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Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:09 pm
by kr2y5
Despite replacing the inflator valve, and cleaning the dump valve, I'm still getting damp inside, and it seems to be getting worse. I'm starting to hate my Fusion. I've done the DUI test that involves turning the suit inside-out ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRO2P0348sU ), several times actually, including just this afternoon. Each time it's been a monumental PITA, and didn't seem to be detecting anything at all. I had once tried the Micheline Man ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLq5J3BpVp4 ), it seemed very hard to actually see anything, though. I need a better test! So, how do you test for leaks? Do you test yourself? If so, what's the trick? Any spots particularly worth checking? And if you let someone else work on it, whom do you recommend? Thanks!

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:25 pm
by enchantmentdivi
If you have a general idea of where the leak is, go into a very dark room and hold a flashlight inside the suit (in the area you suspect). The light will shine through the hole. I have been more successful finding leaks this way versus inflating the suit and using soap bubbles, etc. Good luck!

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:26 pm
by fmerkel
WHERE are you getting wet? That's important.
If you don't actually KNOW, then going diving with something that SHOWS wetness on the outside of your undergarment can help out a lot.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:35 pm
by mpenders
fmerkel wrote:WHERE are you getting wet? That's important.
If you don't actually KNOW, then going diving with something that SHOWS wetness on the outside of your undergarment can help out a lot.


+1

Plan a very quick dive of only a few minutes. Instead of your standard undergarment, wear something that has a dramatic color change when it is wet vs. when it is dry. You only want to be underwater long enough to let enough water to show up on your "temporary" undergarment - not so long that the water has time to travel along the inside of the suit.

Hopefully, you'll get a better idea of where the leak actually is.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:11 pm
by CaptnJack
Is the wetness all over? Or one arm/leg and not the other?

The fusion's I have seen have generally lots of condensation inside.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:14 am
by Rockfish
I've always turned my suit inside out and done the "Michelin" man test and when I do I use a spray bottle with a soap solution and spray in the area where I have been getting wet. The air inside the suit seeping out will cause soap bubbles to form and then you can mark with a pencil or piece of chalk where it needs to be sealed. Works for me everytime.

Mike

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:38 am
by kr2y5
CaptnJack wrote: Is the wetness all over? Or one arm/leg and not the other? The fusion's I have seen have generally lots of condensation inside.


Hmmm... since I bought it, there has always been wetness on the left arm (*). In addition, though, I seem to have some dampness that I did not remember having in the past... I think mostly around the chest area, although I cannot tell for sure. There is no water pooling in the suit, just damp undergarment, and slippery inside of the suit. Would this be just a whole lot of condensation? If so, what are some of the tricks to minimize it?

( * As for the wet arm, I learned to keep the dump valve a few clicks shut, and following your advice, I shut it closed entirely during surface swims, try to keep some air in the suit, also just cleaned the valve. It seemed to have gotten a bit better, although hard to say conclusively how much better. )

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:32 am
by camerone
kr2y5 wrote:Hmmm... since I bought it, there has always been wetness on the left arm (*).

I had left arm wetness for a long time in my DUI suit, and it frustrated the hell out of me. I swore it was the dump valve up and down. Turned out it was just the end of life for the zipper, although you couldn't really see it. Packing it with wax very heavily slowed the flow, but it was obvious as soon as I became less clueless. The top started to leak, and the harness pressure somewhat forced it down my left arm. It mimicked a leaky dump valve for a while. Had a TiZip installed instead and life's been good since.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:59 pm
by LCF
It can be very frustrating, trying to localize dry suit leaks, because water runs around inside the suit and pools wherever the lowest point is. For example, a leaking neck seal can present as primarily a wet crotch, if you dive in horizontal trim, because the water runs down the front of the suit and collects there.

I like the technique of putting on an undergarment that really shows water (we use surgical scrubs) and getting into the water for just a couple of minutes. Then get out and VERY carefully remove the suit, and inspect your clothes for dark water spots. Once you have localized the leak, the suit inflation technique is pretty successful at finding the precise spot that's leaking, and Fusions are incredibly easy to repair.

Condensation should present as a general dampness of the outer layer of your undergarment. If the inside is wet, or your base layer (if you use one) is wet, that's more than condensation.

I have two Fusions, and Peter has one, and we have had so few problems with them that I'm really surprised to see that you are having continued issues. I assume you have taken a wrench to the inlet valve, to make sure it's really down tight?

If you want to come over the house some time and have us help you work on this, we have a pool on site.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:12 pm
by kr2y5
Thanks, guys! Lynne, this would be great, actually, thank you.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:52 pm
by CaptnJack
If the inflate valve has failed you will blow water into the suit every time you use it. Replacing the orings can fix it (there are 2) but sometimes the innards get scratched and then you are stuck replacing it.

Never ever buy an apeks, they suck just as bad as their exhaust valves. Get a sitec.

Re: Tips and tricks for chasing drysuit leaks?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:16 pm
by kr2y5
CaptnJack wrote: If the inflate valve has failed you will blow water into the suit every time you use it. Replacing the orings can fix it (there are 2) but sometimes the innards get scratched and then you are stuck replacing it. Never ever buy an apeks, they suck just as bad as their exhaust valves. Get a sitec.


Roger. Already replaced my Apeks inflator with a new Santi Thermovalve, I think it should be OK... I screwed it in pretty damn hand-tight, it's probably welded into the suit. Just cleaned, re-attached, and tightened the dump valve as well. Maybe I'm just naturally sweating like a pig, and I'm forever doomed to be cold? Too many golabki, not enough cardio? I like the zipper theory, too... I guess I will find out soon enough!