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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Has anyone got any tips for finding small leaks in dry suits (not through the seals) ?

The leak is enough that after a dive the bottom half of my body is damp.

Ive narrowed it down to the bottom half of the suit after spending 70 minutes in the sea trying to help launch the rib in waist deep water - after that i was slightly damp and that was before the dive.

Its more than condensation certainly and when dried leaves salt behind.

I thought about trying to turn the suit inside out but thats not really possible due to the boot style and running out of ideas so any suggestions welcome!  Its not a show stopper as even after a good dive time its not very wet but is noticable..

Also, once found any tips for fixing ?  Aquasure and some sort of patch ?
 

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Grumbler-chief in Residence
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Hi,

Put a football into the neck seal, a tin into each wrist seal and inflate. Then just dunk each bit into the bath.

It makes a mess, but there you go.

As for fixing it, what sort of suit is it.

Andrew
 

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<font color='#333399'>String



If you find the need to test your suit there
is a thread on page seven of equipment
"washing drying a drysuit"or
click here for ways of testing.also a few other good tips.
Cheers
Bob
 

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Ya know, depending on your undersuit, it could be sweat that you've got there, rather than a leak...

I gather that inflating it, splashing soapy water over it, and looking for bubbles works as well as immersing it, but I've never tried either..
 

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C-in-C the Amphibious Contingent
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I've done the soapy water thing - works same way as finding a leak on a cycle tyre.  Little tip - do NOT inflate suit, then go out and forget about it, leaving one's mother to come in and find a 'body' on kitchen floor.  I got several thick ears for that one.
 

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Without a doubt, the funniest method for testing for leaks I ever saw was:
Take drysuit, zip up.
Put head into neck seal and hands into wrist seals FROM THE OUTSIDE.
Get somebody to push the inflate button.
You now have your head inside your fully-inflated suit. It should be pitch dark. If you can see any light, there's a hole there

With any luck, your helper will have a camera
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I've got the same problem String, a leak somewhere below the waist area, has to be the crotch seal I reckon.

Hobby made a good suggestion which I'm plkanning to try this weekend: turn the suit inside out then fill it with water, that way you avoid missing the leak due to the material being pressed together by the water acting from inside rather than acting on the outside as it will when you're diving.
HTH
Steve
 

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Depending on the material some small leaks can be very difficult to find. Try the standard method of fill the suit with air and use soapy water, pay particular attention to the seams, or alternatively, try filling a leg with water, its a little heavy to manhandle but it should show up any pin hole and its cheaper than compressed air.  If you have assistance let someone soap it down while your wearing it, or take the suit to the pool and hold yourself under on the ladder whilst over inflated and get a mate to check for bubbles.
 

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Resident Serbian Sniper
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On the lower half of the suit it tends to be the seams on the crotch area that tend to get iffy after a while  
.
You can test for leaks the quick way while actually wearing the suit,just inflate it highly then get a volunteer to rub soapy water all over it  
 
 
 
,alternatively you gan do it underwater if you can hold onto something long enough.
really though,especially on Neoprene suits the best way to show leaks is as Steve W says with the "seepage" method.
Repair techniques depend again on the materials but the basic idea is to patch it or repair the seam properly.
HTH,Hobby.
 

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An American guy I met on a liveaboard in Canada gave me the following useful tip: Better than putting balls, tins etc in the seals is to cut narrow strips of thin (3-4 mm) neoprene to use as ties. Just fold the edge of the seal over and tie a neoprene strip round it. Then inflate the suit and spray it (with a spray bottle) with diluted Fairy or the like. It works very well. I always carry the neoprene strips in my divebag these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Forgot to mention its a membrane suit.

At the moment the inflate and cover with fairly, filling with water and maybe stick my head into it the wrong way and looking for light are the candidates worth a try.

Even if i cant find a leak its bound to provide amusment and entertainment for anyone around me at the time


Ideally id like to go diving this weekend (and will as its only a small leak) but that means no real time to use it in the pool, find leak and fix leak.

I'll give it a go - crotch seal seems like a likely candidate as both legs seem to get equally as damp (assume its coming in there and then running down to lowest point - i deliberately keep myself slightly feet down to avoid floaty feet at the moment).
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (budgy @ May 07 2003,10:00)]Depending on the material some small leaks can be very difficult to find. Try the standard method of fill the suit with air and use soapy water, pay particular attention to the seams, or alternatively, try filling a leg with water, its a little heavy to manhandle but it should show up any pin hole and its cheaper than compressed air.  If you have assistance let someone soap it down while your wearing it, or take the suit to the pool and hold yourself under on the ladder whilst over inflated and get a mate to check for bubbles.
Don't listen to budgy about finding leaks in a suit. I know the problems he's had with suits, and believe me, he couldn't find a hole in circle

Peter
 

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C-in-C the Amphibious Contingent
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Ooh, a bit below the belt dearie!  Want buns and cakes, do you?  Hmmmm?  
 
Ribbet.
 

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No it's not Frog. I'm sure when budgy sees that he will agree wholeheartedly.

Peter
 

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If you walk anout in your drysuit the bit where your groin is wears away and can cause a small whole. This is nothing majour and can be very easily fixed by some sealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Whats the best way to patch a hole when i find it?  Ive got Aquresure glue but im guessing i need a patch of some sort.  Whats the best to use?  Could things like bicycle puncture repair patches or even inflatible boat patches work?  Its a membrane suit.

Related note:- did 2 dives on the weekend and vis was approx 10-15m on both.  Yes i got wet but was worth it.  Now to find that leak...
 

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Bicycle puncture repair patches do work but it would of course look neater if you could get a piece of trilam from the suit manufacturer. A good-sized piece came with my suit (Polar Bears).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Suit was originally second hand so no manufacturer material.
Im not really fussed how ridiculous it looks provided the thing stays dry really.  If i was worried about looking daft id never of picked this for a hobby
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Just tried the soapy water squirt thing and no joy, no bubbles.

Tried sealing and immersing the suit in a bath and the inside of both knees are damp,  cant see any obvious hole inside or out though and the seams look good.

Any other ideas how to track this leak(s) down ?
 
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