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View Full Version : Does WD40 damage the seal in a Fluval external filter?


Dr.Rock
9th March 2011, 21:07
I was doing a monthly maintenance clean on my aquarium's Fluval 405 external filter. Normally, I spray the filter's rubber gasket with a coat of silicon lubricant (Hagen advises not to use Vasaline as they think it degrades the seal). But I once accidentally sprayed it with WD40 because the cans look the same. I don't know if I made the mistake other times before on the same gasket. Have I damaged the sealing capabilities of the rubber ring and should I replace it with a new one (which is expensive and the seal is brand new so I don't want to throw it away so soon!) or is WD40 not detrimental to the sealing at all? There are no leaks at the moment, but even the slightest damage may appear OK at first until it eventually gives in.

Thanks.

geologeek
9th March 2011, 21:15
i doubt it will have damaged the rubber - but may be wrong......my only concern is what effect the wd40 would have on the water

geologeek
9th March 2011, 21:30
well i have had a look and cant find much info on the "ingredients" in wd40 other than a mineral oil and possibly naptha......its the voc's (volatile organic carbon) that i would be worried about - these can degrade rubber (if the seal is indeed rubber) but also have a detrimental effect to aquatic life even in small quantities.......so my advice would be to not use it again :D

matsp
9th March 2011, 21:34
The rubber used for O-rings is usually silicon nitrile, which is chemically very stable, and should be fine with WD40. Of course, it's entirely possible to make O-rings from any "stretchy" rubber-like material, so I can't say for sure what the reaction with WD40 would be - however, I find it unlikely that Hagen DOESN'T use the same material as everyone else does - it must be cheaper to buy standard O-rings than to produce your own "non-standard" ones, and there is no good reason for that.

My concern when I read the subject line was the same as geologeek: What will happen to the water, from having WD40 in/on it.

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Mats

matsp
9th March 2011, 21:41
well i have had a look and cant find much info on the "ingredients" in wd40 other than a mineral oil and possibly naptha......its the voc's (volatile organic carbon) that i would be worried about - these can degrade rubber (if the seal is indeed rubber) but also have a detrimental effect to aquatic life even in small quantities.......so my advice would be to not use it again :D

The by far biggest component of what comes out of a WD40 bottle is Trichloroethylene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichloroethylene). But this evaporates off, so yes, the worry is the mineral oil and naphtalene - and any other "secret" ingredients.

Certainly WD40 is not meant for inside fish-tanks.

When I was riding a motorbike, there was debate whether WD-40 would harm the O-rings (or X-rings and whatever other variations on the theme). The general consensus was "no, it doesn't". Of course, the lubricants used for chains WILL contain mineral oil and solvents, just like WD-40 (which is normally not used for lubricating the chain, but for cleaning off old stuck on lube - WD-40 doesn't stick to the chain well enough to be used as a lubricant)

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Mats

geologeek
9th March 2011, 21:52
Well i am dealing with a TCE affected site where soils and groundwater have been impacted.......whilst not relevant in this case - the byproducts of its degradation can cause some nasty side effects.......a little spill has resulted in an expensive investigation and no doubt likely to cost a fortune to rectify......

matsp
9th March 2011, 21:58
Well i am dealing with a TCE affected site where soils and groundwater have been impacted.......whilst not relevant in this case - the byproducts of its degradation can cause some nasty side effects.......a little spill has resulted in an expensive investigation and no doubt likely to cost a fortune to rectify......

Agreed - if you pour it into water, it won't evaporate that quickly as it is heavier than water (1.46g/cm3) and sinks to the bottom, and it will pollute the water - although it is not water soluble As used in WD-40, it is meant to evaporate, and will do so quite quickly.

Enough sidetracking for now... ;)

--
Mats

alysonpeaches
11th March 2011, 22:03
Do you really need to put anything on your O ring? I was told just to wet it.

ste1960
12th March 2011, 12:52
i use this.

Great stuff to use to lubricate seals and moving parts.

A can lasts for ages too.

http://www.eheim.de/eheim/inhalte/index.jsp?key=neuigkeiten_31172_ehen