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Author Topic: Switch Grease?  (Read 2284 times)
AB4D
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« on: November 12, 2009, 01:29:23 PM »

I recently had to modify a plastic rocker switch for a project I am working on.  The switch contained a small amount of yellowish grease which most of it was lost during the modification process.

I need to relubricate this switch, but I am a little cautious about what lubricant to use due to a possible reaction to the plastic parts in the switch. I do have a can of D5 deoxit but I am not sure if it has enough lubricating properties for this switch, as there is some pressure on the mechanisim.

I am looking for something that is compatible with plastic and is readily available.

Thanks

73
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W5FYI
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 03:19:50 PM »

My old car used a yellow grease to weatherproof the contacts where outside lights (e.g. taillights) were bayonetted in. I'm not sure what the lubricating qualities were, but that might be a source for a little grease. It kind of reminds me of white lithium grease, but I'm not sure on that.

I've often used Vaseline wherever I needed a nice thick clean grease. It seems to work well, even on electrical contacts, and nowadays it comes in a plastic jar, and I've used it on plastic o rings without any problem, so it probably will be safe on plastic switch parts.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 07:09:55 AM »

If the switch is handling any kind of "real" current or voltage, such as the 120VAC power switching, just hit it with a small amount of D5 and leave it at that.  

The vaseline trick can work if you are wanting to try it, but I would only use that on low voltage, low current application as arcing on an AC line voltage power switch or the like can wreak havoc with vaseline impregneted contacts, might even catch fire.  

If you do go with the vaseline trick on a low voltage application, not a bad idea to hit its contacts with a spritz of D5 first anyway to clean off any slight corrosion that may or may not be there.  Then lightly lube with the vaseline.
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N0MKC
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 02:36:31 PM »

Another option I'd try would be to use what's called "dielectric grease" or "tuneup grease" from the auto parts store - it's used to keep spark plug boots from sticking to the porcelain (in addition to other uses).  It's a translucent silicone-based grease, looks a bit like Vaseline, but doesn't get as runny under high temps, and much less chance of arcing or catching fire.
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N8CMQ
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2009, 07:15:24 PM »

Silicone is an insulator, do not use it for contacts, Vaseline is better.
There is a switch lube available from GC that I use.
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