Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Now you have your own set of dive and snorkel
gear we’d like to give you some tips on how to keep them in good shape
so you can enjoy them for many years to come. Of course dive gear like
your regulator will need a regular service (most manufacturers recommend
every 100 dives or every 2 years, whichever comes first) which can be
done by us or any registered service center, but to prevent high costs
of corrosion cleaning and replacement of certain parts prematurely it’s
important to clean all your gear thoroughly after every day of diving.
Cleaning Snorkel Gear
Your snorkel gear will last longer when your
rinse the mask, snorkel, fins, snorkel vest, mesh bag et cetera after
your day of snorkeling. Use some fresh soapy water and a sponge (we use
antibacterial dish liquid and a soft sponge) to clean out the mask
lenses and nose pocket and to remove any sun tan lotion that might be
stuck onto the mask skirt. If there’s any sand in between the lenses and
the skirt, use a toothbrush to get it out. Run fresh water through the
snorkel to wash away any debris stuck in the exhaust valve or the dry
top if you have one.
Please note - swimming pool water is not
considered fresh water. The chemicals in pool water are just as, if not
more, harmful to your gear than seawater. Be sure to wash your snorkel
gear in fresh water after pool use.
When the snorkel gear is dry store it away,
preferably in a sealed container our of reach of cockroaches who love
silicone. If you have a snorkel vest spray the valve lock with Silicone
Spray while screwing the lock up and down.
Cleaning Dive Gear
When we clean and check our returned rental regulators, we
follow 17 steps. Often people make remarks on how good our rental gear
looks. More important on the maintenance and cost side, the yearly
servicing of our regs is an easy job with no corrosion to soak and scrub
Below are the most important steps of our
regulator cleaning routine. During your dive week you can just rinse
your gear in the rinse tank at the end of a dive, but it is well worth
the time and effort after the last dive to do the full clean before
storing your gear.
Check that the dust cap has no salt water in
it, if yes, wash it out while keeping your thumb on the opening of
the first stage so water doesn’t go in. Dry the dust cap by blowing
it out with a tank, then put it back on the first stage and close to
Pull the hose protectors away from where the
hoses connect to the first and second stages.
Let the tap water run through the holes in
the first stage, you must see the water running out of the holes
(not all regulators have holes in the first stage by the way, for
these sealed first stages you can omit this step).
Let the tap water run through the two
mouthpieces and exhausts of the second stages. Do not press the
purge button while doing this! If you do happen to press the purge
button, make sure that you put the reg back on a tank and purge the
second stages a number of times to get all water out.
Do check the bite tabs on the mouthpieces
and inspect around the tie wrap for small holes.
For hygienic purposes at this point we
generously sponge soapy antibacterial dish liquid thoroughly around
the mouth piece.
With your still soapy sponge, wipe over the
second stage covers and all metal parts - this helps to remove salt
and chemical residue. At this point you can also check your hoses
for any wear and tear.
Finally, submerge the entire regulator in a
rinse tank of fresh water and soak for at least 5 minutes.
Put the reg on a tank and purge the 2nd
stages to remove any water left in the system.
Take the 1st stage off the tank, check
whether the dust cap is dry inside, if not, blow it out with air
from the tank and then close the 1st stage.
Hang the reg up to dry (if outside keep out
of the sun). Make sure the hose protectors are not covering the
Once dry, use Silicone Spray to spray the
thread of 1st stage knob while screwing it in and out to ensure even
distribution of the silicone over all the threads.
Spray in and around the BCD quick disconnect
(QD) while pulling it backwards and releasing it a few times.
Spray the metal parts on the hoses close to
the 1st and 2nd stages with Silicone Spray and push back the hose
What to do if you flooded your first stage
regulator by not closing the dust cap while rinsing?
Firstly, it’s not that bad if you flood it with
fresh water. If your regulator is flooded with salt water, rinse with
fresh water immediately, to avoid corrosion. The main thing that you
want to avoid is pressurizing the regulator while there is water inside
and a computer or SPG attached. This could potentially damage your
instruments downstream. Do not attempt this yourself - as soon as you
can take your regulator to a regulator service technician – he/ she will
do the following:
1. Immediately remove hoses and gauges, leaving only the second stage
regulators attached to the low pressure portion of your 1st stage.
2. Rinse the first stage with fresh water if necessary (i.e., if you
suspect that you have salt water or other contaminants inside the first
3. Attach the first stage to a tank and slowly turn on the air. The
service tech will be flushing all water out the high pressure ports. He
will then slowly purge the second stages so that any water in the hoses
will also be pushed out of the system. Warning: don’t ever pressurize a
1st stage regulator on a tank without a way to depressurize, such as
having a second stage attached or a port open. If you do, good luck ever
getting that thing off!
4. Last, if in a reasonably non-humid environment, the tech should let
the whole thing sit out with ports out for a few hours to let any
moisture evaporate before reassembling the regulator.
While the regulator tech is working on your
regulator, take your computer/ SPG and hold it at the gauge end and give
it a good twirling to get any residual moisture or liquid out of the
hose. It is very unlikely that you got any water through the
pinprick-sized hole if you didn’t pressurize the system wet, but this is
just for good measure (and a little bit of fun). Be sure you don't
accidentally his anyone with the hose or drop your gauges.
What is described here is just an immediate remedy to avoid and/ or
mitigate the damage done by flooding, most of which is corrosion. Please
take into consideration that your situation may vary depending on what
type of water you got into your regulator and the type of regulator you
have. Whatever you do immediately after flooding your regulator, you
should definitely have it fully serviced as soon as possible. Regulators
are expensive and sophisticated pieces of gear that our lives depend on,
so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Be sure to soak your dive computer in fresh water after every dive.
While submerged, depress all of the buttons a few times to get all the
salt water out of them. Be sure to dry out of direct sunlight.
If your dive computer Floods!
If it is a user replaceable battery type, immediately remove the back
cover and remove and discard the battery. Use compressed air to blow all
water out of the battery compartment. Once completely dry insert a new
battery and test. Make sure to use a battery replacement kit from the
manufacturer of your dive computer - these usually come with new o'rings
and back plate. It is important to replace these as they are the most
likely culprits for the flooding. Check also for other damage to the
computer that may have been the cause of the flooding.
Non-user replaceable battery types will need to be sent to a service
center or back to the manufacturer for repair.
The most important part of cleaning a BCD is to rinse away any
salt water from the inside of the bladder, the dump valves and the
To prevent corrosion in your inflator
assembly unit, clean it by flushing the inside with fresh water.
With the inflator assembly mouthpiece held tight to the faucet of
running tap water alternately push the inflator AND deflator
buttons. You should see the water coming out of the nipple, and
water should be going into the BCD. The tap needs to be quite far
open as you need good water pressure to flush the valve. Watch out -
you might get wet!
Fill the BCD with some more fresh water. To
do this you can remove a dump valve (be sure not to loose the o'ring
/ gasket and be sure not to cross-thread when replacing); however
the best (although not the easiest) is to do as in #1 above,
pressing the deflate button. Make sure the BCD is empty of air and
below the incoming water.
Slosh the water around to rinse every corner
of the bladder.
Inflate the bladder (either by mouth or by
regulator attached to a tank), make one of the dump valves the
lowest point, and in 1 fluid movement squeeze the BCD and dump at
the same time to force water through the dump valve. Fill and repeat
to flush the rest of the dump valves.
Once all the valves are flushed, empty the
BCD of all water. Fully inflate the BCD and hang out of sunlight to
dry. The reason to fully inflate the BCD is to check it's air
holding integrity - if the BCD is deflated when it is dry there is
likely a leak somewhere in the system. If drying space is at a
premium, just inflate with a little air and after drying fill with
air to do the integrity test.
To clean your wetsuit you can use a little bit of dishwashing liquid in
a basin full of fresh water. Soak well with a bit of movement to wash
the wetsuit inside out before hanging it up to dry. If outside, make
sure you hang the wetsuit out of direct sunlight. Our shop in Simpson
Bay sells ‘Sink the Stink’, a soapy solution to get the smell out of
your wetsuit if you have not kept up with a proper cleaning routine