Care and Maintenance

The following information is provided for products that do not have a specific owner's manual and is intended as a general guide for basic care and maintenance of your Scuba Equipment.

Wetsuits

 

Materials:

There are several different types of materials used in wetsuits to achieve specific functions. It is helpful to better understand each of these materials in order to properly care for them.

 

  • Neoprene - Neoprene is the base material that virtually all wetsuits are made of. Neoprene is a type of rubber foam and is typically laminated with other materials depending on the desired function of the material.
  • Standard Nylon - A standard nylon outer lining is very durable against normal wear and tear. Normal care must be taken to prevent snagging, abrasion, and cuts.
  • Skin material - "skin" material may be used either inside our outside of your wetsuit and often around the wrists, ankles, and neck area. This material has a rubber like appearance either being smooth or textured, and is commonly referred to as "skin-in" or "skin-out". "Skin" neoprene material is typically used in areas where a water tight seal is desired or a benefit can be derived from it's water shedding properties. Some additional care is needed to prevent cutting, or abrasion of this material. Sharp fingernails may cut this material if care is not taken.
  • Thermo-skin - This material may be used inside of your wetsuit. Thermo-skin material has a silver-colored smooth skin type surface. This material has beneficial heat reflective properties and also provides a sealing surface similar to standard "skin" materials. Some additional care is needed to prevent cutting, or abrasion of this material. Sharp fingernails may cut this material if care is not taken.
  • X-Flex or Iso-Flex Neoprene - X-Flex and Iso-Flex neoprene are special materials designed specifically to have a much higher rate of stretch than conventional materials. Due primarily to the looser nit needed to achieve this high degree of stretch; these materials may be more prone to snagging. "Hook-and-loop" fasteners may also cause some light snagging and pilling of the material. Some additional care is needed to prevent excessive abrasion or snagging.

 

Care before the Dive:

With any of the skin surfaces including Thermo-skin, care should be taken when donning the wetsuit to not snag the interior skin surfaces with a fingernail or toenail as this material can be cut. Avoid placing your wetsuit on or near any hot surfaces.

 

Care During the Dive:

The exterior surface of your wetsuit is designed to withstand the normal wear and tear you might encounter during a normal dive. Abrasion against sharp rocks or other sharp objects can cut or puncture the exterior nylon surface so reasonable care should be taken to avoid these situations. Small cuts or tears can be easily repaired with wetsuit glue. Ask your dive professional for assistance.

 

Care After the Dive:

When removing your wetsuit, first unzip all the zippers completely. Then remove one section at a time taking care to avoid puncturing any of skin surface panels with a fingernail.

 

Wetsuit Cleaning:

  • Salt water and especially chlorine can "dry out" the neoprene material. When neoprene material "dries out" it looses it's flexibility. To ensure the wetsuit material retains it's flexibility for a extended period of time, it is important to thoroughly soak and rinse the wetsuit.
  • Soak the wetsuit in a tub of warm fresh water (not over 120°F) for at least 15-20 minutes.
  • After soaking, thoroughly hose off the wetsuit with fresh water
  • Place the suit on a thick hanger with all the zippers open to ensure maximum air circulation and complete drying.

 

Wetsuit Storage:

  • Wetsuit material can develop a permanent crease if left folded for a extended period of time. It is best to store your wetsuit laying flat. If that is not possible, you can store your suit on a hanger. Use as thick a hanger as possible to better support the weight of the suit. The thicker the suit, the heavier, and therefore the thicker your hanger should be. There are several after-market hangers available designed specifically for this purpose.
  • Store in a cool, dry and protected place out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not store your wetsuit in garage if the garage is used to park a vehicle. The exhaust emissions from the vehicle can over time deteriorate the neoprene.

 

Wetsuit Zipper Care and Maintenance:

Zippers are designed to be pulled closed or open in a straight line. Try to avoid pulling on the zipper pulls at an excessive angle to their intended path of travel. It is best to ask your dive buddy for zipper assistance in either opening or closing the back-zipper of a one piece back-zipped jumpsuit.

 

Chemicals/Solvents:

  • Avoid any contact with oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.
  • Do not expose any part to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.
  • Do not use any type of alcohol, solvent or petroleum based substances to clean or lubricate any part.
  • Do not store your equipment near any oil, gasoline, chemicals, or solvents.

Fins

 

Care Before and During the Dive

Avoid standing your fins on the tips of the blades for any extended period of time.

Avoid hot temperatures and hot surfaces as these can damage the fin.

Avoid placing the fins in a car trunk on hot days as the temperatures inside car trunks can exceed the temperature tolerances of the fin and the blades may distort.

 

Care After the Dive:

Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and towel dry before final storage.

 

Storage:

Store in a cool, dry and protected place out of direct sunlight.

 

Chemicals/Solvents:

Avoid any contact with alcohol, oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.

Do not expose any part to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.

Do not use any type of alcohol, solvent or petroleum based substances to clean or lubricate any part. Do not store your equipment near any oil, gasoline, chemicals, or solvents.

Masks

 

Care Before the Dive:

During the manufacturing process, a thin film of silicone will develop on the glass lens. This film of silicone will cause rapid fogging that is resistant to conventional anti-fog measures. It is important to remove this film of silicone from the lens prior to your first dive. To remove the film you will need to scrub the lens inside and out with a mild abrasive. A paste toothpaste is ideal but a liquid scrub will also work. Rub the cleanser into the lens with your fingers several times and then rinse clean thoroughly.

 

Mask fogging is a normal occurrence, even after the film of silicone has been removed. Normal fogging can be easily prevented with after market anti-fog agents or saliva. Rub onto the lens and then rinse. Your dive will now be fog free!

 

Some after after-market anti-fog agents contain formaldehyde, alcohol, or other substances that may damage the plastic materials used in your mask. If unsure, avoid prolonged exposure of the anti-fog agent with the plastic parts of your mask.

 

Care During the Dive:

When entering the water either from a boat or a beach, place a hand over the lens of your dive mask and hold it securely in place. This will help ensure your mask stays in place during entry and will help deflect any direct impact of water on the lens caused by the jump into the water or any approaching waves.

A typical dive staging area is a dangerous place for dive masks. Care should be taken to not leave your mask in a location where it might be exposed to dropping weight belts or tanks.

It is best to avoid putting your mask on your forehead at any time during the dive. Several factors can cause the mask on your forehead to be dislodged and subsequently lost. If you want to temporarily remove the mask from your face, place the mask around your neck.

 

Care After the Dive:

Soak in warm fresh water (not over 120°F) to dissolve salt crystals.

Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and towel dry before final storage.

 

Storage:

Store in a cool, dry and protected place out of direct sunlight.

Store separated from other dive gear as the black pigmentation of other equipment may discolor the clear silicone skirt of your mask.

 

Chemicals/Solvents:

Avoid any contact with alcohol, oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.

Do not expose any part to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.

Do not use any type of alcohol, solvent or petroleum based substances to clean or lubricate any part.

Do not store your equipment near any oil, gasoline, chemicals, or solvents.

 

Regulators

 

It is important to provide the proper preventative maintenance in order to ensure the best possible performance and maximum life of your Aqua Lung Regulator. The following maintenance procedures should be performed routinely after each use to ensure that the regulator is cleaned, inspected, and prepared for the next use or for storage.

 

As soon as possible after diving, the regulator should be rinsed thoroughly with fresh water while it is attached to a cylinder and pressurized with air.

 

Rinsing alone, however, will not sufficiently clean the regulator. To clean the regulator as thoroughly as possible Aqua Lung recommends:

 

Attach the regulator to a charged SCUBA cylinder, open the cylinder valve to pressurize the regulator, and thoroughly soak both the first and second-stages in a bath of fresh water.While the regulator is soaking, move the vane adjustment switch on the second stage (if present) back and forth several times from the “MIN” (or “—”) to the “MAX” (or “+”) settings. You may also turn the valve adjustment knob (adjustable models) slightly back and forth—no more than 1/4 turn.

 

After the regulator has been properly soaked, it is important to rinse it vigorously by flushing the mainspring cavity of the first stage regulator (non- environmentally sealed models only), the second-stage mouthpiece, and the openings in the second-stage front cover with a pressurized stream of water. This will remove the deposits of salt and minerals that were loosened during soaking.

 

<<DANGER>> If you use a garden hose, do not use the high pressure jet as this could damage the diaphragm and the internal valve.

 

<<WARNING>> DO NOT depress the purge button, loosen the first stage yoke screw, or turn the second stage adjustment knob all the way “out” (adjustable models) if the regulator is submerged unpressurized. Doing so will allow the entrance of moisture, and will require that the regulator be returned to an Authorized Aqua Lung Dealer for service. 

 

Disconnect the regulator and wipe it as dry as possible and then hang it by the first stage to ensure that all remaining moisture drains from the

second stages.

 

Do not leave the regulator exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.

 

When the regulator is completely dry, store in a clean equipment box, or sealed inside a plastic bag. Do not store it where it may be exposed to extreme heat or an electric motor, which produces ozone. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat, ozone, chlorine, and ultraviolet rays can cause premature degradation of rubber parts and components.

 

Never store the regulator while it is still connected to the cylinder valve.

 

<<DANGER>> Do not use any type of solvent or petroleum based substances to clean or lubricate any part of the regulator. Do not expose any part of the regulator to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.

 

BCDs

 

POST-DIVE CARE AND MAINTENANCE

 

With proper care, your BC will provide many years of reliable service. The following preventive maintenance must be performed to extend the life of your BC:

 

• Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and extreme heat. Nylon fabric can quickly fade when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and extreme heat may damage the welded bladder seams.

• Avoid repeated or prolonged use in heavily chlorinated water, which can cause the BC fabric to discolor and decay prematurely.

• Do not allow the BC to chafe against any sharp objects or rough surfaces that could abrade or puncture the bladder. Do not set or drop heavy objects such as block weights on the BC.

• Avoid any contact with oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.

• To preserve the life of the bladder, rinse it inside and out with fresh water after every day of use, using the

following procedure:

 

►► Pressurize the power inflator with medium pressure (MP) air via the MP hose.

 

CAUTION: Before rinsing, ensure that the inflator is pressurized with air. This will prevent debris and contaminants from entering the valve mechanism if the inflator button is accidentally depressed.

 

►► Using a garden hose, direct water through the oral inflator mouthpiece or the Multiport to flush the interior of the bladder, and then thoroughly rinse the exterior of the BC.

►► Completely drain the bladder of water, either through the oral inflator or through the over-pressure relief valve.

►► After rinsing, inflate the BC, and allow it to dry inside and out.

 

Drysuits

 

Care before the Dive: 

 

Make sure your drysuit fits properly before diving. Seals should be snug but not tight. You may want your dealer to assist you in fitting your seals. Neck seals that are too tight may restrict blood flow to the brain resulting in serious injury.

Inspect your valves for proper performance. Make sure your exhaust valve faceplate is tightened into the suit to approximately 4 lbs/ft (5.4 Nm) or as tight as possible by hand using the Apeks back nut tool.  

When opening or closing your zipper, avoid catching undergarment material in the dry zipper teeth. If zipper becomes jammed, do not continue pulling. Back zipper up and clear debris or clothing. Do not force your zipper.

For lubrication of seals, use a food-grade vegetable-based silicone spray in a pump bottle (avoid aerosols). Unscented baby powder, talcum powder or corn starch are other great alternatives.

If your drysuit comes with latex seals and is exposed to extreme cold, ensure seals are warmed to pliable condition before attempting to stretch them.

Avoid sharp objects (rings, earrings and fingernails) as they may tear seals.

Follow donning instructions as provided in your Owner’s Manual.

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Care During the Dive: 

 

  • The exterior surface of your drysuit is designed to withstand the normal wear and tear you might encounter during a normal dive. Abrasion against sharp rocks or other sharp objects can cut or puncture the exterior surface so reasonable care should be taken to avoid these situations. Boots must be worn over dry socks. Small cuts or tears can be repaired according to instructions based on the type of material your suit is made from. Ask your dive professional for assistance.

 

Care After the Dive: 

 

  • Check all components for signs of damage or excess wear. Have serviced if required.
  • Perform preventative maintenance and repairs on your drysuit and valves regularly or have them serviced by a qualified individual. The inflation valve should be stripped down, cleaned and the O-rings changed annually to guarantee trouble free operation.

 

Drysuit Cleaning: 

 

  • Keep your zipper free of sand and debris by spraying with clean fresh water after every use. Stubborn debris lodged in the zipper can be removed with a soft toothbrush and mild soap.
  • Inflate and exhaust valves should be rinsed in fresh water after use. The inflation valve should then be connected to the air supply and blown through to clear any residual water. The exhaust valve should have any residual water gently shaken off.
  • Rinse the outside of the suit with fresh clean water after each dive. If needed, hand wash the garment using synthetic fabric cleaner such as Nikwax or similar product.
  • Place the suit on a thick hanger with all the zippers open to ensure maximum air circulation and complete drying.

 

Drysuit Storage: 

 

  • Be careful not to fold the zipper back on itself.  
  • When folding your drysuit start by laying the suit zipper side down with zipper in the open position. Roll the suit starting at the feet working toward the neck seal. Loosely fold the arms together over the body of the suit. If transporting in a bag, do not stuff your suit in a bag that is too small or the zipper may get bent.
  • For prolonged storage it is best to hang you suit from the legs with the zipper in the open position. Hang in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight and away from electric motors of fumes (chlorine, diesel or gas). After prolonged storage check the seals for cracking or loss of stretch. Natural rubber components generally have a lifetime of 5 years before needing replacement.

 

Zipper Care and Maintenance: 

 

  • Brass zipper teeth should be lubricated after each dive. PU zippers should have the dock lubricated regularly. Use the lubricant provided with your drysuit.
  • Zippers are designed to be pulled closed or open in a straight line. Try to avoid pulling on the zipper pulls at an excessive angle to their intended path of travel. It is best to ask your dive buddy for zipper assistance in either opening or closing a drysuit with a back-zipper. 

 

Chemicals/Solvents: 

 

  • Avoid any contact with oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents. 
  • Do not expose any part to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.
  • Do not use any type of alcohol, solvent or petroleum-based substances to clean or lubricate any part. 
  • Do not store your equipment near any oil, gasoline, chemicals, or solvents.
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