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Pinhole in the ultrasonic tank


#1

My elderly ultrasonic has sprung a pinhole leak in its stainless
steel tank. I have a mind to try hard soldering it shut. Given the
stress to which the metal is subjected I doubt such a solder seal
would last a real long time, but still, it might be a stopgap (in the
best sense of the word). Has anyone ever tried this, and with what
results?

Cheers
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada


#2
My elderly ultrasonic has sprung a pinhole leak in its stainless
steel tank. I have a mind to try hard soldering it shut. Given the
stress to which the metal is subjected I doubt such a solder seal
would last a real long time, but still, it might be a stopgap (in
the best sense of the word). Has anyone ever tried this, and with
what results? 

We have tried just about everything to repair holes in ultrasonic
tanks without much lasting success. The only thing that has worked
for a while is the epoxy (heat cure) we use to adhear the
transducers to the underside of the ultrasonic tank.

John
The Jewelry Equipment Dr.


#3

Hans, my first thought would be to seal it using silcone caulk. If
the surface is clean, it will stick to just about anything and the
fact that it is flexible should eliminate the problems caused by the
vibration of the tank. You should be able to do the reair without
taking the unit apart. I have never done this but I would think that
it would work.

Good luck,
Tim


#4

Lasttime this happened we just glued a small piece of copper over
the hole using epoxy. The machine carried on working for ages.

Tony Konrath


#5

Good Morning Hans:

It is time to send your old ultrasonic to the old ultrasonic home.

There is no cure for a pinholed tank. The ultrasonic will attack any
"cure" and the hole will just reappear probably larger than before.
My best advice to you is to buy a new ultrasonic and make the old one
a planter or a presoak tank if the hole in the tank is not too big.

Best regards

Mike & Dale
Lone Star Technical Service.
Your ultrasonic cleaner repair guys.
San Antonio, TX


#6

Hey Hans,

My Ultrasonic has a drain valve and the bulkhead was mig welded on.

Christian


#7

Hi John;

My elderly ultrasonic has sprung a pinhole leak in its stainless
steel tank. I have a mind to try hard soldering it shut. 

I"m sure if you could use a laser to fill the hole using stainless
steel filler wire. Even a pulse welder might work. I’ve pulse welded
stainless steel high school class rings, sizing them up with
stainless cut from the handles of old stainless steel flatware and
the welds look great (can’t forge them though, they are a bit
brittle)… If you clean up the pit a bit with a small round bur, I’d
bet a pulse welder would work, as long as you have the sheilding gas
on. If that doesn’t work, you could do a temporary fix using JB Weld
2 part epoxy, that stuff is wicked strong and sticks like hell to
just about anything. Soft solder is probably not going to stick to
stainless, unless there’s a special low temp solder designed for
stainless (which I actually think I remember seeing somewhere).

David L. Huffman


#8

I’ve never been able to fix a steam cleaner, no matter what was
wrong with it. I just buy a new one.

Just FYI, if you don’t pony up for one that heats and instead heat
yours by running it all day, you’ll eat pinholes in the tank. Also
if you don’t clean it (replace the water and soap and rinse the
inside) every so often, holes will develop in the tank from the
little particles of abrasives sandblasting the bottom and sides.


#9

Hey,

Have do a couple of these. Just drill the hole a little bigger. Get a
small nut and bolt like a machine screw use a flat piece of rubber
both sides as a washer with a small amount of high temp silicone.
Tighten it up with locktight. Put the nut on outside of tank. You
are done!

Chip Stone
Stonecraft jewelers


#10

Has anyone tried Tig welding the hole shut? Tig is very fast and does
not put in as much heat to the rest of the material as other types of
welding. If well Tig’d I would think that the metal welded into the
hole would just “become” part of the tank but the weld area would
have to be very clean and the correct alloy would be needed.

John Dach


#11

Has anyone tried a PUK welder? They seem to do a fine job welding
stainless. One of my ultrasonics tanks has eroded in a small area
over the top of where the transducer is attached, it’s not through
yet but looks like it is getting close. Currently it is living a
semi retired life, handling the over flow work from from its younger
but less attractive coworker.

David Lee
Mason City, IA


#12

You might be able to do a cold welding fix with epoxy first and them
two washers and a nut and bolt screwed very tightly together. It
just depends where the hole is. My Dad used to fix cracks in cast
iron machine pieces with cold welding (no epoxy ).


#13

Some stainless alloys are susceptible to ammonia. Also having
something sit at the bottom of the tank will abrade through


#14

I certainly could laser a small hole in the stainless steel tank.

As for soft solder, there is a product, Stay-Brite “silver solder
kit” that comes with a flux that is supposed to work well on
stainless steel. I use this product to do repairs on pewter type
metals with the laser, and not generally do any soft soldering with
it, but as I recall it was effective on stainless the last time I
did anything like that.

Laser welding the hole in stainless would be a more permanent repair


#15
My elderly ultrasonic has sprung a pinhole leak in its stainless
steel tank. I have a mind to try hard soldering it shut. 

If it has a pinhole I’d bet that there are others almost through.
Shopping time.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#16

All,

Recently the repair of ultrasonic tanks was discussed on the forum.
In the interest of science, we opted to experiment with the repair
of one of our tanks that had a spot eroded nearly through. It is
directly above the transducer. We used our puk to add some material
back to the thin spot. In retrospect, applying a patch over the
whole area and then welding the perimeter of the patch would have
been faster. We’ll let you know how it holds up in use.

It really wasn’t a money saving venture though- it took much too
long, during which time I was not, of course, being productive on
paying jobs.

http://www.ganoksin.com/P4280008.jpg
http://www.ganoksin.com/P4280006.jpg

David Lee
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa 50401
davidleejeweler.com