Dive computers are a powerful tool and important piece of your gear kit. Make sure you are caring for your dive computer by following these pre and post-dive care tips.

PREDIVE

1. Check the battery indicator on your computer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for when and how to replace the battery.

2. Dial-in the basics if your dive computer is new. Set for feet or meters, Fahrenheit or Celsius, time and date.

3. Most computers offer ways to program in levels of conservatism with specific conservative-factor settings, personal settings or altitude settings. Other computers will usually have bar graphs that enable you to build in a safety factor by simply backing off on the NDL loading pixels.

POST-DIVE

1. Thoroughly rinse with freshwater and dry with a soft towel.

2. Pay special attention to metal contacts, cleaning occasionally with a soft toothbrush and mild detergent.

3. Most manufacturers recommend service checkups every one to two years for calibration, seal check and function check. This will help avoid problems before your next dive.

REPLACE YOUR DIVE COMPUTER WHEN…

• Replacement parts are not available. You might find that it’s not possible to replace a broken strap, missing button or dead battery, especially if the computer is older.

• You begin a new type of diving. There are a plethora of options for rec divers, but if you get into tec diving, such as mixed-gas, you need a computer that can provide a more complicated set of data.

• It’s too conservative. All computers can be made more conservative by programming in safety factors or backing off on bar-graph pixels, but most can’t be made more liberal.

• You want an air-integrated model. If you want to cut down on gear, you can lose your pressure gauge by using an air-integrated dive computer.