If you are new to drysuit diving, you may not know how you vent air from your drysuit underwater. This will be part of your drysuit training, and forms an important part of how you control your buoyancy in a drysuit.
You can set most drysuit exhaust valves to vent air automatically while underwater, but to do so the air in your drysuit needs to migrate to where the exhaust valve is located on the suit. You can adjust the valve and how much air is released, but it’s best to have the valve set to fully open.
There are a number of drysuit diving techniques to learn and understand, but once you’ve mastered these, drysuit diving is easy. Diving in a drysuit also opens up a whole new side of scuba diving, for example diving in water that’s too cold to dive in a wetsuit. But a drysuit will also enable you to dive in places like Antarctica.
Tips about how you vent air from your drysuit underwater
- Controlled ascent. The exhaust valves on your drysuit allow the release of expanding air as you ascend, which will avoid an uncontrolled ascent.
- Exhaust valve location. The exhaust valve is usually located on the left shoulder of a drysuit, which is a good location when you ascend, as the air will migrate to the top of the drysuit as you position yourself heads-up or vertically in the water. Other locations include the wrist or cuff-dump, which is also a good location, as you can lift your arm up to exhaust the air. Some drysuits can have secondary exhaust valves on the ankles, which help to prevent an inverted ascent. If you are worried about an inverted drysuit feet-first ascent, you should read this article about How To Avoid A Drysuit Feet First Ascent.
- Air migrates to the highest point. For drysuit exhaust valve to work, you have to be in a “heads-up” position so that the valve is the highest point on the suit. The air in your drysuit will migrate to this high point, and as you ascend, the air will exhaust automatically from the valve. This is assuming the valve is set to open (which for scuba diver safety reasons, it should be).
- Automatic exhaust. You can set most drysuit exhaust valves to vent air automatically. The best way to do so is to open the valve by turning the outside of the valve anti-clockwise completely. Then turn it back a 1/4 to 1/2 a turn. As you ascend, the expanding air will bubble out automatically and thereby reduce your buoyancy.
As a drysuit beginner, you should probably also read this article about drysuit value open or close and which is the best and safest. This article explains in more detail about how a drysuit works too.
Once you’d read that article, your next important decision is whether to use your drysuit or your BCD for buoyancy control. I explain the merits of using either your drysuit or your BCD in this article Drysuit or BCD For Buoyancy Control: Which Is Best.
You may be also wondering how you put air into your drysuit. This is done using the inflator valve, which is typically located on the chest of a drysuit. It’s important to put air in a drysuit, as this acts as your buoyancy compensator when diving in a drysuit. Adding air to your drysuit also helps prevent drysuit squeeze too. You may then ask, do you need a BCD if you can use your drysuit for buoyancy control. This question is answered in this article Do You Need A BCD With A Drysuit For Buoyancy Control.
I hope you enjoyed this article about how do you vent air from your dry suit while underwater
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about how do you vent air from your dry suit while underwater), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkeling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.
Have fun and be safe!