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Elipe

Static current and o-rings

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Hi everybody,

I live with a lovely beagle, Indiana. I love her, but she has thousens, millions of small, tiny hairs. Some are nearly invisible.

Even trying to be the cleanest person in the world, there are allways some micro-fluff stuck to my fingers, my sleeves or flying around me, especially when I am putting the o-ring into my housing.

My normal routine after dives is: remove o-ring, clean o-ring with water and hand soap, clean groove, let everything dry, clean my hands one more time, put the o-ring back. No grease, because it is the main o-ring in a Nauticam housing, and there is no danger of twisting it.

The problem is statics. Most of the time, some flying fluff ends stuck to the o-ring, due to statics, making things very hard.

So, what is your strategy when doing o-ring maintenance (specially the main o-ring in your housings)

Is there some kind of anti-statics shoap or product to avoid this problem??

I will appreciate all your wise advises.

Elipe.

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I assume you are talking about a Nauticam housing with a removable back?  I know some people recommend not pulling it out every time, however if you have a lot of hairs flying around, I can understand being nervous about them getting on the o-ring. 

I have a cat at home which is also quite fluffy and sheds a lot of hair, I get the occasional hair on my o-rings but I don't find a big problem with it.  I work on my housing on a hard surfaced table, pull out the o-ring place it on a clean surface then clean the grooves and the sealing face.  For this I use a foam tipped makeup applicator and follow up with a bulb blower.  If there is water in the groove a tissue is used to soak it up - I find microfibre cloths tend not to soak up water droplets readily.

The o-ring is then inspected any hairs blown off with a blower bulb, running o-ring very gently through my fingers.  I'm wondering if you are not picking up hairs that settle on the o-ring while it is drying?  I'm not sure you need to wash the o-ring unless it is particularly dirty.

You may also like to consider what others do which is to dry off the o-ring and inspect in situ blowing off any hairs and wiping with a clean microfibre cloth and inspecting closely for any hairs.  I'd only recommend this for diving in clean waters -  NOT shore diving or any situation like temperate water diving where sand is stirred up in the water column and sand and grit on the o-ring might be an issue.

This is the blower I use, very well made and lasts forever - also useful for blowing water off the housing and out of grooves etc: 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/259157-REG/Giottos_AA1900_Rocket_Air_Blower.html

If you try out a new cleaning regime I suggest pulling a vacuum and checking it then and there rather than waiting for just before your next dive to check.

If static is a problem normally increasing humidity is a good help.  I wouldn't use any sort of anti static product.

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Chris makes a good point on the vacuum valve. Do you have one? I would have thought that would give you a good chance of detecting any problem before getting into the water.

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As stated before by Chris and Tim, having Beagle, cat, gorilla, bird, monkey, allien or PET-free house, the vacuum system is the way to go.

It take you to an extra level of peace of mind, and allows you to have an extra validation not only if the regular o-ring maintenance was done properly but also if something when wrong on the normal operation of the housing.

To give you an example, I once forgot to remove the eye protector on my camera and that was enough to the housing no be closed properly and the vacuum test was the alert that allowed me not to flood the system. 

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1 hour ago, pbalves said:

To give you an example, I once forgot to remove the eye protector on my camera and that was enough to the housing no be closed properly and the vacuum test was the alert that allowed me not to flood the system. 

Been there, done that :P (D300)

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On 1/13/2022 at 11:57 PM, ChrisRoss said:

I assume you are talking about a Nauticam housing with a removable back?  I know some people recommend not pulling it out every time, however if you have a lot of hairs flying around, I can understand being nervous about them getting on the o-ring

Yes, NA-XT3 with removable back. I remove and clean/dry the o-ring when shore-diving, when I find water between the o-ring and its groove, or after a few dives.

 

On 1/13/2022 at 11:57 PM, ChrisRoss said:

I'm wondering if you are not picking up hairs that settle on the o-ring while it is drying?  I'm not sure you need to wash the o-ring unless it is particularly dirty.

Most of the times, yes. They are really small fluffs, that probably never cause a water flow, but I am very maniac with the o-ring cleaning, and they get me nervous anyway...

 

On 1/13/2022 at 11:57 PM, ChrisRoss said:

The o-ring is then inspected any hairs blown off with a blower bulb, running o-ring very gently through my fingers. 

I find blowing the o-ring causes statics on it, so it tends to attract more fluffs... 

 

On 1/13/2022 at 11:57 PM, ChrisRoss said:

If you try out a new cleaning regime I suggest pulling a vacuum and checking it then and there rather than waiting for just before your next dive to check.

Seems a good idea

 

On 1/14/2022 at 1:16 AM, TimG said:

Chris makes a good point on the vacuum valve. Do you have one? I would have thought that would give you a good chance of detecting any problem before getting into the water

I do. I normally do the vacuum check a few hours before the dive, but doing it after the o-ring maintenance seems a good practice...

On 1/14/2022 at 6:16 PM, pbalves said:

As stated before by Chris and Tim, having Beagle, cat, gorilla, bird, monkey, allien or PET-free house, the vacuum system is the way to go.

It take you to an extra level of peace of mind, and allows you to have an extra validation not only if the regular o-ring maintenance was done properly but also if something when wrong on the normal operation of the housing.

To give you an example, I once forgot to remove the eye protector on my camera and that was enough to the housing no be closed properly and the vacuum test was the alert that allowed me not to flood the system.

Yes, I agree you, I bougt the vacuum system together with the housing, because I wanted that peace of mind, but the flying fluffs still annoy me, so that's why I was wondering about some kind of anti-statics shoap...

Anyway thank you all for your advises, I will keep been carefull and trusting my vacuum system. 

Elipe. 

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