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Lube Canon AW-WP “O” Rings

Properly Lubricating a Rubber “O” Rings in an Underwater or All Weather Housing

Lubricating the user serviceable “O” rings in underwater cameras or in plastic underwater housings for digital or film cameras is essential to ensure a watertight seal and protect your equipment. Here’s a step-by-step guide for novices:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need:

  • The rubber “O” ring specific to your housing, if your “O” is damaged.
  • Silicone grease – High Quality Plumbers ‘grease (not petroleum-based)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A soft toothbrush
  • A clean, lint-free cloth

Step 2: Remove and Inspect the “O” Ring

Carefully open the underwater housing and locate the “O” ring. Gently remove it using your fingers, finger nails, and if necessary, very carefully, a wooden toothpick. Be cautious not to stretch or damage it. Inspect the “O” ring closely for any nicks, abrasions, or rub marks. If you find any, replace the “O” ring immediately.

Step 3: Clean the “O” Ring

Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a clean, lint-free cloth and wipe down the “O” ring thoroughly. This will remove any dirt, oils, or debris. Ensure the “O” ring is completely dry before proceeding.

Step 4: Clean the Groove

Using a soft toothbrush, carefully clean the groove where the “O” ring sits in the housing. This helps remove any trapped particles that could prevent a proper seal. Look closely to ensure there is no debris left in the grooves.

Step 5: Apply Silicone Grease

Put a small amount of silicone grease on your fingertips. Hold the “O” ring with one hand and use the other hand to pull the “O” ring through your greased fingers. This method ensures an even, thin layer of lubricant. Avoid over-applying; the goal is to make the rubber slick, not greasy. Do not apply lubricant directly to the groove itself.

Step 6: Replace the “O” Ring

Inspect the “O” ring once more to ensure it is evenly lubricated and free of debris. Carefully place it back into the groove in the housing, making sure it is properly seated without twists or bunching.

Step 7: Final Check

Before closing the housing, conduct a final check for any dust, hairs, or debris on the “O” ring and the housing’s sealing surfaces. Close the housing carefully, ensuring the “O” ring remains in place and forms a tight seal.


  • Use the silicone grease recommended by the housing manufacturer. Though I have successfully used high quality plumbers’ grease on all Nikonos cameras and lenses I serviced and pressure checked.
  • Regularly inspect the “O” ring to ensure the housing remains watertight.
  • I recommend removing the “O” before storing the housing to prevent flat spots.

Following these steps will help prevent water damage to your camera, ensuring reliable underwater performance.


Lube Canon AW-WP “O” Rings


About Gray

As a veteran attending National Camera's resident camera repair school in 1979, is where I found my true calling for the demanding yet extremely interesting field of photo equipment service and sales. For 25 years we grew every year. The staff and I serviced tens of thousands of film camera items, trained many technicians, met thousands of wonderful customers and truly had a fantastic time. Within 2 years of 2004, my service experience was devalued somewhat by the internet, film camera sales/service flatlined. Camera stores 50 times larger than mine were closing. I could see a new opportunity on the Internet. USCamera started as information site then became a family run internet business. Our mission remains the same, • Specialize in Vintage film equipment, mostly after 1958 • Knowledgeable • Provide quality products • Superior Service • Always available via phone - contact form – email All of us at USCamera look forward to serving you. Gray

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