Follow the steps below for our recommended cleaning process as well as tips on keeping connectors clean.
Recommended Cleaning Procedure
- Blow off any loose soil or dirt using dry compressed air.
- Use an ultrasound washer with distilled water. Pictured above is a Branson 5510, but you can use a similar ultrasound washer.
- Lower the connector to be cleaned into the distilled water up to the top of the lock ring (see picture above). Only submerge the connector to the top of the lock ring, indicated by the arrow in the picture.
- Run the ultrasound washer for 10 minutes.
- Dispose of the used water and fill with clean distilled water for the final rinse, 5 more minutes.
- Blow dry using dry compressed air. Start blowing from behind the connector under the lock ring to get most of the water out of the connector. Then, blow into the connector using circular motion. Finally, blow into each pin or jack. Make sure not to drive water into the connector with the compressed air.
- Rinse the connectors in 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) shake off and blow dry with more compressed air.
- Place the cable with connectors in a clean, dry room and dry them using a heat fan blowing warm air over the connectors overnight. Be sure that dust or other contaminants cannot enter the connectors. Cover them with a lint-free cloth or other suitable protection.
NOTE: Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable and should be kept away from heat and open flame.
Additional Information & Tips:
When using the SuperSting™ R1 and R8 automatic electrode system, contaminated connectors, in the electrode cable, may cause problems. If the connectors have been contaminated it will show in two ways:
- Visible corrosion of the pins in the connector.
- Bad data. Especially if connectors get heated up by the sun—making the contamination even more conductive and producing even more erroneous data.
Use Dust Caps
In order to avoid “bad data” caused by dirty connectors make sure to always keep a dust cap firmly on the connector when it is not connected. Even if the connector is just going to be disconnected for a short while, make sure that the dust cap is put on the connector.
Keep Connectors Dry
Though our cables are weather-resistant, you should still try to keep connectors dry as well as clean. During a survey, some of the connector's pins may carry a voltage of up to 400 volts. At the same time, measurement signals may be a few millivolts on some of the other pins in the connector. If there is any moisture inside the connector, electrolysis will occur which will severely—and permanently—corrode the pins in the connector which will then need to be sent in for replacement.
In the field, some clients have been successful by "quick washing" the connector with distilled water and then blowing it dry with clean, canned, compressed air (typically found in any office supply store).