Quick Disconnects - Low Flow
These quick disconnect fittings are suitable for low flow applications using the dive industry Schrader fittings found on BC and Drysuit power inflators.
Quick-Disconnect Compatibility and Lack Thereof
Divers are sometimes surprised to learn there is NO universal standard that defines the precise shape and exact dimensions of the common Shrader valve quick-disconnect ( QD ) fittings found on power inflators and low-pressure inflation hoses used in SCUBA. This can cause compatibility issues with the connection: the fittings will not securely connect and can self-disconnect without any overt user action; the fittings will securely connect but gas will not flow; the fittings will connect but will exhibit slow leaks. There is the further complication that the common Shrader valve QD fittings are not suitable for high-flow, so QD fittings found on BC integrated second-stages use something else entirely.
The Shrader male posts can be broadly divided in to two categories: a more widely seen post with a shorter barrel and a raised bridge across the top, or a much less common post with a slightly longer barrel and a flat top. In our experience, the flat top post seems more likely to be encountered in the UK and to a lesser extent in Europe; it's almost never seen in North America or Asia. Hoses designed to fit one category of post are less likely to be compatible with the other. However, even within the bridge top post design we have encountered occasional incompatibilities, usually when there is many years difference in age between the male and female fittings. We have seen problems caused by the Shrader valve core becoming partially unseated (or not properly seated during initial assembly) inside the female hose fitting; that's corrected by using a Shrader 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 good news is these incompatibilities are very rare; all the low-pressure BC hoses we sell are compatible with the Shrader valve post found on our replacement power inflator as well as the inflators on all the wings we sell. If you are concerned about compatibility, the best strategy might be to replace the power inflator and hose simultaneously from the same source. Keep in mind that if your BC hose is more than five years old, best practice is to replace it anyway.