The purpose of your Buoyancy Control Device or BCD is to allow you to add or release air from your BCD. This in turn makes you either more or less buoyant enabling your to maintain your position in the water with much less effort. A truly well fitting and comfortable BCD not only makes diving a pleasure it is a true piece of safety equipment for the diver, and consequently it is very important to keep the BCD in proper working order. Today, we will discuss a few tips on properly maintaining your Buoyancy Control Device or BCD.
1/ Rinse Your BCD:
After you dives rinse your BCD in fresh water. Dunk it up and down in the water to remove sand, salt and any other deposits that may have adhered to it. Let the BCD soak in the water for several minutes.
2/ Rinse The Inside of The BCD:
After rinsing the BCD in a tub hose down the outside with fresh water, then pour water down the oral inflation mechanism while pushing the oral release button. Once water is inside the BCD orally inflate the BCD the rest of the way. Swish the water around so that it can help flush the inside walls of the device. Turn the BCD upside down and depress the inflation button allowing the water to drain. Refill the BCD once more and swish. Orally inflate the BCD and this time drain the device allowing water to exit by both the power inflation button and the remote exhaust.
3/ Inspect The Outside Of The BCD:
Once the cleaning is done inspect the device thoroughly. Look at the corrugated hose and inspect it for nicks or cuts in the hose. Check the cummerbund and any Velcro closures to make sure that they are clean and that the sides adhere to each other.
4/ Check The Integrated Weight System:
Carefully look at the integrated weight system if you have one. Inspect the pockets to make sure that the sewn seams are intact and that all clips or Velcro pockets close properly.
5/ Check That The BCD Seals And Operation:
Orally inflate your BCD and make sure that it is properly holding air and not leaking. Pull on the releases to make sure that they are venting properly.
6/ Properly Stow Your BCD:
Once you have cleaned and thoroughly checked your buoyancy control device, orally inflate it until it is at least half full of air. Now you can store the BCD and allow it to dry prior to your next dive. Try not to store the BCD in bright sunlight, to prevent color fading. By storing the BCD inflated it will maintain its shape and the inside walls should not stick together like they would if the BCD was allowed to dry without be inflated.
Your Buoyancy Control Device is an important piece of scuba diving equipment. A little extra care will go a long way in extending the lifetime of the equipment. Your BCD should also be serviced annually by your local dive center, just like your scuba regulator. Taking the PADI Equipment Specialty Course will also show you tips for caring for your dive equipment. By properly maintaining your equipment you will make your next dive a worry free Aquatic Adventure.