[AMRadio] A WD-40 Story

Tom Chesek tchesek at epix.net
Tue Apr 23 16:41:12 EDT 2013

Aha, then what you are saying is that Crossbar became Fubar and nothing 


-----Original Message----- 
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:13 PM
To: AMradio
Subject: [AMRadio] A WD-40 Story

Some 30 years or more ago Homestead Air Force Base in Florida was hit by a 
major hurricane, and the telephone exchange there, a Crossbar type, was 
flooded.  Bell System folk from all over arrived to help recover the 
exchange, and they sprayed the Crossbar Switches down with WD-40, reasoning 
that since it was a Water Displacement product it would drive the water out 
of the magnet coils, and the mechanical switching levers and contacts of the 
Crossbar Switches.  It did and the exchange recovered and came back to 
life - for a few months.  Then as the WD-40 dried and congealed, the 
switching mechanism and contacts gummed up with the residual heavy 
hydrocarbons of the WD-40 and the exchange was destroyed.

And that's why I do not use WD-40 on electrical contacts.

Jim Hanlon, W8KGI, Bell Labs Electromechanical Switching Device Laboratory, 
1970 through 1989.

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