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Is Flooding an Issue?

Discussion in 'Nautilus Lifeline' started by MrChen, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. MrChen

    MrChen Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuart, Florida
    Has anyone had issues with their unit flooding? I just bought and didn't purchase the accidental insurance since I barely had the budget to purchase the device. I do recall one of my instructors complaining that his flooded on a dive and NL said it was his fault. He was a little turned off by this because he had it securely closed and wasn't sure how he could not close it properly. (other than that, he spoke highly of what the product does)

    So how would a user not close it properly, causing it to flood?
    In flooding scenarios, what was the main issue, did it need a new o-ring?
    How often should o-rings be replaced, how do you know it needs to be replaced?
    Other than flooding, what are other issues with water damage which could result in a denied warranty claim? I do understand the USB port cover needs to on.
    How "splash" resistant is the device? If i'm in 4-6 ft seas and get nailed by the occasional 8 or 9, is my device going to fail me when I need it most?

    I'm really worried about it flooding, why else would there be additional insurance you can purchase? It tells me that it happens often.

    Thanks for any feedback or recommendations on the use and protection of my new NLL.
  2. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    Mine has not flooded in about 100 dives. I use the instructions for cleaning / lubing / placing a camera case' oring.
  3. MrChen

    MrChen Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuart, Florida
    Thanks for the feedback. I got it charged and registered with the MMSI number. I'll review the maintenance instructions again and make sure I'm following the guidelines.

    Have you had to use yours yet? Do you ever test it with the capt?

    SCUBABUNNIE Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Singapore, Singapore
    Mine flooded after less than a 100 dives .... I'm waiting to hear what NL say but I'm not hopeful. What is scary is that I have the special pocket. I know it was ok a couple of days ago when I set up my gear, now its totally flooded. All the people I was diving with .. who have had 1000's of dives were totally shocked. They didn't think it was possible.
  5. MrChen

    MrChen Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuart, Florida
    That really sucks. The seal doesn't enforce very much confidence. It doesn't seem to really apply any pressure when closing, but then it didn't flood. I always get worried when you purchase a product and they offer insurance. If a product is reliable, then why do we need insurance? It's not like you can close the lid incorrectly. Anyways, if I get 100 dives out of it, then I guess I would have gotten my moneys worth out of it at $3 a dive.

    Any idea how often the rubber seals should be replaced?
  6. Bali-Freak

    Bali-Freak Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Japan
    We've just had a unit flood. We bought it in April but didn't start using it until last month. I guess it's done around 50-75 dives. On the day it flooded the latch wasn't opened at all because the radio wasn't used that day. Indeed our DM told me he's only ever opened the latch once (to test the radio function). I'm pretty sure the latch couldn't have opened accidentally because our DMs carries it in a neoprene pouch that we had purpose-made.

    The manual says this about o-ring care:

    "To lengthen the life of your unit and prevent accidental flooding, keep the O-rings clean of dirt, hair, and debris.
    WARNING: Any dirt or contamination on the O-ring may result in damage or permanent failure of your Nautilus LifeLine."

    And the warranty mentions this:

    "Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, this warranty does not cover physical misuse or abuse of your unit, including tampering by unauthorized persons or repair facilities, flooding as a result of customer misuse/neglect or improper care and maintenance, damage or flooding if the unit is submerged without the lid being properly latched or if the O-ring is not clean and clear of contamination."

    As far as I'm aware we did maintain good o-ring care (it's still in pristine condition) and I trust my guys to close the housing properly. After the flood we checked that the cap for the USB port was attached correctly.

    We also noticed on several units (we have 8 in total) that when the latch is fully in the 'closed' position there is a small gap. This gap only disappears when the latch is held partly in the 'open' position. You can see it on this video: Mind The Gap - YouTube. I've no idea if this is within acceptable manufacturing tolerance level or if it could cause flooding or not.

    I didn't take out the 2 Year Extended Warranty which covers accidental flooding because there is a big issue getting these units into Indonesia (they have a GPS component so fall under a military import regulation). I don't want to send these units to Canada and have all the hassle (and expense) of them being stuck in customs when they're sent back to us after repair or replacement.

    The purpose of this post is not to point fingers (only God now knows whether there was a hair or piece of dirt trapped in the o-ring that day). Rather it's to try to get to the bottom of this issue. Having being closely involved in the search for the missing 7 Japanese divers on Bali earlier this year I'm a great fan of this device, but have to admit I've heard many reports of unexplained flooding. I'd like to find out what the issue is before my other 7 units flood. I'll follow this thread and I'll aslo report any info I get back from the guys at Nautilus.
  7. Herb-alaska

    Herb-alaska Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Alaska
    On a camera o-ring it is best to store the housing open so that the o-ring is not compressed causing premature wear of the o-ring. It is possible i would think that my storing the lid closed that you could be wearing out the o-ring. I would think that you would want to clean it store it with the lid loose and then inspect, lube it and then close the lid prior to the dive. I do not have one but i would think that the o-ring principle would be similar
  8. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Yes Yes Yes. Mine flooded within 15 dives. Could be my fault not really sure. Nevertheless floods have been reported
  9. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I am very careful how I store mine. Once it is dry, it is stored in a plastic zip-lock bag with the lid opened, and the antenna relaxed. Before re-closing the lid to go diving it is carefully inspected for dirt or debris. So far it has gone on at least 150 dives and not failed.

    As most know the running joke with cameras is "It is not IF it will flood, but WHEN it will flood".
  10. mathauck0814

    mathauck0814 Assistant Instructor

    If it goes into the water enough, eventually it's going to break and you're going to have to repair or replace it. No exceptions.

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