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Diving 105: Scuba Equipment Maintenance and Care

The original page can be found here:

Most of this information applies to all divers, but this page focuses on the scuba gear maintenance and care needed by saltwater divers.

Mild Detergent: this can be wetsuit shampoo or baby shampoo.
Zipper Wax: used to keep zippers working smoothly.

After Diving--Rinse
After you come out of the water from your last dive, take the time to rinse your gear. If you are diving at a spot that provides a rinse station, do not remove your gear after the dive just walk over and use it to take off some of the salt water and microorganisms. Thoroughly rinse the outside and inside of your gear. If there isn't a rinse station, splash some water on your gear to eliminate some of the salts and microorganisms.

Prepare for Storage
When you are done diving for the day, rinsing your gear is fine if you plan on diving the next day. If you plan on letting your gear dry completely, the best method for keeping your gear in working order is to soak the gear first and then rinse. Soaking gear involves filling a large tub (bath tub) with luke warm fresh water. I emphisize luke warm, hot water would damage some equipment.

Soak your hardware first: mask, snorkle (you have one of these, right?!), fins, regulator (be sure the dust cover is on), knife, ab iron, compass, and other hardware for 30 minutes.
After removing your hardware from the soak, give it a final rinse with running water.
Add a mild detergent to the tub (refill the tub with fresh water if the water tastes salty).
Soak your exposure suit, gloves, boots, hood, BCD, and other fabric covered materials for about 30 minutes.
Using a toothbrush, scrub any salt crystals off of the gear.
Empty the tub and fill with fresh water to remove the detergent.
Finally, rinse the gear with running water.
Lay out your gear to dry.

You Have a BCD, Now Take Care of It
Given proper care, modern BCs will provide excellent service and keep their original appearance for many years. Ideal care of you BC includes:
Having it checked and serviced each year by your dive store at the same time your regulator is serviced.
Avoiding prolonged exposure to sunlight, heat and heavily chlorinated water.
Protecting the BC from chafing while in use, transport and storage.
Not allowing petroleum products or other solvents to come in contact with the BC.
Rinsing the BC inside and out with flowing warm fresh water after each day of use.
Inflating the BC so it is about one-quarter full of fresh water; sloshing the water around by flipping the BC up and down; then deflating the BC through each exhaust valve. When empty, let the BC air-dry.
Draining any remaining water and checking for proper function and any damage.
Storing the BC partly inflated, away from sun, heat, and solvents. Keep in a cool, dry and clean area.

Posted at 12/13/07 on 2007/12/13 by Stephen - Category: Scuba University -
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