Knowing Which O-Ring Is the Correct One for Your Project

As a devoted DIYer, you love nothing more than figuring out how to repair a number of things in and around your home. From malfunctioning appliances to vehicle maintenance, you get a kick out of completing the work yourself and saving some money in the process.

While this is an admirable quality to have and one that deserves to be encouraged, you should also take the time to be sure you have the proper parts for each project, right down to the smallest of o-rings. Although you might be tempted to get some generic sizes made of a basic material, different projects and products call for different o-rings.

Let’s look at several household and/or vehicle repairs and upgrades, and which o-rings are best for each application.

Fuel Systems in Cars

DIYers who are adept at repairing their own cars may be able to tackle problems within the fuel handling system. If you discover there is an issue with the o-rings, you want to be sure you are ordering seals that can withstand high temperatures and low compression. For example, Viton fluorocarbon o-rings are the perfect choice for this automotive repair; they offer a high resistance to swelling when exposed to high octane and oxygenated fuel blends, and also offer great resistance to amine-based oil protectants that are found in modern transmission oils. They can also withstand temperatures ranging from -13 degrees to 446 degrees Fahrenheit.


In order for a vacuum to work properly, seals must be in place to prevent air from flowing into the device. As Pfeiffer Vacuum notes, o-rings are the most common seals found in vacuums, typically because of their ability to adapt to uneven surfaces. Materials that are good for vacuums include nitrile buna-N, fluorocarbon, ethylene propylene and silicone rubbers.

Air Conditioner

Your AC unit is also chock full of o-rings and other seals, each with its own job to do. For instance, they will help keep the engine free of dust and debris, and they are also found in the air cleaner. Since you clearly want your AC’s engine to be working as well as possible to help keep your home cool, it is vital to get the correct type of o-ring when doing repairs. For example, neoprene compounds are usually used in this industry as they can stand up to freon and other chemicals.

Keyboard Upgrade

For people who spend a lot of time on their computers typing or playing games, adding o-rings under the keys can make a world of difference. As notes, adding o-rings to the stems of keycaps will change the feel of each key, often improving the feel and the sound that each key makes. For this project, you want to focus more on the hardness level of the o-rings rather than the material; they can commonly range from 40A to 70A. Also, the thicker the o-ring, the softer the keys will feel when you are typing and the less vibration you will experience. You might need to buy a few different types and experiment to see which o-ring hardness and thickness you prefer when modifying your keyboard, but the end result can be well worth the time.

Embrace Your DIY Self

You should be commended for having the ability to fix and/or upgrade a number of items around your home. By taking the time to understand the different type of o-rings and seals and which types you need for each project, you will also earn praise for repairing your car, appliances and other items correctly, the first time.


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team