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Kidder
09-11-2007, 21:18
My wife and I have valves on the nose of our masks and it makes it very handy to clear. But as I dive more I'm wondering if I had made a mistake getting the masks with nose valves as just something to eventually go wrong with the mask and shorten its life's span.Has anyone owned one that went wrong? Did anyone have a valve fail at a deep depth?

Capt Hook
09-11-2007, 22:21
Think purge valves on masks are wrong! IMHO

Bring the Payne
09-11-2007, 22:47
Purge valves are nice but definately not a necessity.

frankc420
09-11-2007, 23:19
Purge valves are for masks that flood easily. If you have a good mask you shouldn't need a purge valve :)

Damselfish
09-11-2007, 23:45
Purge valves are one of those things that seem like a good idea at first but after awhile, maybe not so much. You may notice the vast majority of masks for sale are not purge masks and you won't see that many people using them.

Some people like them for various reasons, like they really prefer clearing that way instead of the usual way, and have no problem with them. Sometimes because they have facial hair and have trouble with leaking in any mask, and find this better. Or it was simply the mask that fit them bast.

More people seem not to like them. The valves can get in the way of pinching your nose if you clear that way, or they might rub your nose. They can fail or fall out though it really doesn't seem to happen too often. They can just get floating crud stuck in them and leak. Often masks with purge are a bit higher volume which is less desirable, the field of vision may not be as wide and it would be a bit more effort to clear the normal way.

I wouldn't usually suggest buying one, but if you've already got one and it fits well, I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it's bugging you for whatever reason. You can always keep it as a backup if you decide you want something else eventually.

mm_dm
09-12-2007, 07:39
I would agree with Damselfish 100%. I had a purge mask, among the many I have owed and it used to push against the part just under my nose. It also had a tendency to leak a little more at depth. I went back to a non- purge and have since adopted a low volume mask, which I like much better.

sudnit5
09-12-2007, 09:39
I had a purge mask once and it would always hit my nose and after a few dives it started leaking from the purge itself. I did not like it at all.

Kidder
09-12-2007, 20:29
I was afraid of that. I got thinking about it when I was down around 90 feet. It would be really annoying if the purge valve failed. It would also suck if it failed while getting cerified for my dry suit.

skdvr
09-12-2007, 20:29
I have used them once and my big italian nose did not fit in there so well. It felt fine on the surface but as soon as there was a little pressure on it the valve was pushing on the bottom of my nose. It was harder for me to clear becuase I do pinch my nose. The dive that I did was about 40 min and that was to long with that mask...

I personally will not buy one...

Phil

skdvr
09-12-2007, 20:30
I was afraid of that. I got thinking about it when I was down around 90 feet. It would be really annoying if the purge valve failed. It would also suck if it failed while getting cerified for my dry suit.

What does it have to do with the dry suit???

Phil

finflippers
09-12-2007, 21:00
I had a mask with the purge valve in it once I just didn't care for it. I didn't use it long before switching to a non purge mask.

mdwestgrl
09-12-2007, 21:09
I do have a mask with a purge valve and have never had a problem with it. I have tried both a mask with and without a purge valve and would prefer my purge valve.

Charlotte Smith
09-12-2007, 21:15
My husband swears by his and has a spare one for back-up.....purge or not really doesn't matter to me...

MxDiver
09-12-2007, 21:47
I have both a purge and a low volume one. The one with the purge is my primary, never had a problem with it and the fit is great.

rtrski
09-14-2007, 22:14
A lot of people don't realize you clear purge and non-purge masks differently. For non-purge, you push on the 'top' of the mask to hold the top seal tight, tip head back (look up), and blow so your air pushes the water out the bottom, looser seal.

With a purge valve, that 'looser seal' part is taken care of, so you want to tip your head *forward* (look down) to make sure the water in the mask is over the valve, and just blow. Extra air shouldn't come out the top edge of the skirt unless you go bananas exhaling faster than the purge can pass the volume.

That all said, I prefer a purgeless mask 'intellectually' as just having less to possibly go wrong...yet own a HydroOptix which has purges as part of the design. I've often considered just puckeying them up with RTV but I really don't notice any additional leakage due to them.

If you find your purge is seeping a bit, rinse them good to get rid of any salt crystals and try a little bit of silicone lubricant, the same as you'd use on o-rings for a camera housing. Unless the little purge disk is warped, it should help them settle right out and seal up better.

Kidder
09-14-2007, 22:20
A lot of people don't realize you clear purge and non-purge masks differently. For non-purge, you push on the 'top' of the mask to hold the top seal tight, tip head back (look up), and blow so your air pushes the water out the bottom, looser seal.

With a purge valve, that 'looser seal' part is taken care of, so you want to tip your head *forward* (look down) to make sure the water in the mask is over the valve, and just blow. Extra air shouldn't come out the top edge of the skirt unless you go bananas exhaling faster than the purge can pass the volume.

That all said, I prefer a purgeless mask 'intellectually' as just having less to possibly go wrong...yet own a HydroOptix which has purges as part of the design. I've often considered just puckeying them up with RTV but I really don't notice any additional leakage due to them.

If you find your purge is seeping a bit, rinse them good to get rid of any salt crystals and try a little bit of silicone lubricant, the same as you'd use on o-rings for a computer housing. Unless the little purge disk is warped, it should help them settle right out and seal up better.


I never really thought about the clearing bit, but that is absolutely true. I just worry about the valve leaking at 90 or 100 feet and being a major pain. As you say it may just be one more thing to go wrong.

rtrski
09-15-2007, 14:07
I never really thought about the clearing bit, but that is absolutely true. I just worry about the valve leaking at 90 or 100 feet and being a major pain. As you say it may just be one more thing to go wrong.

The purge isn't any 'more' likely to leak at deeper depths than shallower depths...unless you can put up with way more mask squeeze than I can. Your mask should pretty much always be internally pressurized to just a little less than the ambient pressure regardless of your depth...the 'little bit' provides the suction seal, but if it was a whole lot, you'd end up with a serious set of bloodshot eyes, burst capillaries in the nose and cheeks, etc. In short: not a pleasant experience. :)

MyPC8MyBrain
09-15-2007, 14:22
My GF/Buddy is fairly strange. I know that's a vague statement, but let expand on one point of strangeness....
She breathes in through her reg and then exhales through the purge valve under her nose. Never seen anything like that before.

Technically maybe that is the smartest way to go. If you think about it, the charge coming in from the reg is less diluted with exhaled gases that way.

Who knows, who cares.. it just thought it looked funny when I saw her doing it.

Kidder
09-15-2007, 19:20
My GF/Buddy is fairly strange. I know that's a vague statement, but let expand on one point of strangeness....
She breathes in through her reg and then exhales through the purge valve under her nose. Never seen anything like that before.

Technically maybe that is the smartest way to go. If you think about it, the charge coming in from the reg is less diluted with exhaled gases that way.

Who knows, who cares.. it just thought it looked funny when I saw her doing it.

I would be concerned that it would blow her mask off her face should the valve not work properly. But if it works for her why mess with it.

rtrski
09-15-2007, 21:17
Might lead to a little more mask fogging, since you're exhaling into the mask quite often. But if it works, no biggie I guess. ;)

Suther2136
09-15-2007, 21:18
I did some of my OW training with a borrowed purge mask. Hated it 'cause I had trouble working around the purge device to equalize. Masks are just too easy to clear the old fashion way.

Splitlip
09-16-2007, 15:48
The down sides to purge masks:
1. Some people find them uncomfortable if the nose contacts the devise.
2. Equalizing can be an issue trying to get the fingers around the nose while avoiding the purge.
3. A grain of sand opr crystalized salt can cause them to leak.
4. They can fail. Many manufacturers offer spare parts when the mask is purchased.
5. The masks tend be higher volume

The upside:
Easier to clear especially without the use of hands or if you suffer from a neck condition that makes tilting your head back difficult.

dludwig
09-16-2007, 16:05
They seem like they would be pretty useful but I still remember how the guy described them when I was buying my 1st mask & fins. "One more thing to go wrong"

WV Diver
09-16-2007, 16:16
Damselfish covered it very well. My wife ordered a new mask and accidentally got one with a purge, tried it, kept it and loves it. I tried it a few times but it hurts my nose. If it is working properly it almost seems like cheating. But I have to agree it is just one more weak link in the chain.

reservecops
09-17-2007, 10:41
I wear the Oceanic Ion 2 with a purge valve. It's the exact same mask (low volume, etc.) as the Ion, but with the valve. I have no problems clearing or equalizing.

Depending upon what I'm doing, I might clear using the 'normal' (tilt) method without using the purge valve, or I might use the purge valve. Personally, I like having the option.

As far as the comment about worrying that it will malfunction at "90 or 100 feet", the pressure isn't any different there than at 35 feet - unless it's sucking your face off of your skull because you don't equalize the airspace in your mask.

As for failing at all - while nobody can gurantee that it will never happen, I've yet to read any articles on the various discussion forums that I frequent that detail a massive failure of a purge valve. Heck, I'd be willing to bet that there are FAR more people with non-purge masks that enjoy a regular amount of water in their mask due to improper fitting (bad seal, strap too tight, etc.) vs. a failing purge valve.

BobArnold8265
09-17-2007, 12:31
I owned a mask with a purge valve and honestly didn't like it. If you get any grit in the valve it'll leak and over time they do seem to wear out. Clearing the old fashioned way certainly isn't difficult so there's really no need to even have a purge valve.

coralcrazed
09-17-2007, 13:46
the diaphram can fail when subjected to excessive sun. than it will deform and leak... don't like'em.

sudnit5
09-17-2007, 14:25
Worst mask I have ever had, leaked and was uncomfortable.

reservecops
09-17-2007, 14:36
Clearing the old fashioned way certainly isn't difficult so there's really no need to even have a purge valve.No, it certainly isn't difficult, but that doesn't mean some people don't have a need for it.

For me, sometimes it's much easier to look down and blow a little air out of my nose versus having to stop, get vertical, use my hand/arm to hold the top of the mask, tilt my head, and then clear.

To me, it's a time saver in certain situations. Not to mention it takes less energy, which means less oxygen.


Worst mask I have ever had, leaked and was uncomfortable.Worst mask I ever had that leaked and was uncomfortable happened to be a non-purge style mask.

coralcrazed
09-17-2007, 22:56
Clearing the old fashioned way certainly isn't difficult so there's really no need to even have a purge valve.No, it certainly isn't difficult, but that doesn't mean some people don't have a need for it.

For me, sometimes it's much easier to look down and blow a little air out of my nose versus having to stop, get vertical, use my hand/arm to hold the top of the mask, tilt my head, and then clear.

To me, it's a time saver in certain situations. Not to mention it takes less energy, which means less oxygen.


Worst mask I have ever had, leaked and was uncomfortable.Worst mask I ever had that leaked and was uncomfortable happened to be a non-purge style mask.

I don't have to get verticle to clear a non purge mask...in fact I can look down or be upside down. Its a matter of whick partof the mask you are holding down. I also think that raising your arm to hold a portion of a mask is hardly an energy guzzler or oxygen wasting.