A set of dive gear is a big investment. If you’re interested in doing everything you can to keep your equipment in top condition, check out our list of things to avoid:
Don’t leave your equipment in direct sunlight. Yes, the sun will dry your gear fast, but the UV rays also break down rubber and fabric. Dry your equipment in the shade (or better still, purpose-built indoor drying rooms) to extend its lifetime.
The beach would be great if it weren’t for all the sand. Those tiny sand particles can get lodged in tank valves, regulators, and in the LP inflator or dumps on your BCD. Avoid placing your gear on sandy surfaces where possible, and always rinse it in fresh water after every dive. Try using a soft bristle toothbrush to remove sand from hard-to-reach crevices.
Saltwater is another reason to do a freshwater rinse after every dive. All metals and alloys have the potential for corrosion, especially when exposed to seawater. Preventing corrosion will extend the life of your gear and is much cheaper than repairing – or replacing – it.
Chlorine from swimming pools accelerates the breakdown of materials and can fade the colour of your scuba equipment. Petroleum jelly might seem harmless, but it destroys rubber o-rings. Always seek advice from an expert when it comes to exposing your equipment to chemical based products – they may shorten the life of, or even completely destroy, your dive gear.
Scuba equipment has special storage requirements. For example, never pack away your gear until it is thoroughly dry, and coil your regulator hoses so they don’t kink. Store your items in damp-proof boxes. If you take the time to store your gear properly, it will last longer.
Diving involves a lot of energy and excitement. Don’t wear yourself out or get so distracted that you become unaware of where your gear is resting between dives. The middle of a parking lot, road or busy marina is no place to leave your gear; passing traffic might reduce your new torch to a sad pile of broken plastic, and an expensive and shiny camera might not be where you left it if there are unscrupulous types walking by. Keep your equipment secure, tidy, out of the way.
A diver with poor buoyancy and bad “trim” is at risk of dragging gear over rocks, coral reefs and through sand which leads to physical damage of equipment as well as the environment. Keep your gauges, octopus, and accessories secure and close to your body when you’re diving by honing your buoyancy skills.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your gear works and extending its life, check out the PADI Equipment Specialist Touch.