1. #1
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    Question Survivair mask exhalation valve sticking

    My department utilizes the Survivair CBRN Approved Panther SCBA with heads up display. Several firefighters are experiencing problems with the mask exhalation valves sticking during use, making it difficult for the user to exhale. After several minutes, the valve seems to "break free" and function properly. All masks are clean, approximately a year or two old, and in good condition. This problem does not seem to be specific to any type of weather conditions (i.e. cold/hot temperatures, moisture, etc.).

    Has anyone using this model experienced similar problems? If so, how was the problem corrected?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeavilleFire View Post
    My department utilizes the Survivair CBRN Approved Panther SCBA with heads up display. Several firefighters are experiencing problems with the mask exhalation valves sticking during use, making it difficult for the user to exhale. After several minutes, the valve seems to "break free" and function properly. All masks are clean, approximately a year or two old, and in good condition. This problem does not seem to be specific to any type of weather conditions (i.e. cold/hot temperatures, moisture, etc.).

    Has anyone using this model experienced similar problems? If so, how was the problem corrected?

    Big question and be honest. Did you use Simple Green or any other cleaning agent on the valve other than straight water? If so, the valve will occasionally stick until replaced. Break it in and use it for a few moments during morning SCBA check off, keep flushing it with water everyday and you can minimize your chances of it happening.

    Honestly, we were advised to clean them with Simple Green at first, and it lead to this exact problem.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeavilleFire View Post
    My department utilizes the Survivair CBRN Approved Panther SCBA with heads up display. Several firefighters are experiencing problems with the mask exhalation valves sticking during use, making it difficult for the user to exhale. After several minutes, the valve seems to "break free" and function properly. All masks are clean, approximately a year or two old, and in good condition. This problem does not seem to be specific to any type of weather conditions (i.e. cold/hot temperatures, moisture, etc.).

    Has anyone using this model experienced similar problems? If so, how was the problem corrected?
    I had an issue with this in the past. When I took it apart it looked as if a hard water ring built up on it. I cleaned my mask a lot. This was at my previous department and I was the only one with an issue.

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    Water and the alcohol mask wipes are all that were ever used. The mask was never taken apart either. I researched it on the internet a little bit and I am finding many departments have had the same problem. None of these departments have identified a solution though...

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    My Department uses the same masks, I've had that problem numerous times. My mask has always been cleaned with water or Survivair cleaning wipes. I've found that if you reach inside the mask and poke the exhalation valve with your finger (tight squeeze, use pinkie) a couple of times after drying it, this won't happen as often. Ive got into the habit of doing this prior to donning the mask as well. I don't know what causes them to stick but once you break them free, they shouldn't stick again until washed. Hope that helps

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    Default survivair mask freezing

    Just the other night, we had a house fire backing up another dept, and I had the exhalation valve freeze shut on me. I could breathe in just fine, but it would not exhale one bit. It would just press out on my face. Luckily I caught it and changed out the pack and the mask before I got in the house. Of course it didnt help that it was 4 degrees outside. But I didnt know when it happened if it was the pack or the mask so I changed both to be on the safe side. But we also found after the fact that there was moisture already in the regulator prior to it being used. I guess that someone had cleaned it and not wiped all the moisture out very good. That is the only time I have ever had something happen to a survivair pack like that ever. I'm sure glad that i checked it before I left staging.

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    Default survivair mask exhalation valve sticking

    The best way to defeat this is cleaning the mask on a regular basis with warm water and soap, with the dirt and contaminants in the environments we work in, the diaphragm gets stuck, The only thing I found to work so far is run the warm water through the mask for a few minutes

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    Default survivair mask exhalation valve sticking

    We use the surviveair panthers. The problem seems to be rampant with the new style exhalation valve design. The white one with the little wing on it not the older blue one with a spring. We have had good luck during posi-checking them with flipping the little piece of ruber over on the holder. The rubber seems to take a set and sits deeper into the exhaust opening. That creates a bigger area for the rubber to stick to. When you flip it over the cup in the rubber is then the other way and it won't stick as often. With the new valve the wing also creates some friction as it is operating. I have talked to the facory about this but they don't seem to think it is a problem. Hope I have expalined this in a way you can understand.

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