Proper SCUBA Mask Purging Procedures

Proper SCUBA Mask Purging Procedures
Scuba diving is a great recreational sport. You can go to a warm-weather resort in the Caribbean, Florida, Australia or Thailand and see beautiful tropical fish on an equally beautiful reef. You can dive for lobster and shellfish in the cold waters of Maine, Massachusetts or Scandinavia. Diving is a safe sport as long as you follow the rules and understand your equipment. One of the simplest yet most important pieces of gear is your mask. Learning to purge your mask is one of the first things you should do when diving. This is essential as water filters into the mask, and it is also possible to knock your mask off on an obstacle. It is easy to panic when your mask is full.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dive tanks Hookup Dive mask Weight belt Buoyancy compensator (BC) Wet suit or dive skin Fins
  • Dive tanks
  • Hookup
  • Dive mask
  • Weight belt
  • Buoyancy compensator (BC)
  • Wet suit or dive skin
  • Fins
Step 1
Put on your wet suit in cold-water conditions or your dive skin in warm water. It is possible to dive in just a swimsuit in very warm water if you are an experienced diver.
Step 2
Screw the hookup onto the tank. The hookup is your two regulators (a spare in case a friend needs help) and your gauges to tell you how much air is in the tank, as well as a depth gauge.
Step 3
Strap your tanks to the BC and attach the inflation hose. Open the valve cautiously and make sure there are no leaks, the air gauge is giving a reading of near 3,000 lbs and that when you press the inflation button on the BC it fills correctly.
Step 4
Put on your weight belt, making sure you can release the catch with your right hand. Put your fins on. Slip your BC on as if it were a vest that goes with a suit jacket. Put your mask in place so that it is not trapping hair on your forehead and is tight under your nose. Enter the water and submerge to a depth of about 10 feet.
Step 5
Put yourself in a vertical position. Lift your mask gently and let some water enter. Lean your head back and apply pressure with your hand to the upper part of the mask which is touching your forehead. Exhale through your nose; this pressure differential forces the water from your mask (purges your mask).

Tips & Warnings

 
Nose purge masks are also available. These masks are formed around your nose so that you do not have to apply pressure to the top of the mask to purge it. Simply exhale through your nose and the mask purges. Many divers prefer to leave a small amount of water in their masks. If your mask fogs during a dive you can simply move your head slightly and clean the face of the mask.
 
Nose purge masks are also available. These masks are formed around your nose so that you do not have to apply pressure to the top of the mask to purge it. Simply exhale through your nose and the mask purges. Many divers prefer to leave a small amount of water in their masks. If your mask fogs during a dive you can simply move your head slightly and clean the face of the mask.
 
Be sure to practice purging your mask before diving at a deeper depth. Nothing causes panic like a mask that is filled and a diver who cannot purge it. If you are using a nose purge mask it is easy to fall into the habit of always exhaling from your nose. You should always exhale through the regulator. This keeps the regulator clean and air flowing well. Most professional divers dislike the nose purge regulator.
 
Be sure to practice purging your mask before diving at a deeper depth. Nothing causes panic like a mask that is filled and a diver who cannot purge it.
 
If you are using a nose purge mask it is easy to fall into the habit of always exhaling from your nose. You should always exhale through the regulator. This keeps the regulator clean and air flowing well. Most professional divers dislike the nose purge regulator.

Article Written By Les Belzer

Les Belzer has been a professor, entrepreneur, farm owner and writer since 1968. He has written in-house articles on education, mathematics and Spanish literature. Since 1999 he has written travel articles for Escapeartist and "International Living." Belzer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish literature from Idaho State University and a Master of Science in math from the Universidad Mayor de San Simon.

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