How to Change a Tank O-Ring

Mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, BC, weights, wetsuit, tank. You’re at the dive site with your full check list of gear, set up and ready to go!

You set everything up, turn on your tank, and suddenly there’s nothing but air going everywhere and a loud hissing noise that’s drawn the attention of the entire beach.  

So how do you change that annoyingly bad tank o-ring without damaging the valve you ask? Well luckily, we’re here to show and tell you how!

What you’re trying not to damage when changing an o-ring is the sealing surface (see picture). If that surface gets scratched, the o-ring can’t complete a seal and your (or our!) valve is destined for the brass recycling bin.

To prevent that, you want to use a tool made of metal that’s softer than our chromed brass tank valve. Is this the pointy end of your Rambo dive knife? Probably not!

A brass pick should be your weapon of choice and is a great addition to your save-a-dive kit. We even carry a keychain filled with all your common o-rings that comes with a built in brass pick. Convenient!

With that brass pick, it’s easiest and best if you stab the o-ring sideways to get the most grab so you can pry it away successfully. Once you’ve done that and located your spare o-ring (did you know that Maui Dreams puts extra ones on our rental tanks? Check out the string on the valve cap!), it’s time to put the new one in!

You can usually get it started with your finger, but getting that last bit to sit in there can be a challenge. The end of your brass pick or your regulator can help you set it the rest of the way.

Have you ever had this happen to you at the dive site?  Tell us your story in the comments section below!

And if you need any help with this, just come see me in the shop.

Aloha, Kelly

p.s.  Here’s the tank keychain I was telling you about.  Makes a great gift for your dive buddy too!