Gaskets and o -rings and lube..oh my....

carnivalday

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Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
338
Ocala, FL
Morning folks! Is there any short tutorial anywhere on what I should be doing with the o rings and gaskets...whatever those things are! ha! I read here on occasion where people are checking them and lubing them, or finding them cracked and replacing them. Even tho my system is brand new, Im sure this is probably something I need to know about to keep things running smoothly. Thanks.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
574
West Palm Beach/Florida
Someone smarter than me will chime in, but I would not stress about. Just make sure you have some Pool and Spa lube around. Maybe once or twice a year I lube the o ring on my cartridge filter when I clean out the filter. I have changed that O ring once in 10 years. Same thing for the o ring on my pool pump cover. They will fail eventually but they are cheap and easy to find when they do.
 

carnivalday

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Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
338
Ocala, FL
Is the o ring that round rubber thing when you open the filter? How do you actually lube the o ring? So I need to find some Pool and Spa lube?
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
574
West Palm Beach/Florida
I have had one of these tubes for years.


You can probably buy the equivalent on Amazon.

Yes the O ring is the round rubber thing when you open your filter. The lube help you put the cover on the filter easier, and helps make a better seal. Not sure if it extends the life of the o ring or not. I just squeeze some lube on my fingers and rub it on the o ring. It is a pain to clean off your fingers afterwards.
 

woodyp

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Apr 17, 2010
10,691
East Texas
I have a couple of fitting s that ALWAYS leak when I try to put them back together with out some lube. If the whole o ring is easy to take out----lube thw whole thing. If not, apply where you can and then put a layer on the mating surface it fits to.
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,758
Central California
Allen, how the heck do you remember where all those articles and links are?! You're awesome. That o-ring article is a good one.

O-ring lube allows the three surfaces involved (the ring and the two components it's sealing together) to slide together as you tighten things up. Without it, the ring will pinch and bind and deform. It's the deformation that causes the leaks. And the premature wear. So the lube is not really adding to the sealing properties of the ring, rather it allows the ring to retain its correct shape and do its job. And in that way it can lengthen the ring's life. Cleaning the ring and the surfaces it touches is important because a chunk of dirt can also deform the ring and cause a leak.

Counter to the article, I do pull the lube around the ring. That warning might be true of rubber, but not of the synthetics that o-rings are now made from. And I'm talking gently pulling, not stretching the thing way out. If you don't agree, then go ahead and try to "push" lube onto a ring. And I don't slather it on. I use only enough to barely coat the ring, like sort of getting it wet. Gobbing it on will not improve the seal, as I said, that's the job of the ring, not the lube.

It's important not to over-tighten an o-ring. Doing so can cause it to leak, because that can also deform the ring. Generally, fittings with o-rings only need to be "hand tight." You might need a wrench to loosen such a fitting, but you shouldn't use a wrench to put it back together if you can avoid it. If your hands are not strong enough to tighten a fitting enough, then you can gently use a wrench, but only to make the fitting a bit more snug than you could with your hands. You don't crank the fitting down.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,912
NY
And wear disposable gloves. They are dirt cheap and available everwhere from Home Depot to the grocery store. That stuff does not like to come off with water, which is why it works so well. The union O-rings aren't so bad but my filter O-ring is almost a hula hoop. To coat the whole thing i end up with half a tube in my hands.
 
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carnivalday

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Oct 25, 2017
338
Ocala, FL
Ah yes, I do have a box full of latex gloves...no rolling of your eyes please.....because I raise red wiggler worms in bins for fertilizer for my vegetable garden, and I wear gloves when I scoop them out......too much info, I know.....
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,758
Central California
Ha, I have boxes of those everywhere (surprise, surprise). Even the kitchen. I hate touching raw chicken!

Oddly enough, I don't use them for lubing o-rings. I like to be able to feel the o-ring carefully as I'm running my fingers around it, for nicks, cuts, any deformations or dirt... You only find those in one of two ways: feeling for them, or when they spring a leak! I prefer the former.
 
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ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,877
Northern NJ
Ha, I have boxes of those everywhere (surprise, surprise). Even the kitchen. I hate touching raw chicken!

Oddly enough, I don't use them for lubing o-rings. I like to be able to feel the o-ring carefully as I'm running my fingers around it, for nicks, cuts, any deformations or dirt... You only find those in one of two ways: feeling for them, or when they spring a leak! I prefer the former.
I love getting the feel of my raw chicken with my bare hands. Have to bond with what I will eat.

Pool Lube? Yuck. Gotta wear gloves for that. Chicken grease cleans off of hands so much easier then pool lube.

:laughblue:
 
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