Written by Quincy Morris
The old adage says there are two types of divers. Those who pee in their suit and those who lie about it. (yes, wet is a four letter word).
Diving dry adds two more types, those who don’t pee in there suit and those who should lie about about it! The p-valve defuncts the old adage make honest divers out of all.
The p-valve is usually installed on the inner thigh. To install the valve, a small hole is punched in the drysuit, RTV silicone is applied to the valve, and the valve is put in place. The valve unit has a hose attached to it. The hose runs from the valve to your penis. (Disregard the last statements if you are a lady, there are options for you and the hose routes to your genital area.) The diver wears a condom that attaches to the urination tube. The diver makes the final attachment to the drysuit before donning the upper body of the suit. When attached, the diver can urinate into the condom. The urine goes through the tube, out the valve, and into the water. It is quite simple and an excellent way to maintain comfort. Dehydration can contribute to the onset of DCS. A p-valve is the way to stay hydrated, stay comfortable in the water, and not “depend” on diapers. Here are some things to know about p-valves.
- There are a few manufacturers of p-valves, but they basically function the same way.
- P-valves can be balanced or un-balanced. Balanced valves equalize the pressure difference between the valve system and the ambient water pressure. Since your body is attached to a urination tube (a flexible container), extreme depths may cause the volume in this tube to decrease. This may cause a squeeze..ouch!! A balance valve is a good idea.
- Most men start with the medium size condom. Replacement condoms can be purchased at medical supply stores that carry medical equipment (crutches, wheelchairs, hospital bed rentals).
- Some men may find it necessary to trim the hair back from the base of their penis. This prevents discomfort when removing the condom. Removal of the condom is most comfortable with some soap in the shower. Routing right or left is also a matter of preference.
- Different routing methods are used. Some men position their penis pointing up, some down. The dual direction zipper of DUI divewear is useful for routing up. A hole may have to be put into divewear when routing down.
- The urination hose can be trimmed as necessary for the best routing. The urination hose is detachable in the Extreme Exposure p-valve used in DUI drysuits. This allows you to remove the hose if you won’t be utilizing the p-valve or for cleaning. Just remember when you are not attached, or you may have to start lying again!!
- Most p-valves have one way check valves that prevent water from entering the drysuit. The Extreme Exposure p-valve used in DUI drysuits utilizes a p-through bolt that can be closed as a back up to the check valve.
- Heavy exercise, excessive movement, and perspiration can cause a condom to become unattached to the skin. Repetitive dives may require the diver to change condoms.
- Wetsuit divers can use p-valves too. This will prevent an odor. Please excuse my bad language. I will try not to say that —tsuit word again.
- Many handy divers can install a p-valve themselves. Most p-valves include an owner’s manual to guide you through the installation.
HYDRATE! DIVE! PEE! KEEP DIVING!