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Thread: water cooled torch not flowing

  1. #1
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    water cooled torch not flowing

    So I got a water cooled tig torch from weldtec. 225 amp flex head model. Waiting on a gas through adapter for my machine, thought i'd just test out the watercooler since it's sat for a long time. (old miller 1a) not getting any water returning back through.. Cooler pumps fine, shoots the water a few feet out. Only thing I can think is there was some debris or something in the cooler from sitting so long that's plugged the torch?
    Should I try and blow it out or am I screwed here?
    Thanks
    Nick

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by nick121 View Post
    So I got a water cooled tig torch from weldtec. 225 amp flex head model. Waiting on a gas through adapter for my machine, thought i'd just test out the watercooler since it's sat for a long time. (old miller 1a) not getting any water returning back through.. Cooler pumps fine, shoots the water a few feet out. Only thing I can think is there was some debris or something in the cooler from sitting so long that's plugged the torch?
    Should I try and blow it out or am I screwed here?
    Thanks
    Nick
    Well,
    First I would flush the old coolant/water out of the cooler... especially if it's been sitting for a long time.

    also, I would take the lines off on the torch end and blow everything out with air.....
    Yes,
    the passages in the torch can get clogged easy. especially if there is algae or sludge in there
    Last edited by John T; 06-13-2021 at 08:53 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by nick121 View Post
    So I got a water cooled tig torch from weldtec. 225 amp flex head model. Waiting on a gas through adapter for my machine, thought i'd just test out the watercooler since it's sat for a long time. (old miller 1a) not getting any water returning back through.. Cooler pumps fine, shoots the water a few feet out. Only thing I can think is there was some debris or something in the cooler from sitting so long that's plugged the torch?
    Should I try and blow it out or am I screwed here?
    Thanks
    Nick
    As John said, you really want to flush the entire cooler and lines before going any further.

    I've gone through at least half a dozen similar Miller 1A coolers and they put out a pretty good stream. The first thing I do with them is to empty the tank and put fresh water in, then attach a 6' hose to the output fitting and turn it on. Holding the hose level or just slightly elevated it should send water at least 10 feet. If you angle the hose upwards a bit you should be able to send water 15-20ft. The pump has a large brass fitting on it with a filter/screen inside...that screen often gets plugged with gunk. I usually just replace the screen but if they aren't all corroded you can often hit them with carburetor cleaner and then some compressed air to reuse them. I don't buy the screens from welding sources as they want $10+ per screen. The pumps are Procon pumps used in soda fountains, and you can get the screens much cheaper from vendors supporting that industry.

    This vendor sells the screens for around $5 plus shipping, so if you buy two you can get them for about $15 total and have a spare for later.

    With the 1A coolers it's easy to remove the bottom panel and take the tank out of the cooler....much easier to get it clean that way. After I clean the tank I will run at least 4-5 gallons of fresh water through the cooler to flush the other lines, fittings and the radiator. After that's done I start adding the torch components and keep running fresh water through it. When it's all together with the whole torch I'll pump out the last of the fresh water, add a gallon of distilled water, pump that out and then add a mixture of distilled water and coolant. You don't want to run tap water as it will lead to corrosion and eventually pin holes in the copper of the radiator. Distilled water works fine for places that don't get cold, but it requires more frequent changes because you'll get algae and sludge buildup.

    Cantesco makes a good coolant that's the equivalent of the Miller stuff but is a lot cheaper. For your size cooler I'd put a gallon in and top off with distilled water and then you're good for at least a year or two before it should be changed.

    https://www.amazon.com/CANTESCO-CF3-...3591542&sr=8-2
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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Could be calcium or lime buildup as well. Might want to try some CLR to flush it if water doesn't cut it.

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Thanks for the help! I'll hopefully get a chance today or tomorrow to get it cleaned up. It was empty and I just filled with distilled water but probably deposits inside the tank,previously it probably had tap water or something from the previous user.
    Hopefully I can get the torch unclogged, Glad I tried before hooking up power and melting a torch.

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Could be calcium or lime buildup as well. Might want to try some CLR to flush it if water doesn't cut it.
    I'm having same problem with a WP-20 torch. What is CLR?

    OK, found that online - is it possible to take a WP-20 apart at the head so I can find the blockage? Water into the torch lines at the machine is fine.


    Thanks,
    m
    Last edited by mman; 08-01-2022 at 07:24 PM.

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Try to back flush water through the hoses from the tap and/or compressed air. When clean and clear then connect it back to the cooler after ensuring it is thoroughly cleaned out also.

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    Try to back flush water through the hoses from the tap and/or compressed air. When clean and clear then connect it back to the cooler after ensuring it is thoroughly cleaned out also.
    Well, EXACTLY that worked and saved the day. I had just gotten to the part where I cut the hoses off the torch and couldn't find the correct knife (actually pliers to undo the SS wires) and saw this and
    low and behold it cleaned up and works. Thanks ever so much for the note.

    Regards,
    m

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Just curious, does your cooler have a vane pump with a mesh screen? My torches never get clogged as the screens collect the debris.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Just curious, does your cooler have a vane pump with a mesh screen? My torches never get clogged as the screens collect the debris.
    The OP had a Miller 1
    Which is an Oberdorfer GEAR pump.

    No screen


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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    The OP had a Miller 1
    Which is an Oberdorfer GEAR pump.

    No screen


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Guy specifically mentions the screen in his Miller 1A water cooler. ??? I guess his must have one. ??

    Last edited by danielplace; 08-02-2022 at 04:23 PM.

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    Guy specifically mentions the screen in his Miller 1A water cooler. ??? I guess his must have one. ??

    OK
    Maybe the 1A is different than the original old Miller 1 (which was a gear pump)


    The one in the video is definitely a Procon pump with filter screen.


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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    Guy specifically mentions the screen in his Miller 1A water cooler. ??? I guess his must have one. ??

    First thing ever if the ProCon pump has a screen is to blow it out. Usually the pump squeals when the screen is getting clogged.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    I had a torch blow up on me recently because of a blockage, had to blow the lines in the pump out, now I'm stuck using this huge wp18 torch when I'm used to the 20, gotta order a new one

    Sent from my fab shop using a mig welder and a grinder

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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    What type coolant? I never have clogs from algae. I operated a lab machine that would go from 2000C to ambient in seconds using straight water as a coolant. Apparently, There was an point in the line where algae would grow perfectly and rapidly it was a mess to keep clean. My current cooler came with some coolant from
    HTP. Never had an issue with clogging.

  20. #16
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    Re: water cooled torch not flowing

    It was rusty fittings

    Sent from my fab shop using a mig welder and a grinder

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