Diving into the world beneath the waves is a delight, but it really relies on a lot of equipment. If you are renting gear each time you dive you have to hope that the owner of the gear cares for it as well as they care for their own. If on the other hand, you have made the investment in your own gear, you can control how well it is maintained. Each great dive adventure can be better if we practice the basics of scuba gear maintenance. So let’s dive deep into the concept of keeping our equipment in great shape!
The Importance of Regular Scuba Gear Checks
Firstly, let’s consider the vital role our gear plays. It is our life-support in the aquatic expanse. Hence, maintaining our equipment is not just a good idea, it becomes a critical part of our scuba diving adventure. I always tease my students by telling them that the only reason we dive is to be able to fill out paperwork and clean gear. While I can do without the paperwork, I actually enjoy cleaning and taking care of my scuba gear. A well-maintained kit not only adds to our comfort during the dive it boosts our safety as well.
Furthermore, regular gear check-ups ensure our gear lasts a good long time. They provide peace of mind before and during our dives. They enable us to focus on the beauty around us rather than worrying about the gear on our backs. So, always keep your gear in tip-top shape.
Essential Maintenance Tips for Your Gear
Here’s the real secret to gear maintenance, there is no secret. It’s all common sense and should be things that you were taught in your open-water class.
- Rinse your gear after every dive
- inspect your gear after every dive
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance
The easiest secret to keeping your gear in proper functioning order is to make sure you clean your gear after every dive. Rinse all of your gear with fresh, warm water. This helps wash off the salt, silt, and microorganisms that can damage your gear. Once you’ve rinsed your gear thoroughly, dry it in a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight.
Cleaning by itself is not enough though. In addition, you need to inspect your gear as you are cleaning and drying it.
Buoyancy Control Device
Pay close attention to the BCD. Is there excessive wear and tear on the fabric? Are your weight pockets secure when snapped in? Are all of your snaps and releases working properly?
Next, check your regulator. Regulators were meant to be used underwater so think back to your dive. Did it breathe easily? Did the airflow stop when you stopped inhaling? Visually inspect your regulator hoses. Are any of them frayed or kinked?
If your regulator did not breathe right” during the dive, or you see any hoses or other parts showing excessive wear, take it into your local dive center before your next dive and have it checked out.
As you lay out your wetsuit to dry, check it for wear and rips. It’s better to find these issues when you can take care of them instead of having to abort a dive because you find the issue while on a boat.
To keep your gear in top-notch condition, make sure you store it in a cool, dry place after you have dried it. Hang your BCD, wetsuit, and regulator someplace safe and out of the way.
Have You Gear Checked Regularly
The next scuba gear maintenance secret is to have your gear serviced regularly. Your gear’s manual will tell you how often the manufacturer suggests you have your gear serviced. Make sure and follow their instructions. As a general rule of thumb, have your gear checked no less than once every other year. Every year is not unusual. When the lovely and talented Kathy and I are preparing for our next scuba vacation, we take our gear in for a checkout about one month out. That gives the dive center plenty of time to solve any problems they may find and get our gear back to us.
Taking good care of our gear is the best way to ensure you have a worry-free dive. Well-maintained gear is a cornerstone of being able to dive confidently. It doesn’t matter if you are diving a quarry, off your favorite dive boat, or the beautiful Blue Heron Bridge, if your gear malfunctions, it’s gonna be a short dive.
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