The two most common questions our Showroom staff gets regarding equipment servicing. Firstly, how often do i need to service my scuba equipment? Secondly, if my regs sat undived in a cupboard for a few years, do I still need to service them? The answer in both cases is Yes - the best way to look after your dive equipment is to service it regularly, and below we will tell you why.
The scuba diving season always continues in the UK for some, but for most, the sea diving season runs from April to October. A super busy March in our servicing department is usually a sign that divers in the UK are starting to do more diving as we receive a lot of diving equipment for servicing. When diving is less intense it may be an excellent time to give your dive equipment some Tender, Loving Care.
Dive Equipment Mk1 - That's You!
Most of us remember to service our equipment annually, but how many of us check our most crucial bit of kit - our own body? Let's face it; your health is the most commonly overlooked bit of your essential diving equipment check. It may be a good time to do your annual divers medical just before the diving season kicks in. There are two types of diving medicals in the UK:
- Regular Fit To Dive - for recreational and technical divers engaging in leisure scuba diving
- Health and Safety Executive Medical (HSE) - for diving professionals such as Divemasters and Scuba Instructors
Contact Midlands Diving Chamber or the facility closest to you for diver medicals.
Scuba Regulators Annual Servicing
Most dive regulators require a professional service every 100 dives or twelve months - please check your manual as there might be variations between models and brands. There are some exceptions ,e.g. some Scubapro regulators need to be serviced every 24 months or 100 dives, whichever comes first. Even when regulators are not in use or used very little, some elements of the regulators perish with time. O-rings are made out of silicone or viton, which deteriorate with time. The same applies to rubber hoses which should be changed entirely every five years - even if not used. There are also parts like bronze filters, which are usually the first line of defence, taking out any impurities and particles which found their way into the scuba cylinder. If they are not changed regularly, they will stop working, letting all the dirt into the system and eventually your lungs too. That's why it is so important to service your regulators early, not allowing the internal parts to go greenish or white, which may be a symptom of a bigger problem. Regulator servicing in our Showroom takes 7-10 working days, depending on how busy our technician is.
What is done to the regulator when it is being serviced with us:
- Visual check on the general condition of the first and second stages, as well as hoses and valve threads
- The regulator is disassembled, and internal visual checks are carried out
- All relevant parts go to have an ultrasonic wash for a few minutes or until they are super clean
- Our technician assembles the original manufacturer service kit - o-rings, filters, washers etc.
- Your regulator is assembled, fine-tuned, set to the manufacturer's specs and pressure tested.
Scuba BCDs and Wings Annual Servicing
Just like a regulator is a life support system, a humble BCD is a buoyancy-aiding device that can save your life in certain situations. Our BCD operates in a salty and sandy environment, and there is a good chance it will collect sand, and dust no matter how hard you try. Besides visual and pre-dive checks, your BCD should be looked at every year to avoid any issues during the diving season. Our BCD service turnaround takes around 7-10 working days. When BCD is serviced, the following is checked by our technician:
- Visual inspection of the BCD
- Positive checks are done on the integrity of the bladder
- Dump valves checked
- Pull cords from dump valves checked
- The inner bladder is washed when required
- Workings of the Low-Pressure Inflator Valve are tested and corrected if needed.
Scuba Dry Suit Servicing
Drysuit also requires some TLC from time to time, but the best practice for keeping your drysuit happy is giving it some attention after every diving day. Otherwise, just like BCD Servicing, Dry Suit Servicing involves inspecting the dump and inflation valves when you submit your dry suit for the check at our service centre. If the situation requires, we will also do a test to identify any leaks. Our standard drysuit service turnaround is 7-10 days.
- Inspection of wrist and neck seals
- Inspection of dump and inflation valves
- General visual inspection of a drysuit
- If necessary, we run a positive pressure leak test on a dry suit.
Scuba Cylinder Servicing
Diving cylinders come in various sizes and shapes. Our online store offers a broad selection of scuba diving cylinders, from small Spare Air emergency cylinders and pony cylinders to large-capacity dive cylinders and twinsets - all need to be periodically serviced. Standard turnaround for scuba cylinder servicing takes approximately ten working days.
According to current regulations, Scuba Diving Cylinder must undergo Visual Testing every 2½ years from the initial factory test. Visual testing includes checking for corrosion, dents, bulges, cracks and the general state of the cylinder and its valve. According to the latest UK and EU standards, scuba diving cylinders must be Scuba Diving Cylinder Hydrostatic Tested and Valve Serviced every 5 years.
Preparing your scuba diving cylinder for service with higher oxygen fills is vital by having it O2 cleaned. Scuba cylinder O2 cleaning is achieved by washing a scuba tank thoroughly with special chemical solvents to remove any impurities, oils and other unwanted hydrocarbon particles that might be flammable in a high-oxygen environment. During the cleaning process, your scuba cylinder valve is also cleaned and receives O2-compatible o-rings such as Viton o-rings.