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Thread: Options for silicone sealant?

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    Options for silicone sealant?

    I regularly use the usual pool sealant (silicone) bought from a pool store around the o-rings of my filter, etc. but those small tubes are a pain to apply because I have to squeeze them so hard.

    I'm wondering if it's OK to substitute something like this (image link or Lowe's link) instead, so I can use a squeeze gun in order to apply it, which would be much easier to use.

    Thoughts?

    http://i.imgur.com/Zh36Puq.jpg

    (The fine print does say to let it dry for 8 hours, while the pool store silicone says no such thing, so that's a small asterisk I'd have to take into account.)
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    No. That is like caulk. The pool store sealant is a grease. I'm not really sure why you have to squeeze the tubes hard. Just a little bit on your finger tip is enough to do the biggest O-ring.
    TFP Moderator
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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Two totally different things. What is used on O-rings is a silicone based LUBRICANT, that is a silicone based SEALANT. The lube is a silicone based grease that never dries or hardens. That is a caulking product.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Oh. Interesting. I do have to squeeze the tubes hard, and I try and squeeze a bead that goes all the way around the large o-ring (I'm talking about the one that goes around the "belt" of the Hayward filter). That takes ages and hurts my hands. Am I doing something wrong?

    I just assumed I was trying to seal it, not lubricate it. I guess I don't fully understand those o-rings and why they would need lubrication (not sealing -- I thought they needed sealing).

    My immediate project right now is the pool light; I want to replace the bulb in the next couple of days, and it has that rubber ring that needs to be sealed before I put the lamp enclosure back in the water. So I was looking for an easier way to seal it.

    Do I use sealant (like the Lowes link above) for this? If not, what do I use? (I'd love to find something I can put into a squeeze gun.)
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    When it comes to the O-rings we use on the pump basket, unions, etc, we use the silicone "lubricant" because it simply helps to lube the rubber ring and allow it to compress nicely into those tight spots. It also helps to prevent air from intruding into a joint that we hope to keep air/water tight. Usually, a small bead on your finger will spread-out nicely and cover a fairly large part of the O-ring. It can still be a little messy at times as you work it around the O-ring, but you don't need a huge glob.

    As for your light fixture, it may depend on your exact type of fixture. Different methods for different applications, so I'll let someone else speak to you more on that one.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    I don't know about your light fixture but in mine, you need to use a new gasket anytime you open it and use no lube or sealant.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Squeeze some out onto your fingers then use your fingers to work it around and into the o-ring. You are not trying to lay down a bead as if you were sealing windows or baseboard.
    17K gal, AG, 1.0HP pump, 300lb, 3.14 sqft, 62GPM sand filter, Pool Pilot Nano SWG, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Thanks for all these tips. Man, every new adventure in learning to take care of my pool leads me down new and unexpected journeys!

    I took the light fixture out, but I can't ID it. On the glass it says "American Products Company" but there is no sticker on the back (as some Google searches say there might be) so the exact model number is long lost.

    That said, mine resembles many of the images I found in other pool light fixture links. Here's a photo of the whole thing disassembled:

    http://i.imgur.com/kJQT55C.jpg

    There was some water in there when I opened it up -- a good sign that a leak caused it to stop working. (It had been working fine for months before that.)

    So really my question comes down to: how do I seal this properly?

    The gasket looks like it's in good condition (not cracked or anything -- but I can see that whatever sealant/lubricant I previously used was hardened and flaking -- which makes sense as to why it started leaking).

    So, either I take this gasket to my local Leslie's and ask them if they have an exact replacement, or I figure out how to seal it properly, which leads me back to my original question: what kind of sealant should I use? (I assume this time it's definitely a sealant, not a lubricant.)
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    (OP here.) To update this thread, I spent a half hour watching YouTube videos on this. #1, everyone says to just replace the gasket rather than clean and reuse the old one. #2, no one on YouTube uses any kind of sealant or lubricant. I guess the gasket is supposed to just work.

    Off to Leslie's tomorrow with my old gasket to get a replacement. It looks like they cost approx. $15 on Amazon, but for this I'd rather go to Leslie's so I can be sure I get an exact replacement for my particular model (since I don't know the model).
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Very good. Hopefully they'll have a replacement locally and you can get it all back together soon.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Most people use way too much silicone lubricant , it only takes a small peas size dab for all but the largest of O-rings.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    The filter o ring is huge. No way a pea size is going to be enough. Although I have not switched to the silicone yet. I usually end up with my hands coated and working around the ring.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    ^^ what jbizzle said!

    I *HATE* handling silicone because it's so hard to get off your hands (and I'm sure it can't be all that healthy if you ingest it later), so I always wear cheap disposable rubber gloves when handling it. That way I can squeeze the silicone on to the rubber, shimmy it around so the entire large filter belt o-ring is coated, then put it in place and seal it up, then throw away the gloves.

    A pea-sized amount is definitely enough for that wrist-sized o-ring at the top of the filter. But not enough for the large one at the belt (which may not even technically be called an o-ring, even though it's a large circle). That belt is a beast to cover, which is why I'm brainstorming some way to find a silicone tube that I could put in a squeeze gun.
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    I agree a pea size drop is not enough for the main belt o-ring on a filter, but it is plenty for the one on top of a pump strainer, all you need is enough to make the rubber glisten you don't need gobs of it showing on the o-ring. Also an o-ring seal should not be crushed like a gasket, that defeats the way an o-ring works, it should be captive, but not distorted by pressure.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    ddas,
    the Oring and Belt ARE the seals. The reason to put silicone based lubricant on them, is to prevent too much friction between the O Ring and the opposite mating part.
    Too much frichtion, and the seal is likely to be dis-lodged when tightening up the belt, lid, or whatever the part is, resulting in a leak.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: Options for silicone sealant?

    Also, the lube acts to preserve the material of the o-ring itself. They stay pliable much longer with regular use of the lube.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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