Getting Your Scuba Gear Serviced
If you buy a car, this powerful machine that takes you from one place to another, you’re going to want to be sure it’s working in tip-top condition so that it’s safe to drive and will last longer. You’ll get its oil changed every six months and the tires rotated and check its fluids, etc. because this vehicle has a job to do, and you need it to do so as safely as possible.
The same goes for your scuba gear. These are powerful machines that help you get from one place to another (while breathing underwater!). You’re going to want to make sure it’s all in tip-top condition so that it’s safe to use and will last longer. Your scuba gear has a job to do, and you need it to do so as safely as possible. With that being said, much like a car, you’ll need to have the intricacies of the mechanisms checked on every so often. But how often? What scuba gear do I need to have serviced? How long does it take? How much does it cost to get scuba gear serviced? These are questions that we’ll cover as we dive deeper into the importance and process of servicing your scuba gear.
Servicing Your BCD
Sometimes we just think about our BCDs as these balloon jackets we wear rather than machines. And, if you think about it, they’re both! But if you were getting in a hot air balloon, you’d want someone to have checked on the integrity of the balloon that’s about to take you up and up. Same as going down and down. When getting your BC serviced, the technician will check for leaks, give it a good cleaning, and service the power inflator and dump valves.
Much like your regulator (which we’ll get to soon enough), the technician will disassemble the BCD, investigating the integrity of the parts along the way. If any parts look faulty, they’ll order new ones from the manufacturer and replace them. Then, they’ll clean the inside and outside of the BC. Once everything is looking clean and new, they’ll reassemble everything, check out all the straps and releases, and do a leak test. When the technician approves of your BCD’s functionality, they’ll call you to come pick it up and you’re ready for a dive right after.
How frequently you’ll need to get your BCD checked will depend on the manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty requirements. A good rule of thumb for all your gear is once a year, but some products only need to be serviced once every 2-3 years depending on how frequently you dive and, again, the brand’s recommendations for the specific product.
Remember To Get Your Tank Checked
Tanks have less gray area when it comes to servicing and inspections. You have your annual VIP, or visual inspection process, that, regardless of what your tank’s made of, you will need to jot on your calendar and take care of. This visual inspection will assess if there are any issues with the tank valve and body and ensures that your tank is safe for you to use. So remember your annual VIP!
The hydrostatic testing may be slightly more challenging to keep up with, but put your reminder in a place where you’ll remember that it’s due every five years. So if you got your tank in 2018, guess what, it’s time for a hydrostatic test! This is a pressure test that evaluates the integrity of your tank.
Scuba Regulator Service
When we think about servicing our scuba gear, oftentimes the first piece of equipment we think about is our regulator. It is, arguably, the most complex piece of scuba gear that we own, and with so many small, working parts it makes sense that it needs a checkup every now and then. But how often is too often or not often enough? The literature that came with your regulator will let you know just that. It used to be that the rule of thumb was “Once a year, every year” regardless of how much we went diving. And, to be fair, it’s a great rule of thumb and can keep you more in sync with your other gear servicing appointments (like your tank’s VIP). But many regulators these days are made to be far more durable than they used to be. Again, check with your specific regulator’s warranty requirements on this.
When you bring your regulator in for servicing, you’ll generally get the overhaul treatment, where your regulator is disassembled, inspected, reassembled, and performance tested (much like your BCD). If your gear is acting perfectly fine and it’s time for inspection, you can (if your warranty terms approve) ask for a bench check, aka a simple inspection. This may save you some money so you can use it to buy more dive gear!
Side note: The same goes for your octopus, so remember to get your octo serviced as well.
Checking On Your Dive Computer
You may not immediately think about getting your dive computer serviced, but you’ll need a battery update (for non-user-friendly battery changes) and a recalibration every year or two. Like with all your other gear, check out the manufacturer’s literature on when your specific model computer should be getting its checkup.
A few final notes about servicing your scuba gear:
Even if you haven’t used your scuba gear in a while, it will still need to be serviced. It’s also a good idea to keep your service records for warranty maintenance and as a reminder of the last time you serviced your scuba gear. Always make sure you give yourself enough time before your next scheduled dive to get your gear checked. Basically, don’t send your gear in for servicing and expect to dive in a few days. While it’s possible to have everything done in a few days, you could be looking at a few weeks of service time depending on availability and order time for parts.
Did you know that you can get your gear serviced at Divers Direct?!
We service tanks and most scuba gear from brands like Aqualung, Mares, Atomic, Zeagle, Tusa, Scubapro, and Cressi at our Fort Lauderdale and Orlando stores. Feel free to call us for more information on what gear we service and our current pricing.
You can also get your annual VIP tank inspection done at any of our four locations. Give us a call and we'll get you all set up!
Key West (305) 293-5122
Key Largo (305) 451-0118
Fort Lauderdale (954) 925-7630
Orlando (407) 363-2883
What scuba gear needs to be serviced?
You’ll want to schedule regular servicing for your BCD, regulator, octopus, scuba tank, and dive computer.
How often should scuba gear be serviced?
General rule of thumb is once a year, but it depends what gear you’re talking about and what the manufacturer recommends (this information should be in the literature that came with your specific scuba gear). Depending on warranty requirements and safety recommendations, scuba gear service frequency can be anywhere from one to three years (with your tank’s hydrostatic pressure test done every five years).
How long does it take to get my scuba gear serviced?
Getting your gear serviced can take anywhere from three days to three weeks minimum, but you’re generally looking at an average of two weeks of service time.
How much does it cost to service scuba gear?
Again, this depends on what gear you’re getting serviced, the technician’s price for labor, and parts you may need for your scuba gear. Contact your local Divers Direct for an estimate on current service pricing.
Where can I get my scuba gear serviced?