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Out of all my dive gear, the item that is the hardest to dry is the BCD. If the weather is nice then it is not an issue, just put it outside. The issue is drying my BCD when the weather is rather inclement outside.

Once I have washed off all the muck it has gathered over the course of a dive, it can take up to a week to dry inside. The only room it can go in while drying is the bathroom, which doesn't have any windows. So my question is this:

What is the best way to dry a BCD indoors?

  • 1
    A small dehumidifier? – paparazzo Sep 25 '16 at 15:12
  • Around one week in winter is what most people get with the jackets, wings might dry a bit faster but dont expect a big difference, as long its a cool and dry place its ok. The important thing is to avoid mold: if you dive saltwater its less of a problem but if you dive only freshwater you can add a bit of vinegar to your first rinse. Paparazzi gave you a great suggestion, it works with laundry so why not with other gear?.... – Erik vanDoren Sep 26 '16 at 12:19
  • @ErikvanDoren that's more of an answer than a comment, if a week is the right amount of time then, put it as an asnwer? :) – Aravona Sep 26 '16 at 12:33
  • @Aravona, it started as an answer but then I pasted it in the comments because the bit on what could work to dry it faster, which I guess is what OP really wants to know, actually comes from Paparazzi... – Erik vanDoren Sep 26 '16 at 12:45
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Drying rate is proportional the relative humidity but in reverse. At 100% relative humidity you will not get any drying. England has as typical humidity of 70 - 90. Then on top of that the BCD in the bathroom is adding humidity. A small dehumidifier will knock out some moisture and reduce drying time. Close the door. But the are not exactly cheap - in US start at about $150.

Another option is to open the door and put a fan in the bathroom. The vest is adding to the humidity so push that out of the bathroom. It is cheap. I would try that first.

3

Inflate the BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) and empty out any water from the bladder. Generally turn it over so the elephant's trunk is lowest and press the deflate button. Then hang it up over the bath / shower. Most of the BCD materials aren't that porous, so there's not that much water caught up in the material.

At the end of the day, the moisture needs to get out of the BCD and into the surrounding air. A typical home will be pretty dry, and a BCD is quite small. So, hang it up over the bath / shower, and leave the door open so any moisture (not a lot) can get out of the bathroom.

If you've a large soggy item, e.g. wetsuit or neoprene drysuit, then it can be helpful to point a desk fan at it whilst it hangs up to stir the air around a bit. Not too close, but enough to move the air over the item. Again, leave the door open to vent into the rest of your home. There's not much damp from these items, so it's not going to make anything damp.

I'm fortunate enough to have a garage and I just hang up my drysuit, regulators, inflated SMBs and (wing) BCD which dries naturally in a couple or three days (even in the winter). Only the hood takes time to dry. I hang my undersuit and undergloves (drygloves) indoors to air.

3

I use my shop vac to get most of the moisture out of my bcd. I attach the hose to the exhaust outlet on the shop vac, remove the lower dump valve and the inflator hose from the bcd, and hold the shop vac hose to the inflator hose hole in the bcd. Once the shop vac is running, the bcd inflates, and air and moisture come out the lower dump valve hole. I occasionally insert a rag in the lower hole to soak up any moisture that collects there. Once I can't feel any moisture collecting in the bottom of the bcd, I hang up the bcd with the lower dump valve cover still removed, and let the bcd air dry for a few days.

For my wetsuit, I rinse it out in the bath tub, and then put it into my washing machine, set the washer on spin dry, and start the spin cycle. After the spin cycle is done, I hang up the suit to finish drying.

3

My wife just got into diving and had this same problem. The solution for us was to uncap all openings and then attach a small fan to blow air through the BCD. The problem is mating the fan to the BCD. I solved this problem with a couple of rubber bands and cheapo disposable plastic grocery bag (we call them WalMart bags). Do this after rinsing the inside of the BCD with clean water and vinegar.

Cut the handle off the bag with scissors. Cut the seam out of one corner in the bag so the hole is bigger than the BCD hole. Put a couple of rubber band wraps around the bag and slip it onto the BCD hole. Obviously, use other rubber bands to attach the other opening around the fan. I happen to have a couple of old computer fans but a hair dryer on low (No heat!!!) would also work. Let it run a couple hours, rotate the BCD to another position every 30 minutes or so to get the internal water out of small pockets. You should feel air blowing out the other BC openings. Small leaks in the bag are no problem, you should adjust the rubber band or get a new bag if there are bigger leaks. The rubber bands have to be tight enough so you don't blow out a corner of the bag due to air pressure. If you have problems, add another rubber band or another loop in the current rubber band. Lower air pressure also works, so turn the fan down. You don't need high volume, just constant air flow.

Water will evaporate quickly if it is spread out over a surface inside the BCD, it will take days if there is a pool of water collecting in some corner. This is why the BCD is rotated occasionally.

2

If you have electricity available and are willing to spend some money: I have seen divers use small electric blowers for boots and gloves.
These seem fine for a BCD as well. Hang it above the blower.

1

Get all the water out from the beginning. Then unscrew the dumpvalves and connect the BCD with the low pressure inflator hose to a tank. Inflate the BCD. The BCD won't inflate as the air is getting out through the opened dumpvalves but it adds extra ventilation inside the bladder. This leads to the BCD drying faster (kind of the system of a cold air hairdrier). For the rest leave it hanging over the bathtub.

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