water cooled TIG torch cooling alternative ?

as the topic states , I am researching alternative ways to cool watercooled tig torches. factory cooling systems are $500 +-,
someone told me that cooling systems can be built easily, would some one suggest such thing and what is involved in it.
thanks
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I would imagine the cheapest possible set up would be a 'total loss' system whereby cold mains water does its cooling job then runs to waste.
Andrew Mawson
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You need 50 psi water pressure to get the water through the head.
You can buy just the pump and build your own water cooler with a 5 gallon water bucket.
These guys sell the pumps direct
Depco Pump Company 2145 Calumet St Clearwater FL 33765 Phone: 727.446.1656 800.446.1656 Fax: 727.446.7867
Business Hours: -Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM ---Eastern Time
Tell them you are interested in the constant pressure gear pumps used for welding water coolers.
They have an Italian brand that works very well called Fluido-tec.
Procon replacement Fluido-tec PA301X-100PSI $86.36
Oberdorfer 1000R-39 $139
These pumps require a 1/3 HP 1750 RPM motor
Another source is Grainger
Product Category: Pumps & Plumbing > Pumps > Gear Pumps Description: Bronze Carbonator-Mount Rotary Gear Pump Head without Adjustable Relief Valve, 1/4 inch connectors
Your Price: $108.25 Grainger Item#: 2P381 Manufacturer: TEEL Mfg. Model#: CBN2 Catalog Page: 3270
www.Grainger.com
The pump model used by Tweco is: Procon #101C100F11B060 100 Gal per Hour @ 60 PSI
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If you will need to weld for a long time, instead of the bucket get a junk yard import auto radiator that doesn't leak, have the pump draw from the bottom of that and the used coolant from the gun route to the top of the tank. The radiator won't take 50 psi so you need the top of the radiator vented to the atmosphere with a vent tube so the pressure is kept down. I guess you could just try the standard radiator cap and overflow tube vented to the air and see if that works, it has a pressure release at around 15 psi. You need green type anti-freeze in a 50/50 mix with water as the coolant. Attach a "muffin" type fan to the radiator to blow air through it.
Good luck-
Paul T.
wrote:

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so if my water pressure is above 50 psi , should i regulate it or will 100 psi hurt my tig torch?
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wrote:

How about the pump siphoning the coolant from the tank and pushing it to the Tig torch, the return line goes through the "radiator" and back into the tank. I would imagine one could cobble a cooler using Ernies links for a pump and then scrounge a heater core from a wrecking yard.....crude but cheap.
However, the guy selling the Bernards is selling at a really good price....might not be worth the effort?
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wrote:

Is there some kind of backpressure valve in the torch that requires 50 psi or are there that many losses (head loss) in the line that it takes 50 psi just to flow water round trip?
Shawn
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Very small tubing, fairly long, so there's lots of pumping losses (aka dynamic head).
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

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Watch ebay. There are good buys on water coolers on ebay frequently.
For example a few ebay dealers from the Cleveland area have been selling these Lincoln surplus Bernard units http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 774&item838142960&rd=1
I bought one a while back for $175 but have not used it yet. (From a different seller.)
Ed

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I built a tig cooler using a diaphragm pump, the type typically use for agricultural sprayers. The pump is rated at 1.8 gpm @ 60 psi. It is made by Shurflo, and is periodically on sale at Northern Tools for less than $60. A 12VDC power supply is required; an old PC power supply works great. Even though the pump is rated for continuous duty the motor will become very hot after about an hour of use. I installed a small fan, also salvaged from an old pc, blowing on the motor. With a fan the motor runs cool even after several hours of continous use.
One characteristic of a diaphragm pump is that the pressure is pulsating. It does not deliver a constant pressure like a gear pump does. This is not a problem, because the hose leading to the torch is long, small diameter, and flexible. The hose works to average the pulses. I can feel a significant pulsation in the hose immediately after the pump, but there is almost no pulsation noticable at the torch, even with a 12' hose.
My system uses a 5-gallon bucket as a reservoir. A bypass valve is used to regulate the pressure. I have found that under most circumstances only around 40 psi is needed to cool the torch. I bump the pressure up to 50 psi when I am welding aluminum at high amperage. Due to the pulsations from the diaphragm pump, if you connect a pressure gauge you will need a "snubber" ahead of the gauge. I use a small needle valve for that. If you search the web you will find plenty of info to describe a snubber.
Overall, I spent about $90 on my cooler, most of that for the pump. Except for the pump and the left-hand hose fittings, everything was either salvaged or purchased at a local hardware store. It's ugly as a cow's butt, however it works well. I have noticed that during extended welding sessions at high amperage the water does become warm, but even so it still effectively cools the torch. You would need to be using big amps on a big torch to overwhelm the 4 gallons or so of water in the bucket. A radiator is probably overkill unless you are doing commercial welding at > 200 amps, or you live in a hot climate. Ten feet of 1/4" copper tubing in a coil on the return side of the circuit would probably be an adequate radiator for most home uses.
I also installed a safety fuse on the coolant return/power cable. This is a device that is inserted inline on the return hose. If water is not flowing or if inadequate water is flowing the fuse will blow and cut the power before the torch is damaged. I think I paid about $35 for that item. Be sure to buy some extra fuse links, they will occasionally fail because of arcing. It doesn't happen often but when it does you will need a spare link. The fuse links are cheap, about $7 or so for five of them - probably a 3-5 year supply.
-- JB
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