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Housing rinsing techniques


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#1 adamhanlon

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 01:07 AM

Hi all,

 

The discussion over on the Airlock thread has come round to the topic of housing rinsing.

 

This has been discussed on here before, but not for some time, so I felt a new thread is appropriate.

 

My own practice is to only rinse the housing at the end of the day's diving, typically with camera  and lens removed. I will often do this in the shower-when I am rinsing myself too!

 

My rationale on this is:

 

1. I am loath to run the risk of a rinse bucket flood. Once the camera and lens are removed, they and (perhaps more crucially) the images from the dive are not at risk.

2. My housing is anodized so is protected against any short term corrosive effects of sea water. Actually, it has sacrificial anodes too.

3. Any salt crystal formation is external to seals-the seal itself precludes the ingress of salty water from getting under it. 

4. Rinse buckets are often quite full of salt anyway-depending on how often the water is changed.

5. Anecdotal evidence suggest that boat crews and other divers seem to have an uncanny knack of helping flood housings by twisting ports, undoing latches etc.

 

I do give my housings a "long soak" once I am at home-normally by diving with them in fresh water.

 

What do others do?

 

Adam


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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 04:59 AM

My housings have always survived with just a dunk in and out of fresh water. And the occasional longer soak (without the camera inside), when I remember - perhaps a couple of times a year.

 

I have never had to have any of my Subal housings serviced following this meagre regime! 

 

I have seen many housings flood in rinse buckets (I dive with lots of underwater photographers). Probably more than I have seen flood in the ocean.

 

Alex


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#3 E_viking

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:03 AM

Interesting Topic, but I can not give a clear answer.

 

In a perfect world, I would like to rinse it after each dive. In order to solve/rinse the salt from the O-rings and push the Buttons at the same time.

 

I do not put it into a Rinse Tank if other Cameras  are in there. I also stay at the Rinse tank and remove my Housing if someone wants to put their Housing in it.

This sometimes leads to a quick dunk or having a coffee until I do my rinsing.

 

I always rinse the Housing with the Camera in it.

 

 

The dive places have different rinsing capabilities. So, I always have to adjust somewhat. Coolers filled with fresh water can be useful.

 

Well, that is basically my way.

 

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#4 errbrr

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:08 AM

When I dive in freshwater, which is most of the time, I don't rinse. Although if I've managed to coat the thing in mud as well it's more of a spray rinse then soak to try and get it all off. When diving in salt water I like to dunk at the end of the day and usually work the buttons a bit too.

 

I don't leave my housing unattended in rinse tanks if there are other people around. And if I want to leave it in for an extended soak I usually remove the camera first, which means I'm already home and the soaking is happening in my bathtub.



#5 tdpriest

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:53 AM

I dunk every dive, but rarely let go of the housing.

 

Some gritty dive sites just call out for maintenance during the day, and a D800 chews through memory cards, plus I feel duty bound to dunk or wash before opening the seals...

 

... but long soaks are for the bath, with a shot packet rather than a camera for ballast.


Edited by tdpriest, 28 September 2013 - 06:54 AM.


#6 diverdoug1

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:19 AM

I rinse after every dive, but do not let go of my housing. Sometimes I work all the buttons (I always work the controls if it is the last dive of the day). After a trip, I soak it for about 30 minutes in the bath tub with a soft dive weight in the housing. I never leave my housing unattended in the rinse bucket.

Edited by diverdoug1, 28 September 2013 - 08:22 AM.


#7 decosnapper

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:54 AM

Interesting.

 

I always carry or arrange for a personal rinse bucket, filled with either fresh (best) or sea water (keeps it wet but not rinsed). The camera is dunked before the first dive to check for leaks (no vacum pump...yet) then it sits there to let the temperatures settle. I normally dive in temperate or cold water and condensation had been an occasional problem.

 

Post dive the camera comes out of the sea and straight into the rinse bucket while I de-kit. If the card is <50% or I have time, the card is swapped and the camera goes back in the rinse bucket. Otherwise the camera stays in the bucket til next dive.

 

Constant immersion keeps the camera temp stable, the water acts as a damper on bumpy days and stops the housing drying out and letting the salt crystals form.

 

Home is a fresh water dunk, towel dry and then left to dry on its own.


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#8 John Bantin

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:58 AM

I dunk and press all the buttons in fresh water at the end of a trip, otherwise I dunk or shower the housing straight after it comes out of the water with the camera still installed. I NEVER leave it in the rinse tank unattended since other people can be careless whether you have camcatches or a port without a cover. I keep a garbage bin at home that I fill with pure water from the condenser of our tumble drier. Good for a long soak. Benny Sutton, who sold me a housing a long time ago said, "You keep taking your housing in the sea. Most of my customers keep their's under their bed!" Keep it wet!


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#9 Aquapaul

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

At home I dive in fresh water and can't remember a time that I rinsed it.

 

But on dive trips, maybe 4 a year I rinse with just a dunking after each dive. But once home I let it soak for a day or two without camera with soft weights for ballast.

 

I find it frustrating that divers think nothing of stacking cameras in rinse tanks. I have had that happen a time or two so I just rinse with a quick dunk and put it somewhere safe preferably in the shade.


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#10 diverdoug1

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

The last liveaboard I went on, one of the divemaster "photo-pros" was telling guests that the best place to leave cameras between dives was soaking in the rinse tank. After that, every time the boat moved, the inside of the rinse tank looked like a bumper car track at the county fair. No way I ever leave my gear unattended it the "Tank of Doom".

#11 JimSwims

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:39 PM

90% of my diving is shore based. I put my rig into a soft cooler bag between dives to keep controls moist and the unit out of sun. If its been a particularly

sandy dive may give it quick rinse in between dives under a tap. When home I put the rig into the laundry tub with warm water let sit for 1/2-1hr then work

all the controls; slowly at first; until they stop releasing bubbles. Will leave to sit for a few hours or overnight sometimes with camera in sometimes with a

lead weight wrapped in bubblewrap. Before removing from tub will give controls a last quick press/twiddle.

 

Had the housing since 2009 and when it was serviced early this year it was found to be in great condition.

 

Cheers,

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#12 Aussiebyron

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:49 AM

I carry my rig in a cooler bag on the boat and between dives and just after the dives,  I dunk my setup in a fresh water tub and press all the buttons. Maybe after a week or two of heavy diving I soak my setup without camera and lens in a tub of warm water with a small amount of white vinegar for a hour or so. After that I dry the housing and use some Silicon spray (hand pump style) and spray into the notches of the control buttons and manually work the buttons. I then pull apart the ports and domes and give everything a good clean and replace any o-rings which look dodgey.  After that I vaccum the housing again and leave it over night to double check that I have good seal.

 

I never leave my rig in a rinse tub on liveaboards and most times I just quick rinse and fold my setup and put in my cooler bag out of the way, in the shade and on the floor so it wont fall if the boat takes one over the front.

 

Regards Mark


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#13 AndyBarker

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:46 AM

Hi

A quick dunk in tank after each dive, when i get home soak in a tank for 24hours press all the buttons then dry off.

i always store my housing with main Oring removed no problem to date with any of my housings.

Regards,

Andy 


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#14 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:58 AM

A quick dunk post dive, pushing buttons if i remember.  After the trip, housing is soaked in fresh water for 24 hours. Housing is stored with no back or port orings in place.

 

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#15 cneal

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:44 AM

Its a rinse tank, not a soak tank. If there's room in the tank stick it an pull it out. If there's not room take it to the fresh water hose and rinse it. If neither works drape a wet toswel over it to keep it damp. This will help keep salt crystals from forming.

 

At the end of the day use the camera rinse bucket on the dock for a soak. If there isn't a dedicated camera bucket use the hose for a low pressure rinse. Don't use the a gear bucket, someone may have added chemicals to stop their gear from smelling.

 

After the trip completely assemble the housing and strobes and soak for a few hours in warm water, then work all of the buttons and store unassembled. This gets everything soaked without exposing any connectors that should be covered.



#16 gee13

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 05:33 AM

I once dived with someone with an Ikelite rig, also another buddy with Aquatica. None rinsed any of their housings in fresh water. It was basically dry the housing then change ports etc.. none have flooded or had issues..

I always do a min 1 hour soak dunk then hose off thoroughly with freshwater

#17 Alison Perkins

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 06:17 AM

It's interesting to read so many stories of rinsing tank floods. Yet pretty much every time I go to use a rinse tank, it's full of housings with cameras jostling against each other.

 

Following on from this thread, I started a thread on "Housing care - post rinse" where your advice is welcomed.

 

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51486


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#18 adamhanlon

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:25 PM

Now I'm confused about where to post this :)

 

The consensus seems to be that people rinse after each dive. This seems to be in order to remove salt crystals. 

 

So my next question is, why?

 

Hard anodised housings should not be affected by these crystals. If the seals are doing their job, I would imagine that the crystals cannot form between the seal and sealing surface?

 

Adam


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#19 Aussiebyron

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 07:06 AM

Adam I believe the issue is more so with Salt build up in control buttons and levers than on the housing itself.  Without good maintenance control buttons and levers get hard to use and often stick which sometimes locks out the use of the camera when a button is pressed down from a sticky housing button.  Compare your Housing to your regs which you dive with. Regs which dont get good maintence get build up around the small moving metal parts and not on the regs itself which means they dont work as well and sometime have problems with freeflowing.  This is also the case with regs which are not used that often.  The small o-rings and parts in a reg dry out if they are only used once or twice a year and the same thing with camera housings. You often heard those that service regs that they dont have problems with those that dive everyweek when compared to those that might dive once or twice a year.

 

My maintence program is:

 

  • Quick wash in rinse tub with me pressing all the buttons on the housing. Housing doesnt leave my hands and never stays in the rinse tub
  • after several dives I soak my housing without camera in a tub at home in Warm/hot water with a small amount of white vinegar. Pressing all the buttons on a few occasions while its soaking and washing off the housing with fresh water at the end
  • After I dry the housing I use silicon pump spray and spray a small amount of liquid Silicon into each of the control buttons and levers and press every button several times to get the Silicon into the the buttons. I then wipe of any excess Silicon spray

Basically the rinse tub after the dive removes most of the salt water from the buttons. The warm water soak removes the rest of the build up and the Silicon spray preserves and lubes the o-rings and the control buttons.

 

Hope this explains why people rinse, soak, and in my case spray.

 

Regards Mark


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#20 JimSwims

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:52 PM

For myself it is the salt that is of potential concern and perhaps more worrying is fine sand particles in combination with salt crystals. Would not

that combination, if not adequately attended to, lend to possible wear and tear of the seals about control shafts?

 

Cheers,

Jim.


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