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Dry suits...Pee valves or Depends

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by rawls, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. rawls

    rawls Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Just interested in what you drysuit divers utilize...Pee valves or Depends "undergarments"...or nothing at all. Do you think a pee valve is a potential failure point with a drysuit...not of the incontinence kind:)
  2. do it easy

    do it easy Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicagoland, USA
    I use a p-valve. I actually have a new drysuit and haven't installed the p-valve yet. I lost a little sleep contemplating the failure points and all the nasty ways it could try to ruin my day.

    I used to have the old style p-valve (Halcyon) that had the bolt that could seal everything up in case of a catastrophic failure. The new valve (OMS) doesn't have this option. I debated getting the new Halcyon version, but I've read horror stories about check valves leaking and I was afraid it would be a repeat of the SS inflator. I'm not going to punch a hole in my suit if I'm just going to pee all over myself. I could do that without the hole. Halcyon might have solved these problems by now, but I don't want to be a beta tester.

    In the end, I decided that not being able to close the OMS valve wasn't a deal breaker, although I did modify the hose and add a barbed fitting. The diaphragm that seals the p-valve is similar to the one that keeps water out of the second stage and I've had hundreds of hours to prove that they work reliably enough for me. Can it fail? Sure, but I would also have to have a check valve failure or a catheter failure or some other major failure to actually get wet. In addition, I consider the possibility that there are other ways to flood a suit and plan my dives accordingly.

    The short answer is that I have weighed the possible failure points against the benefit of diving hydrated and comfortable and the p-valve wins.
  3. scubapilot2000

    scubapilot2000 Master Instructor

    Though I do miss the joy of peeing in water with a wetsuit, I'm love the drysuit.

    I wear nothing. I basically take relief right before my dive and I'm good to go for several hours. I seem to make it at least over the max of 2 hours being in the water.
  4. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    As someone who has been in many different kinds of dry suits for many different kinds of sports, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do whatever it takes and pay whatever it takes to get a pee valve installed. DO NOT take any shortcuts in this regard.

    Not getting a pee valve on an expensive dry suit is like...... getting vinyl seats in a Lamborghini sports car.

    You spend all that money on a dry suit to be comfortable. Do you then want to be uncomfortable spending your dive holding a full bladder? Or worse yet, cutting your dive short so that you don't pee on yourself?

    Another question you should as yourself:

    DO YOU WANNA PEE LIKE A MAN (pee value) OR LIKE A GIRLIE (diaper)?
  5. ScubaSarus

    ScubaSarus Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Connecticut
    I bought depends once, and the thought of wearing them reminded me of a Jerry Springer episode; So instead of taking them back to Walmart, I tossed them in a dumpster and got a P-valve.
  6. JKPAO

    JKPAO Captain

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Southern New Jersey
    pee valve is the only way to go!
    See you topside! John
  7. Fyshebait

    Fyshebait Angel Fish

    The first drysuit I ever owned had nothing for bladder relief...and I swore I'd never have another one without it. My new one just has a zipper in the lower front, and I find that's fine for the diving I do...I don't do any tech diving, just SCUBA and air, so I can easily go the length of a dive between "pees". But, I do a lot of multiple-dive days, and peeling off a dry suit between every dive to relieve myself got very old very fast. So, the zipper works fine.

    One thing I have noticed is that it's much easier to hold the bladder in a dry suit than in a wetsuit...not sure why, maybe the cold water down the back and over the kidneys. I know many divers just let fly in the wetsuit when they need to...but I can't bring myself to do it...I know, I know, but I just can't. So, I took an old drysuit pee zipper and installed it in my wetsuit. If I feel the need to go while in the water, I open the zipper and turn my back to my buddy. Very quick, and I feel much more comfortable for the rest of the dive.

    I've never used a p-valve...can someone explain exactly how they work? It might be an option for my next drysuit, and I'm due for one soon. The word "catheter" doesn't thrill me, though!
  8. Jim Baldwin

    Jim Baldwin Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Louisiana
    When I first started diving dry I did the diaper/depends route. I would go right before I suited up and after an hour in the water I might or might not get out in time to get to the bathroom. When I was diving doubles and slinging bottles after a two hour dive I would come up much heavier.

    I have a Dive Rite p-valve that makes diving dry a real joy. I did the installation myself. Poking a hole in a drysuit is a hard thing to do the first time. Installation was quick and easy. A good dose of Aquaseal and I tightened the two seals down and it hasn't missed a lick since.

    I buy the condoms online and most places will give a discount or free shipping if you buy 50 or 100 so they cost about a $1 a piece. Geat investment.
  9. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    External condom catheters are not real scary - compared to really scary internal catheters.

    Basically it is a condom designed for more extended wear with a tube on the end to connect to a hose. The hose then connects to the P valve which is basically just a one way valve to let the pee out and keep the water from coming in.
  10. do it easy

    do it easy Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicagoland, USA
    You left out the part about the glue to hold things in place and seal everything up ;)

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