Sunday, April 17, 2005

Take care of your gear!

Right before leaving for Malaysia, we had our regulators fully serviced, i.e. taken apart, cleaned, all small parts replaced, put together again according to the manufacturer's specifications and tested.

On the 14th dive of the trip my S550 second stage started to leak. Purging nor a thorough rinse afterwards solved the problem, it still leaked on the next dive. So I took it off, not wanting to risk a free flow, using my octopus in stead for the remainder of our stay.

Of course I brought my regulator back in for revision as soon as we got back home. The verdict: Both 1st & 2nd stage were pretty dirty. The filter in the 1st stage actually had to be replaced again. Rather unusual after only 29 dives! Meaning the tanks must have been in a sorry state inside. Full of corrosion dust. As for the leak, a piece of the rubber seat in my second stage was chipped off. Possibly by a little piece of rust hitting it at high speed.

But that's not all, the 2nd stage was full of salt and dirt too. As I said, though the crew supposedly took care of the gear, it never got much more than a quick dip in the tub. At the end of the day. Together with another 50 sets or so. The tub's water must have been saltier than the sea.

Even though I took care of my own gear the last couple of days, after having witnessed the poor treatment it got, the damage had already been done. I should have known better. I did actually, but... lesson learned: Always take care of your own gear. Nobody else cares as much as you do.