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Silicone dry suit seals -- how to prep for easing donning

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by SeaHorse81, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. SeaHorse81

    SeaHorse81 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: PA
    I've just gotten my dry suit back from the manufacturer, with my brandy new quick-connect system for silicone seals. I'm hearing that it's important to minimize drag on the seals during donning and have seen various suggestions for this.

    One camp seems to favor talc or cornstarch. My question here is, doesn't it make a pasty mess when the water that seeps into the seals during a dive combines with the powdery substance inside? I haven't seen anyone ever mention it, but it seems like a logical outcome. What's the user experience when using talc or cornstarch?

    Another camp seems to favor personal or veterinary lubricants. This seems like you don't even have to wait until you get into the water for the icky messiness to begin. Granted, any of the stuff that is contact with water on the dive will just rinse away, but what about the stuff inside your seals that might manage not to get wet? Gooey mess, or no?

    Anything else I should be thinking about? I haven't tried on the suit with the new seals yet, because I'm hoping to get this question worked out first.

    Thanks in advance. :)
  2. TS6141

    TS6141 New

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: MD
    Most personal lubricants are water based, so they wouldn't really get goopy. I'd think starch and powder would.
  3. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    I've used talc with my seals, both latex and silicone, for years. All I do is treat the seal with a 'dusting' and it slips right on. I have never experienced any pasty mess.
    I know a few divers that use seal saver. They mist the seal or hand and it seems to work well.
    SeaHorse81 likes this.
  4. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    The last time I dived dry two years ago at Puffin Divers in Scotland they had a foam spray thing (bit like shaving foam) that we used on the seals, worked great, previously I had used talcum powder.
    SeaHorse81 likes this.
  5. 00wabbit

    00wabbit Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Anywhere,USA
    I use talc on my silicone seals for over a year now and it slides right on and doesn't make a mess. I have the talk in a little cloth bag. I just pat the bag around the inside of my seals after a dive and rinse/dry when I am packing up my suit. Then when I am ready for the next dive the seals are good to go.
    SeaHorse81 likes this.
  6. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I too use talc on my silicon neck seal, and for my wrist seals. I blew both my silicon wrist seals in too short of a time when doffing, yet I tried to be very careful with them. Unless they substantially improve, and my wrist rings quite spinning, I won't be using silicon for wrist seals anymore.
  7. industrious95

    industrious95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Jersey
    I use talc. Cornstarch guts lumpy, real talc doesn't.

    Here's a video my company produced demonstrating it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD3l-KuTy0g (Okay, this is an instructional video, but it's also promotional for a new company I'm starting, just so you know. It is germane to your question)
  8. LowDrag

    LowDrag Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    I have silicone seals on my White's Fusion Bullet and I use talc on them every time I get in the suit. It never gets messy. All I do is sprinkle a bit inside the seal from a shaker bottle and rub it around. I have been thinking about making a bag like what was mentioned above. Something like a bowlers bag for drying their hands when bowling. It seems to me like all you would have to do is tap it inside the seals or maybe rub it around to coat your seals.

  9. SeaHorse81

    SeaHorse81 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: PA
    Thanks for the specific clarification about cornstarch vs. talc. The video is very helpful and also answered my emerging question about what kind of fabric would be best for a bag. What's your technique for doing neck seals?
  10. TaylorP

    TaylorP Registered

    Food grade silicone is healthy for the seals on your suit, that's what I've always used. It slides right on if you coat it with silicone.

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