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Thread: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    I have checked a few threads and quite a number of forumers recommend using silicon grease to lubricate the o-rings. There was 1 post by another person suggesting petroleum jelly.

    Is it safe / good to use petroleum jelly? I have read M*gl*ite's instructions to use petroleum jelly to lub the o-rings on its torches.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers !!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    I've been doing it, and I've seen no harm come. I've lubed the threads with the same, and I can't tell any difference in brightness. I'm interested to see what others say.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    Petroleum based lubes may erode the rubber o-rings and harden them, causing cracks.

    I like silicone goop...

    --dan

  4. #4
    Flashaholic StEaLtH_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    Yes i've been wondering the same.
    I couldn't find silicone grease so i bought silicone spray.. but not sure if it works right.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    Working as a watchmaker in a big watch Company (years ago)
    I found that many rubber gasket that were treated with petroleum Jelly, melted.
    The proper lube for gaskets and o rings is silicone grease.

    Juan C.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic illumiGeek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    Silicone grease is prefered, as petrolium based lubes can and will degrade rubber over time. It can also cause the rubber to swell, and in dive lights this can make the light dern near impossible to open.

    Silione spray is often not recommended because the propellant can also degrade o-rings. If you spray the silicone on to a lint free cloth and then wipe it on to the o-ring it should be okay (it allows the propellant to evaporate before application).

    Aloha, iG

  7. #7
    Flashaholic StEaLtH_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    Thanks illumiGeek, didn't know that, will try it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    I recommend Radio Shack's General Purpose Lube. It's actually re-badged "Super-Lube", and it includes Teflon. I've also used petroleum jelly in the base, and the RS lube is a lot better. No, the light doesn't get brighter, but the action is a lot smoother.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic wholeflaffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    Here's a couple of threads that are on-topic and worth checking out:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/ubb...mp;o=&vc=1

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/ubb...mp;o=&vc=1

    Basically, they say you'll want to stick with silicone lube. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Flashaholic nirad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    I use Permatex Dielectric tune-up grease, part nember 67VR. It is a little tube and should last a long time. I got mine from Autozone for a couple of bucks. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    natural rubber o rings will crack and break if u use a petrolium based lube. also with silicone o rings (red/orangy color) dont use silicone lube

  12. #12

    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    It actually depends on the material that the o-ring is made from. Buna-Nitrile O rings are not affected by petroleum products, from what I understand. EPDM O-rings will swell and have problems with petroleum. Im not sure what the most common o-ring material is, but I know that longbow uses Buna, and also I think that Arc does.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* nikon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    I went to four Ace Hardware stores and finally found one which stocks silicone grease. Any store which sells scuba equipment should have it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    I went to my local Radio Shack and bought their lube too, but mine was labeled "Lube Gel". I hope it's the same stuff, but it seems to work well enough, taking the "scraaaaaping squeeeeek" out of some old maglites. It doesn't have the "vaseline" type smell, so I'm pretty sure it's not petroleum based. Quite a big tube, should last you a long time.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    I ran into the same delimna long time ago about lubes and O-rings and I found out that if you go to any pool supply store like Pinch-a-Penny they'll have a big tube or tub of silicone or teflon grease @7.00 for a 5oz size.The dive shops charge to much for the same product.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    NOT hard to find at all.

    All Lowe's/Home Depot's have the silicone grease in the plumbing section. It's cheap also.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    Coupla things I've found...

    1) in auto parts stores silicon grease can be just two dollars or so. The exact same tube packaged as silicon brake grease is usually about four dollars. Be alert.

    2) the online MSDS (material safety data sheet) listing for the Radio Shack lube includes petroleum products as ingrediants even though they are not listed on the package.

    Just an FYI

    Happy 4th!

    - Craig

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    [ QUOTE ]
    Aloft said:
    I went to my local Radio Shack and bought their lube too, but mine was labeled "Lube Gel". I hope it's the same stuff, but it seems to work well enough, taking the "scraaaaaping squeeeeek" out of some old maglites. It doesn't have the "vaseline" type smell, so I'm pretty sure it's not petroleum based. Quite a big tube, should last you a long time.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yup that's the one! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    chmsam. . . thanks for the MSDS info. Should have thought of that as well, but some folks had recommended the stuff here on CPF. Hopefully (as I've already used it to lube some of my older Maglites) there is not too much petroleum based stuff in there. Again, I hope the smell would give it away if there were. I think I'll try Home Depot or an auto parts store for the "pure" stuff. If I remember correctly though, my early maglite's instructions said petroleum jelly was OK for lubing. They may have changed their tune by now though.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    Petroleum jelly will only deterioate RUBBER o-rings. I doubt very seriously that you will find any modern flashlights using RUBBER o-rings. I use vaseline on my arcs and surfires with no problems whatsoever. By the way, I work on airplanes for a living and we use petroleum based lubricants on almost all of our o-rings. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly?

    [Vaseline ]
    [100% Pure Petroleum Jelly ]
    [Hypo-Allergenic-Won't Clog Pores ]

    :P This is wat i use!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* TORCH_BOY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    I have had a 2Dcell M@g light for 15 years now
    and have used Vaseline on both the head and tail O rings,
    the O rings are the original one's that came with the torch.
    I have not had the need to replace them as yet.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    How about the automotive lithium grease. How does it affect rubber orings?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    My thinking is, if petroleum based grease MIGHT damage SOME o-rings, and you're not positive about what type is in your light, why chance it? I've not heard of silicon grease (not spray lube, though) ever hurting o-rings, and it's not real expensive, and it's available at most larger auto parts stores. Even the little tubes should coat a whole bunch of o-rings.

    I figure, better safe than sorry. It's not expensive. It's easy to find (just be sure the tube says pure silicon grease). I'll go for the teeny tiny bit of extra effort, but nobody's gonna call the Federal Dept. of Flashlight Abuse either way, right?

    - (a different) Craig

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    Radio Shack Lube Gel (Aka, Super-Lube with PTFE) uses a PAO synthetic oil for its base stock. This is the same type IV synthetic used in Mobil 1 fully synthetic motor oil. For a fact, it will not damage the o-rings for Surefire or Arc flashlights. They use buna-nitrile o-rings which are virtually impervious to many chemicals, including petroleum jelly. In fact, Arc recommends RS Lube Gel for their o-rings.

    As a side note, I've used petroleum jelly for many o-rings with zero negative effects, including a huge o-ring in my "Tennisball Saver". I just prefer RS Lube Gel because it's really slick, does not migrate, and comes in a huge tube for a few bucks.

    Also, I happen to have purchased packs of 100 each of several common sizes of o-rings in buna-nitrile, and this only cost a few bucks. An o-ring costs just pennies. Why o-ring deterioration is such a common topic I have no clue.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    Hi amlim, you would be better off buying the silicone grease from Sheares Marketing. I bought mine from them ever since I started using Surefires and my 'O' rings are still functioning perfectly.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    [ QUOTE ]
    I happen to have purchased packs of 100 each of several common sizes of o-rings in buna-nitrile, and this only cost a few bucks. An o-ring costs just pennies.

    [/ QUOTE ]Where did you purchase these 100 packs for a few bucks? and what sizes did you buy?

  28. #28
    Unenlightened Blue_Skies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    If anyone is interested, here's what I use. Gunk brand Plumber's Silicone Grease. "Lubricates faucet stems, valves, o-rings, gaskets, etc. Contains NO Petroleum additives." Purchased at Lowe's. Here's a link.
    Lowe's Gunk silicone grease


  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    [ QUOTE ]
    cy said:
    Where did you purchase these 100 packs for a few bucks? and what sizes did you buy?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    www.mscdirect.com

    Item # 09260167
    Desc -016 BUNA-N PAK OF 100 BUNA-N O-RINGS
    Price ea 3.5600

    Item # 09260183
    Desc -018 BUNA-N PK OF 100 BUNA-N O-RINGS
    Price ea 4.0200

    Item # 09261199
    Desc -119 BUNA-N PK OF 100 BUNA-N O-RINGS
    Price ea 4.3000

    Item # 09260225
    Desc -022 BUNA-N PK OF 100 BUNA-N O-RINGS
    Price ea 4.6400

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Safe to lubricate O-rings with Petroleum Jelly

    Thanks, instead of me buying 100 of each Orings. How about I buy half of what you've got instead for half of what you got in it.

    50 of each is still a lifetime supply. Please PM if you are interested.

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