The life expectancy of the parts largely depends on how well you look after your AirBuddy, i.e. are careful to prevent any water ingress or physical damage, keep the couplers free of sand, rinse AirBuddy properly in fresh water after each use, store out of direct sunlight, keep the battery charged, etc. If you look after your AirBuddy well, it should last for a long time. For example, the battery (LiFePO4) is rated to keep over 80% of its original capacity even after 1500 cycles if you look after it as prescribed. We recommend inspecting and potentially replacing the piston and cylinder after about 100 dives although we’ve seen units with over 200 dives that still didn’t need a new piston. The regulator should be inspected at a dive centre once per year.
AirBuddy has a modular design. You can order and easily swap whole sub-assemblies such as the lid, float, hose, harness, regulator, flag, battery, charger, etc. Replacing these parts with new ones is often more cost-effective and faster option than sending them back to our factory for repair.
The one part that makes an economic sense to return to our factory for service is the main compressor unit. Without the battery and lid, it’s a relatively small, about 5kg box that can be easily posted back to our factory in Sydney, Australia.
If you wish to self-repair your AirBuddy and need any specific components, such as plastic parts, couplers, valves, piston, electronics, regulator parts, screws, o-rings, … please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send a picture of the part that you require. Our factory in Sydney usually stocks over 200 individual components.
Note: The regulator can be inspected and serviced at dive centres.
Note: We don’t repair batteries. Besides, shipping damaged batteries is strictly illegal.
If you use AirBuddy extensively and in high-humidity air, a small amount of condensation water can build up inside the air reservoir. This is normal. You can easily remove the water with the “condensation water removal tube” that we shipped with your AirBuddy. Thread it through the “J-hose” to reach the bottom of the float. Place the float upside-down so that the water is at the lowest point. Connect the 90-degree plug of the diver’s hose directly into the compressor unit. Plug the other end of the diver’s hose in one of the couplers on the air reservoir and briefly run AirBuddy to push the water out.
You can see the procedure in this YouTube video.
Note: Do not run the compressor for longer than 10 seconds without water cooling. You may damage your AirBuddy if you run it outside of water for longer.
Note: Please observe the orientation of the hose. It only allows air flow in one direction.
AirBuddy is a floating compressor. Although the design incorporates several features to minimise the risk of water ingress, it can’t be completely eliminated considering the nature of the product. Please make sure you avoid any of these behaviours:
- Jump in the water (e.g. from a boat or jetty) and pull AirBuddy underwater.
- Let AirBuddy drift away during the beach entry/ exit and rollover by shore wash.
- Dive in rough seas with rolling waves and capsize AirBuddy.
- Forget to plug the J-hose of the float during set-up and subsequently plug it in under water.
- Lean on AirBuddy for your support on the surface, i.e. push the lid underwater. The lid seal could be compromised if not closed properly and any dirt/ sand is removed.
- Rinse AirBuddy with the inlet hole unplugged.
- Dive with AirBuddy without the flag (which is the air intake).
If water damage occurs, and you send your unit back, we can investigate and look for any clues where and how the water penetrated inside. Of course, we will also assess for any warranty defects. We then may take the unit apart and replace the faulty parts. Perhaps a new compressor, valve plate, … and clean/ treat/ fix most other parts. We will quote the repair once we assessed the damage.
If you don’t want to send your unit back, you can purchase a new compressor in the housing from the “Spare Parts” section of our online shop and keep the old one for some spare parts.
The low battery siren on your AirBuddy should start when the voltage drops below a certain threshold – after about 55min of diving. If the siren starts prematurely, it may likely be caused by one of these reasons:
- Insufficient connection of the battery (terminals, safety link, lugs, …) > electrical resistance > voltage drop > siren.
Fix: Clean terminals, wire lugs and safety link and tighten to 2-3 Nm.
- Battery not fully charged > low voltage > siren.
Fix: Check that the charger works properly (measure with voltmeter). Recharge the battery until the led light on the charger turns green.
- Battery cold when tested > low voltage > siren.
Fix: Store battery at room temperature (20-25C) for at least 3 hours, re-charge, re-test.
- Battery aged or damaged (by water, storing discharged, storing in freezing temperature, …) > low voltage > siren.
Fix: Replace battery.
- Current draw too high > voltage drop > siren.
Fix: Check reason for increased current draw, e.g. corrosion damage of the compressor. Replace the faulty part.
This could be just “whistling of the flag”. On very rare occasions, predominantly with the longer Red-and-White flag some of the AirBuddies accidentally tune to “whistle” the flag post at certain air flow. Similar to playing a flute – the air drawn by AirBuddy resonates in the long flag pipe. We install an “anti-whistle” into the flag post, which is just a small red piece of PVC plastic that it’s pushed inside the flag post at the end. It breaks the air vibrations that are causing the resonance (“whistling”). If you pull off the black splash cap at the top of the flag, you’ll see it. Please push the “anti-whistle” a bit further down to get the flag out of tune.
It’s important that the battery lugs have a good electrical connection with the battery terminals. Otherwise, there will be electrical resistance which leads to voltage drop and starts the low battery siren prematurely. It could even lead to overheating of the terminals if the electrical resistance is high.
Please take utmost care to prevent any saltwater gets in touch with the battery. If you accidently touch the terminals with saltwater (e.g. wet hands), wipe it immediately off. Otherwise, the terminals may start to oxidise. If oxidation occurs, re-polish the terminals as soon as possible.
There are 2 terminals underneath the red Safety Link and 2 main terminals for the connection of AirBuddy wires. To re-polish the terminals you can either use a micro-dremel with a very fine wire brush attachment, extremely fine sandpaper (grit P1200 or higher) or Scotch-Brite.
Note: To protect the plastic around the terminals from scratches, we suggest using a masking tape.
Note: Please do not use any coarse sandpaper with less than grit P1000 to prevent scratching the terminals.