Fix that annoying leak with our five tips
Few things can be more annoying than a persistent mask leak during a scuba dive.
While not critical or dangerous in any way, the constant seeping in of water, not to mention having to stop routinely and empty your dive mask.
A mask leak might indicate a faulty or ill-fitting mask, and the only fix that is to replace the mask with an intact, well-fitting mask.
But before chucking the dive mask altogether, try these fixes first.
Ensure a proper fit
The first thing you need to do is to make sure the mask fits your facial form properly. You do this by putting the mask on your face without putting the mask strap on.
Just leave that hanging under the mask. Hold mask against your face and gently inhale. As you inhale, let go of the mask.
If the mask drops from your face, it doesn’t fit. If it stays on (as long as you’re inhaling), you’re solid.
Now you know the mask fits you, so if it is leaking, fit isn’t the problem.
And as long as the mask skirt is intact all the way around, the glass don’t have any holes or gaps, and there are no holes anywhere, you’re problem should be fixable.
Watch for hair and hoods
Any object, however thin it is, that is trapped underneath the skirt of the mask, will allow water to get into the mask.
Often, the problem is the hood, if you’re wearing one, or strands of hair. Even a few strands can be enough, as these can act as a wick and let water in continuously.
So make sure your mask skirt isn’t folded on itself anywhere, and there aren’t any object trapped underneath before starting the dive.
A beginner mistake when trying to fix a leaking mask is to tighten it even more. But more often than not, this only adds to the problem.
The skirt of a mask worn too tightly will warp and potentially let in water. Tighten it more, and the problem will persist or worsen.
So instead, try loosening it. A mask should be worn so loose that the strap itself is really ornamental once you’re underwater and the pressure of the water holds the mask in place.
Of course, above water, the strap keeps the mask on your face, but below, it should mostly be done by the pressure of the water. So try loosening the mask a few notches.
Here are some Tips To Defog Your Scuba Mask.
Shave for a better mask fit
Granted, this one goes more for guys. Facial hair can pose the same problems as head hair, and can act as an object trapped underneath the mask skirt.
So if you have a bit of scruff, or maybe a full beard, consider shaving at least the upper lip if your mask keeps leaking.
I myself can go for two days without shaving, but on the third, my mask starts leaking, making me break out the razor. If you’re not ready to shave your ‘stache, adding a bit of vaseline can sometimes do the trick.
Strangely, I’ve sometimes found the vaseline trick to work for women as well, and one woman I used to dive with used to rub vaseline all around the skirt of her mask.
Might be that helps even out small imperfections in the skin?
In any case, it's worth a shot.
Wait until tomorrow
Sometimes, there’s nothing to be done. Whatever trick you try, the mask keeps leaking.
Even my trusty Scubapro Frameless, which fits my face as if it was molded from it, sometimes leaks, and I can find no reason for it.
Sometimes it as if my face is just bent out of shape that day. Maybe it’s because I’ve slept on the other side that night, maybe it's the temperature of the mask or whatever. I don’t know. But some days, it just leaks.
Live with it, take it as opportunity to practice your mask clearance drills, and wait until tomorrow. If the mask fit perfectly yesterday, it probably will again tomorrow.