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Old 17-06-2024, 14:32   #1
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Is OIL “dielectric”?

Installing new plug and deck socket on my Raymarine ST1000 autopilot.

As you can see in the attached pic, the old plug got corrosion on the pins.

New one is installed.

Should I put some type of oil or light grease on the pins (and into the holes in the female fitting?) Will oil prevent future rust on pins? Will it allow 12v electricity thru?
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Old 17-06-2024, 15:01   #2
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

Use silicone grease.
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Old 17-06-2024, 17:15   #3
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

Silicone grease, Dielectric Grease, and plumber's grease are all the same thing, and is the correct grease to use.
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Old 17-06-2024, 18:04   #4
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

Use a silicone dielectric grease like Dow Corning DC4 or similar.

While the grease itself does not conduct, it is a 'low pressure' grease which means it is displaced easily when the metal contacts mate. The surrounding grease then keeps the air and moisture away for the metal to metal contacts.
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Old 18-06-2024, 03:16   #5
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

Quote:
Originally Posted by massnspace View Post
Should I put some type of oil or light grease on the pins (and into the holes in the female fitting?)
No
Quote:
Will oil prevent future rust on pins?
Not very well.
Quote:
Will it allow 12v electricity thru?
Yes

Ideally use se a quality dielectric grease which is anti- corrosive, alternatively a quality anti-corrosion spray like CRC or lanalon.
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Old 18-06-2024, 05:21   #6
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

Many of the retail auto parts shops will have this as a small 1-2$ US package at the checkout, like those used for fast food ketchup and mustard. Keep the opened pouch inside a resealable plastic bag for another few uses.


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Old 18-06-2024, 09:32   #7
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

In reality, anything will work, and might help a little.

I like to use vaseline. It's non-staining/non-messy, usually at hand, and helps somewhat. Contact grease is available that has antioxidant ingredients and that is essentially the same as the antioxidant grease sold at home centers for use with aluminum wiring. It's probably better and I do occasionally use it.

Conductive grease is available but has to be used with caution since it may cause a short. I would not ordinarily use it on a connector, maybe on a relay or switch.


The only advantage of silicone grease is that it won't cause oil-sensitive rubber to deteriorate. I don't like to have silicone grease around the boat because of its effect on wood finish when even slight amounts contaminate a surface.
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Old 18-06-2024, 21:50   #8
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Re: Is OIL “dielectric”?

I agree anything will work, but silicone grease certainly works best. That is why it is sold specifically for this purpose, but other greases are not. Vaseline melts at low temperature (100F/38C) and won't last as long. "Conductive" grease has metal powder in it, but because it is suspended in an insulating grease(silicone?), doesn't help conductivity at all. The metal does lower the breakdown voltage, so arcing through a conductive grease is more likely than with silicone grease. I guess you can evaluate your application to know if that is good or bad, but mostly I think that is bad.
We don't have aluminum wiring on boats, so the special grease for that isn't needed. Plain petroleum greases work, but react with some plastics and rubbers. But with modern materials is probably fine.

Despite all those pros and cons, anything is better than nothing. I doubt you would actually experience any problems with any grease. I also use silicone grease for lubricating the pump and seals in my head toilet, o-rings in pluming fixtures when they begin to leak and it also works as an emergency fix if portlight or hatch gaskets begin to leak at an in opportune time. It's really good stuff to have on board. Just be careful not to get it where you don't want it.
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