Taking Care of Your Dive Gear
Your dive gear serves as your life support in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world, so you want to do as much as possible to take care of it. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the things you can do to take care of your dive gear so that it keeps taking care of you.
THIS IS A GENERAL GUIDELINE. ALL MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDATIONS SUPERCEDE ANYTHING WRITTEN BELOW. READ YOUR MANUALS!
This one is not too complicated. We recommend keeping masks in a box or protective case of some kind, especially when in transport, to protect the glass. When you get a new mask, make sure you clean it with either a cleaner (we like Sea Buff) or a simple toothpaste to remove the coating on new masks. Please then wash out the toothpaste with fresh water; otherwise, your dives might be more minty than you would like. Fins
Store them somewhere where they’re not being bent and out of the sun. Cheaper fins can “banana” in the sunlight, so dry them in the shade or get better fins. Wetsuits / Neoprene
Dry them in a cool, shaded area. Do not leave them out in the sun. We also recommend using a cleaner to limit how much they smell over the long run (we like Sink the Stink). Drysuits
We’ll cover this separately in a future post because it’s a little more complicated. Regulators
Regulators should be fresh water rinsed after each dive, if possible, but you never want to allow water to get into the first stage, so rinse it when it’s pressurized on a tank. Based on your manufacturer’s recommendations (usually one year for the cheaper regulators and two years for the better ones), you should have your regulator serviced by certified repair technician at your local dive store. Servicing regulators includes changing out parts, checking for safety recalls and upgrades, and tuning the regulator. If your regulator is on a two-year service cycle, it’s a good idea to bring it in during the alternate years for a quick bench check and tuning at your local dive store. Bench checks are usually not very expensive (we include them for free if you buy your regulator from us and keep up with your required service schedule), but they can detect more serious problems and damage that may have occurred to your regulator. We have seen many well-maintained regulators working 20+ years after purchase, so it’s worthwhile to get them serviced properly. Tanks
You should have your tank hydrostatically inspected every five years and visually inspected every year. Tank inspections not only keep you safe, but they keep the fill station operators at your local dive store safe since most tank ruptures happen during the filling process. Transport and load/unload your tanks with care. If you drop a tank, bring it to your local dive center and have them check it to make sure the damage has not damaged the integrity of the tank. Tanks should never be allowed to go empty. If water floods the inside of the tank, it can cause severe damage and lead to the tank being condemned or exploding. If your tank goes empty, immediately bring it to your local dive center and inform them of what happened. We have some tools to clean out the tank, but they won’t be able to save the tank if you leave the salt water sitting for a while inside it. Do not paint or wrap your tank without consulting your local dive shop on appropriate methods. Some methods of painting can damage the integrity of your tank and could lead to an almost new tank being condemned. Dive Computers
You should fresh water clean your dive computer based on manufacturer’s recommendations. These can vary from soaking to holding under a gently flowing water source, so make sure you read the manual. Stay ahead of battery warnings. Dive computers do their best to give you plenty of time to get the battery changed, but not if you ignore those warnings. Bring your dive computer into your local dive store to get your battery changed as soon as you see the warning. If you have a battery that is not meant to be user-replaceable, please do not try to change it. This almost always ends in a flooded computer and will definitely void your warranty. BCDs
You want to fresh water rinse your BCD after every dive. We also like to fill ours with fresh water from time to time and flush out all the dump valves. You should have your BCD bench checked at your local dive shop once a year along with your regulator. Dive Lights
Fresh water rinse after every dive and follow manufacturer’s recommendations on long-term care. Do not use lights made exclusively for diving on the surface as they may burn out and cause severe damage to the light! Bags
Fresh water rinse your dive bags to keep the zippers working and don’t put tanks and weights inside them unless they were built for it!