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Thread: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alternative

  1. #1
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    The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alternative

    I see a lot of people have had their coolers/lines fail, resulting in a blow out. Mine was my own mistake, I forgot to turn my water on. Currently using tap, because I'm still in the process of building a cooler/pump setup with a procon and some random a/c evaporator. Pros/cons are:

    - Cooler water from tap, than warmed up and actively cooled water in a closed circuit.
    - Potential mineral build up or corrosion over time.

    Anyways, I thought I'd humor you guys on a temporary fix I did which actually lasted me for a week until I got a new power line replacement:

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    All the local stores have that overpriced vinyl trash so didn't want to go that route. What I did to make this temporary emergency repair:

    1. Stripped the worst section, about a few inches. Checked if it's possible to undo the crimp at the connection, but it's crimped quite good, so I ruled t hat out.
    2. Cut the section out and cut the copper.
    3. Cleaned the copper repeated with acetone to get the sticky rubber contamination off of it.
    4. Slid on a bunch of little stainless screw action clamps and a section of Goodyear/Parker pushlock 3/8 hose (I'm sure any 3/8 hose would do). The clamps are best bought at Lowes. The ones from auto parts stores are absolute garbage, but the ones from hardware stores are often stainless and a bit tougher. If you put them on afterwards though, and you have to undo the screw mechanism, it can be a pain or sometimes almost impossible to get it to go in again sometimes. So it's best to slide on about 6 or so in advance.
    5. Soldered the two, to the best of my abilities. It took a lot of flux and resoldering for it to finally flow and make a solid joint.
    6. Slid the 3/8 rubber hose back over the section, tightened the clamps, and turned it on to test.
    7. The hose sweat a lot and leaked too much for my liking so I kept tightening down the clamps until I saw a reduction in the output from the water return line. Then I would back down a bit. I kept doing this with each of the 6 clamps until I met a satisfactory balance between leakage/flow.
    8. I wanted to improve it further so I loosened the clamps and slid the rubber hose off and covered the contact areas with RTV, a thin amount to make sure none clogs the line inside. Just enough to wet the braiding.
    9. Slid the hose back on and tightened everything up. Warmed it up with a heat gun to speed up curing process and waited about an hour before using it. It still sweat a tiny bit through the braiding but only a drop or so every 5-10 seconds which was enough to tolerate.

    In the end my flow was reduced about 50% but it was enough to at least get some projects knocked out. If you ever find yourself in a bind, at least now you know a temporary solution.

    Also I found a prime option for a replacement line which seems to imitate the superflex lines from CK. It was half the cost on Amazon. I ordered it and will be giving it some abuse on 220 amps of aluminum all month to see how it holds up. It's a little stiffer, but has some good weight to it so makes me somewhat confident. The braiding is different, and it looks thinner in the pictures but it's pretty much the same size. Except the hose underneath is black and doesn't seem like that weird tan silicon stuff CK uses. I'll make an update report down the line how well it lasts, but if it does, I'll order a second just as a backup for that price.

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    The blue section you see in the picture of the poor battle scarred hose, I just added because it didn't quite blow or leak there but it bubbled a bit so I didn't want it to blow out while waiting on the new line. And the zip ties are temporary until I either get some braided nylon sleeve to put over all of it or one of those new zipper line covers. I liked the braided nylon sleeve I used before on my torch because while it did offer little protection against hot things or falling objects, it did make the entire torch line bundle light and easy to manage, and would slide around things very easily. Plus it's much cheaper. I don't feel like spending as much on a cover as the entire power line cost.

    Also want to add one more tip:

    If any of you ever have issues finding clamps small enough for putting together your own lines or modifying things when working with all these small superflex hoses, there's an easy solution that's worked great for me for years. Cut a .5" long section of 3/8ths hose and slide it over the area you're trying to clamp. Then put a regular small screw clamp over it and tighten it down. It acts as a good buffer between the clamp and evens out the pressure from all sides. Which leads me to my next tip:

    If you ever replace one of your CK torches, save your old blue and black lines. They're actually really good for gas lines. The vinyl hoses for gas that HTP provides are complete junk. They leak and they're stiff and just really annoying to deal with. I've been using pieces from my previous torches for years without any loss in gas or leaks. Here's an example:

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    So there you go. I know this is all a bit rigged up but just thought I'd share my experience.
    Last edited by 941.tech@gmail.com; 06-19-2021 at 07:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Thanks for sharing.

    220A on aluminum (presumably AC) is nothing compared to DC. AC has tiny little "breaks".
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  3. #3
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    I saw that comment where you explained it in the previous thread of a blown up torch . It's good to know, and something I always suspected just from feeling how hot things get. Also I'll be sure to make a new thread soon with details on the cooler and enclosure I'm building. Sometime down the line I'd like to get the Invertig 400 as well, you have a nice list of machines you acquired.

  4. #4
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Quote Originally Posted by 941.tech@gmail.com View Post
    I saw that comment where you explained it in the previous thread of a blown up torch . It's good to know, and something I always suspected just from feeling how hot things get. Also I'll be sure to make a new thread soon with details on the cooler and enclosure I'm building. Sometime down the line I'd like to get the Invertig 400 as well, you have a nice list of machines you acquired.
    Thanks. The HTP stork has another one on the way as well! Another little bundle of joy!
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  5. #5
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Ooh! What did you get this time?

  6. #6
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    I requested a machine that even HTP doesn't have, lol. The S300. It's on the next boat from Italy.
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  8. #7
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Interesting! I hope you make a little write up about it when you get it. What's the main reason you made this special order?

  9. #8
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Quote Originally Posted by 941.tech@gmail.com View Post
    Interesting! I hope you make a little write up about it when you get it. What's the main reason you made this special order?
    The main reason? Boredom. Secondary reason: seems like a cool little unit that only I will have on the whole continent.
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  10. #9
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    The main reason? Boredom. Secondary reason: seems like a cool little unit that only I will have on the whole continent.
    Boredom is the engine of progress!

  11. #10
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    Re: The power cable can be repaired for short emergencies, also found a cheap alterna

    Quote Originally Posted by 941.tech@gmail.com View Post
    Interesting! I hope you make a little write up about it when you get it. What's the main reason you made this special order?
    Check it out: Stel S300 on a 400V, 3-phase up-converting transformer
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