You’ve had a full summer of diving, and now autumn is in the air—even in South Florida. It may not feel cooler, but the winds are up, the seas are a bit choppier. It’s the perfect time to bring your gear into Jupiter Dive Center for service.
Divers depend on their equipment for survival at depth, so it is staggering to consider how many risk their safety by not properly maintaining that equipment according to industry standards. Seawater is corrosive, and Florida is humid—neither is an ideal environment for equipment. Fortunately, there is a lot an individual diver can do to ensure the integrity of his or her equipment. That preventive maintenance coupled with annual service by a certified technician, and you can be confident that your equipment will give you years of safe use.
Always rinse your gear after diving. Simple right? Yet, there are plenty of people who can’t be bothered. Don’t be that person. Always make sure your regulator’s first stage dust cap is in place before dunking your regulator into the rinse bin or hosing it down with fresh water to remove the salty seawater. Taking a class in a pool? Rinse off after that, too. With extended exposure, chlorine will fade the colors from your BCD and wetsuits.
And about those BCDs. If you have an Air II, make sure you cap the connection before dunking it. During a dive, saltwater can seep into the bladders, which means when you rinse, you should always put some fresh water in it, swish it around and then drain it. Either elevate it upside down and hold the manual inflate button open so it can drain or use either the rump or shoulder dump pulls. Remember that water always runs to the lowest point. It won’t do you any good to pull on a shoulder dump if the water has collected below it. Once drained, manually inflate it a bit before you store it.
Wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, flashlights—if it went in the water, it needs a rinse. Whenever possible, wetsuits should be stored hanging. Neoprene can compress and crease otherwise. Unless you are storing your gear in a climate-controlled space, avoid storing anything in a plastic wrapper. If the gear is the least bit damp when you put it in a bag, you are inviting the possibility of mildew and mold.
No matter how well you treat your gear, you still need to take your equipment to a professional for annual service—regardless of the number of dives you did. Time and dust and storage in a garage can also result in damage to equipment. Going on a dive trip? Get the gear serviced before you go. Your destination may not have the facilities or the parts to fix your particular brand of gear. Why let something so easily preventable ruin a vacation?
Jupiter Dive Center has a full-service department for all your equipment repair needs. Call or visit our shop for more information. We offer quick turn-around times—just in case the summerlike conditions return. This is South Florida, after all.