Storage between dives - extending the life of the o-rings.
Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
Edit: Apparently Sealife says don't lube the o-rings. Edited that out. Sorry
I don't have a Sealife, and I was just randomly in the forum, but I do have a Canon Powershot with Ikelite housing. Might be better to just move the post to the general camera tips forum.
I store my camera open between dives, if there's going to be at least a week between dives. This prevents the o-ring from compressing permanently. As for dust/gunk contaminating the rings, I clean the o-rings in my strobes and my housing between camera dive days (and I use q-tips for the o-ring grooves). Just keep the camera in a non-dusty/gunky place between dives to reduce dust/gunk.
If there is a shorter period of time between dives, I might just keep the housing closed to prevent gunk from contaminating.
I know some people on the forums clean and remove the o-ring and store it in a plastic bag for long term care, and that's a good idea if there is a month or more between camera dives.
Last edited by Scuba_Noob; May 15th, 2012 at 02:23 AM.
Reason: Sealife suggests don't lube o-rings
I clean and very lightly lube the o-ring before storing in a zip lock. When I pull it out to insert back into the camera, I feel the length of the o-ring to make sure no grit has found a home which would flood the housing.
Yep, remove O-ring, clean it with lint-free cloth, re-lube it and put in 'food-safe' ziplock. Clean housing O-ring groove, with damp cloth, then wipe clean. Put bagged, lubed O-ring inside housing, and put inside another plastic bag to keep dust out. Before storage I'll leave the housing soaking for at least a few hours in warm water (shower temp), periodically pushing the buttons to try to dissolve salts on the button shaft. Normally I stay away from cotton swabs (ear buds) as they can leave fibers.
Before assembly, clean the O-ring groove again, pass the O-ring lightly through your fingers to 'massage' the old lube. (You shouldn't need to add any more lube). Your O-ring bag will slowly become coated with lube itself, so keep it to re-use. Take your time during assembly in a dust-free environment.
I normally assemble the housing, put it in a bucket of warm water again and cycle the buttons again to try to free any solidified minerals. Then leave it to cool off before doing the final assembly in a cool room or aircon office. This step is probably overkill but I hate sticky buttons.
As a general practice, before hitting the water I'll leave a bucket of water to sit in the sun to warm up so that it is ready for after my dive. By the second dive it's a good 40C which is nice and warm but not too hot. Raising the temperature of water greatly increases the chemical reactions involved in dissolving salts. Just don't get carried away with it. If it's too hot to put your hand in, it's too hot for your camera.
Several suggestions for lubbing the o-ring. This is the Sealife forum and I do believe the SL says to not lube theirs. Not needed, and silicone grease can attract dirt, sand, hair, etc. I've dived the DC-100, 310, 500, and now the 1200 and never have mine.
It is a very good idea to inspect your O-ring and grove to make sure both are very clean. I leave my housing open so as to not compress the O-ring, and I guess it'd be a good idea to keep it in a ziplock.
All cameras flood eventually of course, altho this hasn't happened to me yet - but it will. State Farm offers a Personal Articles Policy that is quite reasonable. I think losing cameras is more common, and SL offers an orange float strap.
All cameras flood eventually of course, altho this hasn't happened to me yet - but it will.
Not true but it can help you be philosophical about it if it does happen. It's like saying that a car's braking system will eventually fail one day- again not true but possible and probable if it's not maintained.
I didn't realise that Sealife recommend to NOT lubricate O-rings. Please disregard everything I posted about lubrication.
Yeah, I checked the DC-1200 manual. Still says to not lube the o-ring. It also says to replace it annually, but I don't know of anyone who does - maybe good idea in heavy use.
Don, respectfully I agree that why a manufacturer has in inside line to advice, that its not the end-all, but a starting point. I try to think though why they make such recommendations rather than just blindly following them.
To this end, I see lube as a 2 edged sword. On the plus end it isolates the rubber compound from damaging ozone which will damage it over time (no use needed, just exposure to the air in storage, worse in the cities). It also reduces wear when the camera is closed. On the minus side, it attracts grit and hairs which will cause a flood.
So this manufacturer had decided that replacing the o-ring every year eliminates the need to protect the o-ring from ozone and the elimination of the lube is a strategy to reduce the chance of grit. As a side effect of this strategy, they can sell you a new super high profit o-ring every year and you don't have to worry much about the o-ring taking a set being stored with the camera closed. It's a win-win situation for the company and perhaps for some users.
The problem is though if you ignore checking the o-ring every time you close the camera, there is still a chance of a piece of sand or a hair getting in the wrong place and flooding. Its reduced, but still possible. If you ignore the change the o-ring every year and don't lube, it will deteriorate faster and you will not notice this until you flood your baby.
I am a cheap skate and lube the same o-ring forever and check the o-ring every time I close the camera. It works for me so far.....