Care and feeding of the gear
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.