View Full Version : Flush out water based coolant

05-14-2011, 07:05 PM

I have a hardinge lathe that I just got that has water based coolant/lubricant in the sump. I don't want water on this machine anymore, how do I flush the grungy congealed mess completely out of the system? I did drain the sump and mopped most of it out, but I'm sure there is still some sludgy mess in the pump and plumbing.

I was thinking to use straight water to run the pump back into the sump witha filter to catch whatever junk comes out. After that I'd like to get all of the water out of the system and would like to use oil to run through there to keep it from rusting. So now I'll have remnants of water and oil running through the system.

Would I be better off flushing it out with oil so as to not introduce yet more water to the system? Maybe try using oil and then separate the water out since the water will go to the bottom?

As a side note, the water raised hell on this machine. I'm hoping the Evaporust I just bought will bring back the nice looking metal that was once on this sweet machine.


05-14-2011, 07:12 PM
I'd run water thought it till you got as much of the water based gunk out, then switch to Kerosene or Diesel.

Dr Stan
05-14-2011, 07:47 PM
I'd add some Simple Green or similar product for at least one flush. Just remember it will rust any bare metal. I'd also do at least one flush with bleach water to kill any bacteria. Just do not mix the bleach with any other cleaner.

05-14-2011, 09:47 PM
Castrol super clean,Grease lightning or Zep degreaser,basically any degreaser that has sodium hydroxide(lye)as an ingredient.

It will given some time remove all traces of the coolant and sludge.

05-14-2011, 10:05 PM
Depending upon where you actually are, I've got most of a 5 gallon pail of ValCool "Val-U-Clean" coolant system cleaner. That stuff kills all the bacteria and helps dissolve and/or dislodge the other junk. If you are anywhere near me I'd be happy to give you some of it.

05-14-2011, 11:06 PM
I appreciate the tips guys,

I'm within driving distance of you pixman ( NH), but it would be quite a haul for the cleaner. I appreciate the offer though.

I like the idea to flush out with water and/or water/cleaner and then flushing it with a petrol product like kerosene or diesel to get the water out.

I don't really intend to run the coolant pump, but if I do I want to run oil for the sake of the machine.

OK, so I now am looking at several gallons of sludge/oil/water and also Watery Diesel or kerosene. Where the heck do I get rid of this crap?


05-15-2011, 10:30 AM
Getting rid of it,find an ant hill or patch of weeds you don't like,the stuff isn't as bad as it seems.

For coolant,run a good quality water soluable oil mixed to the proper ratio and you won't have problems.

This is the best I have found-


Been using it for years and never have had any problems with rusting or staining except for one time when somone got lazy and topped off the tank with plain water diluting the mix.

Jaakko Fagerlund
05-15-2011, 11:05 AM
Getting rid of it,find an ant hill or patch of weeds you don't like,the stuff isn't as bad as it seems.
Yes, very good idea to pour oil and petroleum products on the ground.

05-15-2011, 11:27 AM
Yes, very good idea to pour oil and petroleum products on the ground.

Most people think nothing pouring herbicide and fertilizer on they're lawn:rolleyes: .A little very diluted decomposed oil and lye mix won't hurt anything.

05-15-2011, 08:53 PM
No offense, but I drink the water that comes out of the ground at my house. I dont' want that crap entering the water table, or even a remote chance of it.

I don't think water based coolant is good for this machine. There is a tag on the coolant pump on the hardinge that says something to the effect of " for long machine life use only oil coolant". I just got done cleaning the sludge and rust out of the cross slide and compound of this lathe and it took me about 4 hours of scraping, oiling, brushing, scotch brite, and cleaning. I had heavy pits of rust on the lead screw for the compound and it was so bad that I had to chuck it up in my other lathe between centers and run some 600 paper and oil across it several times to get the rust out. The exposed surfaces have a decent amount of pitting to them even after I've scrubbed them with green and gray scotch brite.

I think I'll see if I can dump it at my work if they have a barrel for it and allow it, or else contact a hazardouse waste company.


05-15-2011, 09:07 PM
Just set whatever comes out of the machine in a large-ish open top container behind your shop. Let all of the water evaporate and chunk the solids in the trash.