Kirby Morgan Issues Urgent Safety Notice Valves May Be Defective

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Posted by on July 19, 2005 at 11:45:01:

Kirby Morgan Dive Systems, Inc. (KMDSI) has learned that a single batch of non-return (oneway) valves manufactured by Circle Seal Controls, Inc. may be defective. These valves are used on all Kirby Morgan masks and helmets manufactured for surface-supplied diving. The valves in question are date stamped on the valve body and fall within the date range 12/04 to 02/05. If you have a valve like this on your helmet, YOU SHOULD STOP USING IT IMMEDIATELY and replace it with a valve that does not fall within this date range.

The purpose of these valves is to prevent a back-flow of breathing gas up the diver’s hose in the event that the hose is severed between the diver and the surface. If a diver’s hose is severed, a properly functioning non-return valve will automatically close and prevent the air within the helmet from being lost. The valve also prevents the diver’s emergency gas supply (bail-out) from venting out through the non-return valve.

In the defective valves, small slivers of the Teflon wiper (used in these valves as part of the sealing mechanism) may be cut off the Teflon wiper and interfere with the poppet that seals the valve. When this occurs it is possible for air from the helmet or emergency gas supply to be lost through the valve if the diver’s umbilical has been severed or umbilical pressure is lost for any reason. This could lead to the diver suffering severe personal injury, known as a “squeeze,” or death.

Kirby Morgan has used the Circle Seal non-return valve in its commercial diving masks and helmets for over 30 years. Kirby Morgan tests every non-return valve on completed units prior to shipment, but the damage to the wiper may occur when the valve has been overhauled, disassembled and re-assembled.

Since this valve is also an industry standard, you may find it on other manufacturer’s helmets as well. If this is the case, you should contact that manufacturer for a replacement.

If you have one of these valves on your helmet, or are carrying a valve like this as a spare, DO NOT DIVE WITH IT! Please return it immediately to KMDSI, or any of its dealers, for a free replacement.

KMDSI can be reached at 1430 Jason Way, Santa Maria, CA 93455. Telephone 805-928-7772, FAX 805-928-0342. Email kirwin@kirbymorgan.com.


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