Manta Divers October 2014 Gear Maintenance
The days are getting shorter and the air is getting crisper. I guess that means autumn is here. Many of us are scrambling to get in a few more dives, but if you are in that group that is done for the season, it is time to get your gear cleaned and the maintenance done so it is ready to go when you are!
A thorough cleaning of your BC is easy to do and will pay dividends when you want to dive next. Perform a quick inspection and trim any loose threads. Carefully clean hook and loop closures, making certain they are free of hair, vegetation, or lint. Orally inflate your BC and place it into a tub of fresh water. Submerge the vest, rotating in all directions, looking for bubbling, which may indicate a leak. Mark any spots that are leaking and repair with Aquaseal, or bring it into the shop for repairs.
If your BC seems intact, move on to cleaning. Soak your BC for about 10 minutes in a tub with water and BC Life to remove dirt, salt and organic materials. Next, pour 4 capfuls of BC Life into your BC via the inflator hose, then fill the bladder about half way with water. Orally inflate the BC and rotate it in all directions to make sure that the cleaner gets into all the nooks and crannies of your BC. Cleaning the interior of your BC is important for several reasons. First, salt crystals are sharp and can abrade BC bladders, O-rings and hoses over time. In addition, even if you are fairly religious about rinsing your BC with fresh water after use, bacteria and other biological matter may still be inside, and may need some chemical encouragement to vacate the BC. After your soak and interior cleaning is complete, hang the BC upside down and drain the soap solution out of the bladder. Fill the bladder again, this time with fresh water. Again, inflate and agitate to thoroughly rinse the inside, then drain, repeating as needed to remove all cleaning solution. Once you are satisfied that the inside is free of cleaner, thoroughly rinse the outside in a tub of fresh water. Inflate your BC and hang until dry. Finally, protect your BC from UV damage by spraying it with UV Tech and buffing with a clean soft cloth.
While basic BC maintenance can be performed by the owner, Regulators must be serviced by a factory trained technician. In general, regulators should be inspected the first year and completely rebuilt the second year. If you purchased a new Aqualung regulator, you must keep this schedule in order to continue to get parts for free. If you are unsure if it is time to rebuild your regulator, just call the shop and we will be happy to look it up for you. It’s a good idea to get your reg in now to avoid the rush in the spring. In addition, if you are taking a trip this winter, why not dive with a reg in prime working condition.
Remember that your dive gear is more than just your vehicle for underwater fun, but is truly your life support underwater. Treat it well and you will enjoy many years of safe, fun adventures underwater!
In Other News……………………….
Are you ready to invest in your own gear, but a little short on funds? Manta Divers is turning over their rental gear giving divers a chance to get their hands on good, well maintained gear with a known track record. If you are lucky, it may be the very set up you trained in. This is a great way to get your own gear without breaking the bank. Don't waste time. Supply is limited.
Learn to dive with Enriched Air! Who doesn’t want longer no stop times? Enriched air contains more than the usual 21% oxygen. That means that divers breathing this gas are loading less nitrogen and therefore have longer no decompression times. It is easy to learn to dive with enriched air and you can complete this course before your next trip. Sign up today, for our PADI Enriched Air specialty course, Tuesday, December 16, 6:30pm.
We have scheduled a Buoyancy Clinic for January 10 (Classroom, 4-6pm) and 11 (Pool, 1pm). This is a very popular course that covers proper weighting, use of trim weights, streamlining and visualization techniques. In addition, several styles of buoyancy compensators will be discussed for optimal performance using any BC. It is recommended for any diver who wants to further hone his buoyancy skills, learn to adjust his BC for optimal performance, or compensate for the addition of gear, such as a new camera. Besides that, it is a lot of fun and an excuse to get wet in the off season! Space is limited, so sign up early!