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briefly flooded housing

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#1 Krakenlims


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Posted 18 April 2011 - 01:57 PM

i have nikon d90 and aquatica housing, the dome port was not on correctly and it came off near surface of sea water, i think the camera was kind of flash flooded, it has salt residue on outer parts but is working fine, i suspect water did get inside tho, which may corrode parts over time, waht should i do , can i do?

#2 Kilili


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Posted 18 April 2011 - 04:04 PM

i have nikon d90 and aquatica housing, the dome port was not on correctly and it came off near surface of sea water, i think the camera was kind of flash flooded, it has salt residue on outer parts but is working fine, i suspect water did get inside tho, which may corrode parts over time, waht should i do , can i do?

Can start by removing batteries and cleaning all with fresh water. If you have Salt-away, use that. Soaking risky, but ok for cleaning housing internals.
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#3 okuma


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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:18 PM

Go here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/

Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

Nikon D 500, Subal Housing, Inon Z 240 strobes.

#4 james


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:06 AM

I wonder if you can also spray it w/ circuit cleaner. I haven't tried that but it may be a good way to get the residue out of the plastic camera body.

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#5 blibecap


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:44 PM

I would clean it up as best I could. Then your choice is use it as is till it dies or send it back to nikon for service and cleaning. They will tell you how much before they do the repairs.
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#6 LuckyInk



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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:03 AM

I had a minor flood a few years ago. I documented the steps I took to clean the camera on my blog, which can be found here.
Below is the text from my post.

During one of my dives yesterday I found that water was steadily streaming in from one of the glands on my Ikelite housing. It all started when I noticed I could not depress the shutter button with the shutter lever. Shortly after that, the lever came off of the housing allowing water to leak into the underwater housing. Fortunately, I was only in about 30′ of water when it happened.

What Happened?

As I mentioned before in about 30′ of water the shutter lever stopped working. Later, the lever came off. The first thing you should consider when your housing starts to leak is how terminating your dive will improve your chances of saving your camera. In my case, with such a low depth I made the decision to safely head for the surface. The key word here is *safely*. No piece of equipment is worth more than your safety.

Another thing you should do is turn off the camera and tilt the housing so less saltwater hits the electronics. Be sure to inform the boat crew that you have a flooded housing and inform them how to handle the camera while onboard.

Ditch the Batteries

Once the camera is on the boat, GET THE BATTERIES OUT! Saltwater is conductive. With the sensitive nature of your electronics, power and saltwater are a bad mix. Also make sure you donít have a small battery in the camera to hold its memory. Mine had a little disk battery that I removed as well.

Save the Images

Even if your camera is toast (letís hope that it isnít) you can still save the images on your memory card. Remove the card immediately and put it in a safe place. As with the electronics in the camera, saltwater will ruin your SD or Compact Flash card.

Dunk It in Freshwater

If your camera is completely saturated in saltwater, you will need to get the salt out. What dissolves salt? Thatís right, water. Once I got back to the dock, I put the camera in a bath of freshwater. While this seems counter-intuitive, it is your best hope to try and salvage your gear. I let my camera soak for several hours. While soaking it, I dunked, swished, and swirreld it around.

Dry it Out

Place your camera in a cardboard box and point a hairdryer at the camera. With the hairdryer on medium heat, the cardboard box will help dry your camera evenly. Keep the camera in the box until it is completely dry. I rotated my camera every half-hour to help with the drying process. Just make sure you keep your battery compartment and any other door open on your camera to allow for full circulation of air.

Alcohol Bath

So we were able to displace the salt in the camera, now you need to displace remaining moisture. Isopropyl alcohol is just the thing you need. I completely submerged the camera in 91% isopropyl alcohol for two hours in order to remove the trace amounts of water from the electronics. The great thing about alcohol is that it is quick drying and do not harm the internal electronics.

Dry it Again

Just as before, dry the camera for several hours with a hairdryer. After all initial signs of moisture have been removed, resist the temptation of putting batteries back in the camera. Place your camera in a well ventilated area overnight.

Good News, Bad News

After following all those steps there was some good and bad news. The good news is that the camera worked! The camera powered on but the shutter would not open. To force it open I had to set the shutter speed to remain open for five seconds. While it was open, I forcibly smacked, shook and hammered the camera until the shutter opened. Another issue I had was that the lens still had salt on it. While I donít recommend it, I opened the lens and cleaned it with a microfiber cloth. Unfortunately, I could not clean the inside of the inner element so some spots can still be seen in my test shots.

While these steps worked for me, I would not suggest it to the faint of heart. I made a decision after draining the salt water out of the housing that the camera was toast. Only then did I commit to doing these above steps.

#7 folivier1


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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:45 PM

Be careful if using contact or circuit cleaner on clear plastic. Most of this stuff is a solvent and could make it cloudy.

Uncooked rice is useful for drying out things.

#8 snooper



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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:11 AM

mine got a dunk while kayaking, first thing was pulling out the battery, and the card. didn't let it dry and once back actually took it apart for the rinse bath in distilled water and went for the hairdrier. Also took apart the card to dry it. After a couple days the card received a whole cover of epoxy, since the plastic shell was open, to minimize wetting next time (hope never).But the camera still had visible water in between the layers of the LCD screen, took a good two weeks sitting in silica gel before the LCD went back to not showing any water.
The camera was just ok, some functions didn't work but a flash of the firmware fixed everything, the card was readable and no picture was lost, im still using it without problems, since now is cast in epoxy im even less worried. Only minimal loss was the battery, it still works but doesn't keep the charge like it used to, not a big deal, since i always have spares.

If you use other stuff to drive out moisture be sure its safe for plastic and rubber eventually present, and that will not dissolve eventual glue (some ribbon cables are secured with a sort of double sided tape, if that goes substitute it, same for some parts of the lens).
I wouldn't be afraid of taking the whole thing apart for cleaning, at that point there isn't much to lose.

The steps posted by LuckyInk are THE steps to follow, been taught the same procedure by different people at different times through many years of various activities that could send unprotected electronics in the water and came useful and worked many times.

For cameras the shutter almost never opens after that, it doesn't matter from which era they are, learning how to fix it its useful.

if your camera is dry and you even been able to test it and want to rinse it because of the salt be absolutely careful that there is no charge anywhere. Personally id take it apart to check if there is actually salt inside and use a brush continuously dipped in alcohol to clean off visible deposits, id be scared to give a real rinse in distilled water like i would do if the camera was still wet after being flooded.