As a scuba diver we must look after our equipment so it can look after us underwater!
During the PADI Open Water Course, when you started diving, there is a whole section on equipment and how to care for it, hopefully your Instructor would have gone through the correct way to wash the dive gear. Although in some Countries, all this is done for you by the staff. This should not have been the case as it is a part of the Open Water Course, as it is with the PADI Scuba Diver Course. Its covered in the very first chapter.
At Dive In, when we train customers we do go through the correct way to wash the diving equipment.
After each dive, whether it be in a pool or the sea, the equipment needs to be washed properly.
Well both chlorine and salt water can damage the gear. Chlorine is a type of bleach, and salt in the water when dry will turn into salt crystals. This will damage BCD’s, wetsuits and of course the regulators.
So how do you wash your gear after each dive?
- Ensure that the dust cap is in place. Why it is called a dust cap is strange as its main purpose is to stop water entering the 1st stage of the regulator. Failure to have this in place and getting water in the 1st stage, will mean that the regulator will need servicing. This is costly, and most Dive Centre’s will charge you for this!!
- Firstly rinse the regulators in clean fresh water. Do not push the purge button when doing this, the purge should never be push when in water unless connected to a cylinder that has been turned on. Shake the excess water out and hang to dry.
- Next comes the BCD. Rinse in the fresh water, put water into the BCD via the manual inflation tube, by holding down the button that releases the air whist filling with the water. Turn upside down and swill the water around inside the BCD. Whilst still upside down empty all of the water out via the inflator, push both the inflate and deflate buttons to clean them thoroughly. Turn the right way up and pull the dump valve at the bottom to ensure all the water is out. Hang up to dry after manually blowing air into the BCD.
- Rinse your mask.
- Wetsuits are next. Thoroughly rinse, inside out and hang to dry. Make such that all the equipment drys in the shade, as direct sunlight will bleach your gear.
- Now your boots and lastly the weight belt.
Remember this order for hygiene! Some divers do pee in their wetsuits and who wants to rinse their regulators in anther divers pee?????