View Full Version : Electric hand tool exposed to the elements, rain, etc for a while..?

12-18-2016, 01:15 PM
Yesterday I picked up a Bosch roto hammer that appears to have been left outside for a long time. The sellers only had a small generator to try things out and worried this tool might trip a breaker so no way to test it.

Even if it didn't work that'd be okay since I have an identical one with a bad "chuck" where the SD bits lock in. And Bosch does not have parts for this model.

To my surprise when I got it home it appeared to work fine. The only obvious problem is the strong burnt smell old electric tools sometimes have when running. Any suggestions about drying it out or whatever?

A.K. Boomer
12-18-2016, 01:23 PM
The only obvious problem is the strong burnt smell old electric tools sometimes have when running. Any suggestions about drying it out or whatever?

DR does it have vents around the brushes area ? I would be concerned with what your talking about - is it a windings smell of overheated insulation? or is it a brush arcing smell of the commutator frying? if you have vents where you can physically see the commutator and brushes fire that bad boy up and run it through its range and look for heavy arcing in there,,, you really should not see much going on - if you do it might need to be disassembled and cleaned or the windings could be shorted and creating extra draw...

old mart
12-18-2016, 01:23 PM
Put it in a dry*warm place, meanwhile, rob the parts needed to renovate your existing machine. Keep the dried out one in case there are other spares useful in the future.

A.K. Boomer
12-18-2016, 01:38 PM
A certain amount of Ozone smell is normal in all brushed electric motors (that im aware of anyways)

is this the type of smell your dealing with?

12-18-2016, 01:51 PM
Plugging the tool into a ground fault outlet after you dry it out thoroughly is one simple safety test. I prefer to take them apart and look everything over well. You may find a dry bearing or grease that needs to be replaced. No sense in ruining a perfectly good tool. Mike

12-18-2016, 04:41 PM
Bosch tend to be double insulated (small square inside a larger one symbol) a portable appliance tester would be beneficial after desiccating it, warm cupboard followed with a bag of desiccant in a plastic bag and left for a few days,

12-18-2016, 05:05 PM
I keep a 14" abrasive saw at the metal tack/stack outside & try to keep a garbage bag over it but usually it blows off & gets soaked but works everytime. I may have $10 or less in it & don't like cutting in the shop unless with the bandsaw. I'd put it in the oven at 140 degrees & leave the door cracked for an hour or so.

12-18-2016, 05:36 PM
The gentle way to dry something out is to set it on a heating pad for a day or so.

12-18-2016, 06:29 PM
If you have forced air heating put it over one of the more distant registers where the flow is warm but not hot and let it blow through the cooling vents for a day. The warmth and moving air will dry out anything in it.

12-18-2016, 07:18 PM
I sometimes have to use fresh water and a jetwash to flush sea water out of site tools when I'm wire sawing near/over the sea because the sea water conducts quite well and I get electric shocks off the small tools. It never has any lasting effects. The modern soft-start triggers don't like it much but they dry out in time. Wet carbon brushes disappear super-fast though. I knew a guy who used to use it as a dodge to get an early day off site, he would pull the brushes, dip them in water for a short while and re-fit them. They'd be gone in minutes.

12-18-2016, 07:39 PM
What BCRider said. It's easy, not dangerous, and can be left for days without problems. I used to wash circuit boards with soap and water- the real issue is getting it dry afterwards. Air is great to blow out from under ICs, etc. Power tools can be blown out as well, and that's beneficial even if they haven't been wet. What you don't want to find is green corrosion around wiring- normally only happening where there's bare copper. Brush leads, connectors, etc. Magnet wire is insulated so water isn't normally going to cause a problem with the windings.

I've ran motors fully submerged just to see what would happen, and all that does is it slows down from the friction. I'm sure though that with line voltage and wet commutators there could easily be a problem with arcing. With carbon dust and water you could easily have a leakage to ground problem- but blow it out and dry it and it should be fine.