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Being somewhat new to a Nauticam housing, is the o-ring normally removed between uses? I used to pull the o-ring on my old Ike housing, but haven't been doing that on the Nauticam housing (it's a hinged back plate).

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Pulling the back to front housing, main, O ring depends on how clean or sandy it is.  I run my finger over it, and if it feels clean, I leave it in place, and vice versa.
But some of my dive buddies who are highly experienced remove this O ring each time the housing is opened, run it through their fingers, clean the groove and reinstall the O ring. 
Silicon grease is not necessary and renders the O ring sticky to dirt or sand.   Once the housing is closed, the vacuum leak detector will signal if there is a leak due to residual sand, etc.,  that needs further attention. 

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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The need to remove the o-ring is often debated, I remove mine each opening to check for grit and also the clam shell leaves water droplets on both sides on the housing and sitting across the o-ring surface - they have potntial to get inside the housing so I remove shake off water and check for grit.  A drop of water is not much but I fully believe that this sort of thing is the reason people belivee leaving the housing in the sun causes fogging.   It kind of does but only because water in the housing evaporates then re-condenses on the cold side of the housing.

This is very dive site dependent, some sites are much grittier than others.  Tropical boat dives are one thing - zero likelihood of grit - Places like Lembeh and any number of shore dive entries where you are dealing swell and surge UW invite a lot of grit - requiring inspection every time.

On a clam shell housing, grease is absolutely necessary as the o-ring needs to be able to slide in the groove and push up against the sealing surfaces to seal properly.  Only enough to make it shiny and no globs of course.

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In 15+ years I never changed o-rings and cleaned them maybe twice or 3 times.

It depends a lot on where you store the case and whether you rinse well the housing.

A dry environment will potentially make the o-ring less flexible.

If you unlodge them too often you risk more ...

It is important to use original grease if you do not want to risk swelling of the o-ring and failure.

Inviato dal mio SM-G991B utilizzando Tapatalk

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Every time the housing is opened, I remove the o ring(s) Except in the Maldives or similar where the dives are in the blue. At such times once the housing is open, its sufficient to lightly brush the o ring while affixed, to get rid of water droplets with soft tissue paper. ( my personal habit)

Once the o ring is removed please make sure not to rub too hard or pull the o ring while checking for grit or cleaning.This  also applies while re-greasing. It has to be done very lightly and delicately. otherwise the o ring may tend to enlarge in size which will lead to issues while refitting. 

I have found that in places like lembeh and similar with sandy bottoms, that its best to remove & re-grease post cleaning each time the housing is opened.

I assume there would be vacuum valve post the above to secure the housing and confirm its sealed.

keep the o rings lightly greased when not in use in a zip lock or similar. 

Most of this is covered above, but always use nauticam OR compatible o ring grease.

Diggy

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Thanks Diggy, that's what I was looking for. I do lightly re-grease before use and it's served me well. I was looking for the advise on removing o-ring between dive weekends.

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I'll contradict most of what Diggy said.

I've been diving Nauticam housings for 7 or 8 years with the D800 and D850 housings. I used Ikelite housing for about 10 years before that. I live in Seattle and make shore dives once or twice a week in some of the siltiest and sandiest conditions possible.

I only very occasionally remove the housing o-ring, usually after a multiday dive trip. On the rare times that I remove the o-ring I just rinse it in the sink and clean out groove with a q-tip. I shake dry the o-ring and put it back in place. No Lubrication.

After each day of diving, such as a sandy shore dive, I open the housing and leave the o-ring in place. I simply wipe it off with a clean microfiber towel. Again, no lubrication.

You do not need to remove the o-ring when not using the housing for extended periods of time or when transporting it. This is a good way to lose or damage the o-ring and excess handling does it no good.

Keep it clean, leave it alone. Don't Lubricate. 

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1 hour ago, davehicks said:

I'll contradict most of what Diggy said.

I've been diving Nauticam housings for 7 or 8 years with the D800 and D850 housings. I used Ikelite housing for about 10 years before that. I live in Seattle and make shore dives once or twice a week in some of the siltiest and sandiest conditions possible.

I only very occasionally remove the housing o-ring, usually after a multiday dive trip. On the rare times that I remove the o-ring I just rinse it in the sink and clean out groove with a q-tip. I shake dry the o-ring and put it back in place. No Lubrication.

After each day of diving, such as a sandy shore dive, I open the housing and leave the o-ring in place. I simply wipe it off with a clean microfiber towel. Again, no lubrication.

You do not need to remove the o-ring when not using the housing for extended periods of time or when transporting it. This is a good way to lose or damage the o-ring and excess handling does it no good.

Keep it clean, leave it alone. Don't Lubricate. 

To be fair this is only applicable to flat face o-rings like you find on the back of ikelite and Nauticam DSLR housings.  Any time the o-ring needs to slide it needs lubricant and it needs to slide for clam shell housings where the hinged housing back inserts into the main body.  I know Ikelite specifically say no lube for the rear o-ring, Nauticam however still recommend it, but it can obviously work without it.  But if it's hinged back it needs lube.

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3 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

To be fair this is only applicable to flat face o-rings like you find on the back of ikelite and Nauticam DSLR housings.  Any time the o-ring needs to slide it needs lubricant and it needs to slide for clam shell housings where the hinged housing back inserts into the main body.  I know Ikelite specifically say no lube for the rear o-ring, Nauticam however still recommend it, but it can obviously work without it.  But if it's hinged back it needs lube.

Thanks for that Criss. makes sense. 

Dave I have been to places like Romblon and Lembeh and have had surge etc. with sand and other particulate matter. On opening the housing, I have noticed the finest granules of sand. But just washing and not lubing at all is completely new to me. Could sure try that but would be too tense by doing so.

Diggy

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Soft tissue paper is terrible as it leaves lint hard to take out and dangerous. Also lubing makes sense only to keep the o-ring flexible. And lubing must be really minimal as it attracts salt, sand etc. Unlodging the o-ring often is a source of troubling unseen particles and failure.

I have used hinged housings from fuji, olympus, sea&sea, and nauticams with 1000 dives and never had a problem. I always rinse well and before closing the case i pass a cleaned finger around the o-ring to make sure there is no particle i may not see.

I have checked for tensile strenghts a brand new o-ring vs. one used in my case for 12 years.
Basically same flexibility and very minimal extra extension on the old one.

Inviato dal mio SM-G991B utilizzando Tapatalk

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48 minutes ago, nudibranco said:

Soft tissue paper is terrible as it leaves lint hard to take out and dangerous. Also lubing makes sense only to keep the o-ring flexible. And lubing must be really minimal as it attracts salt, sand etc. Unlodging the o-ring often is a source of troubling unseen particles and failure.

I have used hinged housings from fuji, olympus, sea&sea, and nauticams with 1000 dives and never had a problem. I always rinse well and before closing the case i pass a cleaned finger around the o-ring to make sure there is no particle i may not see.

I have checked for tensile strenghts a brand new o-ring vs. one used in my case for 12 years.
Basically same flexibility and very minimal extra extension on the old one.

Inviato dal mio SM-G991B utilizzando Tapatalk
 

The main reason for lube is to allow the o-ring to slide over the metal surface without hanging up - maintaining flexibility is more a function of the o-ring material.  Buna-N rubber eventually oxidises while silicone o-rings are more resistant and remain flexible longer, you may get some benefit if the lube forms a film over the rubber and may reduce oxidation rates.

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Interestingly the o-ring used by nauticam is much smaller in diameter compared to inon or others. Probably to reduce that sliding problem you mention. The surface resistance is much smaller and needs less lubrication.

I believe the nauticam o-rings sealing the case is of the silicon type as I learnt from using the wrong lube that made it swell causing me an almost flood situation (!).  That is the main reasons for silicon o-ring they basically do not need grease.  Silicon o-rings can use Fluorosilicone grease or christo lubes I read but from my earlier swell problem and since I do not know what types of grease the various manufacturer use I stick to the nauticam grease.  And that is also why I seldom need to grease it (once a year maybe?).

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Edited by nudibranco
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52 minutes ago, nudibranco said:

Interestingly the o-ring used by nauticam is much smaller in diameter compared to inon or others. Probably to reduce that sliding problem you mention. The surface resistance is much smaller and needs less lubrication.

I believe the nauticam o-rings sealing the case is of the silicon type as I learnt from using the wrong lube that made it swell causing me an almost flood situation (!).  That is the main reasons for silicon o-ring they basically do not need grease.  Silicon o-rings can use Fluorosilicone grease or christo lubes I read but from my earlier swell problem and since I do not know what types of grease the various manufacturer use I stick to the nauticam grease.  And that is also why I seldom need to grease it (once a year maybe?).

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All very interesting to know. But where I am from (India) Temperatures are very hot and can be extremely dry or humid. I have seen even silicone o rings loose their flexibility and dry up. So a very light grease is something absolutely necessary along with storage in a zip lock bag.  I use tribolube 71. Works with almost all kinds of o rings. And the tissue paper is basically used as a suction device and not rubbed over the o ring. I don't like to leave water droplets while changing a battery on a boat. But maybe I will just wipe it dry with some camera cloth and refix it rather than the tissue bit. 

 

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FWIW, here is what Nauticam says about lubricating housing O rings:

 

 

O-ring lubrication:

 

 

       "If you are doing shore dives, or where you are most likely exposing your rig to sand, do it each time you open the housing.  If you are boat diving or on a live-aboard, where you are diving in clean water, you should service your O-rings at least once each day.

·        Axial seal O-rings need only be lubricated at most once a day. Lightly coat the O-ring with the lubricant provided and wipe away the excess. A sheen on the O-ring is good enough, not globs of lubricant that will attract sand and grit!

·        Radial seal O-rings need to have a sheen but also a thin layer of lubricant should be applied to the exposed O-ring surface after the O-ring has been placed in its groove, so the O-ring slides properly"

Nauticam says to only use their lube.  I use that and also tribolube 71.  Safe for all O rings.

      I would NOT use tissue paper, toilet paper, wash cloths, etc. to clean O ring grooves.  Buy some Pec Pads wipes and keep them in a baggie until needed.  Can also be used on glass domes and lenses, (but only with some sort of fluid, not dry)  Microfiber cloths are also good, if clean. 

 

Edited by Draq

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5 hours ago, Draq said:

FWIW, here is what Nauticam says about lubricating housing O rings:

 

 

O-ring lubrication:

 

 

       "If you are doing shore dives, or where you are most likely exposing your rig to sand, do it each time you open the housing.  If you are boat diving or on a live-aboard, where you are diving in clean water, you should service your O-rings at least once each day.

·        Axial seal O-rings need only be lubricated at most once a day. Lightly coat the O-ring with the lubricant provided and wipe away the excess. A sheen on the O-ring is good enough, not globs of lubricant that will attract sand and grit!

·        Radial seal O-rings need to have a sheen but also a thin layer of lubricant should be applied to the exposed O-ring surface after the O-ring has been placed in its groove, so the O-ring slides properly"

Nauticam says to only use their lube.  I use that and also tribolube 71.  Safe for all O rings.

      I would NOT use tissue paper, toilet paper, wash cloths, etc. to clean O ring grooves.  Buy some Pec Pads wipes and keep them in a baggie until needed.  Can also be used on glass domes and lenses, (but only with some sort of fluid, not dry)  Microfiber cloths are also good, if clean. 

 

There are a number of alternatives for drying o-rings off, whatever you use should not leave lint.  Microfibre cloths are great but I find that some are reluctant to absorb water.  If you use a tissue make sure it is something like lens cleaning tissue or pec pads.  You can always follow up with a microfibre cloth or use a blower bulb afterwards.  For cleaning o-ring grooves foam tipped makeup applicators are quite good and won't leave lint but they won't absorb water. 

This is the Nauticam document: https://nauticamindonesia.com/nauticam-product-care-maintenance-tips.pdf

Some good information, but I would tend to avoid using paper towels as many of them leave a lot of lint.   The brand of tissues we have at home are very absorbent and don't seem to leave lint - not all tissues are like this!  I use them to remove water droplets in the o-ring groove then use a blower bulb to blow off any possible lint.  I don't use them on o-rings though - if they have grit you either wash them or run them through your fingers very gently.  I use a blower bulb to remove any grit particles.

 

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Thanks Chris and Draq,

 

Henceforth pec pads it is. Makes sense 

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