Scuba Equipment Maintenance
Taking Care of the Equipment that takes care of you!
Proper maintenance of scuba equipment is very important for several reasons. Not only is it safer to use, but it lasts longer and better maintains its value. The following sections provide useful information about keeping scuba equipment in good shape.
Most diving gear is made up of rubber, plastic and metal parts that are subject to oxidation and decay.
Most diving gear is made up of rubber, plastic and metal parts that are subject to oxidation and decay. Salt, dust, dirt, heat, ultraviolet light, ozone and fumes can all be harmful to scuba equipment, so divers should use good judgment in protecting their gear from these substances.
Regulators (Air Delivery System)
When you’re finished using a regulator (Air Delivery System), soak in clean fresh water (no additives) for an hour or so. During the soak, work any buttons, control levers or knobs back and forth to loosen any particles that may have accumulated inside. Follow by running fresh water over the first and second stages to remove loose debris. While a regulator is submerged, it is very important to prevent water from entering the first stage. This is most easily accomplished by leaving the regulator connected to a pressurized tank. If this is not possible, be sure that the dust cap is in place and do not depress the purge button on the second stage. Be sure to blow or towel dry the dust cap before putting it in place on the first stage.
Dry the regulator with a clean towel after rinsing, then store the regulator in a cool dry place, away from dust, light, heat and fumes of any kind. Ideally, the regulator can be kept in a plastic bag or a special designed regulator bag. Store the regulator separate from the tank in a position where there is little or no stress on the hoses, and the second stage below the first with the mouthpiece facing down.
All regulators should be serviced according to manufacturer’s suggestions, which is at least once a year. Not having them serviced could void warranties. Prices: $20 per stage (Normal regulator has 3 stages)
Scuba cylinders should be rinsed in fresh water after use, then wiped dry. Remove the tank boot and dry the cylinder completely so that no water is allowed to accumulate on the outside of the tank. The valve should be opened briefly to expel any moisture from the valve opening.
All compressed air cylinders should be inspected regularly. Before diving, check for any corrosion, dents or heavy wear on the outside of the tank. Visual inspection is required annually and more frequently if used heavily, filled in a humid environment, or if the tank is drained below 200 psi. Any stickers should be removed prior to a visual inspection. Tanks must be hydro-statically tested once every five years to ensure the integrity of the tank walls (Federal Law).
Before storing, be sure tanks are pressurized to at least 2oo psi to prevent any moisture from entering the cylinder. Store tanks securely and upright in a cool dry place with no chance of being knocked over. PRICES: VIP : $18.00, Hydrostatic Pressure Test : $30 – $38
BCDs should be soaked and rinsed in fresh water after use. Especially if water was allowed to enter the BCD, it is a good idea to rinse the inside of the air bladder also. To do this, depress and hold down the oral inflator button and fill the bladder one third full with water. Allow the water to swish around inside by rotating the BCD several times. Then drain the water completely by inflating completely and turning the BCD upside down while pressing the oral inflator button.
Store BCDs out of direct sunlight, on a wide hanger and partially inflated.
Service once a year, or more if the manufacturer recommends, failure to do so may void manufactures warranties. Cost: $18.00
Weights should be rinsed in fresh water after use. Wash hands thoroughly after handing weights. Most weights are lead so do not handle them then touch your mouth or eyes.
Fins should be rinsed in fresh water after use, not neglecting the buckles and straps. It’s a good idea to stuff the foot pocket with an insert (shoetree) that prevents the pocket from losing shape.
Masks should be sprayed with fresh water and dried after use. It’s a good idea to store the mask in its original box and prevent any silicone parts from contact with black rubber to prevent discoloration. Periodically clean the inside mask with a commercial mask cleaner or a paste toothpaste to remove any build up preventing mask defoggers from working properly. Never spit in a mask, this will create a film and is unsanitary.
Wetsuit, booties and gloves
Any neoprene or similar material should be soaked and rinsed thoroughly with fresh water after use. While soaking, flex the material with a kneading motion to remove any foreign particles from the material. Commercially available wetsuit conditioner (sink the stink) is available that will help to control odors and may prevent fading of the material. Apply a light coating of beeswax or zipper ease to zippers, then work them back and forth to prevent sticking.
Allow wetsuits, booties and gloves to drip dry on appropriate hangers that prevent creasing of the neoprene. Never dry in a clothes dryer and keep out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
Lights & Cameras
Lights and cameras are extremely sensitive to water, sand and salt. Soak them in fresh water as soon as possible after use. Work all moving parts while soaking to loosen any salt and sand deposits. After soaking, allow the unit to dry completely before opening any compartments. Once dry, loosen all connectors so they do not freeze in place, then remove batteries and film. Thoroughly clean and lubricate all o-rings before next use.
Store components in a protective case to prevent any seals from exposure to dust and dirt.
Professional maintenance and pressure testing is recommended to ensure the longevity of delicate and expensive equipment. Be sure to follow any and all manufacturers recommendations.
Dive computers and instruments are extremely sensitive to water, sand and salt. Soak them in fresh water as soon as possible after use. Work all moving parts while soaking to loosen any salt and sand deposits. battery changes should be done by a professional so it can be pressure tested, Most manufactures require the are serviced annually and recommend if you are not going to use the computer within 3 months to remove the batteries preventing acid leaks.
Annual service is recommended by all manufactures to maintain warranties and to ensure the longevity of delicate and expensive equipment. Be sure to follow any and all manufacturers recommendations and consult the owner’s manual before attempting replacement of the batteries. COST: $20.00
SCUBA CENTERS OF MICHIGAN SERVICES ALL MAJOR BRANDS OF EQUIPMENT!
Then you can test dive it when you come to pick it up!
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