In order to alleviate squeeze at depth, divers must add gas to their drysuits via a low pressure inflator hose connected to an inflator mechanism on the drysuit.
Often times in recreational diving the drysuit is inflated from the diver's backgas tank(s), which is perfectly acceptable if air or nitrox is being used.
However, due to helium's thermal properties, if the diver is using a breathing mix containing helium the drysuit must have a separate, independent inflation system.
Drysuit inflation bottles can be mounted on the backgas tanks or the backplate. Typically, 13 or 14cuft bottles are mounted on the backgas tanks, due to their size, and smaller 6cuft bottles are mounted to the backplate.
This page illustrates how to mount the smaller 6cuft bottles to your backplate in the Hogarthian configuration.
If you're using your backgas for drysuit inflation, visit our Doubles Regulator Configuration Page.
When setting up your drysuit inflation mount, it’s important to keep a couple of points in mind;
DRYSUIT INFLATOR BOTTLE
The inflation bottle should be rigged so that it doesn't hang below the bottom of the backgas tanks. If it does hang lower than the back-mounted tanks, shorten the bungee loop, as that is what determines the height of the inflator bottle.
The inflator hose is routed from the inflator's 1st stage, under the harness waist strap and connected to the drysuit's inflator mechanism.
Poke 2 holes, approximately 1/4" in diameter, 11 1/4" apart, leaving ~ 3/4" on each side. Burn the holes with a lighter, to prevent fraying.
Tie an overhand loop in the shock cord. Tighten the knot so the loop in the shock cord is ~5 1/4" to 5 1/2" long.
Your drysuit inflation system is now ready for use. If you're using your backgas for drysuit inflation, refer to our Doubles Regulator Configuration Page.
Cut the excess shock cord off the end, leaving approximately 1". You may want to put a couple of drops of SuperGlue on the knot as well.
Mount the strap to the backplate by folding the strip of webbing in half. Then, put the barrel nut into the 2 holes poked into the webbing.
Next, put the barrel nut against a hole in the backplate, on the backside of the plate, typically just above halfway up the plate, on the left side. Feed the barrel bolt through the corresponding hole on the front of the backplate and screw into the barrel nut and tighten.
Feed the bungee loop through the bottom hole on the backplate's left side from the back to the front. Then pull the knot through the loop that has passed through the backplate's hole.
Hardware & Supplies
13-14" of 2" webbing
24" of 3/26" shock cord
1/4" diameter Stainless Steel barrel bolt & nut
6cuft drysuit inflation bottle
Next, pull the knot tight such that the loop cinches down taut against the backplate.
Now it's time to install the inflator bottle.
The drysuit inflation bottle is mounted upside down, to allow the diver access to the valve handwheel on a standard valve.
To mount the bottle, feed the bottom of the bottle through the webbing strap on the backplate. Then, wrap the bungee loop around the valve handwheel, with the loop behind the valve.
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