I have a couple of O-rings in my swimming pool's filter/pump system that are leaking a touch. This is a 4 year old system so things are getting worn and the O-rings are a bit cracked. This is the final year we're keeping this above ground pool and I'm trying to make it last the season.

Is there anything I could use to rejuvenate the O-rings or rig it up to avoid replacing them?

  • One sort of "last ditch" approach is to remove the ring, coat all surfaces with petroleum jelly, and use silicone caulk (preferably automotive stuff, not bathroom caulk) to seal the housing. One would, of course need to wait some time (maybe 24 hours) before applying pressure. But I wouldn't try this unless there's no other option.
    – Hot Licks
    May 25, 2015 at 12:11
  • Thanks all. I ended up just replacing the o-ring. I couldn't find a single so I had to buy a contractor pack. At least I have spares now. :P May 26, 2015 at 12:33
  • I recently watched a video somewhere about heating up olive oil (I assume 100 degrees or so) and dropping your o rings in there for 30 minutes. It might be worth a try next time!
    – Jacksonkr
    Jan 14 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


O-Rings are (or should be) cheap - if they are not, try to establish exactly what size they are and shop around; you should be able to find them for a pretty low cost, and replacing them is the right approach, even for "one more year."

While you can try to get a little more life out of them by greasing them up with a pretty stiff silicone grease (typically found as o-ring grease or vacuum grease) that will likely cost more than new o-rings if you don't already have a tube (it helps improve life if applied sparingly to new o-rings.) Since you mention that the o-rings are cracked, I should mention that you may find that they break completely at the cracks when you are handling them to apply grease and re-install them. If everything smiles upon you, you might manage to pack enough grease into the cracks to stop your leaks - but replacing them really is the better approach to try.

  • 1
    Yes, one should ONLY use silicone grease, or, in a pinch, petroleum jelly. Ordinary automotive grease will damage the rings. But if the rings are cracked they're probably beyond rescue.
    – Hot Licks
    May 25, 2015 at 0:20

As the previous answer states, you really should just replace the o-ring, unless it is particularly expensive or a challenge to obtain.

Assuming this is a case of "hard to find", and not just being cheap, I would suggest a different solution. For example, using plumber's teflon tape to improve the seal at whatever fitting is leaking.

  • I had actually considered this, but I expected the tape to not stay in place when I would slide the hose over the o-ring, so I didn't try this. May 26, 2015 at 12:37
  • If you wrap it properly around whatever threads are holding the joint together you'll be just fine. Teflon tape lubricates the threads enough that as it gets jammed into the threads, it doesn't get bound up and it will help seal the joint. May 27, 2015 at 17:43
  • The issue with that is that the threads don't seal the connection. It holds the connection together and prevents the hose from coming apart from the inlet/outlets on the pool. The O-ring is the only thing making a watertight seal. Still +1 as it may work on other pools. For a visual: amazon.com/Intex-Fittings-Includes-Strainer-Directional/dp/… May 27, 2015 at 19:16

Soak in warm Olive oil after cleaning

  • 5
    You could improve your answer by quoting a refetence or a link to it. Jan 27 at 7:31

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