Complacency, there I said it.
Its really not a terrible word, it kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
The problem with it is it tends to get us into trouble. We get wrapped up in our busy lives and some of the "little things" get put on a back burner.
Rotating the tires, or getting the oil checked on the family car is one of the most common things that get placed on a to-do list and more often than not goes a tad longer than it should. Now, I'm not suggesting we're not responsible, more to the point we're so responsible with all the big things (i.e. Jobs, house payments or rent, school, soccer/baseball/hockey, studying, home repairs, etc) we sometimes have to let some of the smaller things sit for a while.
Don't get me wrong, I know most of us would never allow our beloved car go over 3000 miles without an oil change or our pool/jacuzzi filters to go without their maintenance.
But.... one thing has come to mind, it's been tossed around time and again. Dive gear.
Our dive gear is without question LIFE SUPPORT. We trust our mechanical equipment to take us to a foreign world, allowing us to survive in an environment we would not be able to without it.
When our gear is used, it is in a hostile environment, water is invasive, harmful and even over time, caustic. Water evaporates, leaving behind a solid; salt crystals. Salt crystals can, over time, become a force that fuses metals, alters the properties of rubber and even corrodes parts of our gear.
When our gear is placed into this world, it sees some amazing things, it also has its seals, pistons and fittings exposed to water.
A simple yearly service (which means every 12 months) can help protect your gear and you in this remarkable world. By keeping your gear clean and well maintained, we can prevent issues and prolong the life of our gear to many years of faithful performance. Soaking your gear in warm water, and by soaking I mean for up to an hour or two, may not always be required, but when it comes to breaking down encrusted salt, what's the hurry?
A little bit of plain white vinegar goes a long way as well. Put a cup or two into a bathtub, or a NEW 40 gallon trash can full of warm water and you'd be amazed how much crud is left at the bottom of it once you've removed your gear after a good soak.
As always, dive safe-dive happy.