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Thread: Pentair Leaky o-ring

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    Pentair Leaky o-ring

    Any advice here would be appreciated. I have a Pentair Sta Rite System 3 Cartridge filter and last year I noticed it would leak just a few drips from the midsection of the filter body upon start up and shut down, but would stop after a second or two. I assumed this was an indication that the o-ring (cord ring) was going bad. The filter is about 7 years old so I figured it wouldn't hurt to replace it. I got a generic one from Amazon thinking that would be good enough. The Pentair owner's manual specifically states to NOT lubricate the o-ring so I didn't and it leaked multiple constant drips. I took it apart multiple times to make sure it was seated properly and every time it leaked. Eventually I put the old one back in and it was fine (except for the few drips on start up/shut down). I know many say that these o-rings need to be lubricated with silicone or teflon grease. Should I put the new one back in with some lube (against Pentair's recommendation) or just leave the old one alone and not worry about it since it's only a few drips? Maybe the generic o-ring is an inferior product and I should just forget about it and buy original from now on.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Leaky o-ring

    I can add this which may or may not be helpful.

    The 0-ring on my sta-rite pump specifically says NOT to lubricate. I never have and it has been leak proof for nine years or so.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Leaky o-ring

    I'd lube it. In the automotive business, no O-ring is ever installed dry. Some come prelubricated so you don't use the wrong stuff on it, but they all have to be able to slide around to seat properly.

    In the manual for your filter, it says, "Do not lubricate Cord Ring; lubricants may cause the Ring to swell."

    That's true! Most people won't have pool lube laying around, but they might have some vaseline or 3-in-1 or WD40 or motor oil. And I've seen what happens to certain rubber compounds that aren't oil-resistant when they get lubricated with oil. The rubber piece swells to about twice its size and leaps out when the pressure is released and you will never get it back together. They also get mushy and soft and leave black filth on your hands that won't scrub out.

    Use some pool lube and grease it up good, and be sure to clean any dirt, grit, blades of grass, whatever, off the O-ring and the seating surfaces. Betcha the leak dries up.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pentair Leaky o-ring

    Thanks. I never lubed the original and haven't had any problems until the few drips on start up/shut down which started last year. I contacted the seller of the generic one I bought and they said I have to lube it otherwise it will leak. This makes me think this is an inferior product and I am prob better off sticking with the original.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I'd lube it. In the automotive business, no O-ring is ever installed dry. Some come prelubricated so you don't use the wrong stuff on it, but they all have to be able to slide around to seat properly.

    In the manual for your filter, it says, "Do not lubricate Cord Ring; lubricants may cause the Ring to swell."

    That's true! Most people won't have pool lube laying around, but they might have some vaseline or 3-in-1 or WD40 or motor oil. And I've seen what happens to certain rubber compounds that aren't oil-resistant when they get lubricated with oil. The rubber piece swells to about twice its size and leaps out when the pressure is released and you will never get it back together. They also get mushy and soft and leave black filth on your hands that won't scrub out.

    Use some pool lube and grease it up good, and be sure to clean any dirt, grit, blades of grass, whatever, off the O-ring and the seating surfaces. Betcha the leak dries up.

    Thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll give the new o-ring one last try with lots of pool lube.

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    Re: Pentair Leaky o-ring

    Update: Lubed up and put the new o ring back in. Leaks a lot less, but still a few drips. Plus it still drips when I shut it down. Oh well should have just left the original in and not messed with it. If it's not broke, don't fix it I guess.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Leaky o-ring

    Leaks are such a pain and I think it pulls at the perfectionist in us! It drives me crazy because I still have a leaky skimmer and I'm so done with it.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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