My Lincoln TIG is in my garage and I need to come up with a
antifreeze/coolant combination that will work well for the Lincoln
cooling unit. Anyone have suggestions of what brand or kind of
antifreeze? I do know to use distilled water.
Here is a link to ArcZone and their recommendations for setting up a
water cooled torch. They strongly note not using antifreeze in a
cooling system for TIG torches.
Antifreeze does not cool as well as pure water. If you want to add
something to the coolant I'd suggest using a wetting agent like "water
wetter" used in race cars. Following is a link to Redline Oil and
If you expect freezing temperatures in your garage you'll need to
drain the system.
There is a commercial product but we use recreational vehicle antifreeze in
our wire feed water cooled guns. Sometimes in the winter the shop drops to
freezing temperatures overnight. The RV stuff is non toxic intended for
water tanks and such so spillage is not a concern.
I know the red and blue people push their own magic mix, but right now
I can't see what it is about auto anti-freeze that would cause problems
(other than warranty). Either the "for aluminum engines/radiators" or
What is so delicate about the pumps ?
$20 a gallon for the pre-diluted seems like a rip off.
Automotive antifreeze includes coagulants designed to plug small
leaks. I pulled this sentence from ArcZone's web page.
Camping World has RV antifreeze that they say is safe to use in fresh
water RV systems. It sells for $4.00 a gallon. I checked its
composition and found that it contains propylene glycol.
Thanks Luke, I had either forgotten about the coags or didn't know that
The other thing that the auto anti freeze folk boast is thermal
conductivity, but I doubt that it is that much lower in the RV stuff.
Other threads on home made water coolers have said that 3 gallons or so
in a 5 gallon bucket will barely get warm unless you're pushing BIG
current at 100% duty cycle all day long, so I guess if the pump
circulates enough and the reservoir is big enough the thermal
conductivity isn't likely to be an issue
That is definitely a new one on me. Any other sources you are aware that
supports such information? I'm just curious as it seems very unlikely.
That is definitely a new one on me. Anyone know of any other sources that
would support such information? I'm just curious as it seems very unlikely.
wow, did I pick the right day to check this group. I need to clean
out and refill my Miller Coolmate 12. The local welding place only
sells the pre mix stuff and I don't want to buy 12 gallons of that.
When I got the machine new, about 17 years ago...., it came with a
little bottle of white stuff, about a pint maybe a quart I'd say. I
mixed it with 12 G of D-water and ran it for years. The fluid was
white in color and changed to clear after a few years.
Several years ago I flushed it out, and found a white film on the
bottom. So I put in a new anode rod and refilled it with 20% auto
antifreeze, fluid started out green and is now clear.
What happens to the color?
I did have a hose fail but that could be due to age and not the
I'm thinking of going with 20% Prestone LOW-TOX, this is propylene
glycol based instead of ethylene glycol based.
I used to work in the semiconductor industry before our rat bastard
CEO closed us down and moved the plant to asia, and we used auto
antifreeze in the machines there that were pushing 50,000 watts of RF
to etch wafers. Many years of trying all kinds of expensive stuff,
and standard antifreeze at 20% worked the best.
From what I've seen "water wetter" is just a small bottle of acid that
cleans all the metal surfaces so the water/AF can transfer heat
better. A guy I worked with used it. It did drop the temp in his
street rod 20 degrees and if you looked inside the rad all you saw was
So, anyone have input on the life expectancy of TIG torch hoses, did
my hose fail from age or antifreeze?
remove 333 to email reply.
Lincoln's web page info for their Cool ARC 40 water cooler.
Do not use automotive antifreeze with rust or leakinhibitors.
Don't make the mistake of using automotive "Anti-Freeze" in your
welding or cutting equipment. You'll could end up with damaged
bearings and clogged torches.
My TIG water cooling is done from the household water supply so I
can't say I have checked into this very deeply.
The more I read into this the more bogus it sounds, they say you can
use tap water in a once through and down the drain system.. There is
more "stuff" in tap water to clog a system than in any antifreeze I
know of. Tap water conducts electricity too. What effect does the
chlorine in the city water have?
Sounds more like they want to sell their product.
I still wonder why my antifreeze solution changed from green to clear.
Maybe I need to look at it more than once every five years.
remove 333 to email reply.
In message , John
We have used commercial antifreeze designed for cars and we find they
eventually block up the pumps with a gummy material.We sell Hypertherm
coolent to our customers which is Glycol/Demineralized water mix,However
this might be too expensive for home use.
Water Wetter(TM), the Red Line product, does not contain acid. It
contains a surfactant (sodium dioctylsulfosuccinate - I love the way
that rolls off the tongue :-)) and a corrosion inhibition package. This
surfactant, also sold under the Aerosol OT trade name, is noteworthy
because it holds the record for reducing the surface tension of water
the most. Reducing the surface tension allows water to wet surfaces
better (more molecules of water in intimate contact with the surface),
so it "makes water wetter" and improves heat transfer. Another product,
with perhaps a better anticorrosion package (at least according to a
professional mechanic friend who has been using it to keep cars cool in
Phoenix for 30 years), is RMI-25. This does seem to also do a great job
at solubilizing the slime or film that builds up as antifreeze gets old.
I've been using RMI25 for about six years now, starting when I replaced
the radiator, and the inside of the radiator still looks brand new. His
web site is
if you want to see pricing.
Whatever marketing person came up with the name "coolant" for antifreeze
was a genius as far as boosting sales, but they were telling the "big
lie" and repeating it until people believed :-). Ethylene glycol has a
much lower heat capacity than water so for the same liquid flow it will
carry away much less heat. I run about 30% Prestone in the winter, with
RMI-25, which gives me freeze protection down to about 0-5 deg F, and
distilled water/RMI-25 in the summer (I push a turbocharged V6 pretty
hard and need the engine as cool as possible for detonation resistance).
Testing on a hot summer day where the engine temp started out well above
the 160 deg F thermostat showed about a 10 deg F drop by adding RMI-25
to the 30% Prestone (and about the same for sodium dioctylsulfosuccinate
at the .5% level in a different test), going to distilled water alone
gave another 10-15 deg F drop (I didn't let this sit overnight and rust
:-); just did the test), and adding RMI-25 to the distilled water gave
another 10 deg F drop or so.
I really don't know if the silicate anticorrosion package used in the
green automotive antifreezes will build up in a tig torch or not; I know
it does slime up a little in the engine/radiator. I've heard so many
stories of the orange antifreeze sludging up that I wouldn't try it for
this even if it does use a different anticorrosion recipe. I can't see
where RMI-25 would be problem for the torch and pump, and it will help
keep all the lines clean if you do run antifreeze, or you can buy
propylene glycol for $32/gallon at
3190K391) and for $28/gallon at
and just mix your own
with distilled water. If I were doing this for my own setup (which I
don't have; I'm just a poor lurker :-)), I'd run distilled water/RMI-25
if there were no chance of freezing, and about 20% propylene glycol/80%
distilled water plus RMI-25 if I needed freeze protection down to about
10 deg F. The glycol solution is more viscous so you will get less flow
through the torch, but if you aren't pushing the current and duty cycle
limits I don't imagine it would be an issue.
Well, back to lurking and learning - thanks, guys for the great info.
Carl Ijames carl.ijames at verizon.net
to a really old thread. Cleaned out the coolant tank on my Radiator
12. Lots of aqua (green with a hint of blue) scale out of the tank.
Don't know what it is. Filter screen on inlet was 3/4 blocked.
WOW, just looked this is from '05. That means the A/F was in there
over 6 years. I think I'll keep better track of it.
Going to use 20% antifreeze with distilled water again. I worked at
Lucent Tech. for 17 years in the maintenance department and using
straight ethylene glycol and DW is a bad thing. Glycol is corrosive
and without the corrosion inhibitors in antifreeze it does really
nasty things to aluminum, copper and steel. In the end we started
using automotive A/F and most if not all our problems went away.
As for the propylene glycol, I was using Prestone Low-Tox in my cars
for a number of years and had repeated water pump failures. Prestone
no longer sells the stuff, so I have no faith in P-G based A/F.
Maybe I'll try some of the RMI-25 stuff and see if that helps stop the
aqua scale build up.
no longer seems to sell RMI-25, but I found it
Remove 333 to reply.