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Thread: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

  1. #1

    Default Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Just a quick question... Since both all of my new lights are LED, I figured it would be OK to ask them here:

    I've got two new dive lights (UK eled lights) and I wanted to make sure that I had some extra grease/lubricant on hand for the o-rings.

    What type of waterproof grease do I need for this application? Would silicon grease be sufficient?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I'm new here too!
    Check out this thread:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=174497
    It doesn't answer your question specifically, but different types of Silicone greases are discussed.
    I would consider calling a dive shop and asking them what they recommend.
    Good Luck.
    Last edited by SenderGreen; 09-13-2007 at 10:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I've been a SCUBA diver for 40 years and have used silicone grease from the dive shop for camera and flashlight o-rings. I recently found the exact same stuff in the same little tub at Home Depot for a fraction of the price. It is translucent white and is a little sticky. It's good to clean the groove with a soft toothbrush and roll the o-rings between your thumb and forefinger to get a light coating of silicone on the rings.

  4. #4
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I think it is okay to use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on most o-rings nowadays. They pretty much stopped manufacturing o-rings out of rubber after Richard Feynman discovered that it becomes brittle in extreme cold (which caused one of the NASA spacecraft disasters).

    I've even used Vicks Vaporub on o-rings when I couldn't find the vasoline. No problems.

    Richard

  5. #5
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    Party Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard L View Post
    I think it is okay to use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on most o-rings nowadays...
    YES! I have been in using it for years!
    - it is the thinking that matters -

  6. #6
    Flashaholic Torque1st's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I have used petroleum jelly also for years. Silicone dielectric grease (sparkplug grease) is OK also.
    Lenses are good!= 2x River Rock 2AA 1.5W lensed; 1x Coast V1 Power Lenser.
    No lenses = no throw: 1x Mag Solitaire 1AAA LED conv; 1x Mag 2AA 3LED conv; 1x Coghlan's 3AAA 3LED.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic fasuto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I recently read a recomendation for use bike lubricant X-ring / O-ring tested.
    Dupont Teflon or Motorex 622 for example, avaiable at bike stores.
    Member barbarin, who develops and manufacture dive lights, made some testing and recommends it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Try the search function. We've had many threads that discuss lubricants.
    Ray
    Good people need to be there for each other. It's the only way to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    +

    Since most o-rings are still rubber, Silicone grease really is the best.

    http://www.efunda.com/designstandard...%20Rubber#chem


    **Remember, with Silicone o-rings;
    use something like synthetic grease,
    not silicone on silicone.
    Last edited by orbital; 09-14-2007 at 11:22 AM. Reason: add**

  10. #10

  11. #11

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by bspofford View Post
    I've been a SCUBA diver for 40 years and have used silicone grease from the dive shop for camera and flashlight o-rings. I recently found the exact same stuff in the same little tub at Home Depot for a fraction of the price. It is translucent white and is a little sticky. It's good to clean the groove with a soft toothbrush and roll the o-rings between your thumb and forefinger to get a light coating of silicone on the rings.
    Silicone grease is used for sealing faucet O-rings against water under pressure, so plumber's silicone grease would seem ideal for the purpose. I've found it in the plumbing supply section of Home Depot and similar stores, and I assume it's what you found. I prefer to use Nyogel for everyday applications, because plumber's grease is more viscous and makes things harder to turn. But I'll bet plumber's grease makes a better seal for water under pressure.

    c_c

  12. #12
    Flashaholic Torque1st's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Most commercial application O-Rings are Buna-N or Nitrile not rubber.

    Buna-N Data

    Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or silicone work.

    Silicone dielectric grease comes in a handy tube that keeps the contents clean. Various size tubes are available at any automotive parts store.

    The lubricant used is just that, a lubricant. The O-ring is the seal.
    Last edited by Torque1st; 09-14-2007 at 06:52 PM.
    Lenses are good!= 2x River Rock 2AA 1.5W lensed; 1x Coast V1 Power Lenser.
    No lenses = no throw: 1x Mag Solitaire 1AAA LED conv; 1x Mag 2AA 3LED conv; 1x Coghlan's 3AAA 3LED.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious_character View Post
    Silicone grease is used for sealing faucet O-rings against water under pressure, so plumber's silicone grease would seem ideal for the purpose. I've found it in the plumbing supply section of Home Depot and similar stores, and I assume it's what you found. I prefer to use Nyogel for everyday applications, because plumber's grease is more viscous and makes things harder to turn. But I'll bet plumber's grease makes a better seal for water under pressure.

    c_c
    Actually, I use both. I remove the o-rings, brush the groove with a soft toothbrush, coat the o-ring with silicone grease, put the o-ring back in place, wipe the threads with a microfiber wipe, and apply Nyogel to the threads. I use only silicone grease on the other o-rings in the head but no Nyogel.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by bspofford View Post
    . . .I use only silicone grease on the other o-rings in the head but no Nyogel.
    Interesting. Why not?

    c_c

  15. #15

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Torque1st View Post
    . . .The lubricant used is just that, a lubricant. The O-ring is the seal.
    That's a very good point.

    I once replaced the rubbery gasket at the bottom of a ceramic toilet tank, where it mated with the ceramic toilet. Each time I bolted the pieces together, it leaked. So I unbolted it, fiddled a bit, bolted it again a little tighter, and it still leaked. I repeated this several times until I knew I was going to break the ceramic or shear off the bolt heads. (As you can tell, I know just about nothing when it comes to plumbing.) But then I got an idea -- something I'm sure every plumber learns the first week on the job if not the first day. I smeared silicone grease on the gasket and tried again. Sealed fine, with very little torque on the bolts. Like an O-ring, the gasket was the seal. But what the lubricant did was allow it to move into place where it could do its job. Does O-ring lubricant do the same thing? That is, are there situations where it leaks without the lubricant but doesn't leak once the lubricant is applied?

    c_c

  16. #16
    Flashaholic Torque1st's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Hmmmm, I have replaced many toilet tank gaskets and never had that problem. The only thing I can think of that would have caused a problem like that would be if one of the sealing surfaces was very rough (chipped or dirty) and the seal would not conform to the surface. A lubricant/grease would maybe make that seal but any pressure would displace the lubricant and allow it to leak again. Every surface has irregularities tho, even the O-Ring itself. Some lubricants will attack the seal material softening it, -perhaps to the point of allowing it to conform to a surface. Usually this situation is avoided because it can cause seal failure later.

    O-Rings and seals are chosen for material and conformability, often called durometer. A high durometer material (hard) would not conform to surface irregularities as well as a low durometer material (soft). The high durometer material would not squeeze out under pressure tho. Material selections are often a compromise.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durometer
    Lenses are good!= 2x River Rock 2AA 1.5W lensed; 1x Coast V1 Power Lenser.
    No lenses = no throw: 1x Mag Solitaire 1AAA LED conv; 1x Mag 2AA 3LED conv; 1x Coghlan's 3AAA 3LED.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Many years of experimentation and use have yielded these results:

    Magnalube is a fantastic product.
    So is Nanolube.
    I am now using Magnalube on the O-rings and Nanolube on the threads.
    This combination yields as close to perfect results as a person can ask for.
    This combination also represents the best 2 part combination available. Both substances represent the leading edge in their respective technologies.
    These are the only chemicals I will ever use on my lighting equipment....Until something better comes along..Doubtful.
    Have a look at
    Magnelube.com
    and nanolube.com
    You will then understand.
    The use of silicone is very YESTERDAY.
    Nanolube and Magnalube is TODAY.
    Yaesumofo
    Support your local flashlight builder.
    Buy American. Stop crying and start Buying.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    When I got a Fenix CREE last Spring, the emitter head was starting to gall after a few uses out of the box.

    I removed it, cleaned the mating threads [there was some aluminum debris on them] lubed with DowCorning silcone grease, number 44 IIRC, and screw things back together. It made thing worse, and the galling feel was still there.

    Not wanting to ruin a new FL, I wiped off the threads and applied ordinary synthetic grease Mobil 1 that I use to service my trailer bearing, truck, etc.

    It worked great and the light is my everyday carry. No problems for, what, about 5 months of everyday use.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Barbarin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by fasuto View Post
    I recently read a recomendation for use bike lubricant X-ring / O-ring tested.
    Dupont Teflon or Motorex 622 for example, avaiable at bike stores.
    Member barbarin, who develops and manufacture dive lights, made some testing and recommends it.
    Hello,

    We like that kind of greases for serveral reasons.

    1. They are adhesive, so they don't wear easily.
    2. They have micronized teflon, which acts as antiseize, so under pressure even when the liquid grease is displaced the teflon will stay there. This feature is very important for diving.
    3. They are o-ring tested.

    You can imagine a chain on a 100 HP bike moving at 100 mph, under heavy rain, in summer. The grease is suffering "spin-dry" forces, water jets... those greases are really good.
    We have done testing switching on and off our lights by twisting the tailcaps at -50 m. The effort you have to do is much stronger when using silicone grease.

    Of course this happens with our lights, they are anodized on the thread to allow them last longer, and the electrical contact is on the base, designed in such a way that excess of grease will be displaced. I don't know how will it work with other lights, maybe it is too dielectric or adhesive.

    Javier

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Torque1st's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Magnalube is a Teflon based product. The suspended Teflon in a petroleum or silicon base used in many lubricants is very good and will stay in place. If the threads are under high pressure as in a diving application it may help to have the Teflon in place. It takes tremendous pressure to displace lubricants once applied. How deep are we diving with our lights tho??? A light specifically manufactured for diving underwater may be a better choice than a standard LED flashlight.

    We really must understand one thing tho. -Nothing will really fix poorly manufactured threads with burs or corrosion left in them from the anodizing process. The only thing to do is clean the threads and return them to the proper size and form. Mostly tho you are just SOL if the aluminum threads are messed up. A lubricant may help and repeated turning may grind or tear off the misshapen parts but not repair them.

    Nanolube sounds like snake oil, is marketed and hyped like snake oil, -probably IS snake oil. If it walks like a duck and smells like a duck... I would not use it unless I knew what was in it otherwise there may be compatibility problems.

    Some of the other industrial lubes are great, just hard to get and usually high $$ when other things like silicone grease and Vaseline are readily available, cheap, and very effective on properly manufactured parts.
    Last edited by Torque1st; 09-15-2007 at 09:14 AM.
    Lenses are good!= 2x River Rock 2AA 1.5W lensed; 1x Coast V1 Power Lenser.
    No lenses = no throw: 1x Mag Solitaire 1AAA LED conv; 1x Mag 2AA 3LED conv; 1x Coghlan's 3AAA 3LED.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I have small tube of "Unick Silicone heat transfer compound" that is normally used between electronic components and heatsinks. Can anyone recommend using that for o-rings?
    Last edited by Stromberg; 10-14-2007 at 03:33 AM.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic Gladius01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    As alot of people in this tread mentions about Vaseline, I used Vaseline and it works fine for me and I don't have any problem at all and it is cheap and you can get this almost every where. Also I used motorbike chain lube.
    Last edited by Gladius01; 10-14-2007 at 04:16 AM. Reason: need to add sentences

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Does anyone know what kind of o-rings Fenix use? Is it safe to use vaseline, e.g. I have "Klover vaseline" lip balm that is made of petrolatum(petroleum?)?

    http://www.unilever.com/pioti/DA/p4....ductid=1629199
    Last edited by Stromberg; 10-14-2007 at 05:32 AM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromberg View Post
    I have small tube of "Unick Silicone heat transfer compound" that is normally used between electronic components and heatsinks. Can anyone recommend using that for o-rings?
    Although it might be ok, you can surely do better. The primary function of a thermal compound isn't to lubricate but to aid in transferring heat. The primary reason for greasing an o-ring is to lubricate it.

    c_c

  25. #25
    Flashaholic Torque1st's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromberg View Post
    I have small tube of "Unick Silicone heat transfer compound" that is normally used between electronic components and heatsinks. Can anyone recommend using that for o-rings?
    I would not use the thermal compound. It is not a good lubricant. The silicone carrier migrates away leaving a thick white paste that would act more like glue than a lubricant.

    Most O-rings are made from Buna-N material, safe with petroleum products. There are other types of materials but they are only used for special applications where some exotic chemical is involved. When in doubt, think Buna-N first.
    Last edited by Torque1st; 10-14-2007 at 08:17 AM.
    Lenses are good!= 2x River Rock 2AA 1.5W lensed; 1x Coast V1 Power Lenser.
    No lenses = no throw: 1x Mag Solitaire 1AAA LED conv; 1x Mag 2AA 3LED conv; 1x Coghlan's 3AAA 3LED.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I suggest you try one o-ring with a lubricant first, and make sure you can replace it first.

    I tried a random lubricant on a Fenix o-ring and it doubled in size in a few minutes. I have yet to find a replacement for it at a hardware store, but the 47's at the Fenix Store helped me out.

    Next time I order from there I'll get the lubricant he's selling.. Doesn't insulate electricity and a good lubricant. I don't have dozens of lights to lube so it should last me quite a while.
    4Sevens Quark 123 R2, Fenix Tk10, NiteCore Defender Q5, Fenix P2D CE (P4) Natural, Fenix L0D Q4 (Copper??), Surefire E1e with McLux head and Luxeon 3, Black 4D Mag with TerraLux SSC Drop-in, Deep Purple Mag AA with TerraLux 1W UV Cree, Arc AAA

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Quote Originally Posted by bspofford View Post
    I've been a SCUBA diver for 40 years and have used silicone grease from the dive shop for camera and flashlight o-rings. I recently found the exact same stuff in the same little tub at Home Depot for a fraction of the price. It is translucent white and is a little sticky. It's good to clean the groove with a soft toothbrush and roll the o-rings between your thumb and forefinger to get a light coating of silicone on the rings.
    This is what I use too, its called dielectrical grease/tune up grease/spark plug grease at automotive section and only a few bucks for a tube size of toothpaste.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic Torque1st's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Careful of "random" lubricants. Many have solvents in them meant to aid penetration etc that will swell O-rings and other seals.
    Lenses are good!= 2x River Rock 2AA 1.5W lensed; 1x Coast V1 Power Lenser.
    No lenses = no throw: 1x Mag Solitaire 1AAA LED conv; 1x Mag 2AA 3LED conv; 1x Coghlan's 3AAA 3LED.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    I use Teflon grease that I puchased at a swimming pool supply house. It is designed specifically for o-rings, and is very reasonably priced. It makes the threads unscrew very smoothly for aluminum to aluminum threads compared to silicone dielectric grease. I also use this stuff for all of the o rings on an engine powered by Methanol, and it works well. Methanol is extremely corrosive ,and is brutal on rubber, and synthetic rubber products.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Flashlight O-Ring grease?

    Thanks Curious_character and Torque1st. I'll get some silicone grease so I can be sure that I don't ruin the o-rings.

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