How to Maintain Your Scuba Dive Equipment in Good Condition

The basic scuba gear you need.
Scuba Gear Checklist

The illustration/checklist above does not include all the basic equipment needed for recreational diving.*

There is no question that scuba diving is one of the most expensive sports/hobbies to have, but it's VERY much worth it! Even if you dive at the same site more than once, each emersion is unique and you're guaranteed to see something new every time. The underwater world is an exciting, magical place that makes scuba diving almost impossible not to get addicted to.

Almost every dive center offers equipment that is either included in the price of the dives or you might need to rent separately, still many people prefer to have their own equipment. Why would you want to lug around heavy equipment each time you want to go diving? For several reasons...

Be One With Your Mask
  1. You know the condition of your equipment and how it has been taken care of.

  2. Fit - The most important fit of all of your dive gear is your mask. A mask that leaks or fogs can ruin a dive pretty quickly! There are so many things to see! You want all of your equipment to fit properly so that you are comfortable and not preoccupied with it while underwater.

  3. Familiarity - Each brand of equipment will have small to large differences in how it is made. It's important to be familiar with your regulator, BCD, and computer to avoid any miscalculations or make simple mistakes.

  4. Quality - Dive centers don't usually invest in the cheapest equipment because they need it to last, however, they don't buy the most expensive either. Equipment at a dive center gets used more and possibly not as well treated as your own.

  5. Cost - If you plan on diving more than a couple of times a year, then renting gear can add up pretty quickly. Some dive centers charge from $20 - $60 USD per day.

  6. Hygiene - Just because you are renting scuba equipment does not mean that said gear has been properly disinfected from the previous user. While I love scuba divers as much as the next person, I’ll be the first to admit, that we are a very unhygienic bunch. It’s not uncommon for a diver to spit into the lens of their mask, vomit through their regulator in rough seas, or pee in their wetsuit.

So now that you've decided to begin investing in your own equipment, the most important thing you need to do is take good care of it so that it lasts as long as possible. According to DAN, 15% of dive fatalities are caused by faulty equipment.

Here are some tips for basic care:

  1. Whether you are diving in freshwater or salt water, it's very important to rinse your gear in clean, fresh water after you finish diving for the day. * Wetsuits can be machine washed if taken out before the spin cycle and hung to air dry. A mild shampoo can be used to thoroughly wash it. * Be sure to purge your octopus and run water through the hoses. * Your BCD should be completely deflated then "place it in the bottom of the rinse tank, hold it down with your weights and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Then, drain the tank, rinse the equipment to remove most of the soap, refill the tank with fresh water and allow the equipment to soak a few more minutes to remove any soap residue. To rinse the inside, depress the manual-inflate button and hold the mouthpiece under running water until the BC is 60 to 70 percent full of water. Shake the BC to agitate the water and then drain it through each of the dump valves and the inflator hose. You should use each of the dumps, including the pull dump on the BC inflator hose, to remove salt crystals and sand from each of these important valves. Once you drain the water, fully inflate the BC, allow the remaining water in the BC to settle for a minute or two, and then drain it again. Finally, inflate the BC to about 50 percent of its volume and let it air-dry away from direct sunlight." -

  2. Let dry all of your equipment completely before storing it until your next dive. Nobody likes mold.

  3. Have your equipment checked/serviced periodically depending on how much you use it. It's recommended after 80-100 dives, however, some recommend after even every 20 dives you should have your gear checked/serviced.

  4. Before and after each dive check all moving parts and joints for any debris and defects.

  5. Store your equipment properly between dives. Refer to #2 AND remove any batteries, especially from your computer and lamp. * Don't dry or store fins on the blade end as they will bend out of shape. * Tanks shouldn't be stored completely full or completely empty, between 300-500 psi is ideal to avoid corrosion.

Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe to our blog! Keep your eye out for an upcoming article where we will give you the dos and don'ts of buying equipment, new or used. Happy and safe diving!

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