Dive gear should be serviced yearly or after every 80 to 100 dives.
If you want your dive gear professionally serviced and maintained by a trained technician, bring it in or message 0791976835. We can easily arrange a courier to collect your gear if you are outside the Mossel Bay area.
Servicing your gear and why
Let’s start with the most important item to remember not only while taking your regulator in for repair, but also when packing it away under your diving gear, storing it for an extended amount of time, or wondering if your regulator needs to be serviced.
This is the mechanism that ensures your survival
It’s as important as the equipment on a space rocket; it’s in charge of giving oxygen-rich air to your lungs, which regulates your body’s operations, and we all know what happens if it breaks down.As previously stated, this is by far the most important piece of equipment you own, and we must treat it as such.
Your regulator should be serviced once a year (or twice a year, depending on the type; we’ll get into that later) whether you’ve done one dive or 100.
Because your regulator has a lot of moving parts, particularly o-rings, which are made of rubber or EPDM on most (if not all) modern regulators (Oxygen Compatible to 40 percent ).The integrity of the o-rings begins to erode after a year, and the lubricants begin to wear out and get stale.So it’s not a question of “Oh, but I only dove with it four times, so I can service it next year,” or “Oh, but I only dove with it four times, so I can service it next year.”Your regulator’s annual servicing is not as expensive as you may think, costing between R300 and R500 every year, with certain equipment manufacturers covering the parts.
Your regulator should be serviced every two years, according to some manufacturers.To determine whether you should take your regulator to your local diving shop, I strongly suggest you to use the following criteria.
Take into consideration the following:
1. Check to see if your regulator is in functioning order. You’ll save money every year if you do 1–50 dives per year, which is typical of a vacation diver.
2. If you’re a “active diver,” as described by the SCUBA industry, you do 50 to 100 dives each year, and your regulator should be serviced every year rather than every two years in this case. You should be proud to identify as a scuba junkie – have your regulator serviced at least twice a year if you can afford it.
Everyone should have learned a little bit about scuba tanks in their separate basic dive courses. If that’s the case, steel and aluminum tanks are both options. Depending on where you reside, these tanks should be visually inspected once a year and hydro-statically evaluated every 3 to 5 years
Steel tanks can withstand a wide range of pressures, however aluminum tanks may withstand up to 3000 PSI, with certain HP Aluminum reaching 3300 PSI (200 Bar to 220 Bar).
Low pressure (2400 PSI/160 bar), pressure (3000 PSI/200 bar), and high pressure (3400 PSI/230 bar) are the three most common steel pressure ratings.
When it comes to buoyancy, a steel 100 tank will keep you negative 6 pounds and neutral when empty, but an aluminum 80 tank would keep you buoyant about 6 pounds or 3kgs towards the end of your dive. I’m going to try to keep it as simple and basic as possible so that everyone can understand it.
Let’s start with aluminum’s and what you need know about keeping them in good condition. Aluminum tanks are sturdy because to their thick walls, but they don’t absorb impact effectively, and older tanks are more prone to cracks, bursts, and dents in the metal. To eliminate contaminates that could cause interior corrosion, service your aluminum tank by being cautious when moving or transferring it, keeping an up-to-date visual inspection (visuals), and taking it to a reputable fill station. Aluminum oxide corrosion is a regular occurrence in aluminum tanks, and it is caused by moisture buildup from an improperly maintained compressor or allowing your tank to run out of air ( this is a mandatory visual inspection from any dive shop and for your own safety you should recommend it).
Valve servicing is also very important, and tank manufacturers recommend that it be done once a year. A note on this is that a valve rebuild or a valve clean can be obtained. Some dive shops will just clean and replace o-rings, while others will fix the valve’s inner workings, which I strongly advise in order to avoid catastrophic failure. Many of the same service needs apply to steel tanks as they do to aluminum tanks, such as handling with care, performing frequent visual inspections, and getting the valve serviced. We (the visual inspection) frequently observe a little rust on the inside tank when it comes to corrosion. If your dive shop says they “tumbled” your tank, that doesn’t mean they pushed it down the driveway or tried to flip it as many times as they could while throwing it. They cleaned the tank and dried it to like-new condition after filling it with a solution that dissolves a thin layer. This is due to hasty fills, which may be avoided by visiting a trustworthy dive shop again.
The last thing to remember when caring for your steel tank is to provide adequate time for the dive shop to fill it.
A hot fill occurs when the tank is filled to 10% of its working pressure (LP/P/HP, remember!) and the metal expands and compresses as it cools. This is hazardous to your tank’s health and will reduce its lifespan. So don’t hold it against the dive shop if you want a quick or hot fill; it’s all up to you.
One of the complaints I hear is “You Failed My Tank so you could sell me a new one!” You have every right to believe that, and while I can’t speak for other dive shops, we prefer to walk on our own two feet. Your tank may have failed visual inspection for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is tank thread cracks. If this happened, it would result in a failure that would severely destroy the tank filler. Another factor to consider, friend, is the age of your tank! Steel tanks have a maximum life expectancy of 30 years, but aluminum tanks have a maximum life expectancy of 25 years. So our goal isn’t to make money; it’s to protect ourselves and our coworkers safe by removing a dodgy tank from the market.
It’s easy to get gas: just go to a reputable diving shop with a well-maintained compressor and tanks that have been visually inspected. Most dive shops in South Africa should have their air tested quarterly to grade “E” standards and their filters replaced every 100-200 hours, up to 6 months.
YOU SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS OF THE SHOP OWNER, AND IF THEY CAN’T ANSWER THEM, YOU SHOULD GO ELSEWHERE.
If you’re using enriched air or a custom fill of more than 40%, you’ll need to get your tank oxygen serviced, which includes cleaning the valve and inner tank to prevent an oxygen explosion that might shut down the dive shop.
The BCD, like every other piece of your gear, is essential, and if it fails, you risk losing your dive or putting yourself in danger.
So, what is a BCD Service, exactly?
The inflator, bladder, and dump valves are the most important parts of your BCD to think about. All of these things require attention, some of which must be done once a year and others after each dive. You are responsible for checking the function of your BCD and, if necessary, bringing it in for servicing.
I would recommend verifying the following for proper operation before and after each dive:
1. Rather of slowly leaking or “auto-filling,” your inflator adds and releases air when the inflator and deflator buttons are touched.
2. Check the washers on your dump valves and inflator to make sure they’re hand tight.
3. Your BCD will maintain air over night when fully inflated.
4. Clear the trash from your BCD’s dump valves to avoid overfilling or dumping during your dive.
Bring your BCD in with your regulators for service; you can’t dive without your regulator, so get the inflator valve repaired and the valves cleaned; it’ll only cost you R500 at most, and it’ll be well worth it to avoid failure. We’ll take apart your inflator, inspect it for cracks, and then replace the inner workings using a special kit from the manufacturer. Even if you don’t own your own equipment, self-maintenance is one of the most critical skills you can have as a SCUBA diver.
If you’re bored and think a screwdriver is a garden tool, remember the golden rule: RINSE, RINSE, RINSE! It’s as simple as that; a little soak in cold water could mean the difference between having your gear for a short period of time and having it for a lifetime. The problem is that diving is a costly activity that heavily relies on equipment, therefore we can’t afford to buy something twice or risk hurting ourselves. Self-maintenance is straightforward, aside from rinsing, and I recommend that you go to the list I’ve provided below for each piece of dive gear you own. It’s critical to understand the difference between a rinse and a soak, for example. Rinse denotes that you’re not going to soak it for too long! We are putting ourselves in danger.
Soak the mask in fresh water and look for nicks on the silicone strap that could cause the mask to rip.
Snorkel – soak in fresh water and check for nicks and cuts on the purge valve.
Fins – Depending on how much you adore them, give them a fresh water rinse or soak; if you have spring straps, you’re set to go.
If you have rubber straps, look for wear or discoloration around the buckles.
Fill the bladder halfway with water and rotate it to thoroughly rinse it, then drain and inflate to dry. Rinse the first stage and hang it over the side of the rinse bucket if you have a yoke regulator, then soak the second stages for roughly an hour.
If you have a DIN regulator, it should come with a water-resistant cap; if it doesn’t, buy one and soak the entire regulator for an hour or two.
Soak your PC in the sink; don’t keep it there overnight or your battery life may mysteriously go.
Soak lights, knives, lift bags (rinse inside), and reels, among other things!
Peeing in your wetsuit – Do you have a problem with peeing in your wetsuit? Even if they don’t realize it, everyone sweats, so pick up some organic cleaners like Savlon or Dettol and soak it!
I won’t focus too much on any one scuba manufacturer because there are so many nowadays; nevertheless, I will give you my opinion on which is the finest and which alternatives I would prefer. When a store becomes a specific brand dealer, it becomes subject to a myriad of rules and regulations. This is true of any retail store, but it is especially true in the case of dive equipment service.
Regulators make up a sizable group…Most manufacturers provide a specific parts warranty that will supply you with free components if you adhere to your service agreement, which is typically annual, with a few outliers that require a two-year commitment.
First and foremost, assuming you have scubapro equipment, we must check that the business where you get your equipment serviced is a scubapro authorized dealer. Otherwise, the service you’re getting can be untrustworthy, voiding your customer warranty. We must also consider the shop’s reputation. After all, given how important it is to have well-maintained equipment for maintaining a safe diving career, does this company have the necessary training and positive client feedback, as well as a clean facility?
Ask yourself all of these questions before you hire a service provider.
Another misconception that is being debunked is that of online gear purchase, which has been a major concern in the diving industry for many years. We’re not attempting to persuade you not to buy online, because while it may be cheaper for the customer, you lose certain important benefits, such as your warranty, customer support, having in-stock items, and broken goods. Simply put, no manufacturer, and I mean no manufacturer, supports the sale of their products online. However, businesses such as leisure pro and dive gear dot com will declare on their websites that they do have this warranty. I’d like to highlight, though, that they don’t, and if you call the manufacturer, they’ll surely confirm this.
I’ll try to be as objective as possible here and suggest that you order clips, hoses, mask straps, and cool t-shirts from the internet. Heavy equipment, on the other hand, should be saved for dive shops to help keep the business afloat. In most situations, manufacturers provide free warranty parts, and even better, you may be able to use them more than once a year. If you are a regular customer at your dive shop, inquire about receiving warranty part agreements every six months if you dive more than 100 times each year.
Your regulator is itching for a clean, so the extra labor fees are well worth it!
If you service your gear on a regular basis, you should have no problems, but being aware of the potential flaws can help you become a more complete diver. When compared to the costs of inadequate equipment maintenance, service is a bargain.
So invest a few hundred Rand and look after yourself!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post; I hope it gave you some insight into the world of SCUBA gear maintenance and how important it is to complete all of these tasks.