PowerMax30 air leak
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Snellville GA
    Posts
    226

    PowerMax30 air leak

    My powermax 30 is leaking air from the bottom of the air filtration unit where the drain tube connects. At present this isn't effecting performance as far as I can tell. My online search found a replacement for the filtration unit for $180. I'm reluctant to replace the part when it doesn't seem to be causing a problem. I'm hoping for some guidance as I would rather replace the part than do serious damage.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    123

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    If you do replace it, get the original OEM part. Number is 228106 for around 105.00 bux.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,234

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Rich59,

    There is a float valve inside the coalescing filter unit inside the Powermax30. Because this unit is designed to separate water and drain it before it gets to the torch....expect the the bowl will eventually collect rust, oil, dirt, etc. You can disassemble the bowl from the filter/regulator unit and carefully dismantle it, clean it and reassemble. Many have done so with good results.

    Jim Colt Hypertherm


    Quote Originally Posted by Rich59 View Post
    My powermax 30 is leaking air from the bottom of the air filtration unit where the drain tube connects. At present this isn't effecting performance as far as I can tell. My online search found a replacement for the filtration unit for $180. I'm reluctant to replace the part when it doesn't seem to be causing a problem. I'm hoping for some guidance as I would rather replace the part than do serious damage.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    2,873

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    Rich59,

    There is a float valve inside the coalescing filter unit inside the Powermax30. Because this unit is designed to separate water and drain it before it gets to the torch....expect the the bowl will eventually collect rust, oil, dirt, etc. You can disassemble the bowl from the filter/regulator unit and carefully dismantle it, clean it and reassemble. Many have done so with good results.

    Jim Colt Hypertherm
    Just what I was thinking. Additionally, you might want to use this time to install a particulate pre-filter on the air entering the cutter. Your internal filter's auto-drain sacrificed itself by removing crud from the air stream that would have otherwise likely damaged things down stream. Sounds like your air supply isn't all that clean.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Snellville GA
    Posts
    226

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Thanks for the help. I'll try disassembling and cleaning. I already have a motor guard filter and a water separation filter on the compressor I'll check both and make sure they are working.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Snellville GA
    Posts
    226

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    I finally got the time to disassemble the filtration unit. I found that the bowl had several cracks a the bottom. They were about a 1/4 inch long and started at the connection to the brass fitting for the drain tube. I coated the exterior of the bowl with super glue in an attempt to fill the cracks but doubt this will work. The unit was made by Marsh Bellofram and has their part number on it. I'll give them a call on Monday and see if a replacement bowl is available.

    I was surprised to find the cracks as I have never run the air pressure anywhere near the max specified for the unit. Of course any number of other things may have caused the problem. I appreciate the advice from you guys and I'll let you know if a replacement bowl is available as that should be cheaper and easier than replacing the entire unit.

  7. #7

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Hey Rich
    I have had this exact same thing happen to bowl, cracks around the brass water outlet. I also regulate the air into the filter/regulator. Since this is the second time this has happened I started looking for other answers. I grabbed a water filter off the shelf and on the box it says some air compressor oils will harm polycarbonate. I never thought of that and wonder if the slight amount of oil that passes through the compressor to my powermax might be causing the filter bowl to weaken.

    Anyway, it appears that this part is proprietary from Marsh Bellofram. I dont want to pay $108 for a plastic bowl. Has anyone found a replacement bowl from another Marsh unit that will fit that they will sell to us? Or....thought about bypassing this filter/regulator and mounting an external one just behind the plasma. I would just need to test the output setting of the regulator. Looks like they set the pressure and removed the handle so its fixed. I can do that!

    Any other ideas would be appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,234

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    I had the same failure.....mine was due to water in the bowl that froze, cracking the polycarbonate. Another failure mode is overpressuring the inlet....which is rated at a maximum of 135 psi. Many compressors today cycle as high as 175 psi.

    Hypertherm buys these units in quantity, fully assembled....so there is no part number for separate components. It is a standard bowl from Marsh Bellofram....I tried searching for it and could not find a breakdown of the bowl itself. If anyone has it....please post the part number and where it can be bought, I'll be happy to pass it along.

    The part number for the regulator assembly for the Powermax30 is 228106, suggested list price is $104...this is the whole regulator, filter, bowl and auto drain. Can be ordered from any Hypertherm dealer.

    If you replace the filter/regulator with another...make sure it is set at exactly 65 psi....lower or higher will affect cut quality and consumable life.

    Jim Colt Hypertherm



    Quote Originally Posted by stanhastheplan View Post
    Hey Rich
    I have had this exact same thing happen to bowl, cracks around the brass water outlet. I also regulate the air into the filter/regulator. Since this is the second time this has happened I started looking for other answers. I grabbed a water filter off the shelf and on the box it says some air compressor oils will harm polycarbonate. I never thought of that and wonder if the slight amount of oil that passes through the compressor to my powermax might be causing the filter bowl to weaken.

    Anyway, it appears that this part is proprietary from Marsh Bellofram. I dont want to pay $108 for a plastic bowl. Has anyone found a replacement bowl from another Marsh unit that will fit that they will sell to us? Or....thought about bypassing this filter/regulator and mounting an external one just behind the plasma. I would just need to test the output setting of the regulator. Looks like they set the pressure and removed the handle so its fixed. I can do that!

    Any other ideas would be appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,234

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Update to my post. Even though I have worked for Hypertherm for 37 + years, I am often surprised at how valuable a good tech service department is. A call in to them from me asking if there was any chance of being able to get a replacement filter bowl for the internal regulator on a Powermax30....proved that my previous statement that you had to buy the whole regulator was incorrect.

    There is a kit that includes the replacement polycarbonate bowl and an O-ring is listed under Hypertherm part number 428246. Price is under $20. Comes with detailed instructions.
    Jim Colt Hypertherm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    2,873

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Quote Originally Posted by stanhastheplan View Post
    some air compressor oils will harm polycarbonate. I never thought of that and wonder if the slight amount of oil that passes through the compressor to my powermax might be causing the filter bowl to weaken.
    Possibly. Do you have a filter on your compressor outlet? That should be sufficient to stop the oil.

    Another possibility is stress cracking. Polycarbonate is shatter proof, but can still stress crack. Especially if the surface has chemical damage (the crazing creates stress risers).
    If you whack PC with a hammer, it'll bounce like rubber. I've bent scraps up and back dozens of times without any visible damage.
    But I've also been wearing frameless glasses with polycarbonate lenses for years, and my optician recently switched to a different shatterproof plastic because the PC formed cracks radiating from where the frame posts were pressed into holes drilled into the lenses over a few years.

    Stress cracking happens when you have a combination of chemical attack, and tensile stress.

    Jim, are you sure water froze in your bowl? Doesn't it auto-drain?
    Last edited by rlitman; 04-16-2015 at 12:52 PM.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    The auto drain is a float type mechanism. It allows the water to rise a bit, then drain. Yes, mine froze. It wasn't a Powermax30, rather it was a Powermax1000 but with a similar type of polycarbonate filter bowl.

    I must add.....oil in the plasma is by far the worst thing that can get in the torch, worse than water. If oil is found in the bowl then it is a good sign that you need to solve the oil problem before its gets to the plasma.

    Jim Colt Hypertherm


    Quote Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
    Possibly. Do you have a filter on your compressor outlet? That should be sufficient to stop the oil.

    Another possibility is stress cracking. Polycarbonate is shatter proof, but can still stress crack. Especially if the surface has chemical damage (the crazing creates stress risers).
    If you whack PC with a hammer, it'll bounce like rubber. I've bent scraps up and back dozens of times without any visible damage.
    But I've also been wearing frameless glasses with polycarbonate lenses for years, and my optician recently switched to a different shatterproof plastic because the PC formed cracks radiating from where the frame posts were pressed into holes drilled into the lenses over a few years.

    Jim, are you sure water froze in your bowl? Doesn't it auto-drain?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    29

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    When I got my Powermax45 (used), it was leaking from the outlet. Took it apart, and found a fragment of particulate that was preventing the auto-float from closing completely. Took it out (it's only held in the bowl by a circular clip), cleaned it out, and the leaking stopped.

    I am not familiar with Marsh units, but the factory regulator/filter on mine is an SMC AW20, for which parts are readily available. the only difference is that although the "stock number" of the unit is would indicate a standard 5 micron element, Hypertherm lists THEIR element at .83 micron, so I guess it's a custom element? The drain is swappable, but it would have to be a bowl sized for the auto-drain, as the it is a little longer than the bowls made for manual drain.

    Poly bowls eventually start cracking after a few years, especially since it's under pressure, and the pressure, when taken off, will suddenly collapse. Don't know about Marsh, but for SMC units, you can get all metal replacement bowls (again, just making sure it's sized for the auto drain), instead of the poly bowl with guard (metal).


    SMC doesn't offer a ".83" micron element, but does offer a .1 micron (which I think is WAY overkill).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    123

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    Update to my post. Even though I have worked for Hypertherm for 37 + years, I am often surprised at how valuable a good tech service department is. A call in to them from me asking if there was any chance of being able to get a replacement filter bowl for the internal regulator on a Powermax30....proved that my previous statement that you had to buy the whole regulator was incorrect.

    There is a kit that includes the replacement polycarbonate bowl and an O-ring is listed under Hypertherm part number 428246. Price is under $20. Comes with detailed instructions.
    Jim Colt Hypertherm
    Jim, what about the PM 45 and 65? Is there a replacement kit available?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    29

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    The kit for the pm45 is 228287. It includes the regulator/filter, gasket, and tube. It's 80ish from various sites. It lists just the reg/filter as 229150, but I haven't found a standalone price. You may be able to do it as a special order?

  15. #15

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Jim
    Thanks a bunch for your research!!!!! You made my day. Sometimes it's the simple things in life, like cheaper parts. Ha.

  16. #16

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    Update to my post. Even though I have worked for Hypertherm for 37 + years, I am often surprised at how valuable a good tech service department is. A call in to them from me asking if there was any chance of being able to get a replacement filter bowl for the internal regulator on a Powermax30....proved that my previous statement that you had to buy the whole regulator was incorrect.

    There is a kit that includes the replacement polycarbonate bowl and an O-ring is listed under Hypertherm part number 428246. Price is under $20. Comes with detailed instructions.
    Jim Colt Hypertherm
    Jim, where can I get part # 428246 ??

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,234

    Re: PowerMax30 air leak

    It is a Hypertherm part number, you can order it at any authorized Hypertherm dealer. Find them by going to www.hypertherm.com , click on where to buy.

    Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Grace View Post
    Jim, where can I get part # 428246 ??

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