On Sat, 25 May 2013 08:43:12 -0400, "(PeteCresswell)"
For most o-ring situations, the preferred lube is
"high-vacuum silicone grease". But it is expensive.
Plumber's silicone grease is a good substitute.
But before you goop things up, keep in mind that the elegant
o-ring is dependent on clean, smooth, scratch-free surfaces.
And the o-ring has to be pristine. Never use metal tools to
dig an o-ring out its home. A strong hand lens and strong
lighting are essential for inspecting o-rings and
o-ring-groove sealing surfaces. The slightest scratch
across the surface, or the slightest nick in the o-ring
itself can be un-fixable with lube. An eyelash can cause a
I and everyone I know uses metal dental picks to remove and re-install
rubber O-rings. I have been using metal dental picks to do that for
well over 20 years now and have not damaged an O-ring yet.
What do you suggest using instead?
It's not the oring that might get dinged, it's the oring groove
surface becoming gouged. Plastic electronics adj tools shaped like a
flat blade screwdriver are much more practical and are easily
obtainable. This might not be so critical for something like a
waterproof seal, but for something like a high vacuum seal, it's
O-ring sealing surfaces are often rather soft materials,
such as mild-steel, brass, aluminum or plastic. A metal
tool can easily scratch such surfaces. I've seen skilled
workers successfully use a pick to remove an o-ring that is
not to be reused by deliberately piercing the o-ring itself,
and not touching the mating surfaces with the pick.
Forced air usually works for face seals. For external shaft
seals that are large enough, squeezing the ring around the
shaft until a portion of it pooches up enough to get fingers
or a chop-stick under it. Internal cylindrical o-rings can
be a bugger, indeed--if compressed air won't do it, and you
don't have wooden or plastic tools for the job, you're in a
really bad situation!
I've seen some high-durometer o-rings (TFE, etc.) where I
don't know how the mfr. got them on there in the first place
(but maybe used heat and a sled), and I know of no way to
get them off without destroying them. But I'm no expert
(guess I should have stated that part first!).
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