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I have an Olympus PT-EP13 Underwater Housing for the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II camera, and the housing has flooded 3 times. The first time I thought it was the Zen wide angle port, and put the stock port back on. Soaked the housing in water and dried the springs, buttons, etc. well. All good for 6 months, then another major housing flood. Soaked and dried again, this time taking off the tiny screws that hold the port glass and cleaning sand off the 2 glass O rings. All good for a couple dives, then small amounts of water intrusion while diving around 80 feet. Took the housing down without the camera after soaking and drying again- no water intrusion. Took it down again without the camera, and there was water intrusion when pushing the buttons. At this point, I don't trust the housing any longer. Olympus already doesn't make the housing any longer and no store carries it. Does anyone have any suggestions? I really don't want to buy another camera and housing set up, and am severely bummed. Thanks, Divingmama
Several recent leaks in my dive buddy's and my housing are the reason writing this. I have been certified since 1975, my buddy since the 1980's. One of my recent minor leaks was from a slightly misaligned O-ring in the port housing, caused by insufficient lubrication. My second almost major leak was from sand in the back cover's main O ring, sheer carelessness on my part; fortunately the housing's moisture detector started beeping and flashing red, saved my camera. My buddy's leak was from an insufficiently screwed in bayonet port, the flooding was so fast nothing could be done. The cause: talking and wandering thoughts while preparing the housing. The result: about $3,000 in fine equipment go bye bye, plus it ruined his Raja Ampat dive trip. A few months ago I did not even know vacuum leak detectors existed. Now, looking back on these and several other leaks and floods, I realize a vacuum leak detector would have flashed red prior to jumping in, flood prevented. A leak damaged my water detector, so I replaced it with one from Bill Libecap (UWCameraStuff.com) wired with two red LEDs for high visibility flashing. Plus, now I was scared, so I added one of Miso's Leak Sentinel V5 detectors (VividHousings.com), for early leak warning before and after jumping in. But, you may well ask, do not these detectors bypass the diver's sense of responsibility to care for the equipment? No, not really. I have learned the hard way that as a diver one must take full responsibility for one's equipment. To prepare the UW equipment, one must mentally focus on the 'here and now' moment, no distractions, plus implement a check list of steps. Doing this while alone helps avoid distractions. Then one needs to double check all items at risk. A memorized check list, which all housing owners use consciously or not, includes: lens cover removed, camera with fresh batteries and card, the housing's back carefully cleaned, intact cleaned O rings, latches secured, viewfinder installed and secured, port securely mounted and locked, strobe battery covers securely closed, strobes connected and tested, etc. It really is important to write the check list, item by item; I use a spreadsheet for this. Then memorize and use it before each dive, while concentrating on the housing/rig and avoiding distractions. A friend says that if one is interrupted or talked to while prepping the rig, then one should for safety start all over from the beginning. To which I may add, if you have the slightest doubt about the water worthiness of the equipment, or if you are upset, distracted by a yammering buddy or in a hurry, then do yourself a big favor and leave your camera rig in a safe dry place, go dive, and wait until later when you have the opportunity for your usual complete double and triple check routine. But housings are so complicated that even after this is done, a leaky O ring for example, can still be there, waiting to flood. What else can one do? I added a vacuum leak detector to test for leaks before and during the dive. For me, a vacuum Leak Sentinel does the job by flashing green when the housing is sealed nice and tight, before getting wet, and during the dive. Now you can jump in and go Zen with the fish and your camera.