Scuba gear safety tips

C-Urchin - 1-29-2014 at 12:09 PM

SCUBA/Snorkel Gear Safety Tips

We’ve just come back from some amazing diving and snorkeling with whale sharks, dolphins and sea lions. You simply …pause… in awe of the flora and fauna that is all around us. Our La Paz region has some of the most beautiful areas to explore, especially our local waters. After every trip its time to rinse and clean and store the SCUBA and snorkeling gear for the next great adventure. Since we are very dependent in the water on our gear, here are some tips on making sure your expensive equipment is always in top notch condition. Also, we often have a small investment in these gear and it should these tips will help everything last longer.

Anything made of rubber and plastic will tend to stretch and age with use, especially here in Baja. After each use in pool or fresh water, masks, snorkels, fins and wetsuits should be soaked in fresh water and then left to dry in a shady area. Store your mask in a case or old Tupperware container to prevent it from getting smashed. When storing your clean, dry gear away, take a moment to inspect your straps for cracking or tears. Sometimes it’s simply time to replace these parts that do often wear out. Also wetsuits and booties and hoods and gloves may need neoprene cement in areas that wear or get ripped. This really extends the life of this “software”.

As for the “hardware”, the SCUBA Regulators, tanks and BCD’s are universally expensive, and are life support equipment that must function. These deserve extra attention between dives. Beyond the basics of rinsing thoroughly and drying in shade are specific things that you can also do. A scuba regulator should always be checked for leaks, simply by connecting your reg to a SCUBA tank and immersing in water and looking at the connections and hoses for bubbles. Inspect the rubber mouthpieces for tear and wear, these are very inexpensive and can easily be changed, and are designed to be periodically replaced as needed. Checking the air hoses visually for bumps, blisters or serious scratches will alert you to a hose that may be about to fail, easily replaced with just a crescent wrench this week, but impossible to fix underwater on a dive. Beach sand and other debris will always lodge itself into the smallest BCD parts, so maybe an old tooth brush may help you keep the smaller nooks and crannies clean. Your SCUBA cylinders often contain over 3000 PSI of compressed air, enough energy to lift a locomotive off its tracks. Make sure your tanks are inspected internally and externally at least every year, and hydrostatically tested at least every five years. We have to respect these cylinders, especially when they are aboard our boats.

Sometimes when at sea, our SCUBA/Snorkel gear is more than just for recreation. This gear becomes essential in freeing a fouled prop, inspecting for damage after a mysterious “bump”, or simple maintenance and bottom cleaning. Keep your gear ready to go !

SCUBA Tek is a full service SCUBA and gas Laboratory and we are based here in La Paz, BCS. We sell, service and repair SCUBA regulators, valves and rebreathers. We inspect, test and certify cylinder and tanks. And we are Marine Mobile, we can come to your dock or mooring to pick up and deliver.

Safe Diving.

Kevin Rottner

SCUBA Tek, La Paz
(612) 152-3435 Cell