I pulled the coolant pump off my mill before the ball game...
GACK PUKE BARF!!!
It wasn't completely drained and has sat with old coolant for five
years now. Plus, there's no way to run a skimmer on this coolant tank
so its half oil. I drained this awful smelly stuff that had the
consistency of cottage cheese. There's a layer of oil and crap about a
half inch thick in the whole tank from what i can see.
The tank is the base of the machine. How would you clean it out?
I would have one of my employees do it. :)
the easiest way I have found is to make a air vacuum cleaner out of a
barrel. You can buy the kit or make your own venturi that screws into
the small bung in the drum and put a large flex hose on the larger bung
using the proper mating plastic connector, pipe to hose. A two inch
hose works well. With the air vac setup you can pump a sump dry in a
minute or two. The crap you have in the bottom will take a little
longer. A wet shop vac will also work.
There should be access plates to the sump somewhere around the base of
the machine. There are products that are designed to clean sumps,
Cincinnati makes one that I have used, but anything that dissolve the
oil and the coolant oil will work. Before you add new coolant you
should flush the cooling system with an antibacterial agent that you
can get from MSC or your coolant supplier. Sometimes you can work a
deal with the mfgr. rep. and they will give you a sample. ITW makes
many of the coolants on the market. There are additives to keep the
bacteria out of the coolant too. You should have a skimmer to keep the
machine oil out of the coolant as this is what promotes the growth of
the stinky stuff. Another approach is to bubble air through the
coolant when you are not running the machine for a while. I have never
used a fish tank aireator but I have heard that this works good.
As far as new coolants, everyone has their idea of what works better.
It depends on what you are cutting and how fast you want to cut. Unless
you are running a commercial operation you are better off with not using
coolant or using a mister. Flood coolant is nice but you have to have
the proper guards or you will be making a mess and you have to make sure
the whole cutter is flooded so you don't heat cycle the inserts and
cause microcracks to form on the insert leading to shorter life.
Have fun. Rubber gloves are nice. :)
Actually, Michael is 14 <VBG> The manure spreader broke this fall and
he had to shovel 80 bushel of chicken s%^# by hand for me. So, this
job won't be as bad.
I like John's suggestion for a 55 gallon drum and vacuum. Run that
while sticking a pressure washer wand in as much as you can.
The real problem is you can't really get at it so most of it will just
be dissolve what you can and then leave it. Right now I'm thinking two
steps - fill with diesel for a week and pump out. Then a week with lye
and water - pump out. Then wash as much as you can.
I'm sure others have had this job. Hoping against hope there's a
If you can run the coolant pump, just pipe the outlet to the sump,
and use some kind of mild solvent that's easy to clean up. Maybe
a soluble oil/water mix, or add in some methylene chloride (carb
cleaner or paint remover) to a quart of kerosene. I don't suppose
you have a steam wand?
Hours of rinsing with disposable fluid is the key element here: time
is on your side. Some kind of long-handle brush might loosen the
if you don't mind buying a new toilet brush after the job's done.
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