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Old 05-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default extending the life of a newly opened tube of 3M 4200/5200 Sealant

The other day I was in need of some 3M 4200/5200 to seal up a bezel for a thru hull bait well pump and thought the tube was brand new. Being down at the marina miles from the nearest marine supply I was in a pinch because the tube was actually re-sealed at some point on another fix for the boat in the past.
The opening was jammed with dried product even after I attempted to swab out old product with a threaded deck screw. Instead of rupturing the container with force or slicing it open and discarding after getting to a portion not affected by air I decided to simply use a razor blade and cleanly section the tube just behind the dried portion of the sealant and with a blue disposable glove dig out what I needed to seal the bezel and simply allow this last portion to harden up and repeat in the future rather than dropping 12 bucks on another fresh tube – "if " it works.

Does not hurt to try it would only be heading to the landfill as we speak.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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It helps to store it in the fridge.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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Tape the end of the tube with two pieces of duct tape, each wrapped over the tip and folded flat then put in the fridge. Won't last forever but if it's an airtight wrap it will go a month or two.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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I put a screw into the tip, add a few wraps of blue tape, and throw it in the fridge. The bulk of it lasts for years, but there may be some gunking up around the screw.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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Default This is a frustrating problem

most of us DIY folks have experienced, but the posts relative to putting 5200 in the fridge cause me to wonder if anyone has ever tried vacuum packing 5200, then in the fridge. I don't own a vacuum packer, but it may just be another reason to eventually own one.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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I simply use a screw, #10. But then, I use a lot of it...
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:37 AM   #7
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The only thing i have had success with is cutting the tube open the next time I want to use it. Then tossing it.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:53 AM   #8
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I just used a previously opened tube of 5200 last weekend that was at least a year old. The last time used it I just put the cap back on, put it in a plastic sandwich bag and put it in the freezer. The top 1/8 inch was cured and I had to cut it out but the rest was fine.

So X5 on the fridge/freezer suggestion.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to use the stuff without getting it all over me.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegulfer View Post

Now all I have to do is figure out how to use the stuff without getting it all over me.
X2

Hell the jeans I have on have a white thumb print on them
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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I always keep a small can of Acetone nearby.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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Putting it in the freezer will keep it longer than the fridge.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:07 AM   #12
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I have used a tube for a year or more. When it hardens over I take a drill and open it back up. Done it 3 or 4 times to the same tube and it works fine.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:36 PM   #13
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Screw a wire nut over tip, then a couple wraps of electrical tape.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #14
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I use a finishing nail + wire nut + garage frig.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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Screw in the end and freezer will keep for months and ready for use on projects within minutes after running under hot water.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #16
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For starters, STOP USING 5200 on your boat! 4200 does the same thing though and I keep it in the fridge.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #17
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I have vacuum sealed an opened tube of 4200; I opened it about six months later, and it worked fine. I think I'll vacuum seal the next tube and then store it in the bait freezer.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bills106 View Post
Tape the end of the tube with two pieces of duct tape, each wrapped over the tip and folded flat then put in the fridge. Won't last forever but if it's an airtight wrap it will go a month or two.
X2 on tape. 5200 lasts much longer than 5200 fast. I only buy the FAST for larger projects.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:08 PM   #19
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The longer/better you keep moisture from the contents, the longer it will be usuable.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:58 AM   #20
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In a perfect world I'm sure we'd all use slow 5200 or 4200.. Unfortunately it's not and a lot of times we're doing something today to be on the water this weekend and 5200 fast is the only option.
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