Why does my parts washer keeps foaming over?
Foam is the result of too much pressure aerating the mass of liquid. However, in order to correctly troubleshoot the problem, we need to understand some variables about your specific cleaning process.
Most foam is controlled with the use of temperature or de-foaming agents. However in some applications, the actual soil that is being removed (i.e. coolants, lubricants) enter the wash bath and create a frothy soap. When a high enough concentration builds up, the only thing left to do is dump the tank.
Most cleaning chemistries or soaps require an operational temperature of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit or they will foam. If your solution temperature is less than 120 degrees, try raising the temperature to at least 140 and see if this corrects the problem. Also, as mentioned earlier, be sure you are using a low-foam chemistry or soap that is designed for the specific application.
JRI has developed low-temperature and low foam chemistries to help with these types of situations. If you would like to operate your machine at a lower temperature and reduce your soap dependency, contact us for more information.
Why do my heat elements keep blowing?
Many times, debris will buildup on the heating elements creating a blanket of insulation. This buildup causes the elements to work harder than usual to maintain temperature in the tank and this can lead to element failures.
The best way to maintain a long service life for your system is to service it regularly by gently cleaning both the tank and the elements. Regular wipe downs can also help significantly.
Is stainless steel construction really worth the extra cost?
That depends on your objective. How long do you plan on keeping the system? Stainless steel construction can provide you with a system that will structurally last forever. However, normal wear and tear items will need to be replaced over time.
Many washer suppliers will try to scare you into thinking that you have to buy stainless steel or the machine will fall apart in just a few years. This is only the case if you operate your system improperly.
So, what’s the proper way to run a parts washer?
First and foremost, it’s important to use a quality cleaning chemistry that has a robust inhibitor package built into it. Even at 1%-2% concentration, this will be enough to properly inhibit a mild steel structure.
Second, run it! The worst thing that you can do is let a mild steel machine “sit and cook” all day without water circulating. Rust does not occur under solution, but above it.
Third, if you are using a caustic, acidic or corrosive cleaner, mild steel will never hold up. You must buy a package with 99% stainless steel construction for these types of applications.
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