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diverdoug1

How did you flood?

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Two Major floods Ikelite Housings D70 first when I was ignorant and starting with DSLR Port oring poorly seated.

Second D300 Ikelite Longest port with Sigma105 in a current holding line on surface think it banged on something and was nearly full at 5M.

 

Also a self serviced G1 Ikelite housing (checked without camera) failed to seat most button orings water poured in so fast I had to do it again to see which ones were leaking (no electronics in that housing).

 

Now I have Bill's (Underwater Camera Stuff) vacuum checker no leaks but two false alarms from the electronics probably due to temperature change (I now vac the housing to about 1 psi over where it goes green, that seems to be enough). AND one genuine warning of a poorly seated oring that would have drowned camera. So I'm definitely ahead on that. Although this showed up when failing to pressurise at all so electronics not needed on that occasion. But I like the green flashing lights!

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OK, here's mine:

 

The main one was with a very early model Ikelite 10D housing, probably on about it's sixth dive. I was at 45 feet and lying on the sandy floor to try to shoot some subursts - and then noticed water trickling over the viewfinder from the inside. Made a pretty (very) quick ascent and swam back to the boat with the housing above my head. Camera was definitely wet but - somewhat suprisingly - survived to shoot another day.

 

Back then I was very fond of my shiny new 10D so I always made sure there was no sand etc on the rear o-ring (was pretty obsessive about this). But we'd had humpback whlaes swim under the boat on the way out so I'd grabbed my camera out of the housing to try and get some shots. I think the most likely scenario is that my hastier-than-usual reassembly once we reached the dive site left some dirt/sand/etc on the o-ring.

 

I spoke to Ike about it and - as always - he was great with the customer support. I had a new housing shipped to me immediately whilst he pressure-tested the flooded one and was back shooting in no time.

 

Back in the day - before upgarding to the Ikelite housing - I was doing my underwater photography (with my precious, new DSLR and 'L' lens) using a EWA-Marine bag, It survived lots of free-diving and some SCUBA to pretty decent depths with no problems whatsoever.

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I'd grabbed my camera out of the housing to try and get some shots. I think the most likely scenario is that my hastier-than-usual reassembly once we reached the dive site left some dirt/sand/etc on the o-ring.

 

I have heard so many similar stories about trying to get hasty topside shots leading to problems, I now try to make it a practice to have a splash resistant point and shoot available for things like this, so I can leave my dSLR safely nested in its housing

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Canon point and shoot in Canon housing - defective housing total loss Canon replaced everything

Ikelite housing - housing latch magically opened somewhere between handoff and rinse tank everything worked after 3 days dry out, flakey LCD, electronics replaced at service time.

Ikelite housing - macro port for 100mm flooded somewhere between 25ft and surface at end of dive - not sure why. Lost camera & lense.

 

Talked with Bill (uwcamerastuff) ordered Housing Sentry -

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Interesting to note that one housing manufacturer seems to be over represented here, especially where there was no blatant user error involved. This agrees with my observations, as well. It always baffles me that people who happily pay $6000+ for a trip will try to save $1500 on a housing which malfunctions or floods, spoiling their trip, and costing them a great deal to replace the ruined camera and lens.

 

I have also seen a few floods from gross user error when the housing was worked on in the evening, after consuming alcohol. I will never work on my camera after drinking.

 

I have flooded 2 cameras due to the main housing o-ring popping out of it's groove, one in a test dunk, both due to user error. Now, I remove this o-ring as infrequently as possible during a trip, and have gone 7 years without any more camera floods.

 

I had a vacuum system installed on my Nauticam housing. It is simple to use, and gave me much confidence during a recent trip to Mexico, where the camera facilities on the liveaboard were decidedly suboptimal. Time will tell if this confidence is misplaced, but I am certain it will detect any large breaches of housing integrity.

 

I have had continual and ongoing problems with the battery compartment o-ring binding in my Inon 240-Zs while screwing the cap on, resulting in a danger of flooding. Usually this is obvious, but not always. More grease, and new o-rings have not improved this situation.

Edited by maelstrom

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I flooded the battery compartment of an Ikelite S51 I once had. Charged the batteries the night before and they were still hot when I took them out of the charger. So I put them in the strobe but only loosely tightened the compartment cover meaning to tighten it fully the next morning before diving. Guess what?

 

In respect to Inon battery cover O rings, I found with my S2000s using less grease was an improvement together with using the palm of my hand rather than my fingers helped in screwing on the cap evenly and not catching the O ring.

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Sadly, one was a piece of hair.

 

One was a faulty housing (got a new housing, but not a new $3k camera).

 

I fully disassemble everything now. Check all o-rings. Clean all grooves. Inspect with lighted magnifier. Regrease.

 

Always go through rinse/soak process after every dive. NO ONE touches my camera but me. Seen too many bozos with P&S drop camera in a communal barrel. I only dip mine, then wait until I am back to lodging, where I soak it. After an hour, I syringe out (rubber bulb syringe) the buttons, then actuate them. Carefully remove and dry.

 

 

As for the comment on housing brand....might be the sheer number they sell (would need a percentage failure rate). No housing is idiot proof. Our dive shop owner has a 6k housing which leaked BRAND NEW.

Edited by dpaustex

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Maelstrom: Which Liveaboard in Mexico had the substandard camera facilities. I was on Rocio del Mar some years ago and their facilities were the pits. I did all my camera work in my room. But they said that they intended to upgrade their camera table shortly thereafter. Not sure if it ever happened.

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