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Old 24th November 2012, 11:15 PM   #191
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BB, those warps in the steam-cleaning are the stuff of nightmares.

What surprised me in my setup was the stratification and wide range of temperatures I found in the US bath. We usually heat water from the bottom, and convective circulation provides reasonably good mixing. But according to one diagram I've seen online, the GemOro heaters are mounted a little above mid-depth on the front side of the tank. This unusual position explains the stratification.

Here are some measurements that show it. Starting from 69 F, I heated the bath until the reading in the top 1/2-inch of the bath reached 120 F. Then I turned off the heat and took temp. readings at various depths (assuming the sensor occupies the last inch of the temperature probe). Then I stirred the bath for 10 seconds and took new readings at many locations. These were all the same value, that is, the average temperature.
______________________________________________
Depth (in) Temp. (F)
0-1/2 120
1-2 113
2-3 111
3-4 89
4-5 78

All locations after 10 s stirring (average temp.) : 105 F
______________________________________________

The average temperature is about 15 degrees below the target value, and the reading is about 30 degrees low at the greatest depth of lps, say 3 to 4-inches. If your machine produces similar stratification, then I think stirring is required to get a representative temperature reading and to ensure effective cleaning throughout the bath.

Rick, I started with a Fluke Comark T220/3 - Bi-Therm Pocket Thermometer - 0F to 220F, $5.20 from Zesco.com. It's OK, nothing special. I'm switching now to a Polder 362-90 digital timer/thermometer that I scavenged from a kitchen drawer. It has some useful features: alarm at target temp, count-down timer, large digital readout, and magnetic mounting (on US cleaner's case). The Polder is available on Amazon for $15.97, but according to some reviews, its quality has fallen in recent years. ThermoWorks Cooking Thermometer/Timer ($19 on Amazon) is the same deal. These are intended for meat, but so far it's working well in the US bath. I think it should be OK if I don't immerse the top end of the probe.

While I'm at it, here's info on the food pans and lids I bought for rinsing, storage, etc.

Zesco.com:
Cambro 36CW - Third Size x 6" Deep - Cold Food Pan (Clear, Black) $6.73
Cambro 30CWGL-135 - Third Size Transport Cover - Camwear GripLids; $8.47

So the initial investment for rinsing isn't very big. I also think the rinse water needs to be changed much less frequently than the US bath.
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Old 25th November 2012, 12:03 PM   #192
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Default Thermometer / TDS meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickmcinnis View Post

Out of curiosity what are you using as your thermometer?
Rick, One option is to get a combo Thermometer / Total Dissolved Solids meter that can also test the purity of the water you use in your cleaning solution (and test your RO drinking water setup).

The inexpensive ones run $20. Here's one:
Amazon.com: HM Digital TDS-3 Handheld Meter TDS Tester Model: Home Improvement

There are some knockoffs on amazon that don't carry the HM logo. I'd stick with the name brand meter.

B B
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Old 25th November 2012, 06:58 PM   #193
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BB, I checked the HM website here <http://www.tdsmeter.com/what-is#what> where it says that they only detect dissolved ions, etc. in water, but specifically not suspended particles. Aren't suspended particles our primary concern? There might well be a correlation between the two, is that what you have in mind? Would it also detect ions from the surfactant we are using?
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Old 25th November 2012, 07:17 PM   #194
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Default TDS Meter just for the pure water, before mixing your solution

For the pure water you're putting in your cleaning solution, there will be no suspended particles. But there are dissolved solids in bottled water, RO water, DI water, and trace amounts in distilled water. This is what a TDS meter would measure.

If Rick was going to use his RO water for his LP cleaning, the TDS meter would be very handy. Same for you if you want to compare Aquafina to less expensive distilled water. It would also help you measure TDS in your rinse tank. You might find that the rinse water you leave in containers will pick up some TDS over time. You might be surprised how much --- it depends in large part how that water is being stored (container type and exposure to normal air).

A TDS meter can't be used to measure a cleaning solution with isopropyl and/or surfactants in it. A good filter setup will remove the vast majority of suspended particles from your cleaning solution down to submicron in size. A carbon filter can remove many TDS components.

This is a good article on water from the tmasc ultrasonics website
DI Water Specifications.htm
B B

Last edited by bbftx; 25th November 2012 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 25th November 2012, 09:20 PM   #195
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Thanks, BB. I misunderstood the purpose you had in mind. Rather than check one measure (TDS) of the quality of the "clean" water we start with, I thought it was intended in part intended to help decide when to change the US cleaner's bath.

That's an interesting comment about the rinse water, especially the final rinse. Purity as measured by TDS content would be significant there. I wonder, though, if this device has enough resolution to distinguish "ultra-distilled" from common distilled water. Several of the user reviews state that they get a 0 reading for distilled water, which is presumably the common variety.
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Old 25th November 2012, 09:28 PM   #196
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It would also be interesting to test Aquafina against the more expensive audiophile distilled water it's supposed to replace (according to M. Fremer and others).
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Old 26th November 2012, 12:51 AM   #197
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Rick, Aquafina specs their water at 4 ppm TDS. So, you're right, no reason to use it over distilled. Another audiophile myth popped. I'll just use distilled for rinsing from here on. Glad to save the money and not have to deal with all those bottles. Thanks for your input.

I'm currently storing my final rinse water in a black polycarbonate food pan with a very tight, 3-gasket sealable lid. There's less than an inch of air space inside. I'm not up to speed on the chemistry of all this, so I've no idea what that implies. Storage time would be a matter of days to a week or so. Maybe time spent on the shelf at the store in the original gallon container might be important. I guess this is where the TDS meter would be useful.
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Old 26th November 2012, 06:00 AM   #198
Shaun is offline Shaun  South Africa
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This latest topic has me wondering about the suitability of kitchen-type online water filtering, which use activated carbon filters. I can't seem to find technical specs (e.g. max particle size). Any thoughts?
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Old 26th November 2012, 12:54 PM   #199
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Default Filters

Shaun, Depends on the type and brand. If a supplier doesn't supply specs for an inline system, the filters are probably 20 to 30 micron at best.
Are you thinking about this to create pure water from tap water for your cleaning solution, or for filtering the cleaning solution after use?

To create "pure" water from tap water, you need multistage filtering. This gets more expensive than just buying distilled water. For example, the best kitchen type drinking pithcer filter is the ZeroWater. But each $15 filter cartridge only cleans an average of 30 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. And the output water isn't as pure as distilled water. Zerowater does not remove bacteria from tap water.
ZEROWATER Drinking Water Filters

For filtering your cleaning solution, my setup is shown in message #121 in this thread --- URC Filter Setup.
You can use inexpensive 5" or 10" filter housings from allfilters.com These are $10-$20. Replacement filters are only $3 to $8 each and will last for up to hundreds, perhaps thousands of gallons. You can buy 1 micron polypropylene filters or carbon filters down to about 0.5 microns. But, the carbon filters probably need a more expensive pump that can deliver more pressure. Again, you reach a point where it's cheaper to just buy more cleaning solution.

A cleaning solution filtration setup will extend the life of the cleaning solution, but not an infinite amount.
Cheers,
B B

Last edited by bbftx; 26th November 2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 26th November 2012, 01:29 PM   #200
bbftx is offline bbftx  United States
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Default Filter Care

Just in case it's not obvious for anyone setting up a filtration system for their URC, I better point out that you need to drain your filter and pump, and open the filter housing to let the cartridge dry out when you're not using the system. Bacteria will grow if you leave the system wet when you put it away. This is also my concern about leaving cleaning solution or rinse water overnight, or for days on end.
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