Diving dry has many benefits. Many divers hang up there diving gear when the weather starts to get a little colder. Diving dry allows you to dive all year round as long as you have the proper equipment and training. Drysuits come in many variations; bi-laminate, tri-laminate, neoprene, and crushed neoprene are among the most popular.
How do I maintain the zipper on my drysuit?
Before each dive lubricate the zipper, follow the instructions on the container of zipper lubricant supplied with your suit.
Open and close the zipper a few times after the lubricant is
applied to the zipper chain. The friction caused by the slider traveling
over the teeth heats the lubricant causing it to flow into the teeth.
Apply a small amount of silicone grease to the sealing surface of
where the slider completes the closure of the zipper. This is called
the docking end of the zipper. The rubber ridges that can be seen on the
inside of the docking end are where the grease should be applied. Also
make sure that this area is clean and free of any other materials that
may affect the seal.
Note: Always inspect the zipper for any foreign material that may affect its ability to close and create a watertight seal.
What do I need to do after the dive?
Close the zipper and rinse the outside of your drysuit with
clean, fresh water. Rinse any of the inner surfaces that may have come
in contact with salt water, such as the neck seal and wrist seals. Make
sure that any sand, dirt, or gravel is washed away from the teeth of the
Open the zipper and hang the suit (if possible) over a piece of
plastic pipe. A drysuit hanger can easily be made by passing a rope
through a plastic pipe of about 3 to 4 inches in diameter and fastening
both ends of the rope to an area where you can leave your suit to dry.
Note: Never leave your drysuit in direct sunlight. Ultraviolet
radiation from the sun or florescent lighting will deteriorate neoprene
and rubber materials (seals) very quickly. Prolonged exposure to direct
sunlight will substantially lessen the life of all scuba equipment.
How should I store my drysuit?
The best way to store your drysuit is to leave it on its drying
hanger in a cool, dry, dust-free area. If the suit must be stored
otherwise; once it is completely dry inside and out, lay it on the floor
with the zipper facing downward. Turn the boots inward and loosely
rollup the legs and torso to the base of the neck seal. Bring the arms
together over the top of the rolled suit so that the open zipper forms
an arch as it does while you are wearing the suit. Slide the suit into
its carrying bag and store it so that nothing else will be put on top of
Note: Both Neoprene and Butyl and Butyl Trilaminate materials
can be damaged by exposure to petrochemical products such as
gasoline/petrol, many industrial solvents, and cleaning solutions
containing solvents. Avoid exposure to these chemicals during use of the
drysuit and when cleaning.
Should the suit become heavily soiled, or exposed to grease, oil,
etc., DO NOT CLEAN THE SUIT WITH SOLVENTS OR SOLVENT BASED CLEANERS OR
DEGREASERS. You may use warm water and detergent based soaps to remove
the stains. Be sure to rinse all the soap residue out with clean fresh
water. Failure to follow these instruction can result in delamination
and degradation of the materials.
What do I do about a leak in my drysuit?
There are many variables that must be investigated when dealing
with leaks in a drysuit. Very often a leaking drysuit is not the fault
of the suit itself. Usually, but not always, the cause of a leak can be
determined when all of the events related to the doffing, donning, and
diving with the drysuit are carefully and objectively reviewed.
For example, a diver may discover that her left foot is wet after
a dive. The immediate and natural conclusion is that the suit is
leaking in the left boot. The suit is checked for a leak in the left
boot but no leak is found. The next time the suit is used the divers
left foot stays dry. This is a very common occurrence. What often
happens in this situation is that the undergarment, either a sock or an
attached underwear booty is wet prior to putting it into the boot of the
drysuit. During the dive the moisture eventually travels through the
layers and appears as if it became wet during the dive.
The underwear boot could have become wet from being in contact
with a wet piece of equipment during transport, or from stepping on wet
ground prior to putting on the drysuit. Another possible cause could be
water that entered the suit when it was rinsed after the last dive.
Often a leak in a drysuit is clearly visible when the suit is tested,
but sometimes other factors that may be determined from objective
analysis are the cause.
Problem: Wet arm, shoulder area, and crotch
- Zipper not totally closed
- Undergarment caught in zipper teeth
- Zipper dirty (grit, lint, sand, salt, etc.)
- Zipper is worn-out, damaged or broken
- Leaking wrist seal (water is migrating to zipper area)
- Leaking neck seal
- Leaking exhaust valve
- Make sure zipper is completely closed
- Check undergarment for signs of being caught in the zipper
- Make sure the zipper (inner teeth and outer chain) are free from debris and well lubricated
- Check zipper for missing teeth, worn-through areas, or if the zipper is broken
Problem: Wet arm(s), chest and shoulder area, and crotch
- Neoprene seal not tucked inward enough or at all
- Undergarment disrupting the integrity of the seal
- Seals may not be the correct size
- Seals may be torn, split, delaminated from suit or punctured
- Hair under the neck seal
- May be other leak, see rest of troubleshooting
- Review instructions in the “Donning and Doffing” section of this manual
- Replace the seals if they are damaged or stretched far beyond their original size, or have them altered to fit correctly
Problem: Wet arm(s), chest and shoulder area, and crotch
- Valve not tightened securely to suit
- Valve port delaminating from the suit
- Valves are dirty or contaminated with lint from underwear
- Internal diaphragm of exhaust valve damaged or displaced
- May be another leak, see rest of troubleshooting
- Tighten the valve to the suit by holding the outer section and turning (clockwise) the inner section
- Re-glue the valve port to the suit or return the suit for service