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Maintenance after 1st Dive Trip with New Gear

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by Rob9876, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. aviator8

    aviator8 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    Are you saying get a tank so you can pressurize the reg for a soak, or to store your reg on a pressurized tank?
  2. Bruce Justinen

    Bruce Justinen Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Olympia, WA
    This is Bruce from SEASOFT SCUBA. I want to share my experience of cleaning my gear over the last 35 plus years and 6,000 plus dives.

    There are TEN enemies that want to kill your dive gear:

    1. Rust
    2. Bacteria
    3. Moisture/fungus/mildew
    4. Debris that holds bacteria, moisture and abrasives.
    5. Abrasives
    6. Salt (and other minor corrosives)
    7. The sun and the VHF rays it produces.
    8. Extreme Heat
    9. Extreme Cold
    10. Contact with chemicals

    In other words there are a lot of things trying to destroy your gear and believe me, millions of dollars of dive gear has been ruined, damaged or altered by the above 10 and many a tear has been shed.

    How do you protect yourself?

    Here are the rules I follow for protecting my own gear, they work for me, you are free to follow your own or find the ones that work for you.

    1. Rust - After I rinse my gear (more about that later) I use air from my tank with an air blower attachment or my compressor at home and I blow all of the water off any metal parts. I take my knives out of the sheathes (I have watched few people do this). I blow out my reg., octo. gauges, computer etc.. I blow out the inflator assembly and over pressure valve. Then I check my tire pressure, just kidding.

    2. Bacteria - I rinse all my gear in SEASOFT's LEMON GRENAIDE, this is the world's only enzyme cleaner, shampoo and deodorizer. This eats and kills all the bacteria that can destroy my neoprene and cordura products and it cleans them and then it leaves them smelling lemony instead of like wet neoprene. I guarantee that if you try it you will keep using it. People will think you have been cleaning all day, not a bad thing.

    3. Moisture/fungus/mildew - Too many divers put their gear away when it is still damp and too often a wet product develops bacteria, fungus or mildew and wrecks your gear. For my drysuit I use the UNDERWATER KINETICS Hang Air Dryer System. It is a hanger with a built in fan that circulates air through the suit and allows the suit to dry faster and evenly. We even use them at SEASOFT. Simple rule - it doesn't get packed up until it is bone dry - EVERYWHERE!

    4. Debris - This stuff is your enemy because it is like mulch to your gear - it holds water or bacteria or abrasives - nothing good. Rinse your gear enough that you get the corners, the hidden places, so that you wash this stuff away. I watch divers simply splash their gear in the shower and put it away. Yikes!

    5. Abrasives - This is the same as debris except it can do more damage especially in your reg. or other sensitive places. Rinse thoroughly!

    6. Salt - If you have ever found a stainless steel dive knife after it has spent time underwater then you have seen the power of salt's corrosiveness. It is pitted or worse. Decades ago I retrieved a beautiful piece of history from the depths, yes, I was ignorant then, I tried everything I could to save it but it literally fell into tiny pieces. The salt had taken its toll. I cried!

    So I soak my reg. set in hot water for about 10 minutes after diving to make sure there are no salt deposits taking root anywhere in my set up. When it gets serviced the tech mentions how clean it is. Good for me.

    7. The sun - VHF waves are like death rays, they will kill you and your gear, just give them enough time. You MUST keep your gear out of the sun. If you can't remember this then get fresh paper and write this over and over 1,000 times. "YOU must keep your gear out of the sun."

    8. Extreme Heat - Putting your gear into the trunk or in the back of your SUV and leaving it there all day after you dive where it will be 180 degrees F. is just asking for your gear to age or malfunction next time you dive. I have seen people leave their gear in their car the whole week in Phoenix in the summer or in the garage all summer in Los Angeles. You just can't do this and expect it to last and work the way you want it to.

    Would you want someone to put you in the trunk for a week in the summer?

    9. Extreme Cold - Freezing water inside a regulator or inflator assembly can crack the casing. It can damage gaskets and other sensitive parts of your gear. Dive gear is not designed for long term exposure to extremely cold temperatures . You never see scuba gear in the Winter Olympics - ever!

    10. Contact with chemicals - No one ever says I think I will pour bleach or drain cleaner or some other horrible chemical on their gear. But what really happened was they let those things get too CLOSE to their gear so that something nasty could happen. When you are cleaning or rinsing your gear make sure all of your household cleaning supplies are moved completely out of the way first then you are on safe ground. Then all you have to worry about are your kids, the pets and rodents.

    So there you have it - one man's journey to clean, safe gear. Send cash and checks only! Or chocolate!

  3. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    Without repeating what is stated above, here's a few more tips

    Make sure whatever you're dipping your gear into is clean. Drain and refill if necessary. This is not the time to take shortcuts.

    Don't trust anyone other than yourself to clean your life support diving gear. The Dive Op might do a fantastic job, and they might not. Generally speaking no one is going to put the effort into it that you will.

    Clean the vital life support gear first.

    Don't just swish the regs and BCD and dive computers/gauges in the dump tank for a minute. These two most important pieces of dive gear need special attention. Rinse them off (taking care to firmly attach the regulator dust cover(s) including on the BCD if you have a BCD mounted regulator, and after rinsing, soak them for a good 15 minutes or so. If the gear will be stored for months the BCD should be inflated, then submerged and filled with water (on the inside) and then drained. Several cycles may be needed before the water coming out of the BCD does not taste salty.

    Dive knifes need to be washed in fresh water and if stored for a while spray or treat with rust preventative.

    Dive alerts that run off tank pressure must be cleaned by activating them while INSIDE the rinse tank, don't do it on the surface, it will be deafeningly loud.

    The non life support items such as wetsuit, fins, gloves, and booties need to be rinsed and dipped and swished but not necessarily left for very long in the rinse tank.
  4. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along...

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
    You've got some great advice here. I'm curious though (genuinely, not being rude), was post dive equipment care a part of your certification?

    When I did open water my instructor from the very beginning strongly instilled in us the value of cleaning your gear after every dive. He would stand over us after every training that involved the gear and watch us rinse. I have a thorough approach to washing up after a dive as a result. Well, that with a dash of OCD thrown in.

    By my observations based on the quizzical looks I get when I mention how long it takes me to rinse after every dive, it doesn't seem to be something that is being emphasized a lot in training now.
    D_Fresh likes this.
  5. DogDiver

    DogDiver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Branford, Florida
    After a two week trip to Roatan rinsing things off as usual after every dive. The very next Saturday I took all my salt water gear for a 45 minute dive to 50 feet at Ginnie Springs. Ya I know, it sucks to live in North Florida lol. Then hang everything up for Two weeks before I pack it away till my next Roatan or Florida Keys trip.
  6. Bruce Justinen

    Bruce Justinen Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Dog Diver has it down. I tried a 45 minute dive in one of Seattle's deep potholes for 45 minutes, my stuff was still dirty.
    chillyinCanada and asmfish like this.
  7. 2airishuman

    2airishuman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    I have a 1.8cf cylinder that I use for soaking regs. Not good for anything else. 2"x11" so I can fit it and the regs in a bathroom sink. It started out life as the o2 bottle for a pilot's ejection seat.

    fwiw Nothing you do will make gear last forever
    laikabear likes this.
  8. TripleA

    TripleA Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Weeki Wachee Fl
    I was curious has anyone ever used any of the saltaway products used for cleaning boats and fishing equipment on scuba equipment?
  9. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    A plastic garbage can works for a rinse tank
    Diving Dubai likes this.
  10. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: same ocean as you
    although most peoples gear does as they don't use it

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