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July 2004 Vol. 19, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Two Equipment Problems with Aqualung/Seaquest Gear

from the July, 2004 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

ABS Regulator May Leak, Leading to Water Aspiration

Aqua Lung (formerly U.S. Divers) has found that under certain circumstances, the edges of one or both of the exhaust valves on the ABS Octopus can lodge between two of the spokes of the seating surface. In this event the unit could leak, "possibly leading to aspiration of water, which in turn could lead to panic, injury, or death."

Product Manager Tom Phillip told Undercurrent that the problem was discovered when a regulator was being rinsed with a high pressure hose. Subsequent jump tests have indicated that the problem could also occur if the valves hit the water at just the right (or wrong) angle during an entry from a dive boat.Aqua Lung maintains that the problem will not occur during a dive.

Aqua Lung has redesigned the grid that covers the exhaust valves and requests that all ABS Octopus regulators be brought into local, authorized Aqua Lung Dealers. The replacement procedure is quick and can usually be done while you wait.

Powerline Hose May Leak, Preventing BCD Inflation

Some ribbed hoses on the Powerline Airway have been tearing at the top near the dual exhaust valve, preventing the BCD from holding air. A diver in the water would need to ditch weights or rely on a buddy for buoyancy.

According to Phillip, a European user -- who fortunately was not injured as a result of the tear -- brought the problem to Aqua Lung's attention. They have traced the flaw to an error in the molding process that occurred over a three-month period between 2001 and 2002.

If the serial number near the mouthpiece of the Powerline falls within the range of M48H to M52H or M01I to M081, it should be replaced. This affects both SeaQuest and Aqua Lung BCDs with the Powerline inflator. The serial number also appears on the backside of the plate of the dual exhaust valve where the hose attaches on the left shoulder of the BCD.

Aqua Lung is calling these "upgrade replacements" rather than recalls, so there has been no public announcements by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. For more information, go to www.aqualung.com/tech_library.html.

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