"I am careful with o-rings and do clean the groove thoroughly before
smearing them with silicone grease. Amel says that Vaseline will do.
Being petroleum based, I am not so sure. I certainly use silicone
grease on all my diving seals. I know it's safer when in contact with high
pressure air than grease. I would appreciate your thoughts on silicone
versus Vaseline on 0-rings"
I had no doubt that you would be meticulous about your work, I just
couldn't think of other reasons, so I threw it out there. In my aviation
mechanic training I was taught to use silicone grease (we actually
use a 3M product called DC4.) We use silicone in the aviation industry
because it tolerates higher temps without coking (turning to charred
material) like a petroleum distilate will (i.e vaseline). I don't think that
would be an an issue here. So silicone grease it is for me just out of habit.
"The latest failure had never been disturbed by me, being under the
curved end cap bracket that carries the hose connection."
Could it just have been calendar age? Where the o-rings 'checked'
(i.e. cracked) or did they appear to be stiff or in poor condition?
How many sodium metabisulfite (pickling solution) treatments?
(it is a strong oxidizer resulting in corrosion and attack on
"I doubt if my HP gauge is poorly calibrated else the flow rate would
be off the top of the sight tube."
Point well taken. Wish I had better answers. Those darn gremlins
just seem to like our watermakers.