Following our pre-dive and post-dive buoyancy controller maintenance tips will keep your BCD in tip top condition and extend its reliability and longevity.
Inspect the BC for signs of corrosion or damage to valves, hoses and buckles.
Attach the low pressure inflator hose from the regulator and inflate the jacket with air from the tank.
Fully fill the BC with air and check the pressure-release valves (dump valves) open. Leave the BCD inflated for at least ten minutes to check for leaks.
The jacket should hold its air pressure without leaking. Have any leaks fixed by a technician before using the BC in water.
During the leak test, inspect the cummerbund, tank band, shoulder straps, and waist strap for excessive wear. Check plastic and metal buckles for corrosion and function.
Signs of corrosion are rusty coloring, white chalkiness or green powder residue. Remove minor rust stains with white vinegar or a soft wire brush. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water afterwards and regularly apply silicon spray to help reduce further corrosion.
Before you go diving make sure the corrugated hose dump and remote exhaust valve cords work properly by pulling on the hose away from the jacket and yanking on the valve toggle cords.
After the dive replace the rubber cap to protect the power inflater connection if there is one.
Thoroughly hose down or soak your BC in freshwater for at least five minutes to remove sand, salt or chlorine residue and dirt.
The next step is one of the most important yet often neglected. Fill the BCD internal bladder about half full with fresh water.
Depress the oral-inflator button and gently run water into the plastic mouthpiece.
Shake the BC sloshing and agitating the water around the bladder to remove salt water or chlorine from the bladder skin.
Following a thorough rinsing, drain the water by tipping the BCD upside down and opening the manual inflator button. Open the exhaust dump valves allows water to flush through that assembly.
Manually inflate the bladder by blowing into the power hose orally. Partially inflating the BC allows you to check the corrugated hose and valve caps for signs of wear.
If your buoyancy controller has an integrated weight system with ballast pouches be sure to check the proper function of the quick-release buckles after cleaning.
Hang-dry the partially inflated BCD in a shaded area out of direct sunlight and check for leaks once more before storing in a cool dry area ready for the next time you go diving.
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