Manta Divers, October, 2012 Gear Maintenance
I’m sure everyone has noticed the drop in temperatures, shorter days and the hints of color coming to the leaves. Squirrels and chipmunks, seeing the signs of impending winter, are gathering food readying their dens. Divers need to take the hint, too. You probably would never fold up and store dirty summer clothing, so why would you store your dive gear without first cleaning it? Now is the time to thoroughly clean and inspect all of your gear for storage until your next dive adventure.
Start with a quick inspection of your BC. Trim any loose threads and 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 Aqualseal, 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.
If you are not going to be diving for a while and it is due, this is a good time to bring your regulator into the shop for its required maintenance. (You will be avoiding the spring rush!) If your regulator is not due for inspection or rebuild, you should still do a thorough cleaning before hanging it up for the next couple of months. Run fresh water through the second stage, being careful to avoid pressing the purge button. You may wash the mouthpiece with a soapy cloth, and then rinse with fresh water. I also like to soak the mouthpiece in a solution of dilute Listerine to freshen it up. Inspect all the hoses for cracks or wear. If any are detected, have them replaced at the shop. Finally, we recommend treating the hoses with UV Tech, a conditioner and sunscreen for outdoor gear. This will not only protect your hoses from damage from the sun, but will rejuvenate synthetic materials. UV Tech is great for fins and bags, as well!
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!
If you would like to learn more about maintaining your dive gear and gain a better understanding of how all of this stuff works, sign up for the Equipment Specialist Course, October 22 and 24 at 6pm at the shop.
In other news……………….
This is your very last chance to snap up one of the available spots on the Team Manta Bonaire Adventure, January 12-19, 2013 and still get the price we locked in months ago! Bonaire is one of the premier diving spots in the Caribbean and this package is loaded with extras. Stop in and sign up today!
Wouldn’t it be great to own your own tank and weights? Now is the time to act! Manta Divers is having their group tank and weight sale. Every tank is 20% off and we also have 20% off weights. Have you considered a steel tank? The advantage of a steel tank is that it maintains negative buoyancy even as it approaches 500psi, meaning that you use less lead. In addition, a steel 100, for example, is the same diameter and about 3 inches shorter than an aluminum 80.
Aluminum 63 or 80cuft, sale priced $212
Steel 65 or 80cuft (pressurized to 3442psi) sale priced $340
Steel 100 (3442psi) sale priced $405
Congratulations to new Open Water Divers Ricardo Guedes, Chris Cubberly and Delvin Willis!
Have you heard about the new Aqualung Griplok Cam band? Check this link!
Want to communicate more effectively underwater? Join us for the Sea Signs Course November 19 and 26, 2012 at the shop. Prior registration is required.