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  #1  
Old 07-03-2013
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Diaphragm pumps: care & maintenance

I find that eventuallly the rubber seals on manual diaphragm-type bilge pumps start cracking, presumably from lack of use.

What do you guys do to prevent the rubber perishing? Is there something product or process that can be used to keep it supple??


Thanks,
C.
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Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pumps: care & maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
I find that eventuallly the rubber seals on manual diaphragm-type bilge pumps start cracking, presumably from lack of use.

What do you guys do to prevent the rubber perishing? Is there something product or process that can be used to keep it supple??


Thanks,
C.
With the HartleBoat being timber surely your bilge pump never lacks for use ?

ahem ...

To be frank I've never had the problem. The Womboat's manual pump has a ten year old diaphram, rarely used and not showing any sign of perishing.

Otoh I have heard that a smear of vaseline may help.

cheers

andrew
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Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pumps: care & maintenance

Just wanting to make sure an item of Infrequently-Used Essential Safety Equipment (thank you very much!) remains in top working order in readiness for that fateful Day one hopes will never come...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Otoh I have heard that a smear of vaseline may help.
A smear of Vaseline helps many things... but, good-o, I'll do that.


PS: I'm looking forward to the day I don't have to walk into a Chemist shop (that's "drug store" in American - over here the words "drug store" mean something else entirely!!) to buy a tub of Vaseline, since the looks from the staff at the checkout are anything but flattering.

Perhaps I should ask Mrs H to buy it instead??
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Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

Not preparation H but KY jelly would do...
Ask for petroleum jelly and there'll be no raised eyebrows.
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Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

Should you put a petrol based lubricant on a rubber diaphragm? Doesn't that eventually cause it to break? (hence why you don't use vaseline on condoms).
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Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
Should you put a petrol based lubricant on a rubber diaphragm? Doesn't that eventually cause it to break? (hence why you don't use vaseline on condoms).
Good point (you've some experience with this, Paul? )

If not "petroleum jelly", then what? Nothing(TM)??
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Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

Go to your local automotive parts store and get some tire protectant/dressing.
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Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

You should also be able to find silicone grease -- look in the plumbing section of a hardware store. Very standard to use it to lube/seal o-rings.

Since K-Y (like most "personal lubricants") is water soluble, I'd probably give that one a miss.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjablonowski View Post
Go to your local automotive parts store and get some tire protectant/dressing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
You should also be able to find silicone grease -- look in the plumbing section of a hardware store. Very standard to use it to lube/seal o-rings.
Thanks guys. Two sensible options that are probably much the same thing.

I've got silicone grease on board already and will give that a go.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Diaphragm pump: care & maintenance

+1 on the tire protectant. I've also had the same question about pump diaphragms. The one I took out when doing the refit was dried out and cracked. It would be nice to be able to protect the 2 new ones with something. I hope someone chimes in here with an actual product made just for this purpose. Petroleum-based products could do more damage than help over the long run. I also have some old Jabsco pumps with diaphragms that have required replacement because of dried out rubber. Maybe Armor-All, the stuff used on dashboards and car body parts??
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