It is not always obvious when your equipment needs maintenance or replacement, especially after a long break from diving. Some less obvious problems can easily slip under your radar. We all know that equipment failures can and do happen, but theses failures still catch divers off guard.
Some gear you can assess yourself; others will need to be serviced by a qualified technician.
If you have purchased any new gear during the time you were not diving, be sure to thoroughly familiarize yourself with it before you get back in the water.
Inspect Your Gear Before Your Dive Trip
Take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you. This is especially important if you have been away from diving for an extended period and your gear was unused.
buckles and straps are operational.
Check that zippers are working smoothly, check for tears and stitching, confirm that neck and wrist seals are in good condition, and ensure all taped and glued parts are intact and secure. Check the inflator and exhaust valves for proper function and any damage. If fitted, check that the p-valve is unobstructed, functional and clean.
BCDs should be serviced at least annually (or prior to resuming diving after time away). Experienced divers may do it themselves. Check the following to assess the integrity of the BCD: tears, rips, stitching, glued parts, D-rings, buckles, and Velcro on the cummerbund. Check for cracks and damage and confirm function of the manual and power inflators and dump valves. The bladder should be inflated to ensure it holds air.
Check for tears or damage and that the releases work smoothly and effectively. Zippers should be checked for function.
Ensure that the first stage regulator is clean – including the inlet filter, and if due for a service, is sent to a certified competent service facility. Inspect the second stage for any signs for cracking or damage, leaks or free flow. Perform a breathing and a purge test.
Check the computer for any mechanical damage. Check that the batteries are still able to power and backlight the computer fully, or are charged if applicable. Check the strap for pliability, damage and that the buckles or fasteners are functional. Re-familiarize yourself with the operations of your computer. Review computer manual.
Additional Equipment Resources
Protect your investment and prevent dive accidents. Scuba gear is life-support equipment
and is just as important to maintain as one’s physical health or personal vehicle.
How Old is Too Old
Dive gear such as dive computers and buoyancy compensator devices
(BCDs) get old, too. When should we consider replacing them?
How to Clean Your Scuba Equipment
Dive gear can be contaminated when stored, mold can form, and dust can enter into openings. Cleaning
is not just about infection control and is an essential part of maintaining your equipment.
New Gear Orientation
Take time to become familiar with your new equipment before returning to diving. Whether you are a new diver buying your
first set of gear or an experienced diver purchasing an updated piece of equipment, it is important to learn about that new gear.
Ensuring the safety of your dive cylinder is just as much your responsibility as that of the filling station.
Are 6351-T6 Alloy Scuba Cylinders Safe to Use?
Cylinders made from this grade of aluminum have been known to rupture during filling and use. There are
safety requirements in place to prevent this from happening, but you need to know and follow these.
Reports of regulator failure due to blockage by degraded breathing hoses initiated an investigation into why
this happens. Divers need to read this article and follow the guidelines carefully when using braided hoses.
Air Hoses: A Closer Look
This article summarized the reasons for the degradation of certain brands of braided breathing hoses.
Hose degradation is potentially an unseen hazard that you should consider during your predive check.
DAN Customer Service
Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
+1 (919) 684-2948
+1 (800) 446-2671
Fax: +1 (919) 490-6630
24/7 Emergency Hotline
In event of a dive accident or injury, call local EMS first, then call DAN.
24/7 Emergency Hotline:
+1 (919) 684-9111
(Collect calls accepted)
DAN must arrange transportation for covered emergency medical evacuation fees to be paid.
Medical Information Line
Get answers to your nonemergency health and diving questions.
Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
+1 (919) 684-2948, Option 4
Online: Ask A Medic
(Allow 24-48 hours for a response.)