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Advice on leaking BCD

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:55 pm
by steveB

I am replacing my equipment after many years out of the sport. I have bought a BCD online in nearly new condition. it arrived with two litres of sea water inside. The inner bag has no obvious leak, the over-pressure relief work ok and the mouthpiece valve seems intact.

Is it common for these to take in water or should I return it as faulty? The previous owner was a novice and used it for 5 dives, and the kit seems compatible with virtually no use (looks to be in shop condition). I am minded to presume he overfilled it and then flooded it while restoring neutral bouyancy. The BCD is a scubapro rectek. Are there any other obvious causes I should consider?


PS moved from Technical forum to a better place.

Re: Advice on leaking BCD

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:28 am
by Andy
Steve, it's not uncommon for a BCD to fill with water during normal use - some more so than others, and it depends on how you vent the air on descent.

For example, my old Scubapro BCD would take on gallons of water if I used the pull dump to deflate, and much less if I used the LPI deflate.

Your best bet is to empty the BCD of the salt water and give it a good rinse inside. It's when the salt water dries and leaves crystals that you'll get a problem. I'd then inflate the BCD so it's full (bulging!) and leave it over night. If it's still full the next morning, then I don't think that you have a problem.

If it's even just slightly deflated, then you may have a leak. First of all, check that all the connections are tight - particularly where the LPI hose screws onto the BCD - I had a new wing recently that came which leaked because this wasn't screwed up tight. Then inflate the BCD fully and sponge soapy water over the surface. A leak should be fairly obvious as the soapy water will bubble somewhat even with the smallest of leaks.

I guess if it leaks, you've got several options - take it back to the guy you bought it from, or try and get it fixed. Depending on the make and style of the BCD, and where it is leaking, determines how easy it will be to fix. The worst case scenario is a leak on the seams - not uncommon with kit owned by relatively new divers, who put on way to much weight and then do giant stride entries with the BCD fully inflated.... this puts a lot of stress on the seams, often causing them to tear slightly even with new kit.

Hope this helps.

Re: Advice on leaking BCD

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:34 am
by Andy
Should engage brain before writing.... the RecTec has an internal replaceable bladder. The above advice should still work, but if you need to pressure test with soapy water you'll probably need to remove the bladder and reconnect the LPI hose, and test just the bladder.

Worst case, a new bladder shouldn't cost too much.