It’s always sad when divers bring me gear that can’t be fixed or repaired, not because it got to be too old but because of improper care. It’s also expensive. Take the diver whose dive computer gave up the ghost prematurely. It didn’t have to happen. After close examination it was obvious that the diver’s air integrated computer with quick release had not been properly rinsed after diving. ( see picture 1) Note the salt build up on the threads, O-ring and the bayonet quick release. It was obvious that without proper rinsing the salt dried the O-ring allowing salt and moisture to get into the computer. End of computer. You should always thoroughly rinse your gear at the end of every dive day. If you have done repetitive dive over many days it’s always a good idea to soak your gear overnight after washing it with recommended shampoos. This is true in fresh or salt water. While the aforementioned computer was the victim of salt water , fresh water can be just as harmful. Improperly rinsing in fresh water grows harmful bacteria. Check out picture #2. This diver regularly “Dipped” his regulator after diving to rinse it. That green stuff in and around the mouthpiece is mold. I didn’t take pictures of the interior but they were just as bad. It could have been avoided by flushing the inside of the regulator with clean water.
There are a lot of divers out there doing their best to keep repair technicians busy. I was recently talking to another technician from the Chicago area and we were both sharing equipment horror stories. At one point he got out a box of little baggies containing things that they had found in regulators over the years. There was sand, gravel, hair, shells and plant to name a few. The best was the regulator that a diver brought with the complaint that it that tasted funny. No matter what tank he put it on the air had a horrible taste. My friend held up the baggie t contained the cause of the bad taste. It was a frog the got up into the regulator and after passing on dried to the inside of the regulator box. GROSS! Remember, take care of your gear and above all, rinse all frogs out of it!