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How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Scuba Diving Gear

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Top 10 Gear Fixes You Can Do Yourself
Top 10 Gear Fixes You Can Do Yourself
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Today, we’re diving into the essential topic of what diving gear you can service and maintain yourself with minimal technical know-how. The extent of what you can service varies by location and manufacturer, so we’ll stick to the basics. In the UK, for example, regulator service kits or certain replacement parts aren’t sold to the public; a qualified technician must fit them for you. This ensures a reduced risk of damaging your regulator and using faulty equipment.

However, if you know your way around a hex key and a spanner, you should be good for these basic maintenance tips. It’s important to remember that dive gear isn’t universal—while some items can be disassembled without tools, others require special tools. When in doubt, consult a service technician or chat with one of the experts at scuba.com, today’s sponsor.

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BCD Maintenance

Your BCD requires more than just a good wash. Over-pressure valves can be removed easily by unscrewing them, although some brands like Scubapro use special locking rings that need specific tools. For most common BCDs, hand-tightened valves are the norm. Always check the seals and be careful not to cross-thread when reassembling. Inflation valves can also be serviced, but many proprietary valves require special tools or are even disposable. Aside from these, clean zippers and check for wear and tear regularly.

Mask Care

For your mask, a thorough clean is essential. Disassembling the mask, if possible, helps clean the small spaces where mould can grow. If your mask supports prescription lenses, it’s likely disassemblable. Replace the strap by loosening it through the retainer and buckle.

Wetsuit Upkeep

Wetsuits mainly need attention to zippers and odour. Bacteria thrive in wetsuits due to their absorbent lining, so a good wash with wetsuit shampoo is recommended. Regular dish soap can work in a pinch, but a wetsuit-specific product is best. Inspect seams for potential splits and use neoprene glue to patch them up. Reinforce stitches and ensure they’re watertight with neoprene glue.

Drysuit Maintenance

Both inflate and deflate valves on drysuits can be removed and cleaned with warm soapy water. Inspect seals for wear and dust with unscented talc to prevent sticking. For leaks, block the neck and wrists, inflate the suit, and spray with soapy water to spot bubbles. Metal zippers need waxing; use solid wax when closed, and run the slider to work it in. For stuck sliders, soak in warm water with vinegar, then neutralise with a baking soda bath.

Dive Computer Battery

Replacing the battery in a dive computer is straightforward, but ensure you use the right battery and replace O-rings frequently as they wear out. Rechargeable batteries should be kept between 20-80% to extend their life. Inspect straps for wear and replace any damaged parts before diving.

Top 10 Dive Gear Fixes You Can Do Yourself Dive Computer

Regulator Basics

For regulators, limit your DIY to replacing hoses and mouthpieces. Always use the correct tools to avoid damaging internal mechanisms. Regular washing and inspection are crucial, but more complex tasks should be left to a professional.

Fins

Fins are robust but check straps for wear. Replace straps by pushing the buckle off the peg and aligning correctly when reattaching. Persistent effort may be required, but ensure they’re secure before your next dive.

Cylinder Care

Inspect your cylinder for dents and scratches that could indicate structural issues. Remove any boots or netting and check for rust. Regularly replace the O-ring on A-clamp valves to ensure proper sealing.

Dive Knife

Steel dive knives, even stainless steel, can rust. Clean and dry them thoroughly after each dive, applying a light coat of grease to prevent rust. Sharpen regularly to maintain the cutting edge.

Top 10 Dive Gear Fixes You Can Do Yourself Dive Knife

Dive Bag

Don’t neglect your dive bag. Saltwater residue can damage zippers and fabric, so wash and dry the bag thoroughly after each use.

Conclusion

When in doubt, consult your local dive centre or the experts at scuba.com. Proper maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your gear but also ensures your safety underwater. Wash, clean, and dry your gear inside and out, keep it out of direct sunlight, and you’ll enjoy many more dives to come. For more diving tips, visit scuba diver mag dot com, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thanks for watching and safe diving!

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