Silicone grease and lubricants aren’t just a nice to have for o rings, but they can quite often be a must-have.
However, with so many greases and lubricants to choose from, it can often be a minefield choosing the best ones and the right ones for your o ring and appliance.
In this post, we’ve provided some essential information on o ring lubricants and silicone grease.
Grease vs. Oil
Grease and oil lubricants are used on different applications and products, depending on what is required.
For example, we tend to recommend grease lubricants on parts operating at low speed and at relatively stable temperatures.
Whereas oil bunnings should be used on parts that operate at high speed and high temperatures.
However, whatever, and whichever product you decide to use, lubrication will reduce the wear on products as it helps to reduce friction between these moving parts.
What to look for in a lubricant
Of course, this will be dependent on what role and function you need the oil to perform; however, ideally, you should look for a lubricant that can:
- Offer stability
- Work well in the temperature required
- Be water-resistant
- Offer pumping ability
What lubricant is best for o rings?
Silicone lubricant grease. Protective, waterproof, simple to use.
As o rings are made from synthetic rubbers such as Neoprene, nitrile, and EPDM, you can use petroleum grease to perfectly lubricate the o ring.
However, knowing if the o ring is made from ordinary natural rubber or synthetic rubber is where the problem lies, as petroleum will degrade natural rubber.
To avoid such problems, we’d recommend the use of silicone lubricant for seals and o rings.
Waterproof and lubricating, silicone lubricants err on the side of caution.
Silicone Oil Bunnings
It’s not just o rings that silicone lubricant bunnings are used on either. Due to its versatile offering, you will also find it helpful and used within:
Plumbing. Of course, the most popular area, where you will find silicone grease used on faucet fittings, water filter housing threads, and o rings.
Pressure pumps and hose o rings. Silicone grease is often used on hose connections to make installation and repairs easier and provide an additional protective layer over the o ring.
Underwater devices, including scuba diving equipment. Protecting gaskets found in dry suits, flashlight seals, camera case seals, and more.
Watches. Used to help with reassembling the watches gaskets and preventing them from tearing.
Pens. O rings are often found inexpensive pens, which, when people start to take them apart to look at their workings, they often find they need a little grease to help seal and protect them as well as put everything back together again.
Different types of silicone lubricants
The two types of silicone lubricants available on the market include a safe and food-grade safe.
For lubricants that fall into the category of food-grade silicone grease, the most popular silicone oil bunning is PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), as you will find it to be clear, non-toxic, inert, and non-flammable.
Why lubricate o rings or pressure washer hoses?
Because it makes o rings last longer, protecting them from pinching, cracking, and cutting.
It also helps to speed up installation, helping to seat o rings perfectly into position.
Spray vs. grease – which ones best
We’d advise avoiding silicone sprays where possible as often sprays will only be approximately 5% silicone and have petroleum-based solvent and propellant included to make it a spray.
If you find the o ring is hard to reach, we’d recommend placing some silicone grease on a screwdriver and use it to reach the o ring and lubricate it as best as you can.
Drip oil lubricant (silicone) can also be an alternative if you need to lubricate and grease several o rings all at the same time. (A great time-saving activity!)
When should o ring lubricants be applied and reapplied?
- When changing and installing new o rings. Offering easy installation and helping to seat the o ring correctly.
- Every time the pressure washer is reconnected to the pump.
Call Specialist Sealing Products or visit this page to find out more about o rings and the best lubricants to help you on the job!
Read the next article: Tips for best o ring maintenance