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ornate_wrasse

Subal Housing Leak Detector Alarm

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I just got back from an UW Photography Workshop in Cozumel. I was using my brand new Subal ND70 housing. It was purchased used from ReefPhoto but it was new to me.

 

It worked fine the first couple of days. In the evening, I prepared the camera and housing for the anticipated shooting the next day. One morning I noticed the Leak Detector light flashing continuously. I thought this was rather odd since the camera had not been in the water. I checked the inside of the housing and found there was no moisture inside...it was dry as a bone. I rubbed the two metal wires with a towel, thinking that perhaps there was some moisture on the wires. It didn't make a bit of difference and the light kept flashing. This went on for over 24 hours. After my dives the next day, there was no water in the housing. Finally, after it had been flashing nearly a day and a half, I removed the battery.

 

Does anyone know why the leak detector would go off by itself without the presence of moisture in the housing?

 

I would like to be able to rely on it as a leak detector on my trip to Florida next month but so far that doesn't appear to be an option until I get this resolved.

 

Thanks in advance for opinions and input.

 

Ellen

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A trace amount of moisture can set it off. Aim a hairdresser on low into the housing overnight and I bet that the leak detector will work fine. I've owned 4 Subals and never had a problem like this.

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A trace amount of moisture can set it off. Aim a hairdresser on low into the housing overnight and I bet that the leak detector will work fine. I've owned 4 Subals and never had a problem like this.

 

The leak alarm was just another expensive component to replace each time my Subal flooded. I tried aiming a hairdresser at it, then a butcher and a carpenter, but finally ended up sending to Peter Rowlands, a service technician... :)

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Peter's aim is probably better. :)

 

Cor

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Going from the heat of Cozunel to the aircon in your room or from the room to the heat may also be the cause of the problem.

 

Phil

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A trace amount of moisture can set it off. Aim a hairdresser on low into the housing overnight and I bet that the leak detector will work fine. I've owned 4 Subals and never had a problem like this.

 

Instead of aiming a "hairdresser" into the housing, how about a "hairdryer"?

 

I don't have any hairdressers laying around my house :)

 

Thanks for the tip.

 

Ellen

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Had a similar thing happen with my Subal D200 housing a couple of months ago. Housing worked fine on dive 1 and then sat in the shade on the boat between dives for about 90 minutes and wasn't opened. Then I jumped in for dive 2 and saw the light flashing as we started our descent. I quickly aborted and took the housing back to the boat though I couldn't see any evidence of water in the housing. When I opened it up there were a couple of small drops of water inside though I suspect this was dribble from opening it rather hastily while still dripping wet.

 

The leak detector kept flashing until I got home where I just took the battery out. After I aimed a hairdresser hairdryer at it for a bit I put the battery back in and it worked fine. If I shorted the two pins with a paper clip it would flash and it stopped when I removed the short.

 

The housing then passed both a dunk test and a pressure test and seems to be fine so I'm back diving it. Haven't seen the problem since. The only thing I can think is that a small amount of condensation got on the leak detector between dives.

 

Clinton

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After I aimed a hairdresser hairdryer at it for a bit I put the battery back in and it worked fine.

 

I will try this hairdryer trick and see if it works. I'll let you all know the results.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Ellen

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I will try this hairdryer trick and see if it works. I'll let you all know the results.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Ellen

 

 

I had the same thing with my Subal Housing. I eventually put a moisture muncher pack in the housing and sealed it up overnight. The next morning it was fine

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I had the same thing with my Subal Housing. I eventually put a moisture muncher pack in the housing and sealed it up overnight. The next morning it was fine

 

Seems like something to try before I go the hairdryer route.

 

How many of the moisture munchers did you put in the housing to absorb the moisture?

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Make sure the 2 contacts are not shorting out against the housing.

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Make sure the 2 contacts are not shorting out against the housing.

 

I am somewhat electrically challenged...can you please explain how I can determine that the 2 contacts are not shorting out against the housing?

 

One of the other divers in our group suggested that the problem may have been a short.

 

This CPA doesn't know a whole lot about electricity :P

Edited by ornate_wrasse

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I am somewhat electrically challenged...can you please explain how I can determine that the 2 contacts are not shorting out against the housing?

 

One of the other divers in our group suggested that the problem may have been a short.

 

This CPA doesn't know a whole lot about electricity :P

+++++++++++++

Look at the battery. At one end wires go to a warning light. At the other end, wires do to the bottom of the housing. At the end are 2 small prongs. These are the water contacts. When you get water in the housing it completes a circuit between the 2 prongs and causes the warning light to go off. If the bare ends of these prongs are touching the housing, it will complete the circuit (short) and the light goes on. To check these, take a double sheet of paper, or a match pack cover and see if it will slide under the bare contacts. if it does, then all is ok hare. If not, place one finger on the wires where they are gluded and with another finger nail, very carefully pry the prongs up a little. Before closing my housing, I always lick a finger and touch the 2 prongs to test the warning light!

OK ?

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I have had that problem with my Subal D200 housing. It was a problem in the Philippines. Sent it to Fred at UWphototech. They checked it out. No problems. Went diving in Sipadan. The light started blinking once i got there. I think it is the humidity of the location. So, now I have fixed the problem permanently - no battery, no blinking. I think it is a design problem.

 

I will try it again once i get home to see if i can fix it.

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Ive had 5 subal housings now with a leak detector and i dont think it's a design problem. They're meant to blink when they get wet even slightly.

 

I do think that it's overly cumbersome to dry them up again. Once they get wet, even 1 single drop (and thats what usually happens, you close it and 1 drop falls in, VERY easy to happen), it takes forever to dry that back up. Ive had this happen about a dozen times over the years and each time it took a minimum of several hours.

 

Here's what I usually do:

 

1) blow it out with a high pressure air hose. This usually pops out the droplet from where ever it's hiding.

2) if still blinking, dry it with a hairdryer.

3) leave it in a warm dry spot for a while.

 

Sofar this has always helped for me.

 

Cor

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I've traveled all over with my housing, and even opened in boats, but this never happened to me... I think drying it is the best solution.

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it takes forever to dry that back up.

 

... if you get a drop/drip on the circuit, even when it dries, there will be some salt left behind. In high humidity this absorbs enough moisture to short the circuit and trigger the alarm

 

Also you dont need a paper clip to test ... lick your finger and touch it to the end prongs of the alarm :rolleyes:

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... if you get a drop/drip on the circuit, even when it dries, there will be some salt left behind. In high humidity this absorbs enough moisture to short the circuit and trigger the alarm

 

The problem appears to have been solved. One night I put a few moisture munchers into the housing, closed the housing and let it sit overnight. The next day I opened the housing and reinserted the battery.

It did not blink. I also licked my finger and touched my wet finger to the prongs. When I did that, the blinking started again but stopped when I removed my wet finer.

 

I think the high humidity in Coz may have had something to do with it. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is bone dry in the summertime. I suspect that any moisture that was in the housing in Cozumel had a chance to fully dry out in the dry environment in my locale.

 

I didn't have to resort to using the hairdryer, but looks like either that or a high pressure air hose wouold be a good fix if the light refuses to stop blinking.

 

I'll test it again when I'm in Florida in two weeks if the light decides to start blinking on me.

 

Thanx all for your input!

 

Ellen

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T that or a high pressure air hose would be a good fix if the light refuses to stop blinking.

 

 

Ellen

 

The air hose is good for driving off large water globules but be aware that as the air leaves the high-pressure hose and depressurizes it causes humidity to precipitate from the atmosphere thereby squirting a fine mist of water at what you are trying to dry.

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... if you get a drop/drip on the circuit, even when it dries, there will be some salt left behind. In high humidity this absorbs enough moisture to short the circuit and trigger the alarm

 

i didn't realize that salt is left behind when it dries, and with high humidity it will absorb moisture that will trigger the alarm. That is exactly what happened to me in Sipadan. I am going to try to soak the contacts in fresh water, hopefully it will clean out the salts. Any other suggestions? Dilute vinegar?

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I realize that this is an old thread, but thanks for the comments about salt crystals attracting moisture. I have had similar issues.

 

Also, instead of using compressed air froma tank, I use "canned" air. Sprayed from about ten inches the detector will cease blinking in a few minutes.

 

Cheers,

 

Dan

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Hi all,

 

Slightly off topic, but does anyone know (or can find out) the battery type that is used in the subal leak detector?

 

I have had a bad flood in mine, and when I removed the battery, it had actually corroded. As a result it went straight into the bin, I should have paused to take down the model number.

 

BTW, the light was still flashing continuously-which was why I decided to remove the battery.

 

Many thanks in advance

 

Adam

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Hi all,

 

Slightly off topic, but does anyone know (or can find out) the battery type that is used in the subal leak detector?

 

I have had a bad flood in mine, and when I removed the battery, it had actually corroded. As a result it went straight into the bin, I should have paused to take down the model number.

 

BTW, the light was still flashing continuously-which was why I decided to remove the battery.

 

Many thanks in advance

 

Adam

The one I have is a Varta CR 2430 LiMn 3V

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Hi Adam,

 

Try www.farnell.co.uk I think they take cards.

 

They also stock most batteries for dive computers etc.

 

If you have a problem let me know I have an account.

 

Paul C

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