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How to properly maintain the zipper on your drysuit
If you are a cold-water diver, you know that a drysuit is essential to keeping you warm and dry under water. However, a drysuit is a significant investment that can cost $1,000 and up. If you do not properly maintain your drysuit, you will have to periodically service it, and that can be pricey.
For example, it can cost between $300 to $500 to replace the zipper on your drysuit.
YKK manufactures an airtight and watertight zipper that can be used in drysuits and in other diving gear. We would like to share the following tips on how to take care of your drysuit including how to properly maintain the zipper.
When it comes to properly caring for the zipper on your drysuit, the article, “Drysuit Zippers: The Heart and Soul of your Drysuit,” says, “Before donning your drysuit…as well as removing…make sure the zipper is completely open. Otherwise, overstressing the ends may lead to damage. The same is true to aggressively putting your drysuit on or off.”
The article also says, “With the zipper closed, wax or lubricate your zipper along the teeth. Excessive wax or sprays will attract and retain dirt, which can damage the sealing surface.”
So, is the watertight zipper on your drysuit a drysuit zipper? Or is it a pressure zipper? Well, we can debate this quite a bit, but the end result is that the drysuit zipper we commonly are familiar with is a pressure zipper.
The article “Maintaining Your Drysuit,” written by H. Kell Levendorf for scubadiving.com, also adds, “Apply the wax only on the outside of the teeth so not to interfere with the zipper’s inner sealing surfaces. If your suit’s a rear-entry design and you need help zippering up, make sure your buddy knows what he is doing. Drysuit zippers are heavy-duty but they’re not indestructible. Never yank; instead, stretch the zipper track out as straight as possible and apply a slow, steady pull on the zipper car while keeping the track off the undergarment so nothing gets jammed in the teeth.”
A drysuit keeps you warm, dry and comfy under water, but they are also a significant investment – budget models cost more than $1,000. Drysuits require periodic servicing too, which is also pricey. Replacing a neck seal can set you back $100, a valve $125, a waterproof zipper $300 to $500.
The article “Dry Wear Care and Storage” found on nrs.com also says, “Avoid bending or crimping a dry zipper. A broken zipper cannot be repaired, and replacing one is very expensive.”
“When closing a zipper, line up the two halves and slide the zipper car with a smooth, steady motion. If you have difficulty, stop and determine the cause. You may need to ask for help.”
Drywear is some of your more expensive boating attire; taking good care of it protects your investment and ensures good condition when you need it.
YKK manufactures an PROSEAL® airtight and watertight zipper that can be used in drysuits and other diving gear.
For more information, click here.
YKK North and Central America Group manufactures airtight and watertight zippers for dive suits, survival suits and space suits. Our zippers are watertight, keeping you safe and dry in extreme situations. Our PROSEAL® zippers are UL certified for use in SOLAS suit applications. We are the global leader in keeping closures dry and air tight.