It’s funny how many divers who would never dream of allowing their regulator system to go more than a year without being professionally inspected and serviced think nothing of allowing their BC to go indefinitely without receiving the same level of care. Consider the facts:
- You subject your BC to the same harsh elements that you do your regulator system — including one of the most destructive elements of all: salt water.
- While it is relatively easy to rinse your regulator thoroughly following a dive, doing so with a BC is more challenging. There are several places where a BC can trap salt or contaminated water that are harder to rinse and flush out.
- A buildup of salt crystals in your BC can easily puncture the air cell, preventing the BC from holding air.
- Your BC typically has four or more valves whose proper function is also critical to its ability to hold air.
- Without professional service, your BC’s power inflator assembly can fail to operate or, worse, become stuck in the open position, causing your BC to inflate itself under water and sending you to the surface at an unsafe rate of ascent.
The pictures you see here show exactly what can happen to BC components if you do not take proper care of it.
The fact is, your BC needs professional inspection and service at least once a year — the same as your regulator does. And we don’t just inspect your BC as part of this service. We disassemble all components, throroughly clean all valve and inflator assemblies, replace worn or oxidized parts, and reassemble the BC in as close to new condition as possible.
So the next time you bring your regulator in for service, make sure your BC comes with it.