengths of the inflator hoses are especially sensitive to causing A-framing, but about { 22 in | 56 cm } is typical for BC hoses. High-pressure hoses are typically either { 6 in | 15 cm } or { 9 in | 23 cm } depending on how the SPG is rigged for sidemount but a few divers prefer using a { 24 in | 61 cm } HP 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.

We have seen problems caused by the Schrader valve core becoming partially unseated (or not properly seated during initial assembly) inside the female hose fitting; that's corrected by using a Schrader Valve Tool to tighten the core back in place. We've also seen slow leaks resolved by replacing the worn 011 O-ring located inside the barrel of the female hose fitting, although replacing that O-ring in the QD is challenging to do without a QD O-ring insertion tool and most consumers just replace the entire hose.

The short answer is that the white stuff extruding from the body of the new hose is adhesive, and of no concern. The longer answer is that all SCUBA hoses are constructed of several layers of different materials, and then covered in an outer jacket of either rubber or braided polyester that is adhered together with adhesive. With a very freshly manufactured hose exposed to heat during shipping or direct sunlight, a small amount of the adhesive might extrude out of tiny pin holes in a rubber jacket or between the braids of the polyester strands on a flex jacket. It is not a defect or failure in the hose, and does not mean the hose is leaking now or going to leak in the future. The adhesive will wear off naturally or can be washed off if you wish, and is of no consequence or concern. Regardless, the best practice for dive equipment care is to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as the heat and UV from strong sunlight can shorten equipment service life.

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.