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I'm a new-ish diver who thankfully has some good role models to learn from. One of the things I have learned is preflighting my gear a day or so in advance of a dive. (Yeah, yeah, if you dive often enough you don't have days inbetween... but I have to work to support my scuba habit!)
This habit has saved me some real problems. Most recently, my backup flashlight turned up with batteries that had gone into meltdown. That isn't something I want to find out when my primary flashlight malfunctions!
What I can't do is check my regulator and BC for leaks, since I don't own my own tanks. I know my dive buddy has turned up a leak at least once during a preflight that certainly saved a diving day.
My question is this... do you preflight your gear ahead of time? What sort of procedure do you go through?
Depends on the dive...
Last weekend was cave diving - I started inspecting each piece of gear I was using three weeks before the trip.
This morning I'm heading down to the Gulf. I just finished packing - last night I laid everything out and made a visual inspection. The rig I'm using was in the pool Wednesday night, where everything worked fine. Nevertheless, I'm taking a complete backup unit (well, three, actually, as I'm the dive leader for this evening's dives - if it were just me I'd take only a backup regulator and the usual save-a-dive kit).
Does the local diveshop where you bought your gear have a pool? I'm sure they'd let you borrow a tank for a leak check on your reg - we encourage our customers to come by and do so.
If you're a "mail order diver" buy your own tank mail order with all the money you saved, and use your bathtub.
I will agree with RM on this one: depends on the type of diving that I'm going to do, however, my normal rig usually doesn't have enough time to dry out between dives. See if your LDS has a pool that you can get some time in to test out your equipment. Depending on how much time has elapsed, it might not hurt to have it professionally serviced.
To test your BCD, blow it up manually and let it sit for about 24 hours and see if any air leaked out of it; if some did, well there's a leak someplace, although temperature changes can affect volume, so find a place that has a constant temp to test this theory. A lot of times BC's may leak around the valves, if at all. Not real common if you have never taken them off to clean the inside, though.
I like to go diving locally about 2 weeks before taking a major dive trip. Then I test out all my gear during the local dive. That still gives me time to get something fixed, if need be.
Then rinsing it and drying it, and inspecting it closely, is the final step, before packing it.
It would seem like a bad idea to have your reg serviced just before leaving for a trip. Because then you would not know if the servicing was done correctly or not. If there were a problem, you would find out too late, at your destination.
I have had problems once with a reg coming back from being serviced an not functioning properly. If that happened before a trip, it could lead to a major disappointment.
I usualy get to dive every other weekend ( got to spend some time with the non diving better half). The night before we go to the dive site I check all my kit Regulators, BCD, Tanks, and fin and mask straps for wear. I take the Regs and BC back to the Uk annually for servicing cos we dont have access to LDS where we are. I have downloaded all the servicing documents for my Regs and BC just in case and have perchased Servicing kits but I will only have a go myself if something goes badly wrong. I work on Aircraft and the servicing documents for the dive gear are very comprehensive but I am not trained in Reg servicing but if it came to a choice of not diving or doing it my self I would lean to the DIY approach. But I would be very careful!
I get about 2 to 3 dives per week and most of the time my gear never leaves the back of my Explorer. A lot of my dives are clean fresh water so the stuff is already rinsed. In salt water I'll take it out, rinse it and throw it back in the truck (except the dry suit, which I hang up in the laundry room).
I love the smell of wet neoprene in the morning.
Prior to water entry....I have my students cross each other...works really well...incorporated this from business flying...prior to take off pilots always ask attendents to cross check....plus I have a lot of pilots and flight attendents as students...comes natural to them
All good new guy. The military makes us fill out check lists for pre and post dives. Bit xtreme for SCUBA but I check everything at least twice before EVERY dive. Murphy has a hand in everything and failure is emminent. If you train with what you dive and use common sense survival is guaranteed.