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I'm repairing a Samsung front-load washing machine and had to take the tub apart. The tub consists of two halves which are joined by a number of bolts and a thin (approximately 1/4) seal which appears to be made of EPDM (based on the label).

I'm installing a new seal and it appears there was no lubricant/grease used originally, and it's not mentioned anywhere in repair guides. However, I was taught that a gasket/seal isn't watertight without lubricant, and this being the most likely location for a leak I'm weighing the risk of applying a thin coat of silicone grease to the new seal.

Would that be a mistake as it's not to the manufacturer's spec? And would there be a risk of it causing problems now or in the future?

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Overall I don't think the grease would hurt but may have made the repair more challenging; greasing the seal likely would have improved the watertightness, but also may have made it more difficult to install correctly (the seal needed to sit in a groove and be slightly stretched). It also would have added a slight chance of grease getting onto the clothes. Considering that the original seal was ungreased and still watertight after 8 years I decided the risk wasn't worth it.

PS) In case anyone else is doing this repair... After bolting the drum together I was extremely alarmed that the two halves didn't seat together cleanly. The seam was tight at the bolts, but in between the bolts there were gaps of more than 1/16th of an inch--O was sure I'd pinched the seal and almost took it back apart. Thankfully I found a few high res photos and videos and it appeared this is normal.

So, if possible, take photos of this seam before disassembling it. Also, be sure to clean the channel this seam sits in very well.

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