Aluminum Fishing Oxygen Regulator Failure, Galvanic Corrosion

Webpage Updated                                      Friday  November 1, 2019

MANY DIFFERENT BRANDS OF CLICK-STYLE ALUMINUM BODY OXYGEN REGULATORS SOLD IN AMERICA TO FISHERMEN ARE ACTUALLY “MADE IN CHINA” AND CONTAIN INTERNAL COMPONENTS MADE WITH ZINC. ZINC IS A WELL KNOWN INEXPENSIVE “SACRIFICIAL METAL” USED IN MARINE ENVIRONMENTS THAT IS QUICKLY ATTACKED AND DESTROYED BY GALVANIC CORROSION. ZINC ALLOY COMPONEENTS INSIDE A FISHING OXYGEN REGULATOR BODY IS A MAJOR GALVANIC CORROSION PROBLEM.

All aluminum body click-style oxygen regulators with brass cores,  adjustable flow rates calibrated in liters per minute flow (lpm) and fractions of liters per minute flow rates (0.03 – 1/32 lpm) often malfunction and fail because of Galvanic Corrosion when exposed to marine environments (salty water, salty ambient air and all livewell supplements that contain salt, electrolytes).

High pressure oxygen regulators with aluminum alloy bodies are commonly advertised and sold on the internet to fishermen as components for fishing oxygen-injection livewell systems to keep bait fish, shrimp and tournament fish alive in livewells. Some oxygen systems are capable of “supercharging live bait” some oxygen systems cannot/will not “supercharge live bait.” Aluminum oxygen regulators are advertised and sold at bait and tackle shops, Cabela’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Amazon, on the internet and other big box store outlets as “Commercial Grade Oxygen Regulators” fishing oxygen system regulators “Designed for use in a marine environment.” This is “fake advertisement” that is FALSE AND DECEPTIVE.

Click-style aluminum oxygen regulators are a common component of store bought and homemade DIY fishing/bait life support oxygen systems  because of 1 reason; they are cheaply manufactured, very inexpensive and appear to be a bargain for the “bargain hunters”… but you actually get what you paying for as usual.

Sport fishermen that fish in Marine and salty coastal bay waters are all at risk using click-style oxygen regulators made with aluminum alloy bodies. Aluminum oxygen regulators are colored; red, blue, gold, yellow, green, pink, polished metallic, etc. All aluminum alloy regulators, regardless of the color, are all prone to catastrophic failure because of the adverse effects of Galvanic Corrosion when exposed to and contaminated with minute amounts of salt, salty air or livewell supplements containing electrolytes. Electrolyte are added to all livewell supplements to air osmoregulation and reduce the work of metabolism in stressful live transport condition.

Fact – These click-style aluminum body oxygen regulators are Not “Designed for use in a marine environments” nor are they classified as “Commercial Grade Oxygen Regulators” contrary to popular internet advertisements, infomercials, salesman talk and fishermen bro-science beliefs. Aluminum oxygen regulators are extremely prone to mechanical malfunction and failure specifically caused by Galvanic Corrosion – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion

What does Galvanic Corrosion look like? When Galvanic Corrosion (white powerery substance) becomes visible on aluminum oxygen regulators externally, the corrosive process is also well established externally as well as internally and metal damage and pitting has begun. The flow control adjustment knob seizes, becomes inoperable (fixed) and aluminum metal pitting is actively rendering aluminum oxygen regulator unsafe to use.

Corrosion damage is predictable and should be expected to with click-style aluminum alloy regulators when used in Marine environments, coastal bays, coastal estuaries as well as fresh water fishing environments. Corrosion should also be expected and is predictable with brass body oxygen regulators that are plated with a chrome alloy when used in these fishing environments.

Galvanic corrosion is a metallurgy problem with aluminum alloy, chrome alloy and salt exposure. The corrosion is that white powdery oxidation that forms outside and inside aluminum oxygen regulators.

What is Galvanic Corrosion? – Understanding the Metallurgy Science https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion

Galvanic Corrosion is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially when it is in electrical contact with another metal (i.e. metal alloys), in the presence of an electrolyte (salt). *** The presence of an electrolyte (salt) and an electrical conducting path between the metals in the alloys are essential for galvanic corrosion to occur.

The electrolyte (sodium chloride, NaCl, salt) provides a means for ion migration whereby ions move to prevent charge build-up that would otherwise stop the Galvanic Corrosion reaction.

Salt (electrolyte) is a common element, ubiquitous in all marine environments. Salt is also the major component found in all bait saver and fish saver livewell supplements and chemicals.

Salty air exposure and direct salt contamination activates Galvanic corrosion and regulator failure with aluminum oxygen regulators.

Galvanic Corrosion can cause aluminum body oxygen regulators freshwater fishermen use too – Many fresh water fishermen have also seen and experienced negative effects of Galvanic Corrosion on aluminum click-style oxygen regulators. Freshwater fishermen that use aluminum O2 regulators around livewell supplements containing electrolytes (salt) to aid osmoregulation tournament fish and live bait during live transports are at risk of Galvanic Corrosion.

What kind of regulator problems to expect: Expect flow adjustment knobs to corrode, freeze-up and fail. And worse, expect the O2 gas flow to the diffuser to fail, occlude and stop. When that happens, all the live bait and tournament fish in the livewell will suffocate quickly in minutes… the regulator, a vital component to an oxygen-injection life support oxygen system – TOTALLY FAILS WITHOUT NOTICE.

Acute aluminum oxygen regulator failure has spoiled many live bait fish trips as well as costing C&R tournament fishermen thousands of dollars every summer.

About Livewell Supplements, Additives and Chemicals (SPECIFICALLY THOSE IMPORTANT ELECTROLYTES) – All Fish Saver/bait saver/bass saver/redfish saver livewell chemicals, additives and supplements contain electrolytes (sodium chloride, NaCl or salt). Livewell supplements and additives are promoted and sold to fishermen as “good for live bait and live tournament game fish health, aid osmoregulation, harden scales and reduce mucus production. Salt is a common inexpensive livewell electrolyte.

Who Makes Aluminum Oxygen Regulators – Click-style, flow adjustable (LPM and fractions of LPM), high pressure oxygen regulators with aluminum alloy bodies are manufactured in the US and China by many companies: Cramer-Decker Medical, Sun Set Healthcare, Allied Healthcare, Gen Tech Medical, Rosco Medical, Drive, Western Medica, Essex Industries Medical O2 regulators, Chad Medical, Mada Medical, and many more brands and labels. Most are manufactured in China, some in Mexico and very few in the USA.  All aluminum body,adjustable-flow, calibrated in liters per minute (lpm) and fractions of lpm are all classified as “Medical Oxygen Regulators.”

FACT: All high pressure oxygen regulators manufactures in China, Mexico and America that are click-style aluminum alloy, brass core adjustable flow (LPM and fractions of LPM flow rates) oxygen regulators are all manufactured to FDA medical regulator specifications and all are registered with the FDA as Medical Devices. The bar code and serial number imprint on the aluminum click-style regulator body manufacturer’s original shipping box identifies the regulator manufacturer.

HOW TO IDENTIFY ANY ALUMINUM CLICK-STULE REGULATOR MANUFACTURER

Medical oxygen regulators identification FDA Tracking

Identify any medical oxygen regulator with DUDID   https://accessgudid.nlm.nih.gov/ Just type in the serial number stamped on the O2 regulator body

Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID) https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/unique-device-identification-system-udi-system/global-unique-device-identification-database-gudid

***None of these regulator manufacturers classify their click-style, flow adjustable (LPM and fractions of LPM),  aluminum alloy body high pressure oxygen regulators as “Commercial” oxygen regulators. These companies have click-style, aluminum oxygen regulators manufactured in China or Mexico to FDA specifications, then import these regulators into the United States. They are manufactured, classified and FDA controlled as “Medical” Oxygen regulators… not “Commercial” oxygen regulators.

The Oxygen Edge™ precision dose, click-style high pressure oxygen regulator is manufactured in America. It is the only click-style high pressure “COMMERCIAL GRADE ” oxygen regulator engineered and custom manufactured for use in marine and freshwater fishing environments. The regulator body is manufactured with solid brass bar stock and the plating is pure nickel. The regulator is engineered and custom designed specifically to inhibit the negative effects caused by Galvanic corrosion. There is no internal zinc components: It IS NOT CLASSIFIED AS A “MEDICAL GRADE” OXYGEN REGULATOR.

The Oxygen Edge™  delivers as adjustable dose of oxygen; the dose of pure oxygen delivered is calibrated in pounds of fish  (2 lbs. – 200 lbs.), not liters per minute, fractions of liters per minute, SCFM, SCFH. or psi. Simply dial in the pounds of fish in the livewell or bait tank and the “Supercharging” dose of pure oxygen is delivered to the diffuser. The dose of oxygen required for “supercharging live bait fish and shrimp” is considerable more oxygen that required to simply keep bait alive on a 100 F summer day and insure minimal, safe continuous DO Saturations required to prevent hypoxic water quality.

MINIMAL SAFE, SUSTAINED LIVEWELL OXYGENATION IS ALWAYS 100% DO SATURATION OR GREATER DURING ALL LIVE BAIT AND LIVE FISH TRANSPORTS.