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SoutherlyBuster

Stuck Kite Bag Zippers

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Ever in that situation when the wind direction and strength is perfect, ready to pull out your kite on the beach only to be frustrated with a stuck kite bag zipper? Reading some other posts, this for certain makes is a re-occuring problem, blaming zipper quality. As will be explained, zipper quality is not at fault.  I faced the same problem with three of my kite bags. No amount of jiggling, cursing nore huffing & puffing would loosen that zipper. I tried WD40 which did not help. I tried brute force which did not help.

These zippers were recognised else where as quality zippers, YKK. There were no signs of corrosion. So I thought that it might just be salt crusting up the zipper, so I immersed the whole kite bag in warm fresh water, added a bit of sunlight soap, to disolve the salt both from the zipper and the kite bag as a whole. I then took a sewing needle and poked it inside the zipper head until it went right through the zipper head and out the other side (in the direction of zipper travel). Repeated this a couple of times, wriggled the zipper head some more and it finally released, only to reveal losts of crusted up salt. There was no sign of corrosion on the zipper head since it was made from stainless steel, no corrosion of the zipper teath since these are made from pastic.

It appears that the metal zipper head attracts the last bit of moisture left in the kite bag and the salt seems to wick to that location and as a consequence builds up there over time.

Lessons learnt; rinse out the kite bag every once in a while; don't do up the zipper all the way up, leave a centimeter free which makes it easier to unlock when cruded up.

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Had a similar problem with a gear bag.

Ended up using warm to hot water to break down the crud/salt.

Then after getting it working again, dried it off and used silicon lubricant spray.

Has been good for last 12 months or so.

Apparently WD40 can attract moisture and dirt.

I thought the WD part in the name was for Water Displacing?

I can understand the dirt being attracted because of the oil used in WD40.

Silcon lubricant supposedly doesnt attract water or dirt/dust.

 

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I have this trouble with sail bags that haven't been used in a while (or second hand sails) after being in super saline conditions at Lake Lefroy.

I soak the zipper closer in a saucer of vinegar for as long as I can and attach vice grip pliers to the zip closer body (not the tag/handle) and slowly work it free.

I haven't had one I couldn't get undone and the tightest was a total white frost before starting the process.  Lube up with silicon spray afterwards.

Edited by Chook

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Apparently WD40 can attract moisture and dirt.

I thought the WD part in the name was for Water Displacing?

I can understand the dirt being attracted because of the oil used in WD40.

Silcon lubricant supposedly doesnt attract water or dirt/dust.

 

I've been a locksmith for multiple years now and have always been taught the same about using WD40 in locks in that it will attract the crap you're cleaning out to come right back in... ok in a pinch but silicone is better. Also worth noting is not to use WD40 on plastic parts as it can eat or dissolve plastic. 

You're right though, WD is for Water Displacement: http://wd40.com/cool-stuff/history

I always consider WD40 to be to lubricants as Duct Tape is to adhesives... its cheap and every Redneck has some cuz it does the job when you need it.

Sorry for the boatload of useless information... so yea, zippers huh.

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Totally agree soliver.

DON"T use it on guns as well. I had the rib on an expensive shotgun that was willed to me come loose and the gunsmith said I had killed the solder joints with WD40. I didn't know that it dissolves solder over time.

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Totally agree soliver.

DON"T use it on guns as well. I had the rib on an expensive shotgun that was willed to me come loose and the gunsmith said I had killed the solder joints with WD40. I didn't know that it dissolves solder over time.

Holy cr@p! Never heard that one.

Thanks for sharing the info it could be a heartache saver.

I've been told lanolin spray is the go for firearms  - and garden tools.

Just thought I'd share that info too.

 

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