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Old 10-08-2015, 07:47 AM   #1
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"O" Ring Kits. Are They Really Good To Have On Board?

I have read about these O Ring kits that carry an assortment. Do they really come in handy?
And if so what size range?
What measurement, standard or metric?
Also what type of O Ring material is best?
How long do they store and still stay flexible?
What brand of kit is the best?
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:40 AM   #2
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My boat has almost no orings in use- so I guess it depends on if components like heat exchangers or steer cylinder fittings use boss I ring or seal face fittings. I did match up the deck fitting oring seals several years ago at a hose supplier and keep spares...Click image for larger version

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1983 Present 42 Sundeck
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:53 AM   #3
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I have a selection of " O" rings that I keep in marked zip lock bags.
I have yet to find an O ring kit that had enough of the right size diameter and thickness rings in it.
When ever I replace a ring, I match it up and buy spares, and store them in marked zip locks for future use. I store the zip locks in a tupper ware container so they are easy to locate.

Bill
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:13 AM   #4
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An o-ring kit is going to include a lot of o-rings that you will never use. You are much better off buying spares for the o-rings you actually have on the boat. However, consider that many replacement parts that require o-rings (racor fuel filters, etc.) come with them, so there is no need to keep spare o-rings on hand for those items.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:38 AM   #5
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A few years ago I bought a kit from a hydraulics company supplier for $22. It has every likely size needed up to about 1 1/2". At a cost of about 15 cents per ring. Heck, I have paid more for a bottle of wine.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #6
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I bought both inch and metric "O" ring kits when I was still working, and that was 25 years ago. They are still good to use.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:20 PM   #7
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Funny this came up...
I checked my generator raw water strainer a couple weeks ago for blockage. I closed the intake valve and when I put the cap back on and opened the valve back up I didn't notice the small leak.
Of course I didn't close the intake valve upon leaving the bilge.
Fortunately, came back the next day to do a few things on the boat and noticed the bilge full of water! Great way to sink my boat!
All from a worn out o ring in the cap of the strainer!
Anyways, plan on buying a few o rings for the strainers.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancora View Post
I bought both inch and metric "O" ring kits when I was still working, and that was 25 years ago. They are still good to use.

What brand?
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:17 PM   #9
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The rationale behind buying O-ring kits is the convenience of always having the size you need ready to hand. I bought both imperial and metric o-ring assortments some years ago. Inexpensive at around $20.00 per box but there are two things to bear in mind here:

1. You get a great variety of hole sizes, but a very limited selection of filament diameters.

2. The contents of the metric and imperial boxes are identical, only the labels on the boxes differ! Sorry Ancora, my experience - YMMV.
I subsequently purchased imp and metric O-ring cord-splicing kits from Mc.Master Carr. Somewhat more expensive, but I can make any size and length o-ring I need. Restocking the used materials is easy - just order what you need. The o-ring adhesive is fancy super-glue, keep it in the refrigerator (not freezer) and it lasts for ever.

FWIW: Don't be afraid of McMaster Carr just because they are a big organization. I have found them to be helpful and friendly - you get real live humans when you telephone them. Also, they do not appear to mark up their freight rates.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:05 PM   #10
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Ditto on McMaster-Carr. My two Volvos use metric "O" rings for the raw water pump and coolant lines at two bucks a pop. I got 100 of them from McMaster-Carr for seven dollars. (I used up all the ones in the kit)
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:39 PM   #11
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Ditto on McMaster-Carr

Make these guys your Go-To for hardware. When I had my little garage biz I was buying from them twice a week...Thousands of dollars a year. VERY fair shipping and most anything you'll ever need (or think you'll need)
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:52 PM   #12
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McMaster shipping rates are the most reasonable ones of any internet business I have dealt with.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:09 PM   #13
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I HAD one of the cheap "red" O-ring kits on the boat. I have needed O-rings a couple of times and while the kit has had the right diameter both times, the o-ring thickness was always too thin. I think for normal needs, its best to have a few of the *correct* o-rings in whatever size required. If one truly has a lot of different o-rings on the boat then perhaps a high quality kit would help. But there are so many sizes of o-rings its really a crapshoot.

Ken
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:34 PM   #14
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I've got a kit that I got from Amazon. It has a pretty good range of sizes and I figure is cheap insurance for getting me out of a bind if needed. Of course it doesn't cover all possible sizes, but no tool solves all problems, so I see it as another part of the arsenal. I think the most obvious sizes that are missing are large o-rings for things like fuel filters, water filters, heat exchangers, etc., but I generally carry those specific spare parts anyway.

Oh, they are nitrile which is good for oils and fuel. Neoprene is not good for those things.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:14 PM   #15
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there are several different kits made. One is for standard American made components, one for standard American size fittings, one for European sizes and one for Japanese sizes. both the European and Japanese are metric but they are different cross sections and different ID and OD. make sure to get the right kit for the type of components you have on board. Any hydraulic shop can help you pick the right kit.
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