Gear care

If you want to be able to use good, well maintained gear at the best rates around then consider what will happen if you do not look after the gear you’ve been issued.

If someone else has to do later what you could easily do soon after diving, it will take their time and effort. As time is money, costs go up and you end up paying more.

Fixing gear problems that are caused by neglect and poor care means replacement parts have to be bought. The costs go up and you end up paying more.

Finally, what if nobody notices that there was poor gear care and the gear is issued later? This could compromise the gear and make somebody’s next dive an unpleasant experience. That somebody could well be you! So …

Simple do’s and don’ts

  • A few points on transporting gear: Don’t pack the BC vest or hoses under anything that might pinch or crush them. Always disassemble gear before transporting.
  • Sand is your biggest enemy. Use the occy holder to keep your spare reg out of the sand, and watch the regs when you put the SCUBA unit down on a beach (lie the tank down first, then the BC and regs go on top).
  • After use, you need to wash gear before the salt water dries onto/into the equipment.
  • Regs: Only wash the `outside’ of a regulator. Make sure the dust cap is firmly in place to prevent water from entering the first stage and soak the reg in clean, fresh water. Try and make sure that water gets into the hole(s) at the back of the reg which equalise pressure in the first stage (this is still on the `outside’). Never press the purge buttons as this will let water into the `inside’ of the reg, but let water flow through the exhaust tee over the exhaust valves and rinse the diaphragm under the purge button. Dry out of the sun.
  • Tanks: Hose down around the outside, paying particular attention to rinsing any salt residue out of the tank boot and off the tank valve. Crack the tank valve open for a brief blast to clear any water that lodges inside the valve (or it will get into a reg later) and leave to dry.
  • BC vests: These need to be cleaned inside and out. Soak the vest in clean, fresh water. Then use a hose or tap to force water into the air bladder through the oral inflator while pressing the manual inflate/deflate button. Half fill the vest with water this way and then use the oral inflator to fill it the rest of the way with air. Slosh the water in the vest around a few times to dilute the salt water inside and then up-end the vest so that water can drain out the inflator hose when you push the deflate button on the end. Also press the power inflator button to let some fresh water drain out here past the valve. Not all of the water will come out easily, so you will need to reinflate with air a few times to get all of the water out. Repeat this process a couple of times to make sure that all the salt has been fully diluted and removed. Dry half inflated so the insides don’t stick together.