Scuba gear service/cleaning/maintance??? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 06-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
Jeremy Hoekstra
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Question Scuba gear service/cleaning/maintance???

In conversation yesterday the question was posed, what do you do with your gear?

I was under the impression that once a year we are required to have our gear inspected and maintained to maintain the manufactures warranty.
Of course the only real gear I'm worried about is my regulators and BC, tanks are a given.

I work with a guy who used to dive on scuba and freedive while stationed overseas, we were talking about him going diving again and he said he have to gather all his gear because he hadn't used it in like 10 years...
I said: "aren't you going to have it looked at first"?
He said: there was nothing wrong with it the last time I used it.
I said: what if something happens to those old o-rings in your reg?
He said: I'll just end the dive and head for the surface.
Needless to say I think he has micro bubbles on his brain already and I don't think I'll be diving with him.

What do you guys do with your gear?
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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It's simple to me...... I use atomic M1 regs and they recommend service every two years which includes new seals & O-rings..(Check your manufacturer for their recommendation).... everything else is inspected every time I use it and changed out as needed.... I would recommend the same but of course there are some who do more & some who do less...I dive hundreds of times a year so my gear is well used.... I'd just rather be safe than sorry... Good luck.....

good point SaltAddict... better add my cleaning regiment... I completely submerge all of my gear in a 55 gal drum and let it soak for a little bit then I hang it on a wheeled cart.... when dry I wheel it into the garage til next time...
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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I don't always rinse mine after every dive. I do inspect everything down to the snap bolts and seals before every trip. Like noworryz said, I follow the manufacturers rec for service.

One thing I do to preserve zippers is work them back and forth under fresh water to clear salt. I have thrown away many pairs of booties due to zipper failure. This seems to help a lot.

I also submerge my speargun. A failing trigger mechanism or line drop can be a nightmare. For you guys new to the powerheads, take them apart (at the threaded parts) and soak them also. They will rust and sieze up. That is NO GOOD.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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I wash everything, every time.
Rubber, plastic, glass, steel, fabric, stringer, knives, spearguns to the air tanks them selfs, it all goes in tap water and a good splash of simple-green. If I get home to late and am exhausted I'll do it the next day and then let it soak a little while. It's a pain and maybe overkill but that's what I do.

I just don't know about the annual service, guess I need to break out the boxes.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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I get my regs serviced every year, usually in January. Most of the manufacturers will offer free parts for your regs if serviced once a year. You still have to pay for the labor, but they cover the replacement o-rings and seals.
I let my gear sit in one of those plastic tubs from Walmart with a water hose running in it constantly. This seems to be working better than just trying to spray it down good. I would end up with some salt residue around the edges of my inflater hose if I just tried to rinse/spray it good. Soaking it in the tub is the best way I have found. I soak the handle of my gun in the tub also to help rinse it.

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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+1 for atomics

The two most common scuba failures are inflators, and the HP swivel for your computer/spg, neither of which do you want failing.

If you have an HP swivel you need to have it cleaned, and the o-rings replaced each year. You can do this yourself, but I recommend O2-safe grease, and O2-compatible O-rings (they seem to hold up better).

If you have an Atomic SS1, then you can have it serviced once every two years, other integrated regs once a year, but the plain old inflators either need to be replaced or rebuilt once a year. I say replaced, because it's almost as expensive to service one as it is to buy a new model. I always keep a spare spg and inflator in my save-a-dive kit because I've seen so many issues.

I wouldn't dive with someone who wanted to use gear that wasn't used or serviced in 10 years.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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If I had gear that has not been used in 10 years, I would service all of the regulators and the inflator, or have them serviced. I would also test everything thoroughly, including the BC bladder, overpressure valves, and so on.

As far as regular maintenance goes, I agree that soaking your gear is better than rinsing it. I also recommend Atomic regulators.

Like Clint, I spend hundreds of hours in the water each year. So my gear pretty much stays wet. This seems to lead to fewer problems with o-rings, bladders, and anything else that is meant to remain flexible.

Although I recommend that most folks take their equipment to a dive shop for service, I typically service and repair my own gear. Like filling my own tanks, repairing gear helps me keep close tabs on the state of my equipment. This is overkill for most folks. Since I do a lot of deep diving, it's how I roll.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info guys!
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:14 PM   #9
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I know this is kind of an old thread, but I got some older gear from my uncle when getting into spearfishing. I had all the stuff I kept serviced, but my buddy wanted the BC I couldn't wear. I told him to have it serviced for sure.

I had been certified previously, but didn't really have any good dive buddies at that time. I couldn't find my cards and registration, naturally PADI couldn't find it. I had to get recertified, and he got certified along with me. We headed to the coast for our first dives after certification, and were supposed to go with a friend out of Dauphin Island on the natural gas rigs in 100 fsw at least.

That guy got stung by a single bee, swole up like a beach ball, and we scrambled to make other plans. Ended up going on a charter dive, and out of Pensacola. First spot was pretty shallow (probably 45'), but I'm guessing we were at 3 barges, or maybe something even closer in.

We drop over the side, and start trying to find the spot since we were anchored off it. Well, away we went along the bottom, my experienced friend in front, me in the middle, and the real newbie behind. I'd check behind every once in a while, and there he'd be, but on the 3rd or 4th check? Gone. I couldn't see him anywhere, behind, ahead, to the side, or up. He might have been able to grab a rig leg on the way up if we had made it out deeper as planned previously, but he would've been a goner for sure if the charter dive would've started out on a deeper wreck.

I learned that the inflator hose fails "open" that day. His BC filled up in seconds, rocketing him to the surface. They said he came out of the water so fast, they thought a dolphin jumped behind the boat. He's lucky to be alive and pretty scared of diving these days.

We haven't been diving much lately, so my gear is in a similar state now unuse and most certainly will be serviced before I dive again.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:06 AM   #10
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Wow, that doesn't sound like a fun situation at all!
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