Saltwater scuba diving gear maintenance tips

Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

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Tips for prolonging the life of your scuba gear

Scuba gear doesn’t come cheap, as anyone who’s ever bought it knows. Here are a few tips to help you prolong the life of your scuba gear in the best possible way…

1. Drain your Buoyancy Compensator: when you dive the water gets inside it. If it’s salt water, things can get worse as it dries and forms crystals that can puncture the bladder. So turn it over once you disconnect the tank and lines from your BC. Do this with the inflator hose pointing down. Next push the deflator button in order to let all the water drain out.

2. Wash Your Gear Well: Since scuba gear is waterproof, you can wash it well. In other words, all of  your scuba gear needs to be rinsed with clean and fresh water after you get back from your dive. When done with the washing, the equipment should be dried and stored in a dry, cool place where there’s no sunlight.

3. Rinse the Regulator Carefully: Before you go ahead and rinse the regulator, keep in mind that you need to first dry and firmly replace the dust cap for the regulator in order to avoid any water from entering it. It’s always a good idea to rinse the regulator when it is still attached to your scuba tank (and is pressurized). This way you ensure that no water enters it whatsoever.

4. Take Care of Masks, Snorkels and Fins: The first step here is to inspect parts for any damage so that you can replace any of the worn out parts. Also rinse in fresh warm water after the dive and store in a dry place, out of reach of sunlight. See to it that you avoid any direct exposure to petroleum products, chemicals, gasoline, etc., and THAT INCLUDES SUNSCREEN! Most sunscreens are made from petrochemicals, so if you’ve lathered yourself in the stuff, it probably got on your equipment.

5. Upgrade Small Parts: In order to properly take care of your scuba equipment you may have to regularly upgrade small and unique parts such as the metric size o-ring. This allows you to prolong the life of your scuba gear because even the smallest parts can create problems that you don’t want. It always makes sense to keep your gear up and running in the best possible shape.

6. Keep Your Tanks Safe: It’s a mistake to store your scuba tanks completely empty or completely full. Why? Because without some pressure, the empty tanks can take on moisture and contaminants that typically lead to erosion. On the other hand, full tanks (particularly aluminum cylinders) have a high possibility of cracking if you store them for a long period of time. The solution is to store your cylinders with between 300 psi to 500 psi.

It doesn’t matter how new or old you are to scuba diving – you will need to take care of your scuba gear to ensure it lasts for long and gives give you good service.

 

About the author: Jen Smith is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for all things environmental. 

Other articles you might like: Virtual Scuba with Google Earth



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