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Flooding/ Insurance question

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by Cali_diver, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Cali_diver

    Cali_diver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: California
    I just got my brand new E-PL3 set up with a couple ys-o1 strobes!! I am so excited to try it out but I am a little nervous about doing something stupid and flooding. I have never flooded before but this system has more parts so to speak. I was looking into insurance for POM and I realized that I had a couple questions. Every trip I have been on someone floods their camera.....

    1. When a camera floods do you lose the lens too? or is it just the body?

    2. What happens to the strobes if they flood? Total loss?

    3. Also I have read that sometimes its better just to buy another body cause by the time you pay the premium and deductible it equals out. True or False?

  2. jetlife2

    jetlife2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cincinnati, OH
    I think the first thing to say is that nearly all floods are avoidable. Most are caused by user error of one kind or another. Probably the most common cause is lack of attention to o-ring cleanliness (trapping dirt or hair or whatever). If you are paranoid and disciplined you will be OK. But that wasn't your question...
    Of course it depends what degree of flood happens. Again I think partial flooding is more common that total, i.e. the housing has water in it but it may not be full.
    1. The camera is most vulnerable. The battery is almost certainly shot. The body itself is probably done if it was really submerged. However, there are shops that specialize in recovery after water damage and they claim good success. Most of the time the memory card will be OK. So if you have pics they should be retrievable.
    1b. The lens probably has a better chance unless it was fully submerged. Today's lenses have plenty of electronics in them, however if the housing was partially flooded the lens may escape the worst of it.

    2. Strobes usually flood the battery compartment. This is usually a relatively cheap repair ( I have done it with ike strobes). The batteries will be shot and should be removed asap to avoid further corrosive damage. Damage could cost about $100 to fix which is not too bad compared to new strobes.

    3. You can make this calc yourself by comparing the policy deductible + premium and the cost of the damage. Depends on the specific policy. H20 insurance deductible for flood damage is the greater of 10% of the claim or $250. Premium depends on value insured, you can easily get a quote. Don't forget it is for a one year policy, so it depends on how many dives you are doing. If you are doing one trip, five dives: that's one value assessment; if you are going to dive all year 100's of dives, that's a different value you are getting for the same premium. Also the insurance covers other things such as theft with a lower deductible. So that has a value too.

    Hope that helps, others please jump in.
    Jun Lao likes this.
  3. divengolf

    divengolf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
    There are plenty of threads on preventing floods, but a few simple rules I always follow:

    1. Never rush when assembling the housing. If I'm rushed, the camera stays topside.
    2. Always dunk the entire assembled housing into the rinse tank or other water keeping your hand on it at all times. Hold it under water for 5-10 seconds and look for bubbles. Shot a frame and insure that both strobes work.
    3. NEVER, NEVER leave the unit unattended in the rinse tank. When it's in the tank, keep your hand on it at all times. Many floods occur in the rinse tank as cameras bang together.
    4. Do not let the DM or boat crew put the housing in the rinse tank. Tell them to put it on the camera table or deck. Then YOU rinse it per # 3 above.
    5. Consider installing a leak alarm in your housing. It will give you notice of a small leak and may give you enough time to get it out of the water. Most leaks occur in the first minute or so of a dive.

    I got an inexpensive leak alarm from a fellow in Australia some years ago and have moved it through three housings since them. A google search or a search on WP should unearth the fellow.

    Good luck.
  4. Cali_diver

    Cali_diver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: California
    Well I am pretty methodical when assembling my housing and I will definitely follow the rules...I guess I just want to cover my a$$ so to speak since this set up is quite a bit more expensive than the last. I was just curious about whether or not the lens gets fried too. Like I said I have never flooded but I have seen many who have so it feels like it might be one of those "its not if but when" situations.
  5. victor

    victor Solo Diver

    If it's a full blown flood then the camera and lens are probably toast. So if you spot it as you enter the water or before you might save the camera and lens.
    Insurance and value for money is a complicated calculation, try to calculate a cost per dive over 2 or 3 years. Assume total loss of the camera and lens, replacement by 2nd hand from Ebay plus professional clean of the housing.
  6. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    The camera and lens will probably be damaged beyond repair, especially in salt water. The plastic housing parts may have salvage value on ebay.

    The problem with insurance is they look for any reason not to pay off. If you go that route, you may be wasting your money. It is better to be extremely careful with your gear as others recommend, and accept that your camera has a finite life due to obsolescence and risk of flooding. Divide the cost by the number of dives and consider it a rental.

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