Why is my dry suit leaking?

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by pawsplus, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    I'm super careful with it and it's less than a year old. The neck gasket is snug and seems intact. I see no damage anywhere. But I'm getting leakage somewhere around the neck. After rolling today, my chest was wet. How do I troubleshoot this?
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Some simple first ideas before someone who really knows speaks up!:

    -dry drysuit and put on full cover dry under clothes [that show dampness] and roll once. Immediately get out and dry the outside of drysuit so no water contamination conveyance to interior and carefully get out or drop the top down and see if any dampness and especially where that dampness is.
    -if see nothing, roll a couple of times and repeat.

    The idea is to see where coming from. Just from the offchance, it might make sense to do a DWS update to ensure fabric is working.
    Another idea is to wrap neck gasket from the outside so that you are sure it isn't leaking and then try out quickly. Don't inadvertently choke though.

    Anyway, just ideas. . . were you working hard, could it have been sweat or interior condensation? Was it a really wet warmish day were vapour diffusion may have been hindered thru the fabric?
     
  3. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    Not working that hard and I could feel it seeping. Definitely around the neck.
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Chasing drysuit leaks can be tricky and tedious.

    If you can get a helper, layer your neck area under the suit with Kleenex or TP after the dry suit is on, and do a leak test, with the zipper open, using a brief misting of water on the neck from an old Windex bottle or similar. Have the helper swiftly shine a small flashlight in there, illuminating the Kleenex. This should allow you to pinpoint the entry site. Might take a couple tries.

    Most likely, it is on a seam. Areas of high flexure, especially at the outer edges of seam tape, are where I have had leaks, frequently, on Kokatat suits and paddlejackets. I think you can get some heat activated seam tape and layer that over the leak site to fix it. If you know someone experienced at this, get them to show you how.
     
  5. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Can also be due to the neck seal moving, especially due to contortions during rolling. Or even hitting the water at speed. One of my Kokatat drysuits has a velcro closed collar that protects the neck seal. One way to test is to move the neck seal (a) high and (b) low on your neck and see if that changes the leak.
    You are also advised to burp your suit, otherwise air exiting while you are underwater can lift the neck seal enough to let water in.
     
  6. designer

    designer Paddler

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    PawsPlus, I don't remember if your collar is latex or neoprene. Neoprene became an option a few years ago as a more comfortable alternative to latex. BUT - there was always the warning that the wearer should expect a few drops to get in.

    I think the context was it wouldn't matter so much in "real life" because there would be one roll and the PFD would keep the neck above water if one had to bail. But if used in a pool for practice - where the user was rolling and rolling and rolling - then those "few drops" might add up.

    But if this is one of those things where, "it wasn't leaking last week but it's leaking now", I wish you luck in tracking it down. I was going to suggest investigating in the shower but I don't think that would give the necessary water pressure. Sounds more like a job of wading slowing into a pool.
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    It's latex. I always burp my suit, of course! I will keep investigating!
     
  8. Man in qajaq

    Man in qajaq Paddler

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    My first thought is to investigate the seam tape near the neck.
    Leaks can be tricky to find, especially if its small. Good luck.
     
  9. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    False alarm, thank goodness! It seems that that my shirt, which has a zipped neck which is like half a turtleneck, must have been not all the way pushed down last time, or it was and it crept up when I burped the suit? So it must have been up inside the gasket. This week I really made sure it was pushed down and that there was a good seal with my neck and nothing to wick water, and no leaks! I love that shirt because it's long sleeved and warmish, but not a fleece, but it is really hard to keep that neck from interfering.
     
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  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Good news. That has happened to me a couple times.