Tech Tip: Cleanout Procedure and Fluid Maintenance

Posted by Lube-Tech on Jun 26, 2018 8:32:12 AM

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A clean metalworking fluid system provides better machining, surface finish, and tool life than a dirty system. Metal fines, bacteria, and tramp oil are all problems that can escalate over time, each of these can warrant a cleanout.

Sometimes a cleanout is inevitable, but proper coolant maintenance can help prolong sump life. Before a system is cleaned out, a sample should be sent to the Lube-Tech lab to determine the potential mode of failure.

sump cleaning before and after-1

Cleanout Procedure

  1. Remove the coolant from the sump.
  2. Vacuum out all the metal swarf and debris from the sump, return trenches, oil pans, chip conveyors, and filtration units.
  3. Fill the system with enough water to circulate through the sump and lines. Add in Lube-Tech Aqua Kleen Machine Shop Clean at a concentration of 5%. Allow this mixture to circulate through the system for 1-3 hours. Drain this cleaner mixture from the system.
  4. Fill the sump with a 1-2% coolant mixture. Allow this mixture to circulate in the system for another 1-3 hours to remove any residual cleaner. Drain this mixture.
  5. Charge the system with fresh coolant mixture at the desired operating concentration.

 Request Sump Cleaning

Fluid Maintenance Tips

  • Regularly check and record the coolant concentration.
  • Provide daily make-up using a weak coolant dilution of 2-3%. NEVER MAKE-UP USING ONLY WATER OR STRAIGHT COOLANT. This leans out in-use coolant over time and does not replenish important additives present in the coolant concentrate (biocides, rust preventatives, pH buffers, etc.)
  • Remember to mix oil in water - not the other way around!
  • Test water quality to determine coolant compatibility.
  • If the machine is used intermittently, be sure to periodically circulate the fluid through the system.
  • Equip the system with a tramp oil separator or belt skimmer.


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