While a beginning diver or scuba diving student is likely to have help with gear care before and after a dive, a seasoned diver should be practicing regular maintenance on their own. You should perform visual inspections, cleanings and follow proper handling methods both pre-dive and post-dive to ensure your gear is safe and ready to use, or clean and prepped for storage. It’s also important that you fix damaged gear or replace old or failing equipment before your next dive.
Here are a few dive equipment maintenance tips to ensure you have a safe scuba diving trip every time!
Fins, snorkels and masks
Lightly stretch out the rubber straps on your fins to look for cracks. Cracks are common in heavy rubber straps on open heel fins; this kind of damage is a telltale sign of failure about to happen. Replace cracked straps. The silicone of your mask skirt, snorkel hose and snorkel mouthpiece should be free of tears. Look especially hard at the feather-edged seal on the skirt, as it is a seriously weak area on a mask that can lead to leaks. Also, check the buckles for cracks, splits or debris clogs, and the frame for damage or signs of wear.
After a dive, rinse your mask, fins and snorkel in clean, warm water and let them all dry completely before putting them away.
Before a dive, take a few breaths from the tank to test the regulator and check the SPG for accurate readings. Make sure all the hoses are in good condition, and see that the mouthpieces are not corroding. Post-dive, rinse your regulator, while making sure the purge valve on the second stages does not get depressed and the first stage list cover is in place. Rinse your second stages and fitting.
Stay up on the dates stamped onto your tank and get expired tanks re-inspected; otherwise, a dive shop will not fill it. Check tank valves and other metal parts for damage or corrosion, and the O-ring for cuts. After your dive, be sure there’s enough pressure in the tank before storing it, and stand it up where it won’t get knocked over or bumped into.
Pre-dive, hook your BC inflator to a regulator and tank, then send a few bursts of air into the BC to listen for air leaks, which is an indication of a stuck inflator. When you’re done diving, rinse your BC in fresh, warm water. Remove all the air from the BC and let it soak in the rinse tank. Dump valves and the inflator hose need draining after a rinsing. Inflate it to about 50 percent and allow it to air dry out of the direct sunlight.
Whether you’re a beginning or experienced diver, the key to long lasting diving equipment and safe dives is proper gear care and maintenance. For more detailed maintenance tips, diving equipment sales and repairs services, call Northeast Scuba—we are your go-to, full service dive facility in the Chelmsford area!