Seal Care And Maintenance
New Latex Seals:
New latex seals will feel tight or restrictive at first but will relax with use. Do not cut the seal, it is possible to prestretch your latex seal.
By following the recommended procedure below for prestretching latex seals it will reduce cutting and will lengthen the life of the seals. To prestretch new latex seals use a good food grade silicone. Make sure the silicone does not contain petroleum distillates or fluorocarbon propellants. McNett Seal Saver is recommended. Apply liberally to both sides of the latex; try not to get any silicone on the suit as it affects future repairs. Stretch the seal over an object large enough for a good stretch, 1 liter soda bottle works well for cuffs and an 80 cu. ft. tank works well for stretching the neck. You will have to silicone a couple of times, the silicone will soak into the virgin latex over a short time. This process will take approximately 1 week.
Used Latex Seals:
Wash the latex seals with a mild solution of Dawn dish washing detergent and water and rinse well. This removes all old contaminants, body oils, make up, after shave, perfumes, pollutants, etc.
Dry seal thoroughly, over night.
Follow directions for new seals, omitting the stretching part.
Sealing an old seal without cleaning will only trap contaminants and increase the seal deterioration.
The life of natural rubber Latex seals life will be greatly extended by minimizing contact with petrochemicals, ozone, electric motors, heat, ultraviolet and fluorescent lights. Frequency of cleaning and maintenance will greatly extend the life of the seals.
It is not recommended that you silicone more than twice a year, over siliconing will have an adverse effect on the seal.
Always Talc the seals prior to donning, this makes it much easier to put on. Always keep your seals talced at all times; this will also extend the life of the seal by keeping them moisture free.
Do not use baby powder, it has petroleum products in it.
Dry Suit Zippers
Functionally, the seal is accomplished by the outer and inner sealing lip
areas being held tightly in compression by the engaged metal locking elements.
All zippers are pressure tested at the factory prior to shipment.
It should be recognized that storing or leaving a zipper in a closed position for long periods of time is not recommended. The closed sealing area will take a set, the zipper will then leak. It is recommended that the zipper be left open for storage. Relief zippers are often forgotten, they need to be left open at the end of the day also.
The locking elements should mesh easily and freely in operation. Occasional cleaning and lubrication of the outer elements is recommended. This is especially important if this zipper is being used in a dirty or corrosive environment.
Wax this zipper every 2 to 3 times of use with bees wax. It is highly recommended due to its purity and not having petroleum products. Do not allow a buildup of wax on the zipper. This attracts sand and dirt that will shorten the life. The bees wax will flake off with use.
Do not use sticky lubricants or grease, they will attract dirt and the grease will also attack the zipper material.
Cleaning the zipper and keeping the sealing edge clear of threads. This is done by cutting the majority of the threads off with a scissors, being extremely careful not to cut into the sealing edge. Take a Bic lighter and lightly singe the edge as you would with a piece of nylon line to stop the unraveling. Be extremely careful not to over heat the edge or your fingers.
The slider should never be jammed, forced or twisted! The slider should have a clear path. Should the slider become jammed, carefully back the slider back and remove the obstruction, never force.
This zipper is made to precise tolerances for one purpose, to provide a seal. With proper care and maintenance, it will give years of satisfactory service.
When donning and doffing your suit do not put undue stress on the open ends of the zippers, they donít stretch, they break.
Nearly 80% of zippers replaced are due to lack of lubrication!
Brass on brass, like your car engine, steel on steel, with no lubrication will wear. All it takes is a couple thousandths of wear and your zipper will leak.
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