Care and Maintenance: Drysuits
The following information is provided for products that do not have a specific owner's manual and is intended as a general guide for basic care and maintenance of your Scuba Equipment.
Care before the Dive:
Make sure your drysuit fits properly before diving. Seals should be snug but not tight. You may want your dealer to assist you in fitting your seals. Neck seals that are too tight may restrict blood flow to the brain resulting in serious injury.
Inspect your valves for proper performance. Make sure your exhaust valve faceplate is tightened into the suit to approximately 4 lbs/ft (5.4 Nm) or as tight as possible by hand using the Apeks back nut tool.
When opening or closing your zipper, avoid catching undergarment material in the dry zipper teeth. If zipper becomes jammed, do not continue pulling. Back zipper up and clear debris or clothing. Do not force your zipper.
For lubrication of seals, use a food-grade vegetable-based silicone spray in a pump bottle (avoid aerosols). Unscented baby powder, talcum powder or corn starch are other great alternatives.
If your drysuit comes with latex seals and is exposed to extreme cold, ensure seals are warmed to pliable condition before attempting to stretch them.
Avoid sharp objects (rings, earrings and fingernails) as they may tear seals.
Follow donning instructions as provided in your Owner’s Manual.
Care During the Dive:
- The exterior surface of your drysuit is designed to withstand the normal wear and tear you might encounter during a normal dive. Abrasion against sharp rocks or other sharp objects can cut or puncture the exterior surface so reasonable care should be taken to avoid these situations. Boots must be worn over dry socks. Small cuts or tears can be repaired according to instructions based on the type of material your suit is made from. Ask your dive professional for assistance.
Care After the Dive:
- Check all components for signs of damage or excess wear. Have serviced if required.
- Perform preventative maintenance and repairs on your drysuit and valves regularly or have them serviced by a qualified individual. The inflation valve should be stripped down, cleaned and the O-rings changed annually to guarantee trouble free operation.
- Keep your zipper free of sand and debris by spraying with clean fresh water after every use. Stubborn debris lodged in the zipper can be removed with a soft toothbrush and mild soap.
- Inflate and exhaust valves should be rinsed in fresh water after use. The inflation valve should then be connected to the air supply and blown through to clear any residual water. The exhaust valve should have any residual water gently shaken off.
- Rinse the outside of the suit with fresh clean water after each dive. If needed, hand wash the garment using synthetic fabric cleaner such as Nikwax or similar product.
- Place the suit on a thick hanger with all the zippers open to ensure maximum air circulation and complete drying.
- Be careful not to fold the zipper back on itself.
- When folding your drysuit start by laying the suit zipper side down with zipper in the open position. Roll the suit starting at the feet working toward the neck seal. Loosely fold the arms together over the body of the suit. If transporting in a bag, do not stuff your suit in a bag that is too small or the zipper may get bent.
- For prolonged storage it is best to hang you suit from the legs with the zipper in the open position. Hang in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight and away from electric motors of fumes (chlorine, diesel or gas). After prolonged storage check the seals for cracking or loss of stretch. Natural rubber components generally have a lifetime of 5 years before needing replacement.
Zipper Care and Maintenance:
- Brass zipper teeth should be lubricated after each dive. PU zippers should have the dock lubricated regularly. Use the lubricant provided with your drysuit.
- Zippers are designed to be pulled closed or open in a straight line. Try to avoid pulling on the zipper pulls at an excessive angle to their intended path of travel. It is best to ask your dive buddy for zipper assistance in either opening or closing a drysuit with a back-zipper.
- Avoid any contact with oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.
- Do not expose any part to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.
- Do not use any type of alcohol, solvent or petroleum-based substances to clean or lubricate any part.
- Do not store your equipment near any oil, gasoline, chemicals, or solvents.