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Water torch maintenance


#1

I asked this about a week ago in the ‘getting the best out of a
water torch’ thread, but apparently no one saw it. So I’ll ask again.

My ancient L&R Aqua Torch 2800 needs new electrolyte. I haven’t used
it much until recently, so I haven’t done any maintenance on it since
I got it other than to refill the flux canister. The fill opening is
directly in the center on top, and the machine weighs about 60
pounds so I can’t move it easily.

What’s the best/safest way to get the old electrolyte OUT?

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com
http://www.fgemz.com


#2

I may be not the best person to comment on this but this is what I
did.

I put lots of paper on all surfaces that I was going to use. Removed
the outer case after making sure that it was not still plugged in to
the power outlet. You may have to unplug the fan.

Next put on lots of safety gear, extra long gloves, face mask and
goggles.

Removed screws holding the sight tube and removed the top connection
of the sight tube from the cell.

Filled a bucket with some water and placed it below the edge of the
machine, then lowered the open end of the sight tube in to the bucket
and let the contents drain out. I thought that putting water in to
the bucket first would mean that from the start the contents were
being diluted.

I then flushed the cell 3 or 4 times with clean water and then
replaced all the sight and pressure tubes.

Before refilling I checked that all joints were sound and did not
look like they would leak.

I then mixed the KOH (Potassium Hydroxide) with the correct amount
of water and filled up very carefully.

Gave the machine a good wipe down with lots of water to remove any
traces of spills if any were made. You could use vinegar to
neutralize the alkaline but don’t know how much you should use.
Turned
it on and checked for gas leaks. Then left it running with the torch
turned off and make sure that it did not regas for a few minutes.
Any leaks and the machine will keep switching on to maintain
pressure.

Not sure if you need to open up the cell and what you would clean if
you did.


#3

Dear Ms. Johnson:

We make a different, more advanced hydrogen/oxygen generator, called
the Spirflame[tm]. However, we (I) have quite a lot of experience
with a considerable number of different water welders units which are
no longer produced. Sort of a hobby for me over the years. In regard
to your specific question: What’s the best/safest way to get the old
electrolyte OUT? Under no circumstances should the L&R unit be tilted
to remove the caustic electrolyte. It must be pumped out, with a pump
which can withstand the caustic electrolyte. Rubber gloves and paper
towels, then carefully discarded are also required. If you do not
have this pump, one which will meet the need can be provided. If the
manufacturer no longer has this part (pump), I can supply an
alternative to meet your needs. The unit will need to rinsed out with
distilled water before adding new electrolyte. Please feel free to
call me directly, at 800 499 9933. I would be happy to walk you
through the process if L&R no longer provides support for this unit.

Best Regards,
Gary
Gary W. Miller, Sr. Technical Advisor
800 499 9933 or 203 378 5216
www.spirig.org


#4

Kathy,

What's the best/safest way to get the old electrolyte OUT? 

I don’t really know what it looks like, but when I want to remove
liquids from vessels at work without moving them I siphon it out.
I’m a chemist, so as a matter of principal nothing goes anywhere near
my mouth at work, and to avoid this I simply pre-fill the siphon
hose. Place a waste container next to, and with the bottom lower than
the bottom of the container to be emptied. Get a hose that will reach
to the bottom of both containers and fill it with water. Plug one end
with a finger or thumb, put the other end down to the bottom of the
liquid to be emptied, lower the plugged end to the bottom of the
waste container and remove the finger-plug. It should begin siphon
action immediately. If the electrolyte is dangerous or irritating
wear gloves. Water will work even if the liquid being siphoned is
not miscible, such as gasoline, but it will likely contaminate the
container with some water.