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View Full Version : Lubricants, etc.


Mike M
06-22-2007, 08:10 AM
I am wondering what you guys think are the best practices for anti-seize lubricants, sealants, etc. What stuff and where at every install.

I have the Ideal pruduct for aluminum housings, what else should I use and exactly where?

Advanced disclaimer: this question only pertains to outdoor lighting fixtures and parts, and not humans.

Thanks,

Mike M

David Gretzmier
06-22-2007, 10:03 AM
for o-rings I use vaseline, It's a wonder jelly ! for sockets I use dielectric grease- you can find it at auto parts stores.

Chris J
06-22-2007, 01:36 PM
Isn't vaseline petroleum based? How long have you been doing this? Do the o-rings rot or deteriorate?

Mike M
06-22-2007, 08:34 PM
Oh lord, you have to be kidding me. Just when I thought I was wrapping up the whole best practice installation method research thing, you are telling me there are many arguable ways to seal up/lube up/protect our fixtures? Just tell me what is the best, practice-proven methods. By the way, Chris, did you pull that stuff out of the marsh yet?

Chris J
06-22-2007, 09:11 PM
Oh lord, you have to be kidding me. Just when I thought I was wrapping up the whole best practice installation method research thing, you are telling me there are many arguable ways to seal up/lube up/protect our fixtures? Just tell me what is the best, practice-proven methods. By the way, Chris, did you pull that stuff out of the marsh yet?

Nope, I've been procrastinating and haven't done the test yet. I did do an add on today though that was 1 1/2 years old. When I snipped the connection off just behind the nuts, the wires were just as shiney as they could be. The test site is all the way on the other side of town (50 miles) but I will do it soon, I promise.

By the way, you are going to find that the longer your in this business, the harder it's going to get. I remember when I first started I thought that I had hit the jack pot! Simple stuff.....job only took a few hours to put in and it was great money. Then, after getting more and more customers and hundreds of fixtures in the ground I realized that things happen and people call you with these problems. Uh oh.. time to do service calls. Then you find out about color temperature, and different types of wire, and cable loss that creates more wattage which means you can't max out the transformer. Then it goes on to finding out that not all fixtures are bullet proof like you thought they were, bulbs burn out for no reason then do it again a week after you replace it. Some lamps are rated at 1000 hours, while others are rated at 10,000. IR lamps, Xenon, Halogen, ....... Oh my God, now they are starting to say that you might need to be licensed by the state or your whole enterprise will one day be shut down! Organizations like the AOLP? Is it worth the cost or no? Should I or shouldn't I? Do I go to light fair, or go door to door and hand out some flyers and talk to some more people. Holy crap! This is getting complicated. Who the heck is this other lighting franchise? That makes 12 in the last two years!
And so the story goes......I never get frustrated about it all, but someone did once call me a loose cannon. Guess I can't blame them though.

Mike M
06-22-2007, 09:21 PM
Chris, thanks, man!

Everything you just said is why I am so into the details of connections, fixtures, lubricants, etc., right from the start.

I don't want all those call backs, I want to compete by having a great reputation from day one, and I want to be an expert who is not affraid of regulations. Let my competition be affraid of all those things.

:weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter:

Mike M
06-22-2007, 09:24 PM
I snipped the connection off just behind the nuts

:cry:

Chris J
06-22-2007, 09:32 PM
:laugh:

Funny stuff... By the way though, you are still going to get the call backs regardless of how much preparation you do in the beginning. Maybe just not as many as you would without the great prep work you are doing. Things will happen beyond your control; it's just the nature of the business.

Mike M
06-22-2007, 09:48 PM
Every crisis is an opportunity. I think the Chinese have a symbol that simulateneouslty means both crisis and opportunity.

I am really in need of a hobby or a good book.

David Gretzmier
06-23-2007, 12:05 AM
to answer the above question, I've been using vaseline on o-rings for one job that is 7 years old, no deterioration yet. That's also a job I used grease nuts on- checked it today and no corrosion in the few connections I took a look at, snip, strip, new wire nuts. maybe at 14 years that "lubricant" will fail.

sadly, I've had to replace 3 of the fixtures ( cars ) 2 nightscaping transformers ( lifetime guarantee, but I went with multi voltage fx and got all the voltage closer to 11.3), 4 sockets, and 2 fixtures have been hit by a car recently. I'm adding a few spots next week as well.

Pro-Scapes
06-23-2007, 11:22 AM
Chris, thanks, man!

Everything you just said is why I am so into the details of connections, fixtures, lubricants, etc., right from the start.

I don't want all those call backs, I want to compete by having a great reputation from day one, and I want to be an expert who is not affraid of regulations. Let my competition be affraid of all those things.

:weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter:

dont be fooled... you will ALWAYS have call backs... There is always a bum lamp that goes our premature or the client who messed with something or an electrician was out doing something else and frigged up your phase coupler. Call backs are inevitable in a service industry.

Mike M
06-23-2007, 10:40 PM
Dave, do we need to lubricate the o-rings? If so, why not just use the same high temp lubricant you put on the sockets?

I have Noalox for the aluminum fixtures, and wondering why we don't just put that on the o-rings?

Lite4
06-23-2007, 10:57 PM
I lubricate my o-rings with a product from the underground piping industry. It's called 'duck butter or pipe dope' (not liquid teflon). It is a water based lubricant used for lubing rubber pipe gaskets for joining pipe together. I tub will last all year.

sheshovel
06-23-2007, 11:02 PM
Fluid Film is my recommendation.

Mike M
06-23-2007, 11:35 PM
Thanks both of you for the product info.

I did a google search for fluid film, and I got a link right back here to the lawn maintenance forum for a free sample!

I'm now wondering what everyone else is using for their o-rings. My only concern is to use high temp stuff. I don't want my fixtures smoking.

Janet Moyer's book doesn't mention lubricating the o-rings, but there is good info on the anti-seize for aluminum parts, and info on high temp lubricants for the bulb. My guess is to use the same stuff I'm putting on the bulb base for the o-rings, Kichler has those little silicone packets for this.

Mike

David Gretzmier
06-24-2007, 12:03 AM
I've used fluid film on my lawnmower deck underside, it works great. It leaves a waxy finish, so grass does not stick. it is made from sheep's wool, I believe. The vaseline allows the shroud/lens assembly on my spots to be removed easily, it also is a waterproof lubricant, so in addition to the 2 o-rings on my spots I know the vaseline helps keep out water.

I've never had any smoke from 20 or 35 watt mr-16's, but I don't run 50's or I might. the spots are rated for them but I don't like the look.

other lubricants might work fine as well, it's just what I use and a 1lb jar of it lasts me for a dozen jobs or so, maybe more or less depending on # of spots.

I wouldn't use dielectric grease on o-rings mainly because of expense, that stuff runs about 10 times as much, I only use it on 1141/1156 sockets. those seem to corrode over time unless ya grease em.

Mike M
06-26-2007, 06:29 PM
The bulk flash point for Fluid Film is 405 F. Shouldn't be a problem.
Thanks for your interest in Fluid Film!

They are sending me a free sample. How hot can 50 watters get?

Mike

Eden Lights
06-26-2007, 11:48 PM
I like white grease for various o-rings and threads

High Performance Lighting
06-27-2007, 12:55 AM
I like white grease for various o-rings and threads

Eddie, have you experienced the white lithium grease leaving white powdery residue under glass lenses (inside fixture body)?

Mike M
06-27-2007, 07:56 AM
Mr. G., what do you use?

(Wondering if you'll be attaching an image of Gambino Lubricant.)

NightScenes
06-27-2007, 09:42 AM
The Kichler fixtures that I use come with silicon lube. We have had 0 problems with o rings while using this product. There is usually enough lube for 3 fixtures in each packet, so we keep plenty of it to use for our service.

Mike M
06-27-2007, 02:25 PM
Thanks Paul, I've been saving those, too. I wonder if the same stuff is available in a bigger tube?

Thanks,

Mike

Chris J
06-27-2007, 03:57 PM
You can buy that type of water based silicone lubricant at the pool suppy stores in big and small tubes.

High Performance Lighting
06-27-2007, 10:10 PM
Mr. G., what do you use?

(Wondering if you'll be attaching an image of Gambino Lubricant.)

Nothing exotic ,Plumbers grease, readily available in the plumbing aisle of Home depot.