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My Olympus fe 3010 became flooded with salt water when the underwater housing failed. Olympus service won't even look at it. Is there a way to dismantle the camera and clean the contacts. At this point I have nothing to lose.

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Cleaning the contacts is only one part of the problem. Salt water is corrosive and it got into the moving parts and also coated the lens elements. Your camera is toast and that's why Olympus won't bother with it.....they would have to replace virtually every piece. With labor costs, it would cost you as much as three times what you paid for it.

Posted on Apr 11, 2011

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My olympus tough tg-310 got wet inside with salt water form the beach now it won't turn on please help.


There is very little that can be done, salt water will corrode metal on contact, all eletronic parts have been compromised, if the memory card is still intact save your pictures and remove it from the camera to transfer to new hardware. Replacing the camera unfortuneately is the only option.

Apr 02, 2012 | Olympus TOUGH TG-310 Digital Camera

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Olympus 1030 SW Camera leaked through both the battery door seal and the usb door seal. Did my best to clean it up and dry it out. Camera was finicky in at first. After a day everything work great...


I have the same camera and has the same problem. Mine flooded twice and when I followed the normal dry it out, clean the seals, charge the battery, etc, etc... I was left with a camera that didn't work at all after the second flooding. I returned it to Olympus where they had to replace the motherboard and seals. My dive buddy also has the same camera, dived deeper and has had no problems with his flooding or fowling. Olympus was very good about fixing the problem and returning the camera quickly. If you get fixed or end up buying another underwater camera, I would recommend after each use underwater, especially in saltwater, cleaning the seals and applying very sparing amount of silicon gel on the seals. The gel will help protect the seals and add to the tightness of the seal. But, don't let it cake up in the camera. I use the gel to protect o-rings on underwater video camera housing seals and have had no problems with leaking. You can get the gel at most SCUBA or hardware stores.

Oct 18, 2010 | Cameras

2 Answers

I have an Olympus SW-720 underwater digital camera. In the middle of snorkeling an error came on the screen said door is open. It wasn't, I checked for dirt, etc where I thought the sensors may b, nothing,...


Sorry for the delay.

The two most obvious causes for your fault are damage to the microswitch which senses when the cover is closed and water ingress into the camera. The first possibility is often caused by the second one as any moisture getting into the switch can cause corrosion, but it can also "just happen".

From your answer, the camera would appear to be around two years old; the waterproofing seals and packing distort and harden with age so must be replaced annually. I don't know whether the camera has been used in seawater or pool water, but after use the camera must be submerged in a bucket of fresh water for about ten minutes. This flushes out traces of salt or pool chlorine; salt water dries out to leave salt crystals which distort the seals and may even physically damage them, pool water contains chlorine (sometimes ozone) which chemically attacks the seals. Either way, a damaged seal allows some water into the camera and it only takes a minute amount to damage it. Some people (myself included) find that carrying a bucket of fresh water to the beach just isn't practical and so rinse the camera off under a tap (US=faucet) or beach shower. This is not a good idea and every underwater camera which I use for snorkelling specifically forbids it. Page 65 of your camera manual also warns against it. The problem is that the force of the water falling directly onto a seal is enough to overcome it. Underwater, the pressure is steady and the whole camera is experiencing the same forces, but a modest gravity flow from a tap or water bottle puts uneven pressures on the seal and can unseat it just enough to allow a little water inside. Although I do break the rules, I normally protect the camera by thoroughly wrapping it in a t-shirt or even by slipping it into my shorts/wetsuit so that there's no direct flow of water onto the camera surface.

The other possible cause of water ingress is if the camera cover was closed without checking for sand or debris on the aperture or if the camera has ever been dropped. I know it's a tough shock-resistant camera, but the seals don't always survive rough handling. If the camera door has been opened before the camera is fully dry or if it's done when you have wet hands then it's also possible for a drop of water to get inside, and that's all it takes for the switch or some other component to corrode. The problem is worse if the camera has been stored between wet use with the doors closed and the memory card and battery in place: this camera is best stored open and empty.

Unlike most modern compact cameras, yours is designed to allow regular servicing even if it's only to replace the seals. I recommend that you contact your nearest Olympus Service Centre for an estimate. They can only give you the price of the re-waterproofing work, but you can stipulate that they try to fix the door fault first as the rest of the job is pointless if that cannot be fixed or proves to be too expensive to repair.

For servicing and repair, click here if you're in the USA and here if you're in the UK or Ireland. If anywhere else, then click here instead and navigate to your local page.

If you decide not to go ahead with the repairs and maintenance, then as a specialist model your camera will still have some value if you sell it online as a "spares or repairs" model.

Sorry that there is no quick fix option in this case, but I hope that my reply has explained what has probably happened and why and that it helps you to avoid repeating any mistakes which you may have inadvertently made. There is a very good chance that your camera can be fixed by Olympus; the repairs are unlikely to be cheap, but they're still far cheaper than buying another camera with equivalent underwater performance. The current Olympus Tough range descended from models like yours but are not as well made which explains why you'll see very few 720SW and 1030SW's on sites like eBay in any condition. Those which do appear sell very quickly and for good money, even when broken.

If you have any further questions about what I've written or if you think I've missed something, then please let me know via a comment. Otherwise, please take a moment to rate my answer.


Mar 18, 2010 | Olympus Stylus 720 SW Digital Camera

1 Answer

Having Trouble with my Olympus FE-3010


My Olympus FE-3010 camera has just done exactly the same thing and it's also 4 months old. I don't know what to do either.

Sep 18, 2009 | Cameras

1 Answer

My camera is dead as it dropped at seaside.


Probably not.  Salt water and electronics are a terrible combination.  Salt water is an excellent conductor, but, worse, in the process, it is also highly corrosive to copper, so, you get the worst of dead shorts and accelerated destruction to traces.
Most electronics that hit salt water are unrecoverable, unfortunately. (I'm a SCUBA instructor and have not yet flooded a camera, but, I have replaced a number of underwater lights over the years for similar issues).
Electricity+Salt water == Hydrogen, Chlorine, Sodium, and Oxygen.  The electrolysis reaction will tend to remove copper from anodes (things connected to the + side of the batteries) and deposit it on the cathodes (things connected to the - side of the batteries), which is very bad for the electronics.  It will also make hydrogen and chlorine gasses.

Mar 16, 2009 | Opteka (OP-T32X-C5050KT) for Olympus...

1 Answer

White screen with black stripes, black spot


Sounds as if the camera would need to be sent to Olympus for service. You may want to call their Customer Service to discuss repair options and pricing. Their telephone number is 800-622-6372 option 2 and then option 3.

Oct 25, 2008 | Olympus FE-220 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Camera stopped operating


Well I know what the review says about underwater to five meters http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Olympus-Mju-725SW

but I would take it with a pinch of salt frankly.
You could get onto Olympus and tell them you know- 'You said I could take it under water - now it wont work' - They may replace it

Jul 12, 2008 | Olympus Mju 725 SW Digital Camera

1 Answer

Lens cover wont move


You probably didn't wash the camera after using it underwater specially in salt water. The salt will dry inside the lens and may cause this problem. Try soaking the camera for a while - wash it according to the manual's instructions. Hopefully soaking it will clear the deposits and clear the lens. Good Luck.

Mar 01, 2007 | Olympus Stylus 720 SW Digital Camera

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