Thursday, August 21, 2008

Diving gear maintenance

by Charles Roring
Scuba divers, diving centers and other diving operators must ensure that the equipments they use are in good condition for safe diving operation. There are a number of safety guidelines which are intended to maintain the diving gear as a safe equipment for its users. Air bottles have to be serviced every five year. The service must include hydro-test to see whether the bottles have leaks, cracks. These bottles must have PSI certification.
Parts of regulator such as valve, spring, and hose; and buoyancy control device (BCD) need annual inspection to make sure that they don't have any leaks. The dive computer also needs servicing at least every year to make sure that it works well under water. If the O-rings and seals dry out and cracks, they have to be replaced by new ones.
Diving gear manufacturers and shops usually provide free annual service to their clients. So, it is important for scuba divers to have their diving gear serviced, and at the same time get latest information about new innovation in diving techology.
Those who like to perform cave or wreck diving must ensure that their lighting equipment are working properly. Cables or wiring, batteries, and compass have to be well insulated. Any small leaks occur under water will create short circuit. When diving in deep caves, scuba divers can also be equipped with underwater flare in addition to the flash light or other electrical lighting equipment.
If a diving gear is not in good condition, the scuba diver who use it may face accident. The diver might run out of air if the dive computer is broken. He/ she may drown if the are leaks in BCD. The diver may also inhale sea water if there are leaks or craks in the regulator's seals. When facing difficulties or accidents underwater, scuba divers may get panicked and tend to ascend to the surface as soon as possible. Deep sea divers who experience accident or troubles and ascend fast without making decompression stop will face decompression sickness which is fatal to his or her life. Therefore, it is very important for every beginning scuba divers to observe standard guidelines in maintaining safe operation of their diving gear.