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Leaking Sphera masks

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
397
63
118
53
Hi

I have 2 Sphera masks that I bought last season 2003 that started to leak after a seasons wearing. One of them started to leak after last season and the second one I have used since may and it is leaking to now.

My first Sphera I bought 2001 and it never leaked and I have used it so the lenses is very bad so I don't use it much. The second one I bought 2002 and it's not leaking either, the same goes for the lenses though:head

The masks produced after 2002 seems to be of less quality:confused:

Has anyone experienced leaking Sphera masks, one of my buddies have one mask that leaked and it was ordered at approx the same time as mine.
 

donmoore

New Member
Aug 19, 2002
958
154
0
60
Peter,
My Sphera mask leaked. I thought it was because I heat bent the frame to make it fit my narrow face, but actually it worked fine for the first 3 months. I put a lot of dives on it in those months. The leak seemed to come from where the lenses attach to the skirt and frame. It was a fine spray leak. Not a lot of water, but the salty spray really bothered my eyes.

I went back to my old tried and true Cressi Super Occhio, which fits like a glove. I sure like the low profile and wide view of Sphera though.
don
 
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efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
173
It seems that all spheras come apart eventually. The lens seems to detach from the silicone. Even if it doesn't, the mask gets scratched beyond repair. So, you need to buy a new one about once per season, if not more.

Probably a great marketing tactic from Aqualung, to create a mask with a 'continuing cost', sort of like renting a piece of equipment. Similar to Suunto's strategy with the D3, and yamamoto's strategy, with the neoprene. Every year, a fresh D3, a fresh suit, a fresh mask, fresh socks, to replace broken/ripped/malfunctioning old equipment.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
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I hope I won't have to replace my mosquito/suit/sphera every year. I'll go broke.
From the 3 of them I'm guessing that the suit would be first though. Already saw a seam that would'nt hurt to reglue...

Anyway, my sphera is still in good condition.
What you can try and do if you you think that the old ones were better leak-proof is to take the lenses from the new ones and put it in the old frame.
Another thing you can do is just go over the lens/skirt area with silicon or some other kind of adhesive sealant. I saw a sphera who had that kind of treatment.

The sphera is my favorite mask ever.

Good luck.
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
173
I have a HUGE box of old, ripped up yamamoto wetsuits....

I have three dead Suunto D3's, one dead apneist, one dead aqualand duplex...

I have a HUGE box of old, broken, scratched Sphera's (as well as other old masks)....

I have a HUGE box of old, broken monofins....

I have a HUGE box of old, ripped neoprene socks...

I have a HUGE box of old, frayed nylon weight belts...

I have a HUGE box of old, ripped neoprene gloves...

I have a HUGE box of old, broken snorkels...

I have a HUGE box of crushed, flooded dive lights...

PLUS, I have 'donated' many, many 'lost' items to the sea...

Anyone who thinks FREE-diving is FREE should come and visit!!

The oldest piece of gear I have which is still on working condition is my chinese blade monofin, which I don't use because I find it too stiff.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

alein

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2004
25
2
88
I can second Eric's explanation, with a minor modification. During the Worlds, my Sphera started to leak, very lightly at first, but with increasing flux within just a few days. Close inspection showed that the lens had indeed "disconnected" from the silicon skirt, and that the skirt had folded back and gotted wedged under the edge of the lens for about three centimeters along the edge.

My understanding of the skirt is that it has a U-shaped cross section, and that the lens fits into the U. The base of the U sits inside the frame, while the upper edges protrude out, both inside and outside the mask. In my case, the outer arm of the U had folded back and become caught under the lens, so that the lens was lifted up above the frame very slightly. As more of the U's outer arm became caught, the separation between lens and frame became more severe.

I don't think the silicon skirt is actually attached (glued) to the lens. With little difficulty I repaired the leak by getting the round edge of a sharp knife between the lens and the folded part of the U, and freed it. After I freed about a centimeter, some massaging of the frame allowed the rest to become unstuck and the lens to sit back snugly in the U. The leak is now completely gone.

-Adam
 
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DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
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Hmm, if one won't let much negative pressure built in the mask, would it solve the problem?
No negative pressure, no frame flexing, no lense movements...
 

derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
397
63
118
53
Thanks for good input everybody:)

Eric, freediving is definately not for FREE, I bought a boat this season to deal with the safety issues;)

alein or DeepThought; does any of you know how to "demontage" a Sphera mask?? , If that could be done, one could use glue like "repair extreme" or some silicone that one of you mentioned.

Tonight I will use one of my old Sphera's whith distorted vision, if it dont work I'll have to use my Cressi Minima which I dont like as much....
 

alein

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2004
25
2
88
Negative pressure could definitely aggravate the Sphera. It's quite flexible, having plastic lenses and all, but I don't expect that the frame and lenses flex with the same ease; this might be more important in detaching the lenses than negative pressure is.

I'd be curious to see how effective an adhesive sealant would be. I personally would hesitate out of fear of smudging the lenses through shoddy workmanship on my part.
 

giovapnea

Freediving Prophet
Oct 10, 2003
49
1
0
42
Mine is leaking too, it began to leak a few weeks from now, I got like 9 months with it. :confused:
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
Originally posted by derelictp
does any of you know how to "demontage" a Sphera mask??
Donmoore posted some thread about bending the sphera's frame for narrower face. I remember that there was quite a full description as to how to take it apart and put it back together. Use either the search option, or just ask Don, he could probably locate it easly.

Tonight I will use one of my old Sphera's whith distorted vision, if it dont work I'll have to use my Cressi Minima which I dont like as much....
My sphera has also replaced the minima. :) Though in my case I lost it to the sea. :(
But now I feel that the sphera as already paid for itslef, it just feels and seals so much better to me.
 

Roland

New Member
Mar 11, 2004
82
24
0
Peter,

A Sphera mask can indeed be completely dismantled. Once you have done it successfully it is quite easy.

Start with pulling the strap out of the mask. Do not lose the small plastic pins that become visible on the mask itself when you pull the strap out of the mask because they can fall out and get lost.
Now comes the tricky part with this mask: You have to pull off the black plastic where the strap went through. This is hard to explain over a forum but there is a plastic self-locking mechanism so you will have to take a good look at it ad pull and bend the black plastic very gently in the right places or it might damage.
If you have pulled off the two black plastic bits the rest is easy. The mask frame splits in a top and a bottom half. The lenses are contained in a delicate piece of silicon.

Do not try this unless you like 3D puzzles. :p

The Sphera is a delicate mask. The silicon containing the lenses can shift when bending the frame. Just cleaning the components and putting them together the right way might solve a lot of leaking problems and make gluing the mask tight unnecessary.

Be careful when cleaning the lenses. They are very delicate and even a nail can scratch them.

Hope this helps. Good luck.



PS: spilling soap on the face and/ or mask when dressing can make it leak more because it lowers the "surface tension" of the water. If the mask has a tendency to leak it will become much worse with the presence of just small amounts of soap/ shampoo. :martial
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
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Originally posted by Roland
PS: spilling soap on the face and/ or mask when dressing can make it leak more because it lowers the "surface tension" of the water. If the mask has a tendency to leak it will become much worse with the presence of just small amounts of soap/ shampoo. :martial
Never thought about it. I guess this is also true for anti-fog.
 
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derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
397
63
118
53
Hi again.

Thanks again for the input, I'll try to fix one of my Spheras.

Yesterday I had my 2 old Spheras for test and they leaked aswell so my thought that earlier produced masks was of better quality was incorrect.

For my deep dive I switched to my Cressi Minima and made a successful dive. First time I used an other mask than Sphera for a deep dive. Now I know I'm not depending on the damn mask:D
 

Skindiver

100 % H2O
Feb 5, 2002
267
40
118
I'm not so sure these things leak between the frame and the lenses. I wear one for hockey and it leaked from day one. After pouring water out of my mask for a month one of the guys said to me to wear it under, not over, my hockey hat.
The leaks cured instantly. Why this worked in dont know but it was a total immediate cure. I find the same thing with a wetsuit hood. Worn outside it leaks badly, worn inside not a drop.

This can't explain those whose masks works fine for months and then started leaking though.

Skin.
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
I always make sure that the skirt of my mask is under the hood and not above it.
Thought it was elementary. :)
 

Skindiver

100 % H2O
Feb 5, 2002
267
40
118
Yup.

That part is elementary, so much so that didnt think to have to break it down that far :) I meant the mask strap over or under the hood / cap.

It obviously stretches the frame outwards less if the strap is under the hood and this seems to result in less / no leaking.

Skin.
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
Thought that maybe you meant something like that. :)
Though my sphera still seals well, so I'm not going to change anything.
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
473
188
54
I've had the same problems with my Sphera, so I just get a new one every season. I now have three, in varying stages of decay, but just like the maks so much I won't get rid of it.

On the other hand, I also have a Falco, sphera with glass lenses, that has held up very well and I am still on the first one.

I am on my second D-3, but they replaced the first one for free. I have a Stinger that has been working, trouble free, for a few years now and have been pretty happy with it, although some of the timers are still better on the D-3.

My opencell/smoothskin suit has one tear in it, which I easily glued up, however, I also have 6 year old freediving suits with nylon on the outside that look, almost, as good as new.

I guess my, belated, point is that you can get really durable stuff, for spearfishing, and higher performance stuff for the competitions. My basic stuff is fairly bullet-proof, bu the slightly fancier stuff just takes a little bit more TLC.

Still, I would rather fork out the money for a new Sphera every year, than pay for just one gas filll for a trimix dive.;) It may not be 'freediving' but it sure is closer to it than scuba diving- especialy once hyou start talking about rebreathers.

Jon
 

derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
397
63
118
53
Hi

I had my masks cleaned now.

The leakage was very small but it was still there... so now I'm using my Minima and in fact I did a PB in constant weight with it. (I guess the Sphera is better for equalizing but I use the mouthfill so at my present depths I'm not limited by equalization)

Have any of you guys any opinion about how the Minima is compared to the Sphera for equalization??

I'm gonna try to glue my Spheras.
 
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