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Cleaning BCD

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Dana Wyse, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Dana Wyse

    Dana Wyse Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Los Altos
    Dumb question but should you fill inside of BCD with clean water and rinse after ocean diving?
  2. Aviyes

    Aviyes Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    Yes, as water can enter the dump valves and via inflation hose.
  3. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    My procedure:
    --Empty salt water out first. Add air, empty again (preferably do this at dive site if not boat).
    --put a little baby shampoo inside (inflator).
    --put in a good amount of fresh water.
    --shake right side up & upside down
    --empty out water (hold so water in sides flows to middle & then out inflator).
    --add air and empty again.
    --store upside down so remaining water may flow toward inflator.
    --next day or 2 empty again at least once, maybe twice.
    (assumed you thoroughly washed outside when rinsing all gear)

    I do this after every dive day. I bought my current & only BC 13 years ago (used) and it's now a piece of crap that still works. 13 years ago it was a piece of crap that still worked.
    RTC'83 likes this.
  4. doctormike

    doctormike Medical Moderator Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    Here's an important thing to remember when rinsing out your BC. Most people let the water out by pushing the dump valve on the hose and/or pulling the string on the bottom dump valve. But it's also really important to run a little bit of fresh water out of the power inflator portion of the inflator hose. Crystallized salt in this area can cause blockage or even runaway inflation.

    To clarify for new divers - there are two buttons at the end of the hose. One opens the mouthpiece to let you vent air on ascent or to manually inflate the BC by blowing air into it. The other lets air flow through the low pressure hose that goes to the first stage of your regulator, to inflate the BC underwater. It's the second one that often is overlooked since it's so much easier to dump water out of the mouthpiece.
    DawgFan, KristenK, Tokenwiz and 3 others like this.
  5. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    I have a Ranger with a BX Inflaltor so your process may vay.

    Unscrew the pull dumps and soak them in the sink. Unscrew the infllator itself and do the same, working the mechanism while wet.

    Screw the garden hose onto the BX coupler and flush the BC bladder for about 10mins thru the dump holes.

    Reassemble and let air dry after inflating the BC

    Or Deep Sea Supply sells an adapter that attaches to the inflator connector and a garden hose to flush thru it
  6. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
    With all my BCD's, whether it's my wings, my Jacket or my SM, They all get fully immersed over night.

    Sometimes I'll just add some water via the inflator (or easier in my opinion just unscrew a dump and fill there.

    Other times (monthly) the inflator hose and dumps get removed so that fresh water can fill the internals to remove any salts or residues. The dumps get a good wipe and the inflator gets a good soak (operating both buttons to remove any trapped air

    Simple task of putting them back and inflating the bladders afterwards to dry. As @doctormike rightly points out, its important to flush the inflator using both buttons to ensure water clears all of the internals

    When reassembling the dumps , as I screw them back on I operate them a couple of times to ensure they're correctly seated before screwing them fully down
    JBFG likes this.
  7. stepfen

    stepfen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    I am about to receive my first BP/W. My question is this: how do you guys dry the bladder after it has been filled or cleaned with fresh water?? Open the OPVs to drain most of it and then? Just inflating it doesn't help much because some water will evaporate but some will not, isn't it?

    So far I only own a closed type DSMB and every time I wash its' inside part with water it's a pain to dry it - I need to let the OPV open for several days while moving the DSMB now and then as water accumulates at corners etc. I can't imagine how this can be done with something as big as BCD or wing bladder.
  8. doctormike

    doctormike Medical Moderator Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    I'm pretty meticulous about my gear, but I don't think that you need to ensure that the interior of the bladder is completely dry between dives. It's just very hard to do that, and it doesn't seem to really be necessary. I have a Halcyon single and double wing, as well as a double bladder wing. I treat all of them the same way, I have had them for many years, never had a problem with them. The bigger issue is making sure that the valves and connectors are free of salt, and that means rinsing them out as described above before they dry.

    What I do about residual water in the bladder is to empty it as best as I can after two fresh water rinses. I don't disassemble them, I just fill them with a hose through the inflator mouthpiece and then drain them through the mouthpiece, the bottom dump valve, and the power inflator valve. Then I fill the wing with air, and let it stand vertically over night. Then I dump the pooled water out of the bottom dump valve. If you want to be more compulsive, you can do that again and see if you get a little more water. Then I store it partially inflated. Seems to work fine...
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Yeah, agree. As stated, there will always be a little water in there. Maybe that's why I heard years ago about the baby shampoo--perhaps to discourage mold?
    On a different point, I have never soaked my BC in water -- just a thorough hose washing of the outside. My theory being there's now salt from the BC in the bin water anyway (but it's not drying, so I guess that's fine). I'm sure a good soak followed by a good rinse is ideal. I have found the soak not necessary, and am too lazy anyway.
  10. stepfen

    stepfen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    Do you use air from a tank or from your breath (mouth inflate)??? Tank air is very dry and given the relatively large volume of the bladder most of the water might indeed evaporate this way.
    But air from our lungs is quite humid so I doubt it does any good.
    Anyway worst that can happen is a bit of mold growth which probably is not a big issue.

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