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Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:42 pm
by Jan K
My Whites drysuit inflator valve is leaking air into my drysuit. Does anybody locally repair/replace these?
Thanks.
At the moment I disconnect the hose once I reach depth, but then some water gets into my undies :(
Whidbey critter tired of buoyancy problem.
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Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:21 pm
by dlh
Just buy a new one or take it apart to clean and Lube with a new oring. This is a very simple DIY repair anyone can probably do themselves.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
by dlh
If you peel off the rubber decal there is a hex nut that releases the spring and the oring. Probably the oring is split and leaking. Clean it with vinegar and a toothbrush pop on a new oring and ply it with silicone Lube. Superglue the decal back on the button. Good as new.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:37 pm
by Jan K
Thank you ! :)

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:08 pm
by Jan K
OK, I got it disassembled. How do I get to the o -rings?
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Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:29 pm
by mpenders
I believe you just need to give the core a push, from the outside of the suit side towards the suit interior side. This video gives a pretty good step by step, your valve should be similar:


Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:34 pm
by Jan K
I watched the video, but the interior side looks different. THere is this large nut blocking and also I can get to the spring yet. It wasn't under the front part like shown in the video. :(

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:01 pm
by mpenders
Are you able to turn the large nut that is shown in your second pic? If so (taking an educated guess) you might be able to (1) remove the male quick disconnect fitting (2) insert something thin (like an allen/hex key) into the quick disconnect hole to brace the oring module (3) turn the large nut to unscrew the two halves apart.

Again, it's a guess. But I have seen bc inflator valves with a similar setup.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:06 pm
by Jan K
It is the large nut which has me stumped. Maybe I just buy a new valve ?

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:07 pm
by mpenders
Another option - can you get an allen/hex key inside that hole that is in the middle of the big nut, and then fit into a corresponding allen/hex nut? Brace the bug nut and turn the allen key?

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:08 pm
by dlh
I think yours is a SiTech Skeleton model and a bit different than in the video. Can you flip over the external valve part and share a pic? There may be a screw to remove on that side.

Worst case you can buy a new inflator if it's too worn out:

https://www.diverightinscuba.com/drysui ... 0Inflation

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:17 pm
by mpenders
Plan b - another way to lube the orings:

Jam/stuff oring lube of choice into air inlet hole(s) of the quick disconnect (or remove the quick disconnect fitting from the valve and put the lube directly into the valve body and then replace the fitting back to the valve body). Connect your drysuit hose to the valve and, using tank air, press the inflator valve button. The air will force the lube into the body, greasing up the orings.

Not quite as effective as disassembly/clean/oring replacement, but it can improve function.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:27 pm
by Jan K
Thank you guys for your help. I look at the large nut and see some signs of corrosion on the surface. Of course nothing big. But who knows what the spring looks like. I bough the suit second hand and got good use out of it. I think I buy a new valve. The intake is kind of important :)
I appreciate your quick responses ...

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:40 pm
by mpenders
It just so happens that I have a suit with that same valve (anyone want to buy a xxxs suit that'll fit a child?) I was able to find that a 5/32" allen key will fit the opening/hole in the big nut, and will engage a screw inside it. Turning the screw will turn the oring module. I haven't pried off the sticker/cover from the front/exterior of the valve to look yet - is there another allen key from that side as well (similar to what is shown in the video?) Maybe inside the threaded hole that secured the button/cover?

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:48 pm
by Jan K
After peeling off the sticker 2.5mm allen fits it and you can unscrew the little bolt and take off the cover plate. There is not spring under that cover, unlike in the video. the opening in the inside big nut takes a 4mm allen. When you turn it, you can hear the spring, but I didn't get beyond that...
I just ordered new valve from the link Dave provided...

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:00 pm
by fmerkel
I have the same valve. I have used a needle nose vise-grip to hold the nut > You can then unscrew it if it's not too corroded/tight. The needle nose works....barely. Obviously Si-Tech (it's a Si-Tech valve, no matter the sticker) wants you to have/buy a proprietary thin wall large socket for this. They DID NOT HAVE to do that. Earlier version did not have this design.

I did that for a few years, always kind of struggling. Then I got smart. When I got the nut out, I cut 2 large slots in opposite sides of the nut. You could also just grind opposite sides down. Now I can get a GOOD grip on the nut.

Good valve, stupid design, purposely created to frustrate home repair. That kind of stuff pisses me off.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:35 pm
by Jan K
Fritz, that nut was what finally got me. I tried and tried, but it would not give, so I finally ordered a new valve. I knew it is SI-Tech, it says so on the inside piece. I was afraid to break something since I am not familiar with it and the U=Tube video did now show the same innards. But thank you for your input.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:30 pm
by mpenders
I just figured out another way to remove that big nut. I used one of these:

watch case opener.jpg


Sitech inflator valve.jpg


https://www.harborfreight.com/watch-case-opener-91550.html

Watch case opener, at your local Harbor Freight for about $6. The 3 pins on the tool were just small enough to grab the nut and still clear the sides of the depression of the valve body.

It's also handy for dive watch battery replacement (go figure), and has worked well on a few dive computers as well.

Re: Drysuit repair

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:08 am
by fmerkel
Interesting. I have one of those but never thought to use it on the nut.

Once you have it out modify it so it's easier to grab. For that tool you could grind 3 indentations in the side for a better grip and more clearance.