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Drysuit leak, an exercise in frustration

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
    UKD Supporter

    Apr 7, 2014
    Likes Received:
    For the past few dives I’ve ended up with wet underpants. As I always dive 'plumbed in', the first suspect was leaky plumbing but following the sniff test, this was ruled out. Even so I did remove the inline valve connector for cleaning to discover at least three dead sea fleas (plankton lava) inside. Yuck!

    As the weather’s been rather nice recently it’s not really been a problem, but the wet patch still remains.

    Following yesterday’s excellent dive on the Cuvier (past the Goodwin Sands), I discovered my top - a Fourth Element Arctic was rather sopping and dripped when I hung it up on the boat. I have noticed it to be damp before, but never noticed it dripping.

    This time I suspected it was the suit, possibly around the waist. Spent a good chunk of today sitting on the kitchen floor with a pudding bowl in the drysuit neck, dry gloves fitted and brushing in diluted washing up liquid to find the pesky leak. The only thing I found was a definite hissing sound coming from the inflator. Couldn’t see any bubbles, so dismantled it and reassembled. Still hissing. Did it again to make doubly sure it’s properly assembled. Still hissing. Then replaced the inflator with the winter inflator with the suit heater cable. Still hissing damn it. Dismantled again and with the over cover material pulled back. Still hissing and I still couldn’t find the leak with the soap bubbles.

    With slightly wet hand I felt a little cold. Ooh, where’s that coming from. Loads more pushing and prodding and then found the culprit. A hole in the silicone neck seal — a Scitec quick neck seal. Thankfully I have a replacement, so swapped it over literally only taking a couple of minutes.

    Reassembled the suit inflate with the summer one in place and the cover material back in situ. Blew the suit up again and the damn pudding bowl slipped in, so lost pressure. Another go, shoving the pudding bowl tighter in the neck. Pumped up to moderate levels and no hiss. Yay, victory. So gave it another squirt to make sure and the pudding bowl now flew out of the new neck seal. But no hiss.

    So going for that in Tuesday's dive. Let’s hope there’s no soggy top or bottoms this time.

    Knowing how cussed some of these leaks can be, I wouldn’t be surprised if more sogginess ensues. If that is the leak it’s amazing how far the water migrates, obviously downwards as I go vertical on the surface and get back on the boat and de-kit. It’s also a testament to the effectiveness of the Fourth Element Arctic Extreme undersuit clothes, wicking the dampness away and acting as a wetsuit. Obviously helped by the 17 degree summer seawater.

    Here’s hoping that this isn’t an ongoing saga...
    Iain Denham likes this.

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