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Cleaning BCD

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Dana Wyse, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
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    Stepfen-
    Bear in mind that if there is any moisture in the bladder, and any biomatter, you may get "crud" growing in it. In a perfect world no seawater (aka protein soup) would ever get in and you'd never need to rinse it out. I used to just rinse once with a spot of shampoo then again with fresh water but these days there actually is BCD cleaner sold.
    The process is still the same. The bladder might dry in one day sitting in the hot sun outdoors, or it might take a week indoors. Easiest way to get it dry fast is to use a hair dryer with a hose/funnel on the front to push warm dry air into the bladder, which is a PITA but then again, so is leaving it out for three days to dry, or putting it back together with "fresh" water still inside.
    I don't think anyone has ever died from a BC-induced respiratory condition, but how clean you keep it is up to you. If you are good about not letting seawater into it...easier than cleaning it out afterwards.
     
  2. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
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    Agree. On some dives I have no sea water in there, others a fair bit. Depends on how much I vary my depth and have to use the inflator. My guess is once salt water gets in there the first time, remnants of it may still exist, even after the shampoo rinsing. I use air from my breath, not from tank. I wouldn't worry--neither my BC nor I have died yet.
     
  3. Dana Wyse

    Dana Wyse Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Los Altos
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    Thanks everyone for the great and detailed responses.
     
  4. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
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    Great point,

    I rinse the bladder 3 times and do the inflate circuit on the final flush. Since that part of the valve sees mainly air I try not to inundate it with any more salt than necessary.

    If I fill it just right it will create a venturi effect that inflates the bladder as it fills perhaps 1/3 with water. That makes for a nice sloshing rinse and vigorous exhaust. Otherwise orally top it off.

    I find it more pleasant to do the inside first since the BC is relatively dry when i get home and it's more comfortable to handle, especially on a chilly evening. After the 3 flushes it spends about half an hour sunk in a warm fresh water rinse barrel. Remove, drain, inflate and hang until next time.

    Show your gear some love.
     
  5. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
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    I just inflate it by mouth.... But you are probably right. I would be less humid in there if you used tank air.
     
  6. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
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    That's interesting. I've read somewhere (it might be here on SB) that's it's not good to reverse flow water through the inflation hose.
     
  7. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
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    Dunno why not. I have been doing it for years and the inflators work fine. They are going to get salt water in them, you don't want it to crystallize. And it's not like you are pushing water up a hose into a regulator. I can't see what the problem is, but maybe I'm missing something.
     
  8. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
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    I used to do it for years as well.
    I'm trying to remember where I read it. I think it was something about the pressure coming out in the reverse direction being so low that you could inadvertently introduced debris from within the BCD and cause a blockage into the LP inflator.
    When I go home I'll check if it was my BCD instruction manual.
     
  9. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
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    I guess.... I don't do it until after the second fresh water rinse. But I'm always willing learn!
     
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
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    All well & good. But you should dump the salt water out first. I guess you could use the quick dump for that. Dumping salt or lots of shampooed fresh water out the LPI hasn't seemed to effect it in over a decade.
     

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