[AMRadio] WD-40 Experience

Eric Nelson wb2cau at gmail.com
Thu Dec 12 16:05:14 EST 2013

I've used WD-40 off and on in pots for more than 40 years without the
negative experience you've had.  Perhaps the main difference is in the
method I've used.

After spraying the contact area inside the pot and working the control a
few times, I follow up with about 10 to 15 seconds of compressed air as I'm
working the control.  This blasts away most of the residue along with any
of the contamination that created the noise problem in the beginning.  The
control then has an extended life at least as long as if the control had
been replaced.

Sent from my desktop PC



On Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 12:58 PM, JAMES HANLON <knjhanlon at msn.com> wrote:

> This is a true story about the use of WD-40.  Folks who are using it to
> clean pots and switches are invited to take it for what it is worth.
> At one time I worked for Bell Labs.  Back a good many years there was a
> hurricane in Florida which drowned the telephone exchange at the Homestead
> Air Force Base.  Bell System folks from all over the country converged to
> help dry out and restore the exchange, an electromechanical "crossbar"
> type.  My Laboratory was responsible for "Electromechanical Switching
> Equipment" including the relays and crossbar switches in the exchange, so
> we had an engineer there with the crew.  The folks decided to spray the
> crossbar switches with WD-40.  It did indeed displace the water and restore
> the switches to operating condition, as the "WD" implies.  But several
> months later as the more volatile components of the WD-40 evaporated and
> the less volatile components remained behind, the switch mechanisms started
> to gum up and the switch contacts went high resistance to open circuit.
>  Finally the entire exchange had to be scrapped out and replaced.
> Because of this experience, I do not use WD-40 to "clean" any switch
> contacts or potentiometers in my radio equipment.
> Jim Hanlon, W8KGI
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