How to Store and Maintain your Scuba Gear
Scuba gear doesn’t come cheap and even if you find it relatively cheap, finding one which fits isn’t easy either. So when you do have one which is perfect for you, you will want it to last as long as possible and to do this, you will need to follow certain maintenance and storage tips.
Sun, sand and salt, the very elements which work together to create a fun day underwater are the worst enemies of your scuba gear.
In this article, you will learn how to store and maintain your scuba gear as well as find out how to give the much-needed attention to sensitive parts and pieces of your scuba gear.
GUIDE TO GEAR MAINTENANCE AND STORAGE
- RINSE ALL GEAR AFTER USE
Salt water corrodes equipment faster than freshwater, and this includes parts of the regulator, BCD, and dive computer. This rinsing should be done with cold or lukewarm water to protect against corrosion.
Rinsing also rids your equipment of any sand and dust particles which may have found their way into zippers, buckles and other parts in your gear and this is a recipe for disaster. Also, biological matter which finds its way into your gear can cause them to stink. The idea is to keep your gear free of dust, sand or biological matter.
When cleaning, never use chlorinated water as it may be as damaging if not worse than salt water.
- KEEP OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT
UV rays are not just dangerous to biological entities. The result in comparable damage to just about any kind of material so you should keep your diving gear safely tucked in your dive bag or inside a dark room.
- HANDLE WITH CARE
Gears are expensive, and it is critical you handle with care especially when dealing with the sensitive pieces like your mask, regulator and dive computer. When unloading your gear, it’s best you do it yourself, so it doesn’t get into positions where it is tossed around by other divers on board.
Also, store your gear in sturdy wooden or plastic hangers and not skinny metal ones as metal hangers can wrap over your gear and stain them all over.
- GIVE YOUR GEAR SPACE TO AIR OUT
Your gear should be stored in a cool, dry environment with enough space to breathe and dry out. Arrange your regulator hoses, snorkel tubes, and BCD bladders in a manner in which each has its space.
Once your gear is completely dry, you then store in a dive bag or storage container.
- AVOID THEFT
You must protect your gear jealously, so it doesn’t catch the eyes of thief’s and. Keep your gear in an inconspicuous and even tattered bag while observing basic precautions like drying them within eyesight, keeping your bag always locked and stored somewhere dry. You should also keep small items like cameras and dive computers always locked as these are easy to snatch.
HOW TO STORE AND MAINTAIN IMPORTANT PIECES OF YOUR DIVING GEAR
- STORING AND MAINTAINING YOUR WETSUIT, MASK, SNORKEL, AND FINS
When drying or storing your wetsuit, turn them inside-out as this make it less prone to UV damage and protects the surface. Also, if you’re going out for a quick dive, drying inside out means you the inside is dry even if the outside isn’t.
Also, you should wash your mask, snorkel, and fins with some soapy water. You can also scrape out any bit of sand stuck between the cracks of your mask lens with a toothbrush. Also, avoid peeing in your wetsuits and if you do, clean up with soapy water once done.
- STORING AND MAINTAINING YOUR BCD
BCDs are sensitive to UV light from the sun because they are composed primarily of nylon, plastic, and rubber. Rinse your BCD fully after a dive and move the pieces all around- including buckles, zippers, and Velcro. Also, inflate ad deflate the BCD to remove any sand particles stuck in the button.
You should also be wary of the presence of holes in your BCD and to check for holes in your BCD, inflate it and dunk in a bowl of water. If any bubbles are escaping, it’s likely you have a hole.
- STORING AND MAINTAINING YOUR REGULATOR
Regulators need regular servicing as outlined by the manufacturers. Usually, this servicing can range from within 100 to 200 diving hours every three years.
Give your regulator a thorough clean by scrubbing the mouthpieces with a hard brush and soapy water. Blow into the dust cap with air from the tank and once the regulator is totally dry, put silicone spray on the metal pieces, the BCD disconnect, and the first stage knob.
- STORING AND MAINTAINING YOUR COMPUTER
Press all buttons a couple of times to ease out any sand or saltwater. Afterward, dry and store in a safe place.