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Water for Coolant - What I Bought Today

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  • Water for Coolant - What I Bought Today

    At no time since I have started using water soluble coolant have I used tap water. I am on a private well here and have modest to high dissolved solids. I was buying 20-50 gallons at a time from the local grocery stores of whatever their store brand was when I first started. I didn't really want to be dependent on a water service to fill a tank, and I'm not sure they provide distilled as a service anyway. I think for those services its all RO filtered for drinking water.

    I looked at DI, but then I either have to recharge the DI system periodically or I have to hire a service to handle it. I don't like being dependent, and I wasn't 100% sure DI would do the trick.

    I bought a small distiller. Really intended for residential cooking and drinking. It produces about 11 gallons per day and has a 4.5 gallon reservoir. It has worked for several years, but the setup and production marginal. I can go through 10+ gallons (sometimes more) a day if all the machines are running and the reservoir is about the right size to mix up one bucket at a time. If I remembered to fill and premix buckets even on days I am not running all the machines all day I had "enough" coolant on hand. I've been using it for several years.

    Last week it died, and I have been shut down. Well I have been shutdown dealing with some family issues, but the distiller probably kept me from running some short jobs. Ok. I really didn't want to work anyway. I spent this morning cleaning it out, and replaced the fuse and it seems to be working ok again. I need to clean out the evaporator tank more often I think.

    Some time back I contacted Master Chemical and asked what level of water treatment I should have and they were pretty noncommittal so I just stuck with distilled.

    I have to ask. For those of you using water soluble coolant in a small shop what are you using for your water source?

    P.S. I just ordered a new distiller with a 25 gallon reservoir. The one I have will go on the shelf as a backup when the new one arrives.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    Hi,

    Whatever comes out of the tap. One place I worked, the water was unfit to drink but it worked just fine for mixing coolant. I don't think it pays to be overly concerned if it's potable water. It's not like you are using it to season your soup with.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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    • #3
      I use water coolant just by itself for the lasers and vacuum systems. I have a RO system that goes under the sink, does 100GPD, and the filters last for about a year at least. Its a good idea to get a TDS meter just to keep an eye on it. It might be a good solution. The setups are pretty cheap.

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      • #4
        What type of water treatment you need to buy would start with a comprehensive water test.
        Private well or municipal water supply?

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        • #5
          Rain water, collected from the roof, stored in plastic tanks and pumped through a 20 micron filter—in other words, exactly what comes out any tap at this rural home. The pH is a bit less than 7, but it's fit to drink. And if it's fit for my gut, I figure it's fit for my lathe.

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          • #6
            I live in a area with hard water, depending on which exact water district you are in... years ago, my parents had our old house fitted with a whole-house softener and filter system because there was so much limestone in the village water. It would completely clog iron pipes in 40 yrs. I believe they used calcium chloride salts in a container the size of a barrel, and the filter unit was charcoal also in a barrel sized unit. Here is the system they used, it worked good: https://www.culligan.com/
            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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            • #7
              Water with the hydraulic oil called dromus, 5% I think
              mark

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mike Burch View Post
                Rain water, collected from the roof, stored in plastic tanks and pumped through a 20 micron filter—in other words, exactly what comes out any tap at this rural home. The pH is a bit less than 7, but it's fit to drink. And if it's fit for my gut, I figure it's fit for my lathe.
                Be careful that no one sees you catching rainwater. It’s actually illegal in some places. People have been fined here in Oregon. Sigh.

                https://regproject.org/news/oregon-m...ater-property/

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                • #9
                  I don't use water coolant, but have other water uses for fairly good purity.

                  In the summer, I dehumidify the shop, and I collect the condensed water, which is about as pure as rainwater, minus the squirrel crap etc. I collect enough for my usual needs before switching the output to the drain, and I can get more whenever wanted during the dehumidifying season.

                  For "purists", it can be filtered, of course, to remove whatever spores etc might be carried in it.
                  3313 5160 4357 4344 3174 9120

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Everything not impossible is compulsory

                  Birds are NOT real, they are spying on you

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by macona View Post

                    Be careful that no one sees you catching rainwater. It’s actually illegal in some places. People have been fined here in Oregon. Sigh.

                    https://regproject.org/news/oregon-m...ater-property/
                    https://www.eugeneweekly.com/2017/04...er-harvesting/

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                    • #11
                      Must be a lot bigger "small" shop than our small shop. I go through about 10 gallons of coolant a year not daily lol. Must get steamy in there.
                      21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                      1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post
                        Must be a lot bigger "small" shop than our small shop. I go through about 10 gallons of coolant a year not daily lol. Must get steamy in there.
                        Four small CNC Mills in my main 14 x 23 machine room. One larger (2ton) CNC knee mill in the main shop. One bandsaw I run with coolant. One 10x54 manual Mill and one 14x40 lathe setup for coolant but not currently running coolant. On a good day I'll have 3 CNCs running continuously and one intermittently while I jump between the saw and the lathe or manual Mill. Most days I am frantically trying to finish CAD/CAM to get things going.

                        All coolant is flood. Two nozzles on all CNCs.

                        It can get steamy in the machine room.

                        Ambient humidity in the area is typically very very low 11 months out of the year.
                        Bob La Londe
                        Senior Member
                        Last edited by Bob La Londe; 04-19-2021, 12:57 PM.
                        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                        • #13
                          I only use 100% Rocky Mountain water, anything else is substandard.

                          On a more serious note, a single small CNC lathe using a 3 jaw scroll chuck can use over 3 gallons of coolant per shift, a collet chuck will use much less.
                          Bented
                          Senior Member
                          Last edited by Bented; 04-19-2021, 07:52 PM.

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                          • #14
                            ... does it actually *lose* all that coolant? or does it take a while to run back down into the tank?
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                              ... does it actually *lose* all that coolant? or does it take a while to run back down into the tank?
                              The water evaporates, coolant is used to remove heat from the cutting zone by adding heat to the water which changes state from liquid to gas.

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