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Chasin' Tales

Flooded carbon float arm repair?

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Hi,

 

I have a nauticam carbon fiber float arm that is partially flooded.  Seems like it is getting a little bit worse with each dive.

Has anyone managed to repair a flooded float arm?  If so, can the repair process be shared?

I was thinking about drilling a tiny hole or two in order to drain the water.  I can’t decide on the best place to drill the hole. I’m thinking right where the carbon meets the end cap.  Then using epoxy to seal the hole, likely running a bead all the way around the end cap seam.  Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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Nauticam seems to have discontinued the carbon float arms, so maybe they are a problem product.  As a drill hole or epoxy patch may void a warranty, it seems better to first take the arm to your dealer and ask for a replacement or return.  Keep us posted.

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51 minutes ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

Nauticam seems to have discontinued the carbon float arms, so maybe they are a problem product.  As a drill hole or epoxy patch may void a warranty, it seems better to first take the arm to your dealer and ask for a replacement or return.  Keep us posted.

When i go onhttps://www.nauticam.com/pages/search-results?q=carbon i can see plenty of carbon float arm options. Are you sure?

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Sure of what?  Discontinued? You ask a valid question, as locally  Bluewater Photo has discontinued the Nauticam floats, but Backscatter has them for sale.  

I would, before attempting a repair, take the defective float to my dealer for replacement or repair, and if that failed, I would contact Nauticam directly.  That is, assuming I had not bashed the float against a rock or otherwise damaged it myself. 

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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I think that Nauticam HAS discontinued the old carbon fiber arms and have now the carbon fiber/aluminum arms. Two different beasts

BVA

 

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I bought Nauticam c/f float arms earlier this year and they were stated to have a Lifetime Warranty. So, maybe get it replaced, instead of trying to fix it? (if you have the version with the lifetime warranty, of course..)

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I think that Nauticam HAS discontinued the old carbon fiber arms and have now the carbon fiber/aluminum arms. Two different beasts

BVA

 

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As for the fixing the leak, drilling and draining and filling will be fine, but you need to know where the leak is before you can completely fix it. If it is a diffuse leak it might be tough. If you have a pressure tester you could figure out where the leak is, otherwise you might not find it.

BVA

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You could drill a small hole in both ends, drain the contents, then fill with aerosol foam ( you can find it at Home Depot).

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In aerosol foam the gas is at atmospheric pressure and the foam is soft, so that the water pressure will collapse it as one submerges, bear in mind the ocean water pressure is bit over 100 gm per sq cm per meter of depth*.
For repair, it may be better to use carbon fiber and epoxy.  
- -

* 100 cm to a meter, 1.0273 g of weight per cubic cm of water. At 33 feet depth, ~10 M, the pressure will be one plus kilo per sq cm, and the foam will be completely collapsed.

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Seal the holes after injecting the foam after it has set.

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There's no point injecting foam if you are going to seal up the hole.  The only purpose of foam as far as floats are concerned is to keep the air in place.  If you inject foam it'll only take up space that air would occupy and add a little weight so marginally less buoyancy.

I agree try for a replacement first if that doesn't happen try to find the leak, it probably a bit pointless randomly apply sealant everywhere.   One way to do it would be to drill two holes to drain and then refill with water with dye and apply pressure, so you can see where the leak is.

If the material is thick enough and you have a big enough flat area you could drill and tap and install a bolt with an o-ring seal under it.  I feel that might be a better solution than trying to plug it with sealant of some type.

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Thanks all for the replies!

As it’s been a few years since I purchased the float arm, it didn’t occur to me that they might be under warranty.  I’ll stop by the shop where I made the purchase to see if it’s covered.

If repair/replacement under warranty isn’t an option, some tinkering I did yesterday revealed the source of the leak.  There is no damage so there is really only four spots where it could leak...the seam on each end where the carbon fiber seals at the end cap & the seam on each end where the end cap seals at the aluminum piece.  Looking at the ball on each end, I noticed there was an Allen screw holding the ball on the end.  I undid each end which removes the ball from the arm.  When I give the arm a good shake, the slightest bit of water leaks out of one of the screw holes.  At least I know where to start attacking the problem...

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I've had two of the older all black Nauticam float arms go.

Both were replaced under warranty for the newer carbon / blue ringed ones.

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Ok folks...happy ending!

I finally was able to bring the flooded float arm to the shop where it was purchased (Dive Supply Bangkok).  They told me to leave it with them and they would see what could be done about a replacement under warranty.  Later that afternoon I get a call saying they can replace the float arm with a new one and also the unflooded one that was bought together as a pair.  
 

The next day I brought the other unflooded arm to the shop and walked away with two new float arms!  They said to come back if I had any problems with the new ones.  Very big thanks for the great advice received here and a big shout out to the kind folks at Dive Supply Bangkok!

Edited by Chasin' Tales
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Nauticam has replaced me an old flooded Float Arm under warranty to the newer blue ringed one.

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