DerekRalston
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I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:03 am

After putting the full monte of VDH parts into both my DAAM's, it was time to take them to depth in some salt water. Since we were on a cruise ship, our first stop in Cabo included the ship's pick of dive excursions. On the way out to the first dive site (wich is a really short boat ride), I was besieged by questions from the boat crew. All of a sudden, we were at the dive site and everyone with rental gear were ready to hit the water, and I was almost dressed, when one of the crew members grabbed my Phoenix while I wasn't looking and attempted to assemble my kit. It was my fault for not explicitly telling the crew to leave my stuff alone, but the next thing that I saw was the can mounted to the yoke WAY too far clockwise! As I began to yell "DON'T!", the crew member firmly grabbed the horns and twisted counter-clockwise, and yes, the tank yoke was fully open! The next thing that I heard was a big hiss, and then a pop, and then more hissing. Even though I thought that I could get the Phoenix screwed back into the body hard enough to seal, as soon as the air went on, I was hissing like an angry adder!

I haven't had a chance to pull the Phoenix off to see what happened, but I suspect that the nylon gaskets probably deformed and blew. They certainly are a "one chance" component. I've killed a couple of them trying to clock the HP ports into the right place with them. It was very disappointing, to say the least!

There is one positive to take away from this experience. I was planning to post a video of me diving this baby in Cabo and PV, and I did take a lot of video, even though I wasn't on my double hose. Unfortunately, when I was getting back into the boat in PV, one of the crew didn't catch the end of my weight belt, and it fell back into the water. I caught it with my wrist, which was the same wrist that had my GoPro attached. The weight broke the wrist strap, and my GoPro dropped off the wall and into the abyss.

All was not lost. As with any dive, I was blowing bubbles, and that makes up for just about everything.

crimediver
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:51 am

That would have called for a Mike Nelson throat punch!

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simonbeans
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:59 am

I never let the boat crew assemble any of my gear. Just politely say, no thanks, I prefer to do my own gear stuff. Smile, look happy and all is well.
Check out my website: www.vintagescubastuff.com

DerekRalston
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Location: Oroville CA

Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 am

simonbeans wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:59 am
I never let the boat crew assemble any of my gear. Just politely say, no thanks, I prefer to do my own gear stuff. Smile, look happy and all is well.
I didn't "let" them assemble my gear. I already had my plate sitting on the tank, and my regulator was sitting on top of my gear bag as I was putting on my wetsuit. One of them just decided to be "helpful" without asking.

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Bryan
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:35 am

I suspect that the nylon gaskets probably deformed and blew.

I know divers that put their Phoenix first stages on with threadlocker for just that reason. Since there is no need to completely remove it for service it is an option.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

DerekRalston
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First Name: Derek
Location: Oroville CA

Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:50 pm

Bryan wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:35 am
I suspect that the nylon gaskets probably deformed and blew.

I know divers that put their Phoenix first stages on with threadlocker for just that reason. Since there is no need to completely remove it for service it is an option.
Now that is an excellent idea! I'll have to try that after I order some more gaskets.

DerekRalston
Skin Diver
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:26 pm
First Name: Derek
Location: Oroville CA

Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:22 am

Finally got a chance to perform a post mortem and rebuild on my PRAM. As I suspected, the gasket stack was deformed from unscrewing the Phoenix while under pressure, with an added bonus of having the gasket also cookie cut, from screwing the Phoenix back in with a deformed gasket.

With new gaskets installed, when the Vibra-TITE hardens, I'll be renting a tank to set this puppy back up again. From now on, I don't care how close we are to getting to the dive site. Keppa you hands offa my gear!

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Bryan
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:22 pm

The good thing about the nylon gaskets is they will deform slightly and fill the space between the two parts. The original style would crack if you cranked on it too hard. The nylon are single use though and should not be reused.

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Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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couv
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:15 pm

Bryan,

Does that also mean one should not un-torque the assembly? I.e. if you slightly go past the best clocking spot only to realize it later, can the washer withstand any loosening of the parts?
A sincere THANK YOU to all at VDH who make this wonderful resource available and to all the thoughtful contributors.

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Bryan
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:28 pm

couv wrote:Bryan,

Does that also mean one should not un-torque the assembly? I.e. if you slightly go past the best clocking spot only to realize it later, can the washer withstand any loosening of the parts?
I'm not smart enough to speak to the actual engineering aspects of this but in my experience the nylon gaskets are somewhat forgiving.
With that said though, when I install one I never back off on it. I tighten very slowly till I get it exactly where I want it or I start over again with a new gasket. I never reuse either gasket type.

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Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

jsmall
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:23 pm

I had a similar problem in Bonaire. My phoenix backed off a little probably from me trying to get the horns in the right position. I was able to get it screwed on enough to hold air and do my dives. When I got home I saw that the gaskets were deformed. I put some high quality Teflon tape on the threads as well and clocked it back on. No more leaks and stays tight. Not sure if the Teflon tape will void the warranty :) but I figured if it works ok for a 1/2" tank stem it should work for this.

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rhwestfall
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:16 pm

With all this discussion, I'm starting to think that a spare gasket is a save-a-dive (maybe save a trip) necessity.....
Bob

No Longer Awaiting my Kraken.....

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Bryan
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Re: I ALMOST got to dive my Phoenix HPR

Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:06 pm

jsmall wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:23 pm
When I got home I saw that the gaskets were deformed. It's designed that way and is a single use gasket. I put some high quality Teflon tape on the threads as well and clocked it back on. I would not use Teflon tape on it but it's your regulator.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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