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Thread: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

  1. #1
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    Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    I was attempting to repair an AR500 target from my range..
    everything was going great for the first 10 seconds.... then I smell rubber burning... lift the hood and the line is smoking... WTF.

    torch is very warm but not hot.... good thing I stopped quick.

    the only other thing was my ground clamp was on the table instead of the work piece...
    but I saw where the piece fused itself to the table.... so it did have good ground... and welded ok until disaster...

    I turned the cooler back on with the broken line and no water.....

    So I guess my cooler pump has done sh*t the bed...

    I have had problems and hatred with this piece of shi+T HTP cooler in the past...


    time to put together a cooler with my procon pump.... I guess...
    'obviously need new torch lines....

    was going great until it wasn't ..

    BTW,
    the other welds are not mine.... I'm just welding the mount back on and fixing the swingers...

    so they can blow it up again...


    any thoughts?

    Had to be the cooler crapped out and lack of water....

    I had the machine cranked to get a good puddle on this 3/8" AR

    I need a beer.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Took the lines off
    disconnected the cooler... dumped out the liquid...
    smells of burned rubber hose....

    the cooler was working but most likely not up to proper pressure.

    this reminds me of the other HTP cooler thread where the htp cooler was down on PSI
    after various measurments...

    Oscar felt the superflex lines played a part....

    I personally think its this pump.

    maybe...

    I've welded aluminum with this machine balls to the wall and the pump did fine....

    today, DC killed the pump
    Last edited by John T; 05-03-2021 at 03:26 PM.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....


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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    I have an old Miller 1 Coolmate with a clear plastic tube in the front to show the flow of liquid. When I got my first SuperFlex torch I was concerned by the Tiny Dribble it suddenly was down to (no more stream, with the SF it was down to just a trickle). I called CK and asked them what was going on because I was afraid to use it with such low flow. I forget the specific amount that was called for, but it wasn't much (like a Lg soda cup/min). Apparently, the passages are smaller in both the head and in the power wire so it takes very little coolant normally (look at the Gauge of wire in that power hose, it amazes me it can handle the amperage, even though it's immersed in liquid).

    I've been using it that way for years now at 250A welding a lot of 1/4" Aluminum...

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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    What is all the electronic stuff... NOT needed. This reminds me of snowplows needing an ecu and circuit boards to run simple hydraulics and solenoids.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by TJS View Post
    What is all the electronic stuff... NOT needed. This reminds me of snowplows needing an ecu and circuit boards to run simple hydraulics and solenoids.
    The motor is 110/220 so the circuit board/ wiring is probably that.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    When I got my first SuperFlex torch I was concerned by the Tiny Dribble it suddenly was down to (no more stream, with the SF it was down to just a trickle). I called CK and asked them what was going on because I was afraid to use it with such low flow. I forget the specific amount that was called for, but it wasn't much (like a Lg soda cup/min)...
    I will never use SF lines again.
    Not saying that was the problem
    But I donít like the reduction
    Flex or not

    Im a weekend warrior
    Regular lines will be fine.

    Also
    I will install this....
    I used one on another cooler
    Its peace of mind.

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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    I will never use SF lines again.
    Not saying that was the problem
    But I don’t like the reduction
    Flex or not

    Im a weekend warrior
    Regular lines will be fine.

    Also
    I will install this....
    I used one on another cooler
    Its peace of mind.
    What sort of coolant were you running?

    I've been working with coolers, torches and lines quite a bit in the last year and have been learning things I didn't anticipate. I have had a couple of coolers paired with super flex cables where the hoses were breaking down and restricting flow significantly (even completely), but they all had one thing in common....regular automotive antifreeze was being used. The rubber breaks down into something like fine sand and you can even find soft spots in the hoses where you can feel the rubber has been eaten away. You just run your hands along the hose and you'll get to a soft spot that collapses with a light touch.

    The big problem seems to be that the sandy stuff will block the passages in the torch head which tend to be smaller than the lines themselves. On one of them I took the lines off the torch and tried clearing out the passages with a variety of wires and acids....the stuff was like concrete and I could only get some of it out, but never managed to get it clear enough to force compressed air through it. That particular torch sat hanging upside down on the machine for close to a year before I got it based upon when the company went out of business and when I bought it at auction....that probably didn't help.

    I've been trying to gather more info, but I suspect the rubber used in the flexible lines must not play well with something in the antifreeze.

    I have been hesitant to even post about it because I certainly don't know exactly why it's happening and some folks seem defensive about using automotive antifreeze in welding coolers.

    Along those same lines, any time I flush a cooler and lines I always do a test afterwards where I fill the cooler, hook up all the lines and make sure I'm getting good flow on the return line before I reconnect anything. Even with super flex hoses I see a stream 10-15ft long with the return line held pretty close to level...sort of like you'd normally hold a garden hose. That's been with Five or six different Miller Coolmate and Watermate models and multiples of each model.

    Surprisingly, I've used inexpensive Amazon/eBay torches with super flex hoses and they seem to give just as much flow as anything else....that same 10-15 feet of flow.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    What sort of coolant were you running?
    .
    I was using distilled water with a bottle of the HTP anti-algae additive...
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Same thing happened to me when I was doing my 221 duty cycle torture test on the very first run. That line is very old, as was mine. The heat causes the accumulated crud to be released off of the copper conductor and stops the flow at the dinse connector until the wire heats up to the point where it melts and busts the hose. Luckily I had a spare water-cooled power cable, swapped it and all was good. Welding on DC definitely produces more heat output and places much greater strain on everything, especially near the top-end rating of the power hose.
    Last edited by Oscar; 05-04-2021 at 09:26 PM.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Same thing happened to me when I was doing my 221 duty cycle torture test on the very first run. That line is very old, as was mine. The heat causes the accumulated crud to be released off of the copper conductor and stops the flow at the dinse connector until the wire heats up to the point where it melts and busts the hose. Luckily I had a spare water-cooled power cable, swapped it and all was good. Welding on DC definitely produces more heat output and places much greater strain on everything, especially near the top-end rating of the power hose.
    Interesting.....
    Yes,
    I found the torch was blocked with crud mainly... some in the dinse conn. also

    I blew it out with compressed air.

    What were you using for coolant Oscar?

    stupid question.
    Why does DC produce more heat than AC?
    at the same amp setting?
    Last edited by John T; 05-04-2021 at 10:53 PM.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    I use distilled water with a ~1 cup auto-antifreeze.

    DC has no "rest periods" that AC does when the polarity switches. See, "square waves" are not actually square in a square-wave welder; they are approximations of a square wave. So if you were to plot the amperage vs time (or even observe it on an oscilloscope set-up to 'view' amperage with the proper probes), and if you zoom in close enough (by stretching the horizontal time axis), the 'vertical line' between the two polarities isn't vertical, it actually has a slope to it. Each zero-crossing is a miniature cooling period where both the arc (and thus the amperage flowing in the cable) diminish. During that slope-down/slope-up between the pos/neg crests of the wave, there is roughly Ĺ of the energy compared to if it really were to switch polarities instantaneously. As a corollary, this is why AC welders with adjustable frequency can put a lot of heat into a part with a lower frequency. With a lower frequency, fewer zero-crossings, means there are fewer polarity switches by which welding power is "lost" over the long-term.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Here is mine. Original water-cooled power hose that came with the machine in 2013. Note the similarity in the failure.




    and yep, it stunk BAD. If y'alls water-cooled TIG hoses are more than 4 to 5 years old, I highly suggest you keep a spare on hand. I know I will. So all in all, I'd say your water cooler did not fail. I'd bet your motor/pump are perfectly fine. Wash out the crud from the plastic reservoir, flush the system out real good, and I'd bet it will keep going once you replace the faulty parts.

    I have an idea for a much better solution, but I won't be able to test it out until summer when I'm on vacation. And y'all know me. I only invent stuff that works. (and if it doesn't I'll disappear until everybody forgets, lol)
    Last edited by Oscar; 05-05-2021 at 12:21 AM.
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    Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Thanks that explanation makes perfect sense.

    That hose looks identical.

    I think this is the first time Iíve ever read of something like this happening.

    After I calmed down I decided to stick with the super flex hose.

    I have a new set on the way from HTP.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    I think you'll be perfectly fine. After I swapped mine out, I continued with the duty cycle torture test with the brand new hose and it performed just fine.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    I run automotive coolant, but Only DexCool (whos MSDS is almost identical to Millers Tig Coolant and without any sealers - it really is different than "regular" automotive) mixed with distilled water (which if used by itself can try to "balance" it's lack of mineral content and might be pulling stuff out of the copper).

    I also have an automotive fuel filter (that clear little bullet shaped one we always saw on VW Beetles) in my old crappy Coolmate One but have the ability to monitor flow from that sight gauge on the front. I think it's been that way for 8yrs or more, haven't seen any crud in the filter or noticed a restricted flow...

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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Where is the crud coming from. Have the HTP hoses too which I think are CKs. Anyway I noticed the whitish color hose under the braid looks like it breaks down over time and develops tiny cracks in the hose. I never had a failure like you guys did but I have had hoses just crack and leak. I use distilled water and Radnor coolant. I flush and clean about once a year. There is a strainer on the bottom of my pickup. I have a pressure gauge also but I don't have a whirlyigig paddle wheel.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by TJS View Post
    Where is the crud coming from. Have the HTP hoses too which I think are CKs. Anyway I noticed the whitish color hose under the braid looks like it breaks down over time and develops tiny cracks in the hose. I never had a failure like you guys did but I have had hoses just crack and leak. I use distilled water and Radnor coolant. I flush and clean about once a year. There is a strainer on the bottom of my pickup. I have a pressure gauge also but I don't have a whirlyigig paddle wheel.
    I think the crud is the white hose breaking down...the only thing that makes sense. I've seen this enough times now, and it's always the silicon rubber type hoses (what CK says they use on their super flex lines). The first time I saw that crud I thought it was something in the liquid turning solid after sitting a long time, but I did notice the hoses were cracked and weak where the fittings were, and the torch was completely plugged. The next time I noticed the cracking near the fittings, and found soft spots in the hoses, but the torch wasn't completely plugged yet. I don't think I checked the length of the hoses on the first one, so it might have had soft spots as well. Since then I've seen a couple more that were pretty much the same....cracking at the fittings and soft spots in random places.

    It may just be the nature of the flexible hose material...at some point it's going to break down.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    What's the "white" hose,? The white under the red is more cloth, but the hose itself is black (like all the others I think...)

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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    What's the "white" hose,? The white under the red is more cloth, but the hose itself is black (like all the others I think...)
    All of the really flexible hoses I've had were white/ivory colored all the way through (other than the braided cover). That style is silicon rubber from what I've been able to find published. The hoses that are black aren't usually the super-flex type...they're made of vinyl and not as flexible.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    My CK SuperFlex hoses are all Black though... (under the cloth braiding)

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    Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    These are the hoses off of my machine.
    In a fit of depression/rage I just clipped everything.

    none of the hoses look bad
    Internally except for the power hose/cord... because it got smoked.

    I blame my situation on the HTP pump.
    I never felt it was up to proper pressure.
    Maybe I got a dud who knows.

    It worked fine for a few years and then all of a sudden the flow alarm started going off
    And it all went downhill from there.

    I blame the pump/not the hoses or deterioration thereof etc. etc.
    but thatís just my opinion

    New hoses are on the way
    And I am installing a procon pump/motor in the old housing.

    Not the prettiest thing but Iím sure it will work.
    I will be installing quad muffin fans in front of The radiator also
    I have offered the HTP pump and motor to Oscar for forensics testing if he wishes.
    I am done.



    Last edited by John T; 05-05-2021 at 02:41 PM.
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    From an earlier discussion about SuperFlex hoses, my black hose


    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/4...ight=SuperFlex

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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Are you going to flush it out really good prior to using the new hoses?
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    Re: Water cooler failure??? bad day....

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    I run automotive coolant, but Only DexCool (whos MSDS is almost identical to Millers Tig Coolant and without any sealers - it really is different than "regular" automotive) mixed with distilled water (which if used by itself can try to "balance" it's lack of mineral content and might be pulling stuff out of the copper).

    I also have an automotive fuel filter (that clear little bullet shaped one we always saw on VW Beetles) in my old crappy Coolmate One but have the ability to monitor flow from that sight gauge on the front. I think it's been that way for 8yrs or more, haven't seen any crud in the filter or noticed a restricted flow...
    My coolant was always super clear. Never any crud in the reservoir. Go figure.
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