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Silvana

Interchangeable brands of silicone grease for o-rings?

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Hi everyone,

I would be interested to hear the experience you have with using silicone grease for camera o-rings from different brands, different than the camera. What I mean is, I bought a Isotta housing recently and wonder if Sea&Sea (yellow tube) can be used on the o-rings. Or other combinations like use Isotta grease for o-rings on a Fantasea housing o-rings.

It might sound like a no-brainer but I did flood a camera as I used the improper grease on the o-rings. I used regular silicone grease from Trident, and the o-rings expanded, not allowing a good sealing for the housing (before I noticed). I thought I should ask :)

Also, is there other way of buying larger quantities than what it is in the small tubes? I go through a 5g tube pretty fast.

Thanks a lot!

Edited by Silvana

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Usually unless otherwise specified, most o ring grease will work with black o rings. 

Coloured o rings are made with specific chemicals and for those,  specified grease will work. If any general non-specified o ring grease is used there may most likely be the possibility of o rings expanding or losing their shape etc. etc.

I personally shifted to Tribolube 71 after reading many articles here on Wetpixel. This works with almost all coloured o rings without any issues. I have used this with Olympus housings (red o rings), inons (yellow rings), nauticam (grey o rings) and also with some blue and white ones without any issues.

https://www.divegearexpress.com/tribolube-71-o2-compatible-lubricant?gclid=Cj0KCQjw8eOLBhC1ARIsAOzx5cHj5tkziE_5VtFiAirBZJfULz0VDp6Co3yrkNqypFfqx2vYpd4XTwAaAmgQEALw_wcB

You can buy larger quantities here:

https://syntheticlubricants.aerospacelubricants.com/viewitems/scuba/tribolube-71-2Hope this helps.

Hope this helps.

Diggy

Edited by diggy
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Nauticam lube is also universal and can be used on all o-rings

Silicone grease can be a confusing term - you can use actual silicone grease on black o-rings but not on silicone o-rings.  To confuse matters further some companies call the grease for the silicone o-rings silicone grease but it is not actually silicone grease.  There aretwo approaches keep a tube of each manufacturers grease or source the recommended universal greases.

If you are going through a 5gtube quickly - you are using too much!  O-rings only need to be shiny - extra grease just helps attract grit and hairs but doesn't help seal any better.  the function of the grease is to allow the o-ring to slide freely in the groove so it can be seated by water pressure.  Water pressure is what causes an o-ring to seal.

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11 hours ago, diggy said:

Usually unless otherwise specified, most o ring grease will work with black o rings. 

Coloured o rings are made with specific chemicals and for those,  specified grease will work. If any general non-specified o ring grease is used there may most likely be the possibility of o rings expanding or losing their shape etc. etc.

I personally shifted to Tribolube 71 after reading many articles here on Wetpixel. This works with almost all coloured o rings without any issues. I have used this with Olympus housings (red o rings), inons (yellow rings), nauticam (grey o rings) and also with some blue and white ones without any issues.

https://www.divegearexpress.com/tribolube-71-o2-compatible-lubricant?gclid=Cj0KCQjw8eOLBhC1ARIsAOzx5cHj5tkziE_5VtFiAirBZJfULz0VDp6Co3yrkNqypFfqx2vYpd4XTwAaAmgQEALw_wcB

You can buy larger quantities here:

https://syntheticlubricants.aerospacelubricants.com/viewitems/scuba/tribolube-71-2Hope this helps.

Hope this helps.

Diggy

Thank you so much, this is very useful!

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9 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

Nauticam lube is also universal and can be used on all o-rings

Silicone grease can be a confusing term - you can use actual silicone grease on black o-rings but not on silicone o-rings.  To confuse matters further some companies call the grease for the silicone o-rings silicone grease but it is not actually silicone grease.  There aretwo approaches keep a tube of each manufacturers grease or source the recommended universal greases.

If you are going through a 5gtube quickly - you are using too much!  O-rings only need to be shiny - extra grease just helps attract grit and hairs but doesn't help seal any better.  the function of the grease is to allow the o-ring to slide freely in the groove so it can be seated by water pressure.  Water pressure is what causes an o-ring to seal.

Between my boyfriend and I, we need to lube about 7 o-rings and we dive 2 to 4 times a week, cleaning the gear after each dive. Interesting point about how much grease to add. I thought too that it is just enough to have the o-rings rolling in the groove. Then I flooded a strobe in an inexplicable way. I took it to the service guy, described the dive and my procedure of greasing, and he said I need to add more grease to the o-rings. He is a reputable photographer in this area, doing it for a long time so I trust his advice. It's not like I soak the rings in grease by all means...Thanks for the thoughts!

Edited by Silvana

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3 hours ago, Silvana said:

Between my boyfriend and I, we need to lube about 7 o-rings and we dive 2 to 4 times a week, cleaning the gear after each dive. Interesting point about how much grease to add. I thought too that it is just enough to have the o-rings rolling in the groove. Then I flooded a strobe in an inexplicable way. I took it to the service guy, described the dive and my procedure of greasing, and he said I need to add more grease to the o-rings. He is a reputable photographer in this area, doing it for a long time so I trust his advice. It's not like I soak the rings in grease by all means...Thanks for the thoughts!

There is a lot of myth and legend surrounding o-rings - I understand the engineering behind it, the grease's only function is to facilitate sliding in the groove it has no sealing properties.  You do need a little more on screw on caps like INON strobes so they screw on smoothly, but housing back and port o-rings are normally fine with just a sheen.  What is most important of course is to meticulously inspect o-rings for contamination!

What to buy will depend on what is available locally - what country are you in? 

You say you clean every dive - I assume you mean only if you open the housing to change batteries?

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Another vote for Tribolube 71. It is the only grease that I use and carry, and have used it on all types and materials of O rings without any issues. It is marketed as a universal lubricant.

Adam

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On 10/28/2021 at 3:15 PM, ChrisRoss said:

There is a lot of myth and legend surrounding o-rings - I understand the engineering behind it, the grease's only function is to facilitate sliding in the groove it has no sealing properties.  You do need a little more on screw on caps like INON strobes so they screw on smoothly, but housing back and port o-rings are normally fine with just a sheen.  What is most important of course is to meticulously inspect o-rings for contamination!

What to buy will depend on what is available locally - what country are you in? 

You say you clean every dive - I assume you mean only if you open the housing to change batteries?

I am in the US, and found it at a store.

Yes, cleaning only if I open the housing, but that means most of the dives as I do mainly shore dives, one at a time...Strobes need opening for battery change-out after each dive.

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34 minutes ago, Silvana said:

I am in the US, and found it at a store.

Yes, cleaning only if I open the housing, but that means most of the dives as I do mainly shore dives, one at a time...Strobes need opening for battery change-out after each dive.

Good you found it, it's not available in every country apparently.  If you are doing shore dives - the risk for grit is high so I would be cleaning them each time I open.

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In about 200 dives with my housing, I probably have greased the o-rings 3 times. I always make sure nothing is in the way but if the o-ring safely sits in the housing, why take the risk of taking it out?

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6 hours ago, waterpixel said:

In about 200 dives with my housing, I probably have greased the o-rings 3 times. I always make sure nothing is in the way but if the o-ring safely sits in the housing, why take the risk of taking it out?

Depends where you dive, shore diving results in a lot of sand on the o-rings. Not advisable to open the housing or the strobes and put it back on without cleaning and re-greasing the o-rings.

Edited by Silvana

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On 11/2/2021 at 7:16 AM, waterpixel said:

In about 200 dives with my housing, I probably have greased the o-rings 3 times. I always make sure nothing is in the way but if the o-ring safely sits in the housing, why take the risk of taking it out?

Different housings will have different requirements and the dive site makes a difference as well.  I believe you have a Nauticam A7III rig, that housing uses a face seal, which is compressed by water pressure on the housing back.  Technically I think this does not need lubrication - certainly for the similar ikelite o-ring they recommend no lubricant, though Nauticam state in the manual to lube the ring.  The o-ring sealing face is well exposed and easy to inspect and wipe off if required.

I have the Nauticam EM-1 MkII housing which is a clam shell style with the o-ring in a groove on the back which needs to slide into the housing as you close the back.  This o-ring needs to slide forward due too water pressure until it reaches the inside of the groove where the water pressure compresses it against the front half of the housing and the inside edge of the o-ring groove to form a seal.  This o-ring absolutely needs to be lubed and be able to slide without hanging up.  Because water needs to get in to seal it invariably brings in grit on silty shore dives I am often doing and it always has big water drops on it.  So that o-ring gets cleaned each time I open the housing.

I have INON strobes and while the cap provides a tight fit, grit gets into the o-ring and if it doesn't salt water gets in.  Even after a 2 hour soak the water trapped there is still salty and a day or two later salt crystals form which can damage the o-ring.  So that gets a clean and grease every battery change. 

I have an INON torch the cap for battery change has double o-rings and the lip comes up tight against an external rubber ring.  I never find grit or water up against the o-rings on that system so the the o-rings get a quick inspection and are removed and greased/cleaned about once a year.

I don't believe there is a one side fits all for o-ring maintenance and people should be guided by their experience - start off cleaning regularly and scale back if you find that the o-rings are always clean.  I think the risk of o-ring damage is possibly over stated, they are quite rugged if you don't over stretch them and remove them carefully with a proper o-ring pick.

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8 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

Different housings will have different requirements and the dive site makes a difference as well.

.

.

.

I don't believe there is a one side fits all for o-ring maintenance and people should be guided by their experience - start off cleaning regularly and scale back if you find that the o-rings are always clean.  I think the risk of o-ring damage is possibly over stated, they are quite rugged if you don't over stretch them and remove them carefully with a proper o-ring pick.

And here I was, thinking all housings had the same o-ring type..! Thank you Chris, I learned something new

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On 10/28/2021 at 2:53 AM, diggy said:

I ordered the 7 gram tube of Tribolube from Aerospace. When I entered my zipcode to get shipping costs it said zero but noted that this was an estimate and actual shipping may be different. A few days later I received an email receipt from Aerospace also showing zero shipping but also noting that this was an estimate and actual shipping may be different. About two weeks later I received a package delivery notification from UPS and I received an additional document from Aerospace showing my tribolube cost of $14.55 but then showing a subtotal cost of $37.51 but still showing zero tax and zero shipping with no explanation of what the additional $22.96 was for. So I sent an email to Aerospace asking what the additional $22.96 was for. With no explanation or comments, they then sent me a revised receipt showing a shipping charge of $22.96. Seems pretty deceptive to me so I thought that I would let people know.

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14 hours ago, rwe said:

I ordered the 7 gram tube of Tribolube from Aerospace. When I entered my zipcode to get shipping costs it said zero but noted that this was an estimate and actual shipping may be different. A few days later I received an email receipt from Aerospace also showing zero shipping but also noting that this was an estimate and actual shipping may be different. About two weeks later I received a package delivery notification from UPS and I received an additional document from Aerospace showing my tribolube cost of $14.55 but then showing a subtotal cost of $37.51 but still showing zero tax and zero shipping with no explanation of what the additional $22.96 was for. So I sent an email to Aerospace asking what the additional $22.96 was for. With no explanation or comments, they then sent me a revised receipt showing a shipping charge of $22.96. Seems pretty deceptive to me so I thought that I would let people know.

V V Strange. Thanks for letting us know.

 

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On 11/12/2021 at 8:26 AM, rwe said:

I ordered the 7 gram tube of Tribolube from Aerospace. When I entered my zipcode to get shipping costs it said zero but noted that this was an estimate and actual shipping may be different. A few days later I received an email receipt from Aerospace also showing zero shipping but also noting that this was an estimate and actual shipping may be different. About two weeks later I received a package delivery notification from UPS and I received an additional document from Aerospace showing my tribolube cost of $14.55 but then showing a subtotal cost of $37.51 but still showing zero tax and zero shipping with no explanation of what the additional $22.96 was for. So I sent an email to Aerospace asking what the additional $22.96 was for. With no explanation or comments, they then sent me a revised receipt showing a shipping charge of $22.96. Seems pretty deceptive to me so I thought that I would let people know.

Sorry to hear. I ordered mine just recently from Dive Gear Express in Florida. No hidden costs...

https://www.divegearexpress.com/tribolube-71-o2-compatible-lubricant

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26 minutes ago, Silvana said:

Sorry to hear. I ordered mine just recently from Dive Gear Express in Florida. No hidden costs...

https://www.divegearexpress.com/tribolube-71-o2-compatible-lubricant

I click away from sites that don't clearly indicate freight costs, there's always another site that will sell it to you.  Good to see there is a reliable source for the grease.

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18 hours ago, Silvana said:

Sorry to hear. I ordered mine just recently from Dive Gear Express in Florida. No hidden costs...

https://www.divegearexpress.com/tribolube-71-o2-compatible-lubricant

 

I have used Dive Gear Express for other purchases and have always been happy with their service and selection, for whatever that's worth.

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I have been using Parker O Lube for a number of years. It came in 4 Oz. tubes so are not easy to lose. (I once had a tiny Nikonos brand tube of O-ring grease fall into the hinge area of a Pelican case only to get squeezed into a big mess when I attempted to close the case.) The current product is a tad different: https://ph.parker.com/us/en/high-viscosity-silicone-lubricant-general-purpose-and-high-pressure-pneumatic-translucent-super-o-lube/slube-884-2

Parker is a major US O-ring manufacturer so not too difficult to get here. I bought by first tube on a trip to Anchorage.

Way back in the day I used the silicon grease that was sold in dive shops that came in decent sized plastic tubs for around $10 to $20 if I recall. The last time I bought one the tubs were smaller. Shortly after the RS came out I was forced to switch but not after a close call.....

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To Tom's point, Parker makes some nice lubes , but they are not universal lubes, just silicone oil which can seriously swell silicone o-rings (they are good for nitrile).  Tribolube, Christolube, and any of the other per-fluoro ether materials are good for any kind of o-ring.

Bill

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10 minutes ago, bvanant said:

To Tom's point, Parker makes some nice lubes , but they are not universal lubes, just silicone oil which can seriously swell silicone o-rings (they are good for nitrile).  Tribolube, Christolube, and any of the other per-fluoro ether materials are good for any kind of o-ring.

Bill

Correct. They also make this: https://ph.parker.com/us/en/general-purpose-barium-grease-lubricant-hydrocarbon-service-and-pneumatic-systems-under-200-psi-translucent-o-lube/olube-884-2

Barium lubes are used in cars. It may be cheaper too. It is NOT recommended for silicone. The older lube that I am using is supposed to be universal - it has a yellowish color.

Edited by Tom_Kline

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I am pretty sure that the current Parker silicone grease (sorry a high viscosity silicone oil; I suspect that Parker calls an oil with filler a grease) will swell silicone o-rings. I wouldn't put barium grease near my housing. For universal o-ring lubes I think any of the  Christolube/Tribolube/Krytox greases will work.

Bill

 

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20 minutes ago, bvanant said:

I am pretty sure that the current Parker silicone grease (sorry a high viscosity silicone oil; I suspect that Parker calls an oil with filler a grease) will swell silicone o-rings. I wouldn't put barium grease near my housing. For universal o-ring lubes I think any of the  Christolube/Tribolube/Krytox greases will work.

Bill

 

Correct, Parker does not recommend it either hence my capitalization. I am only familiar with using barium grease to lubricate car axle parts and have done so myself. Unfortunately the stuff I am using for my housings is apparently no longer for sale.

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So when the silicone o-rings swell does it degrade the material? I ask because I would like the o-rings on my strobe arms to be a little thicker but haven't found any with the needed ID that have a slightly greater OD.

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