One of the reasons people get into diving is because diving is a gear intensive activity. We love our gear!!! We talk about it, compare it and show it off (yes, we do, don’t give that innocent look). That is why when getting ready for a dive, one of the most important activities is the preparation of our gear.
I don’t think there is only one correct way of connecting and testing everything before we get all wet, every diver has his/her own methodology. but the important thing is to have one and follow it every time to make sure that all the pieces have come together properly all the time.
You would not believe how many times I had to stop some divers when they were about to jump into the water to connect the low pressure hose and (obviously) open the tank.
I want to share the procedure I use (ASSICOTT), hope it helps you. Also, if you have a question or suggestion to improve it (diving is an ever learning sport), please share it in the comments section of the post. I will be much obliged.
ASSEMBLING YOUR SCUBA GEAR (ASSICOTT)
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS assembly your own gear, don’t let anyone else do it for you
- Smell – let some air from the tank into your face and smell and taste it, if you detect any odor or flavor, DO NOT USE IT
- Secure – The BCD to the tank, once you feel happy with the set up, yank it a couple of times to make sure the tank will not slip out
- Install – Inspect the O-rings and install the 1st stage and secure it. Remember, don’t tighten all the way
- Connect – The low pressure hose to the BCD inflator
- Open – Take the console (SPG), face it down and away from you, open the tank, slowly. Note your tank pressure (typically 3000 PSI) and make sure you have enough air for the dive
- Test – Try the primary and secondary regulators, I breath (instead of purging) because that way I can check the mouthpiece is firmly placed
- Tidy up – Make sure no hoses are crossing, tangled or dangling
Now, also I recommend to extend this procedure with a quick check of other essentials:
- Straps – Check your mask and fins straps are in good condition
- Weights – Regardless of the type you use, make sure is secure and will not slip or come loose
- Zippers – Make sure all your zippers (Wet suit, boots, etc) are closed, all the way!!!
And remember, if you have a question or don’t know if something is properly assembled, ASK!!!! I bet you any experienced diver will be more than happy to show and teach you. Consider that NO ONE knows everything about diving.
BE A GOOD BUDDY
A final note, once you are ready, be a good buddy, inspect your buddy’s gear and have yours inspected by your buddy.
Happy and safe diving!