What Is Purging a Snorkel Mask?

Snorkeling is an adventurous water sport.It allows swimmers to view spectacular creatures and vegetation under the sea with a clear view. The snorkel mask provides a clear, protected window for your eyes while the snorkel tube allows you to explore longer by breathing through the tube's mouthpiece. Snorkel masks often suffer leaks, especially when ill-fitted. The water leaks make purging the mask a necessary task before you can snorkel again.

  1. Snorkeling

    • Snorkeling is a water activity where the snorkeler swims and observe underwater with the use of a snorkeling mask, snorkel tube and fins. A snorkeling mask allows the swimmer to see underwater with a clear, unobstructed vision. The snorkel tube is threaded on the side of the mask and has a mouthpiece on the lower end. The top of the tube stays above the water surface, which allows the swimmer to breathe through the mouth. The use of fins enables more efficient swimming while providing propulsion for added speed and maneuverability.

    Purging the Mask

    • A snorkeling mask must be properly fitted to prevent water from seeping in. However, water will sometimes accumulate inside the mask. This can be burdensome and cause splashing around your face. Taking the water out of the mask is called clearing or purging the mask. To purge the snorkel mask, lift your head out of the water and pull forward on the front of the snorkel to open a gap in the bottom. Keep the gap open until all water is drained out.

    Purging by Blowing

    • Aside from the purging method described above, you can also clear a snorkel mask without moving it or resurfacing above the water. To do this, put some pressure on the top of the mask to the forehead with your palm, tilt your head back and purge by blowing air from your nose. The exhaled air will bubble into your mask and push the the water out from the bottom.

    Purge Valve

    • Some snorkel masks are equipped with a built-in purge valve. A purge valve is a one-way valve that lets you purge the water out of the mask. The valves are typically located in the bottom of the mask's nose pocket and functions by exhaling or blowing through the nose to clear the accumulated water out. The purge valve works the same way as purging by blowing but the valve provides an easy area for the water to exit. Snorkel masks with purge valves require more upkeep than regular masks. Sand, grit and snot may get into the valve, which can impair its function and cause more distraction to the wearer. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep purge valves clean.

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