All drysuits leaving the DUI factory in San Diego go through a rigorous testing process. This ensures that the next time you SCUBA dive in your DUI drysuit you’ll be dry – whether or not this is the first or the hundredth dive. If you send us a drysuit manufactured by another company it will be tested under these same conditions before being returned.
First we begin by turning the drysuit inside out. Is this because we like to see the superior quality of our inner seam construction? No. If you have ever turned a drysuit inside out you know it’s a lot of extra work. This step is crucial when pressure testing any drysuit. If you do not turn the drysuit inside out, the material/coating that is used to seal the seams can be pressed up against a leak. If this occurs, the leak will not show during the testing phase.
After the drysuit is turned inside out, an inflation hose is inserted through the neck. The neck and wrist seals are closed off.
We then lay a see-through grid over the top of the drysuit. This is done in two parts. The first grid is lowered and the drysuit is slightly inflated. The drysuit is adjusted to remove any folds in the material.
The second grid is lowered and the drysuit is inflated. Depending on the material of the drysuit it will be inflated to between .67 and 1 psi. The suit is carefully inspected from the neck seal to the end of the toes. The grids are then lifted (slowly as the suit is under pressure and it wants to “pop out”) and the suit is turned over. The suit is again completely submerged and the other side is inspected.
The tester will record the make, model and serial number of the drysuit. This information is kept in a log by DUI and is also placed on a test sheet. A copy of the test sheet is returned with any drysuit sent in for repair.
After testing, the drysuit is hung up to dry. If a leak was detected, the suit goes to either the production department or the repair department where it is fixed and retested.
Want more? View our DOGTV – Drysuit test and evaluation.