Tech divers in drysuits don’t pee in their suits … they use devices such as dry suit p-valves. These systems can be the source of much pain and embarrassment if not used properly.
Warning: reader discretion may be advised due to nature of its content.
So, you can try as you may if you are a tech diver and/or wear a dry suit, but devices such as the dry suit P-valve (pee valve) are to be considered standard and required equipment.
The p-valve essentially allows liquids to pass from inside of the dry suit to outside. It attaches to to your anatomy and allows you to basically pee outside of your dry suit.
Naturally, because of the nature of this device and its attach point most people are hesitant to ask and have their most pressing questions answered regarding the proper use of the device.
Jon Kieren does a great job of explaining his personal experiences with the P-valve as well as answering a few questions that you might have been afraid or too embarrassed to ask in a post on tdisdi.com
So basically the P-valve is a condom catheter system that allows you to pass fluids outside of your wetsuit. It must be installed into your drysuit. Its fairly simple to use and naturally , it must be properly cleaned after each day of diving.
As Jon explains, the learning curve may be a little steep, but after a few dives it will become a favorite part of your gear.
Some highlights from Jon’s article:
- Manscape – This is an extremely important step. You don’t need to go overboard, but cleaning up the area around the base will help you avoid trapping hairs in the catheter adhesive. This won’t affect the functionality of the catheter, but will make removal much less painful. Also, a trapped hair may get tugged during your dive, this is a painful surprise and usually happens at the worst possible moment (gas switches, shooting an SMB, tying in a jump reel, etc.).
- Don’t be afraid – When you first take a close look at the catheter, you’ll quickly notice how strong the glue is. Remember what job that adhesive has, it’s an important one and it’s got to be strong. Don’t be afraid of it, it’s there to help you. Being timid here will only result in a misplaced and incorrectly installed catheter, which does you no good and will need to be removed and replaced.
- Get right in there – Having too much “extra” space at the tip of catheter will increase the likely hood of it pinching or kinking and restricting the flow of urine. This is bad, painful, and often results in a “blow off” (which is exactly what it sounds like). Once you’re all the way in up top, grasp your tip nice and tight and roll the catheter down just like a condom. Once it’s rolled all the way down, give it a good squeeze (just one, you don’t want to get excited) to set the glue in place.
- Be smooth – Wrinkles, creases, and air bubbles can cause discomfort and problems, try to get the catheter on as smooth and straight as possible. This takes some practice, so don’t stress out too much. As long as you don’t glue the hole shut, you should be fine.
- LEAVE IT! – Once it’s on, you have to leave it for a while. Remember that super strong glue that’s in there? It bonds to your skin immediately, and that bond is strongest the moment it’s applied. If you try to remove the catheter right away, it will not be a pleasant experience, and you may take some skin with it. Yeah, it’s terrible. After a couple of hours, your skin’s natural oils will begin to break down the glue and it will be easier to remove. I’ll be honest; I screwed it up a little on my first try. Things didn’t go well, and I tried to take it off right away. I was so horrified; I decided to leave it half on for a day and half. My wife still has not let me forget that one.
Read the full article for more details on tdisdi.com
Female divers have a similar device called She-P and more information can be found about this device here on tdisdi.com
Images Source: YouTube Clips