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Discussion in 'Dry Suits' started by Graysyid, Feb 12, 2018.
Getting a drysuit soon and need to ask "Is a pee valve worth it?"
I had one on my last suit simply because it came like that (2nd hand suit), I got used to having it and now I wouldn't go back to not having one. This way I can put the suit on, and keep it on the whole day. I can keep properly hydrated too (some people don't drink enough as they don't want to have ot strip the suit off to pee).
I've got one on the otter suit I had made last November. Tbh I'm struggling to get used to it. I'm fairly certain I've got a decent fit on the catheter and it's on right, but I struggle to pee when I'm wearing my suit. Old habits I guess. I'm going to persevere with it because I can really see it being useful as my dives start getting longer.
BTW if you get one, trim your pubes. Removing the Johnny will bring tears to your eyes otherwise!
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One of the best bits of dive kit you'll ever buy!
It depends on diving you do (or plan to do).
I have one on all three of my drysuits but don't tend to bother plumbing in unless I'm planning to do more than two hours or so. Having said that, I dive almost exclusively from hard boats with heads on board. If I was daft enough to do RHIB or shore dives, I'd plumb-in far more often.
Having developed a bladder infection from 'poor maintenance', I'm far more cautious when I do use one now.
Abso-bloody-lutely. It's the second best-ever invention for diving, after the demand valve.
It's piss easy (oops!) to use, fit, and is bloody amazing for comfort.
You will need to get a self-closing valve for the end of the pipe: https://www.dirdirect.com/P-Valve-Quick-Disconnect.html. Note this one has a self-sealing valve action; there's another (cheaper) one which doesn't. Leave the pipe long, doesn't need cutting. Poke the valve end down the pipe and the loose barbed end goes with your catheters.
You'll need to measure the old chap for size for the catheters. Some places flog them in singles. There's a measuring card available from the suppliers and you get one in every box of 30 catheters.
You'll also need a tin of "medical adhesive remover" (Apeel) unless you enjoy pain.
Cleaning up after use... Slightly disconnect the quick-disconnect valve to seal the pipe, pull catheter off the quick disconnect and shake... Find a quiet corner of the car park and using a bottle of water take mouthfuls of water and blow it down the pipe to flush out of your suit; blow through and repeat a few times. Slightly disconnect the valve again to stop any odd dribbles getting inside your suit.
When I get home I hang the suit up, reconnect the quick-disconnect and leave the pipe it dangling out of the fly zip to air dry. Doesn't smell, so must work.
I plumb in for every dive (except for pools!). Would never consider diving without plumbing in. I know my bladder and I'd sooner connect up and not use it than it doing its usual trick of screaming "I want a piss" as soon as I can't. Might be age-related, whatever.
Main thing is I can drink as much as I want/need before the dive. It's crazy not drinking because you're afraid of taking a piss. Dehydration is dangerous and not so good for DCS either.
Once used you'll wonder what all the fuss is about.
Not even close. It comes a long way after the CCR, scooter, heated undersuit and NERD
Have a pre-pee in the car park/on the boat/wherever - it’ll flow much more easily in the water if you know it’s not kinked and working as it should.
I've never had one but can see that it could make things quicker/easier.
Never used this either but maybe i'm a man of particular tastes.
I had a comfort zip fitted to my suit, bloody useless and another risk of leakage. Managed 60 minutes in Cyprus by dint of a piss in the bushes before entry and a quick run to the toilet when I got back to the dive centre - if I started again, I'd go for the valve.
You may want to talk to Mr Whitlow about this device. I'll wager that he'll disagree.
P-valves are an easy retro-fit to a suit.
Do you thread the catheter onto the 'barb' in-situ?
The benefit of the quick-disconnect is you can fit the 'barb' on to the catheter before putting it on. Then it's a straight plug-in of the quick disconnect - and hear it go 'click'. No click, no pee pee!
A tin of Apeel is sooooo much more comfortable when removing the latest batch of catheters -- it's like they're superglued to your old chap! A quick spray of the remover and it peels off without pulling your skin transparrent!
If only we were down the pub having this discussion....
Yes, I route the hose as I want it and then plug the straight-through barb on the end of the hose directly into the catheter. Getting undressed you have to simply pull the hose and catheter apart and if things haven't drained properly there would be some drips/spray.
I route straight down and out. Fumbling about without a QD would be a PITA.
I do, however, use the regular QDs that don't have the shut-off. I'm sure Dave will be along shortly with his tale of horror that followed his use of one of the type that Wibble has linked to. Besides, £20 for something that costs a tenth of that if sourced from somewhere without the 'dive-tax' is ridiculous.
The reassuring 'click' when it's plugged in correctly.
I route up and over my waistband.
I've not had a problem with it thus far. Am very careful to listen for the click and to not kink the catheter in my skiddies. First piss is generally slow -- memories of Garf's description of a kinked catheter swelling up like a balloon!
I like the idea that the tube's 'closed' when the suit's rolled up and the quick disconnect is disconnected, so the festering damp smell of the drysuit doesn't include the great smell of Brut ^H^H^H piss.
Good but not quite that good!
Indeed, I owned one of those monstrosities! The self-sealing abominations are things of evil and should be destroyed with fire!
When you disconnect them they store liquid in the pipe. Should life interrupt your cleaning habits and you do not clean your suit then you have a biological nightmare awaiting you. Should you then go diving a week later the moment of realisation is a moment too late and what is likely to follow is an intensity of sickness unlike anything I have known. If you want to lose a number of kilos over a few days, and feel a sweat-washed mattress is desirable (we disposed of it), then go right ahead. If not there are safer items available and I now use a cheaper and safer connection.
How you manage the pipe is a matter of personal preference, as is the choice of catheters.
I left the rubber pipe uncut and the hose heads upwards, over the waistline of the undersuit and then heads down to the p-valve. That way it is easy to connect and I can ensure the catheter isn't kinked or twisted. In hundreds of dives using the p-valve the only problems I had were in the early days as I got the technique sorted.
Although the correct size is ideal it is entirely possible to use catheters that are one size, even two size, too small although technique does become important. Overly large catheters are likely to be a fail.
When I go diving I always take a 1.5l bottle of water with me and this lives in the sofnalime tub I cart my kit about in, and stays on the dive deck. The water is useful for a drinking and for washing the mask (why rely on a bucket of sea water?). After diving is done I ensure the p-valve is open and pull the catheter off the barb so any liquid drains onto the dive deck. A few mouthfuls of water wash any residual liquid from the tube. Periodically I wash the tube with more effective cleaning agents and if it is being left for long period (e.g. during winter) I rinse with meths to ensure a dry tube.
I plumb in for every drysuit dive. As with many things I create a procedure and stick with it for every dive as there are less mistakes that way.
The link between dehydration and DCS remains unproven and more recent thinking cautions against excessive drinking as potentially increasing the risk of Immersion Pulmonary Oedema.
Just the dehydration point... Before discovering the miracle of the P-valve I used to avoid drinking anything. Literally a few sips of water for a 3 hour drive and 3 hours gassing and 'kitting' up for an NDAC dive. Proven link with DCS or not, it cannot be good for one.
Thanks for all the replies. I'm popping down to O'Three at the beginning of next month to get fitted for my first suit, so sure the question will be asked. Off to Farne islands later in the year and really want to future proof the suit rather than having to go back and get one fitted at a later date.
Re. the O3, I regretted buying a neoprene suit when I eventually purchased a membrane one.
Better in almost every way.