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nachbs

Housing flooded - Advice needed

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Hello everyone! Hope this post finds you well.

Unfortunately, yesterday during my first dive after 6 months, I had a very significant flooding. It was so significant that I thought I had entirely forgot to place the oring. However, a quick check revealed that everything was in place. The reason of the flooding was the dome glass itself, which in one side had separated from the port! Massive manufacturing mistake (or negligence). Well, situation is that the housing probably took 1 liter of salt water in <1 min.

Camera (Em1 Mark 2) and lens are both gone and as for the dome, I am already claiming to the manufacturer.

Now. as this is the first time that I get a flooding, I want to know how should I treat the housing in order not to lose another piece of equipment. I guess I should rinse it fully from inside, but any specific advice on how to recover it would be greatly appreciated. The housing the Olympus PT-EP13.

thanks in advance for any info!!

 

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All you can do is rinse and soak in fresh water for an extended period to get all of the salt and any corrosion products out.  Being no electronics in the housing you only need to prevent corrosion of internal components that may not be salt water resistant.  How old was the dome?   I would also check the housing empty for first time back in the water to be sure no damage was done.

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing - a vacuum system would certainly have detected this before the dive, which unfortunately is not on offer in the Olympus housings. 

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I would soak the housing in distilled water, not tap water. Distilled water does not contain the minerals and chemicals that tap water has and would leave less residue. After a good soaking and cleaning completely disassemble ithe housing, clean and lube the o'rings as well as the area where the o-ring seats and the control shafts. This is not a easy to accomplish task on a Olympus housing. You may consider returning the housing to Olympus for servicing or replacement especially since the small control o-rings are not available to the general public. 

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As the guys say, soaking in fresh water is a start. Having no electronics helps too. It might be worth adding some white vinegar as this helps remove salt. I’ve  also found Saltex good for corrosion removal. That, or a similar product, could be available at a marine chandlers store. 

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Olympus no longer markets this housing, and I much doubt they will service it as Olympus is notorious for not servicing their products.  I would simply rinse the housing with clean water, dry it, and sell it or give it away, as this type of Olympus housing does not inspire much confidence. 

I say this as I have taken apart and reassembled this type of Olympus housing, and I assure you it and its the O-rings are not designed to be serviced.  This is not a repair-friendly housing. The best one can do is keep it clean and well lubricated. I do not recall if this housing has a port to attach a vacuum system such as Miso's Leak Sentinel 5 system (https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/vivid-leak-sentinel-v5).  Again, sell the housing, keep it as a backup, or give it away. Meanwhile, use and enjoy it, but first learn how to double-check the housing and strobes are sealed and water proof before diving.   

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Hi Nachbs, no option to send it to a specialist (instead of Olympus themselves)? They might have better tools and materials. And some shops (like the one in The Netherlands) can do their own pressure tests.

Might be worthwhile to know exactly what went wrong with the dome in order to assess if it is even worth trying to salvage the housing itself.

Bit off topic; I have the feeling Olympus' own series of housings are soon a thing of the past. They stopped making them for the PEN series and as far as I can tell, the latest M5 (mark 3) nor the M10 are getting a Olympus house. Pity, I'm still enjoying mine. At a fraction of the cost of the others brands.

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If I may ask, what port were you using?

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Hello, thanks to everyone for the replies!!

Regarding the housing, as I see many comments, I would like to make a couple of remarks. It is true that Oly houses are not comparable in quality to Nauticam, and lacks important features like a "Vacuum alarm". However, I have been using the PT-EP13 (with the OM5 Mark 2) for a long long time without a single problem. I can say the same about the PT-EP14 that I am currently using, the flood was not due to the housing, but due to the dome port itself.

The dome port is 8" Glass dome port from AOI (https://www.aoi-uw.com/products/lens-ports/aoi-dlp-07.html) and basically the whole silicone from one of the sides is gone. Hence, the glass is not properly attached and takes water. This is a relatively new Dome port and this type of mistake could be comparable to buying an aquarium and losing water in the silicone joints... 

In any case, I have rinsed the Housing properly but the camera is completely gone. Waiting for AOI to reply on my reclamation.

Thanks again,

Nach 

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34 minutes ago, nachbs said:

Hello, thanks to everyone for the replies!!

Regarding the housing, as I see many comments, I would like to make a couple of remarks. It is true that Oly houses are not comparable in quality to Nauticam, and lacks important features like a "Vacuum alarm". However, I have been using the PT-EP13 (with the OM5 Mark 2) for a long long time without a single problem. I can say the same about the PT-EP14 that I am currently using, the flood was not due to the housing, but due to the dome port itself.

The dome port is 8" Glass dome port from AOI (https://www.aoi-uw.com/products/lens-ports/aoi-dlp-07.html) and basically the whole silicone from one of the sides is gone. Hence, the glass is not properly attached and takes water. This is a relatively new Dome port and this type of mistake could be comparable to buying an aquarium and losing water in the silicone joints... 

In any case, I have rinsed the Housing properly but the camera is completely gone. Waiting for AOI to reply on my reclamation.

Thanks again,

Nach 

The same could be said for absolutely any housing after all people have been diving without vacuum systems for many years prior to them being available - that's really not the point - the point is that a vacuum system without doubt would have alerted you to the problem.

The concern with the housing now is if salt has gotten somewhere it shouldn't and could impact the o-ring operation - Salt is actually surprisingly difficult to get out of small grooves and buttons.  At least with buttons you can exercise them to pump water out, not so easy with dials.   To illustrate this I notice on my strobes even after soaking for 1-2 hours the water between the cap edge and the o-ring remains salty and crystals form there as that water evaporates.  This is why working the buttons is recommended.  I raise this to show how difficult getting salt out can be - hopefully you left the housing soak for a long time and worked all the buttons and controls the geometry of the buttons is likely different on the inside and may make getting the salt out more difficult.  Again I recommend testing the housing before diving it - weight it down in a container for a couple of hours as a minimum to check it out - leaks are most likely at low pressure.

 

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