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Thread: Hot tank-Parts washer

  1. #1
    dfarning is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Hot tank-Parts washer

    I have been testing hot washing prior to bead blasting on some cast iron restoration projects. I am using a old crock pot that I got at a garage sale. It works amazingly well at degreasing old car parts (cuts blasting time in half). I am ready to purchase or build a bigger tank. Does anyone have any recommendation on how to build or where to find an inexpensive tank.

    thanks

  2. #2
    bzer1 is offline Experienced Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    I used a 30 gallon barrell and a hot water heater element with a themometer well, and a cheap contactor. It hooked to a honeywell industrial thermostat. I used a pump flange and gasket for the element. It took about two hours to get it hooked up and working. Lay the barrell on it's side and use the small bung for the thermometer well(should screw right in) the thermostat uses a built in t-couple with a short bulb and will slide into the well and uses a clip to hold it in place. I used a 110V element but for about 10 bucks more you can use a 220V higher wattage element and it will heat up very quickly. I just cut a door into the side of the barrell and used the cut out piece to make a door. It made an excellent dip tank for iron phosphate. I stopped using it because it was too small for the work I was doing so I got rid of it. I'll try to dig up some pics of it...Maybe they'll help you.

  3. #3
    dfarning is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    Thanks, I'll start scavenging for some hot water heater parts. The barrel should be pretty easy to find...or maybe I can just cut an old water heater in half.

  4. #4
    jbotti1 is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    What do you use for a degreaser? I like the crock pot idea for small jobs.
    Joe

  5. #5
    cdaeme's Avatar
    cdaeme is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarning
    Thanks, I'll start scavenging for some hot water heater parts. The barrel should be pretty easy to find...or maybe I can just cut an old water heater in half.
    Try to find an older hot water hearter tank. The newer ones have a glass lining that makes a mess when cut with a torch.

  6. #6
    dfarning is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    Just got back from my local home improvement store. They sell water heater repair kits for $28 that include two 220V 3500W heating elements and upper and lower themostats. I 'll have to do some more research because the themostats have little dials that you can set for you temeture range 120f to 165f, but I didn't see any sensors or thermo cuplurs that would measure the water temp.

    I have had the best luck with a product called Oil Eater and Dawn dishwashing soap as my general gunk remover.

  7. #7
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    hvac36 is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    This will cost you a little but not too much.
    Go to Harbor Freight and pick up there 20 gallon ( 99.00 ) or there 140 gallon for 149.00 ( http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=41108 ) built in pump also..
    Now you can find a big flat nut to fit a Hot water heater element and cut a hole just big enough for the element to pass thru at the bottom back corner of teh tank ( on the side). Weld nut to tank, now you can install element and use a hot water heater control mounted on the back of the tank to control the temp. Works great.. I still have mine keep temp about 125 ...

    Jim S...
    Note if your weld does not hold 100% apply a thin layer of silcone around outside of nut....

  8. #8
    bzer1 is offline Experienced Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    HVAC,

    Northern tools sells a heater for those parts washers. I've seen a few shops use them with simple green. It worked pretty well. The heater has a heating element, and just hangs on the side of the tank. It heats to 100f

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...33801&R=333801

  9. #9
    dfarning is offline Amateur Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    Thanks for all the feed back,

    I picked up HF's 20 gallon washer last night for $69. I thought that I would use it as a test for a future larger washer. Going to use the 220V heater elements from HD to see how they work.

    Can I just put the elements under the built-in parts shelf or should I put a safety shroud around the elements?

    Has anybody tried insulating one of these? I am looking at glueing on foam or using a water heater tank cover.

    thanks
    Dave

  10. #10
    bzer1 is offline Experienced Metal Finisher
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    Default Re: Hot tank-Parts washer

    I would use a hole saw and go through the side if I were you. Keep the element well below the "water line", about an inch from the bottom. You can pickup the element adapters and some silicone gasket sheet at HD. Mount the adapters over the hole you drill(one on the inside and one on the outside) and seal it with the gasket material. You'll have to make your own templates for the gaskets but you can use the adapter for that. The adapters have 4 bolt holes so you would drill them out and just bolt it in place. If at anytime you decide to abandon the setup and just keep the parts washer you can just leave the element there or replace it with a pipe plug of the same size. The elements need to be submerged or they will burn out very quickly, and besides you should really keep all of your connections away from where you're working and covered. You can cover the element connections with an outdoor sealed electrical box from HD.

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