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View Full Version : How to keep mice out of the coolant tanks



squirrel
07-27-2010, 05:59 PM
Mice are constantly drowning in our coolant tanks, any good suggestions on how to keep them out other than going to oil based coolant?

Too_Many_Tools
07-27-2010, 06:03 PM
Have you considered supplying tiny life preservers?

TMT

loose nut
07-27-2010, 06:25 PM
Don't use booze as a cutting fluid.

Liger Zero
07-27-2010, 06:45 PM
Throw a cat in the tank.

Toolguy
07-27-2010, 07:07 PM
Put paddles on the wheel of the tramp oil skimmer to scoop them out.

Jim Doherty
07-27-2010, 07:14 PM
Couldn't you screen the tank opening? or place a stick in the tank to the top edge of the coolant tank and the mice can crawl back out.


Jim Doherty

BCGorak
07-27-2010, 07:21 PM
You need a shop beagle. :)

Liger Zero
07-27-2010, 07:24 PM
I seem to recall a thread touting the benefits of rodent-fortified coolant fumes not that long ago.

One benefit is you'll spend less time machining and people will stop bothering you while you work

oil mac
07-27-2010, 07:39 PM
Dont keep mice!:D

saltmine
07-27-2010, 08:02 PM
Put up warning signs


Oh, that's right, mice can't read....

KiddZimaHater
07-27-2010, 08:20 PM
Wire mesh?

ldn
07-27-2010, 08:42 PM
Don't use Kool-aid, it's not a coolant. :)

lazlo
07-27-2010, 08:57 PM
Add some sulfuric acid to the coolant.

Rendered fat is a great lube :)

Arcane
07-27-2010, 09:01 PM
Put up warning signs


Oh, that's right, mice can't read....


They can't dance either....that's why they have such small balls...:D

Weston Bye
07-27-2010, 09:14 PM
How to keep mice out of the coolant tanks? Set up a beer tank.

Your Old Dog
07-27-2010, 09:34 PM
Divert them to another tank filled with water. Put a ramp up the side of the second tank and bait it with peanut butter so they go up the ramp and in the water bucket.

If you want a more natural way bring in some medium sized snakes.

Black_Moons
07-27-2010, 11:08 PM
I suggest just checking the coolant tank more often. It sounds like a good mousetrap!

Or yea, just some wire mesh..

Mcgyver
07-27-2010, 11:16 PM
what are you using as coolant....and can you close off how they're getting in. I'm working on a coolant tank now, 1/8 steel with a hinged lid to keep everything out

Other than that, maybe a shop cat? I've heard just the smell of a cat around will discourage mice etc

macona
07-28-2010, 02:33 AM
what are you using as coolant....and can you close off how they're getting in. I'm working on a coolant tank now, 1/8 steel with a hinged lid to keep everything out

Other than that, maybe a shop cat? I've heard just the smell of a cat around will discourage mice etc


But cats are evil incarnate.

Get a shop owl. Now wouldnt that be a hoot!

oldtiffie
07-28-2010, 03:10 AM
Are they microsoft or remote/wireless mice?

EVguru
07-28-2010, 04:45 AM
Other than that, maybe a shop cat? I've heard just the smell of a cat around will discourage mice etc

Nope, the silly buggers still sometimes venture into my house.

They last about 30 seconds before one of the three Bengals has caught them and starts chomping on their little skulls. They tend not to eat the rear legs for some reason.

Evan
07-28-2010, 06:26 AM
My 1988 Ford Ranger developed a serious problem with the cooling system some years ago. When it warmed up the coolant expands and goes into the coolant overflow tank per usual. The problem was it wasn't pulling it back in when it cooled down. That is most commonly a sign of bad gasket in the radiator cap so I replaced the cap. No joy. Uh oh. That usually means a more serious problem since there was no sign of a leak anywhere except the overflowing coolant tank. I used some fluorescent dye tracer to make sure there wasn't a slow weep near the top of the system that could let air back in when it cooled.

Nothing. Bad news. This means that there is either a blown head gasket or a cracked head that was pressurizing the cooling system. But, there was no trace of coolant in the oil.

??????

For reasons unknown I decided to pull of the coolant tank and check it. On pouring out the coolant it became clear that there was something besides coolant in the tank. The tank had a 1" diameter press in cap that had long since vanished and I hadn't bothered to replace it. It turns out that was a mistake.

In the tank was some sort of mucilaginous sludge. It wouldn't pour out so I began to fish it out with a piece of stiff wire. At first I could not figure out what it was but it soon became apparent when the small bones started to appear that it was the remains of perhaps four or five mice. What came out of the tank was perhaps the most disgusting mess I have seen since I helped pump a septic tank that hadn't been done for 20 years.

The stiffened sludge-like remains of the mice had formed a plug which acted as a one way valve at the bottom of the tank. The coolant could flow in but not back out.

How to stop the mice? I dropped in a stubby screw driver with a handle too large to fit through the hole.

gda
07-28-2010, 07:21 AM
Remove the diving board and slide.

spope14
07-28-2010, 09:24 AM
cover the tank

Too_Many_Tools
07-28-2010, 12:23 PM
Nope, the silly buggers still sometimes venture into my house.

They last about 30 seconds before one of the three Bengals has caught them and starts chomping on their little skulls. They tend not to eat the rear legs for some reason.

It's the little shoes they wear...

TMT

Mcgyver
07-28-2010, 12:27 PM
Nope, the silly buggers still sometimes venture into my house.
.

ahhh, but we dont know how many would venture sans feline, the house may well be half empty, not half full

form_change
07-29-2010, 04:32 AM
My father used to use steel wool to plug holes that mice could get through - the mice wouldn't eat it; it was comparatively flexible and would fill gaps. As you are around coolant the stainless version may be better but the same theory applies.

Michael

RancherBill
07-29-2010, 11:13 AM
Three random thoughts;



a cat

a piece of Styrofoam 6x6x 1/2" will provide a life raft for them to crawl out. Grab the mouse and shoot it out of an air canon. If you can shoot them 200' they will not come back.:eek:

Make a Mouse Fence. It's is a scale model of a cattle fence. Go to a University and get a Psychology student interested in reconfirming some of the old intelligence test with "wild mouse" populations. They will come and check the coolant everyday.:D


Hope these ideas help.

Evan
07-29-2010, 11:31 AM
Be careful if you start trapping them if they are deer mice. They are carriers of Hanta Virus and it is lethal. Do not touch with bare hands, wash hands and do not raise dust that may contain droppings.

squirrel
07-29-2010, 11:39 AM
WOW! that is bad. The last one I had to remove myself because every one had left for the day and the part had to be finished. I did use a very long forcep to grab the thing, the tank still has hair floating around. Should I call Safety Clean and have them dispose of the coolant and make fresh?

Evan
07-29-2010, 12:09 PM
Your call. It is transmitted by hand to mouth or by inhaling the dust. It almost killed someone I know here. It is found throughout North America.



From the CDC:

Several hantaviruses that are pathogenic for humans have been identified in the United States. In general, each virus has a single primary rodent host. Other small mammals can be infected as well but are much less likely to transmit the virus to other animals or humans. The deer mouse is the host for Sin Nombre virus (SNV), the primary causative agent of HPS in the United States. The deer mouse is common and widespread in rural areas throughout much of the United States. Although prevalence varies temporally and geographically, on average about 10% of deer mice tested throughout the range of the species show evidence of infection with SNV.
Other hantaviruses associated with sigmodontine rodents and known to cause HPS include New York virus, which is hosted by the white-footed mouse; Black Creek Canal virus, which is hosted by the cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus; and Bayou virus, which is hosted by the rice rat, Oryzomys palustris. Nearly the entire continental United States falls within the range of one or more of these host species. Several other sigmodontine rodent species in the United States are associated with additional hantaviruses that have yet to be implicated in human disease.

Recent studies have confirmed that infected deer mice are present in every habitat type--from desert to alpine tundra, although the prevalence of infection is higher in certain middle-altitude habitats. Surveys of rodents throughout the United States suggest that SNV is distributed in all locations where P. maniculatus is found. Related hantaviruses are also found throughout the geographic range of their rodent carriers. Given that P. maniculatus and P. leucopus are commonly found in the peridomestic setting and typically have higher population densities than other rodents, cases of HPS can be expected to occur throughout the range of these rodent species. Other implicated species, such as S. hispidus and O. palustris, generally do not live in such close proximity to human habitats, and this factor may decrease the probability of human exposure to viruses shed by these rodents.

Transmission

Human infection occurs most commonly through the inhalation of infectious aerosolized saliva or excreta. Persons visiting laboratories where infected rodents were housed have been infected after only a few minutes of exposure to animal holding areas. Transmission can occur when dried materials contaminated by rodent excreta are disturbed and inhaled, directly introduced into broken skin or conjunctiva, or possibly, when ingested in contaminated food or water. Persons have also acquired HPS after being bitten by rodents. High risk of exposure has been associated with entering or cleaning rodent-infested structures.


http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/phys/ecology.htm

MickeyD
07-29-2010, 04:05 PM
Between my three big machines I have about 225 gallons of coolant to "babysit". Keeping well fitting metal lids over the service openings, will not only keep the rodents and dropped tools out of it, they will also help a lot with evaporation. On a hot day I can lose 5 gallons between evaporation and getting carried out with the chips. Most of the loss is water but I still go through a 5 gallon bucket (at $125 a pail) each month. Taking care of your coolant can not only keep it smelling better but it can also save some money.

gnm109
07-29-2010, 05:57 PM
Put up warning signs


Oh, that's right, mice can't read....


Hmm, my old boss was a rat and he could read...just kidding.

Mice are getting wipe out in the coolant tank? That's a problem? I'd just put in a filter to keep the carcasses (carci?) out of the pump. Damn mouse ate half a bag of potato chips the other day. If I found him in the coolant, it would be OK with me.

paul gibson
07-31-2010, 03:07 PM
Go with a shop cat, I am not sure if the smell will keep the mice away, but the teeth work as a sure deterrent.
Have a friend that had mice eating the wiring up in some equipment that was sitting idle for a long period of time, and that tends to make them pop and crackle when you hit the "power on" buttons.

p.g.

squirrel
07-31-2010, 04:47 PM
I did get some deodorizer from Mcmaster and it kills the smell. Something to kill bacteria would be alot better but I could not find any to work with water based coolant.

madman
07-31-2010, 04:50 PM
Proper fitting Lid.