Let’s be clear on this one - it is not recommended that you service your own dive gear - dive equipment servicing should always be done by a trained and experienced professional in a reputable dive shop. (For more info on this, check out our article about kit servicing!) However, if you properly and regularly clean and maintain your scuba diving equipment, you may avoid servicing your dive kit more than is necessary. Here are some tips on how to properly clean your gear and fix small problems!
The best way to avoid having to pay for dive equipment servicing more than necessary, and general sensible practice, is to regularly maintain all of your equipment. A key part of this is rinsing your gear with fresh water after diving to avoid salt corrosion.
Regulators - Under no circumstances should you soak the first stage during cleaning. Soak the 4 hoses in fresh water, and run the mouthpiece under running water to further rinse. Do not purge the regulator at any time during cleaning to avoid water entering them.
BCD - Drain any sea water out by turning your BCD upside down and either holding the LPI hose right down and pressing the deflate button or pulling on the dump valve. Dunk in fresh water, fill the inside with fresh water using the deflator and then drain the water using the previous method. Before you hang it up (on a proper BCD hanger to avoid damage) blow some air into it using oral inflation to help dry it out. To give your BCD a really good wash that smells good too, wash your BCD with a BCD cleaner - link to instructions in the product description.
Zip Care - Make sure you rinse ALL of your zips on any part of your scuba diving equipment to avoid salt corrosion. For plastic zips, use a zipper lubricant and for metal zips, like those found on the back of drysuits, apply bees wax after each use.
Fins should not be hung by their bungee straps, because you can stretch the bungee strap irreparably. Also, do not stand the fins up when storing - better to lie them flat to avoid any bends to the shape.
Don’t forget to take drysuits into consideration for dive equipment servicing. Drysuits are expensive and an essential piece of kit for cold-water divers, so to ensure its lifetime is as long as possible, they must be properly maintained and cared for. For detailed information on how to take care of your drysuit, read this throwback blog!
When you first buy a mask, there will be a layer of silicone over the lens, causing it to be very foggy. This can be incredibly frustrating when you’ve bought an expensive mask that you can’t see out of! There are various rumours about how best to remove it, from toothpaste, to burning it, to ash! Proceed with caution when removing this layer - it is very easy to damage a new mask, particularly burning it with a lighter! Here at Aquanauts we sell (and love) Sea Buff, an abrasive cleaner which is 100% safe for your mask! Rub over the lens and rinse a few times before its first use to remove the layer, then use a lens cleaner like Sea Drops before each dive to ensure a nice clear lens.
If you’re planning a holiday abroad, some countries use A-clamp rather than DIN valves, and as the UK predominantly uses DIN valves, this could be an issue. The good news is you can buy a simple travel adapter to put onto your DIN valve which easily converts it to A-clamp! An important thing to note, is that when using these adapters, make sure you take it off and rinse it after every day’s diving. If this is not done, over time the metals will fuse to each other as they are reactive and this can lead to the adapter being stuck on the first stage, meaning you are unable to service the first stage and can render the regulators useless. Not a cheap mistake to make!
If your regulator is leaking, or the O-Ring is visibly frayed or flat, it may need changing and this is something you can absolutely do yourself. Pull it out gently, then when replacing, use an O-Ring pick set to push the new o ring safely onto the reg without damaging it. This handy kit also comes with a small tube silicone grease and brushes, or you can buy your own lubricant separately.
If you have any further questions about dive equipment maintenance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of experienced divers at Aquanauts.
The new Garmin Descent MK3range has been so popular we sold out in the first week. Taking pre orders for our next delivery now, order soon to get your hands on the most exclusive dive computer this winter!