What Is a Scuba Diving Regulator and How Does It Work?

scuba diving regulator
25 Jul 2021

What Is a Scuba Diving Regulator and How Does It Work?

Did you know that the first Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) was invented way back in 1772? Unfortunately, it wasn’t that effective; the inventor died after just 20 minutes due to a lack of oxygen.

Thankfully, scuba technology has come a long way since those days. Scuba diving equipment is now so safe that you’re more likely to die when jogging than you are when scuba diving.

One of the key pieces of equipment of any scuba setup is the scuba diving regulator.

Read on as we take a look at what a scuba diving regulator is and how it works.

What Is a Scuba Diving Regulator?

A scuba diving regulator is a piece of essential diving equipment. Without one, scuba diving wouldn’t be possible.

When diving, the tanks on your back carry air that is highly pressurized. That allows you to carry far more breathable air in the tank. For example, an AL80 tank has a capacity of about 11 liters, but when can hold about 80 cubic feet (2,300 liters) of air. This means you can dive for much, much longer, but the problem is that you can’t breathe air that’s so highly pressurized.

That’s where the scuba regulator comes in. This device regulates the pressure of the air from your tank, reducing it to breathable pressure.

How a Scuba Diving Regulator Works

A scuba regulator operates in two stages. It’s usually the case that one stage is on the tank itself and the other is part of your mouthpiece, although it’s all part of the same diving equipment.

Scuba Regulator First Stage

The first stage takes the high pressure from the tank and reduces it to an intermediate pressure.

High-pressure air flows into a chamber through a valve. Once the air in that chamber reaches the intermediate pressure, the valve closes. When you inhale through your mouthpiece, that air is drawn from the intermediate pressure chamber, so the valve reopens and more air passes into this chamber.

It means that there is always a supply of air at an intermediate pressure ready to be used by the second stage.

Scuba Regulator Second Stage

The second stage takes the air at intermediate pressure and reduces it to the surrounding water pressure so that it’s perfectly comfortable for you to breathe.

The second stage contains a valve that only opens when you breathe in. When you do so, some of the air in the second stage passes into your lungs. This lowers the air pressure in the second stage, which allows more air to flow in. A diaphragm stops the flow of air from the first stage once the air in the second stage reaches the same pressure as the current water pressure.

You can then breathe air at the perfect pressure as you dive.

Would You Like to Give Scuba Diving a Try?

Now you know how a scuba diving regulator works you’re on your way to becoming a scuba diver!

If you want to learn how to dive, then we’re here to help. We offer a wide range of scuba diving courses and certifications, all the way from learning to dive to becoming a professional PADI Divemaster.

Check out our range of diving courses today.