Care and Conservation
As has been mentioned in the previous modules, all diving equipment should be treated carefully, as some of its components are responsible for the safety of the diver. In addition, and taking into account that good quality equipment is not cheap, good maintenance ensures a longer duration.
The abundant washing with fresh water just after each dive is the first care to be taken with all the equipment. The wash is intended to remove not only sediments and sand, but also all the salt water from the equipment, which when drying would lead to salt deposits.
The drying of the material should always be done in the shade and in an airy place, preferably hanging. Heat and especially direct exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet rays) are the worst enemies of neoprene, rubber and silicone equipment.
FRESH WASHING AND SHADING ARE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT BASIC PRECAUTIONS FOR ALL DIVING EQUIPMENT
When we refer to the maintenance care of the instruments we are referring to all the equipment used by the diver, and we will pay special attention to the scaffolding. Some maintenance advice:
- All instruments must be packed in such a way as to be protected from shock.
- The compass should always be placed away from magnetic materials.
- The rotating crowns of the watch and compass must be thoroughly washed and cleaned with fresh water after diving.
- The dive computer should be washed with fresh water, especially in the area of the buttons that can accumulate salt water.
- The blade of the knife should be very dry, as well as with the inside of the baby, so as to avoid oxidation of the material.
- Or Ballast belt should not be dropped on the floor anyway, because with the blows the lead meshes are deformed, making it difficult to move or remove the belt. The operation of the buckle should be checked frequently to ensure that the belt can be released without any difficulty.
- The lanterns should be washed with fresh water, especially in the button area. Special care should be taken never to leave the batteries inside the flashlight to prevent electrical contacts from being damaged in the event of any batteries being damaged.
The components of the scaffolding are the bottle , regulator and vest.
The dive bottle should be handled with the utmost care to avoid any shock or fall, so that its outer coating is not damaged, as any blow to the protective paint can give rise to a rust point.
At the end of each dive the bottle should be washed with fresh water and set to dry in the shade. The bottle should not be left exposed to very high temperatures (especially in the trunk of cars) to avoid material dilations, and subsequent contractions, which affects the molecular structure of the material from which it is made. The bottle should always be kept lying down (transport, boat, pier) except when stored.
THE BOTTLE TAP MUST ALWAYS REMAIN CLOSED WHETHER IT CONTAINS OR DOES NOT AIR, AND MUST PREFERABLY REMAIN A MINIMUM AIR PRESSURE INSIDE
One of the most sensitive parts of the bottle is the faucet. It should be protected to the maximum against shocks, to avoid the warp of some of its components, which can lead to its blockage.
Special attention should be paid to the toric gasket that seals between the tap and the regulator, both in the “stirrup” system and in the DIN system. This joint should always be in very good condition, without cuts or defects, and when placed in the head room should be checked carefully if it is clean.
During the transport and storage of the bottles , the tap outlet must be protected by a plastic cover that prevents dust or other impurities from entering that may damage or hinder the seal of the joint.
Periodic Inspection of the Bottle and Tap
- Periodically the inside of the bottle should be inspected by a competent technician for rust formation. If this happens, the bottle should be cleaned in such a way as to remove all existing rust and, if necessary, protect the interior surface.
- Taps should be inspected annually, at the end or at the beginning of the season, by a qualified technician, who must replace the damaged components and lubricate internally.
BOTTLES MUST BE SUBMITTED PERIODICALLY (IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LEGISLATION) TO A HYDRAULIC TEST FOR EVALUATION OF THEIR STRUCTURE
The regulator, being the most complex part of the equipment, should be subject to the greatest care.
- During transport , it must be very well packed so that it is protected from shocks or the action of high weights that may deform it. When out of use, the air inlet on the 1st floor should always be covered to prevent dust, water or other foreign bodies from entering.
- Once mounted on the bottle , sudden movements should be avoided to prevent the regulator from hitting obstacles that could damage it. It is best to store the 2nd floor inside one of the pockets of the vest, or else secure it with an appropriate device, so that it does not walk loose.
- After diving and preferably before being removed from the bottle, the adjuster should be washed thoroughly with fresh water. The tap should remain open so that the system is under pressure, thus preventing any water from entering the low pressure valve on the 2nd floor. The second emergency floor must be attached to the equipment during the dive, without ever being let loose, hitting the rocks or dragging through the sand, to avoid damage.
The hose connecting the two floors of the regulator must be carefully stored. It should never be folded during storage and transport inside the dive bag. Like any other diving material, it should never be left exposed to the sun or high temperatures. The connection of the hose to threaded joints should be inspected regularly and frequently to ensure that there is no blow and that the joint is perfect.
When removing a hose from the regulator, the opening of the regulator and the end of the hose should be covered with the source caps, avoiding the entry of foreign bodies.
- The regulator shall be checked annually, at the end or at the beginning of the season, by a specialised technician who shall replace the damaged components and lubricate and fine-tune them.
NEVER DELIVERED THE MAINTENANCE OF YOUR REGULATOR THE CURIOUS BECAUSE IT DEPENDS ON ITS SURVIVAL
The diving vest, is another piece of equipment that is essential to keep well cared for and functional. As indicated for other equipment, the vest should also be washed with plenty of fresh water at the end of the dive. All nooks and crannies of the vest must be thoroughly washed, causing the water jet to focus on the exhaust valves and the nozzle and filling system of the trachea.
- The vest should be thoroughly washed inside with fresh water and immediately poured.
- Drying should be done in the light of heat and sunlight, hanging from the straps or on a hanger.
- After dry the vest should be stored in the diving bag, without being folded and with the flaps facing up, then placing the remaining equipment inside, and closing the tabs at the end.
- All metal parts of the vest must be thoroughly cleaned and the air intake system should be reviewed and lubricated regularly by a qualified technician to ensure its perfect operation and especially so that the filling knob never gets stuck when it is activated.
- Straps and buckles or carabiners should be kept clean and in good condition to ensure they work properly.
- The vest must be carried carefully, preventing it from contacting abrasive or sharp surfaces so that it does not suffer skinning or tearing (be careful to keep the knife ready and never leave it out of its protective cover).