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Ultrasonic Cleaners


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2 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

Is Kalle saying not to clean watch parts in that type of (powerful) ultrasonic, or not to clean them with ultrasonic at all? All high end professional watch cleaning machines have been ultrasonic, with or without agitation, since the '60s. I've have never, ever, had an issue from ultrasonic on watch parts.

He is saying don't use those type of tank ultrasonic machines for watch parts. Use a proper ultrasonic watch cleaning machine. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all

Being that I am on quite a low income I can't afford expensive versions of some items, so when looking for an ultrasonic cleaner I turned to eBay and found something I could afford.

The one in the image below.

Described by the seller as

Ultrasonic power 120W
Ultrasonic frequency 40KHz
Heating power 100W

At first I thought all was ok, until I tried to preheat the water were I found the heater does not work, it is unfortunately now outside eBays 30 return policy having bought it 39 days ago so I decided to pop the bottom off to see if I could find out why the heater was not functioning.

What I found was that although it had the circuitry to control the heater there was no heating element installed at the factory.

So the question is, does anyone have the same version with Green Labels rather than the usual blue, does the heater work in yours.

Now got to try and find a heating element to fit myself.

Paul

 

Ultrasonic Cleaner.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Paul80 said:

At first I thought all was ok, until I tried to preheat the water were I found the heater does not work, it is unfortunately now outside eBays 30 return policy having bought it 39 days ago so I decided to pop the bottom off to see if I could find out why the heater was not functioning.

The 30 days are the "cooling off" period by law, that is you want to return an item without having to specify any reason, that doesn't seem your case.
Then, Ebay, Paypal and your card issuer have a 6 months claim period for faulty or not as described items. I suggest to go ahead with these channels.

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Are you sure that there is no heater attached? The heater used in these units is a flexible silicone pad stuck to the sides of the tank. I had one where the heater was connected wrongly and the heat was constantly on, until the solution was almost boiling.

As jdm said, this is a defective unit and you should be able to make a claim. But just check with the seller first to see if it can be settled amicably. Most sellers are nice people trying to make an honest living.

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Thanks for the replies

I had another look and low and behold yes there is a heater, a tiny little square brown silicone pad about 40mm square, because of the thin wires I had mistaken this for a thermistor.

Its being supplied with 230volts when on, just not getting hot, so its obviously blow. or faulty from manufacturer.

I tried to start a return for faulty or not working and it was eBay who said I was past the 30 days time allowed for returns.  with no option to escalate it if the seller fails to resolve the issue.

Looks like replacements elements can be had for not a lot so will probably end up having to go down that route.

Thanks again for the replies.

Paul

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22 minutes ago, Paul80 said:

I tried to start a return for faulty or not working and it was eBay who said I was past the 30 days time allowed for returns.  with no option to escalate it if the seller fails to resolve the issue.

Ebay is not the seller, just a (greedy) intermediary. Instead, PayPal and payment cards issuers take great care in maintaining a reputation of protection for online purchases. I think it's just fair for genuinely dissatisfied buyers to  fully escalate with them, so unscrupulous sellers do not get by without consequence in their behavior.

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2 hours ago, Paul80 said:

Looks like replacements elements can be had for not a lot so will probably end up having to go down that route.

Before you go order a new heater, check if the old heater is really blown. Check the resistance with a multimeter, it should be around 400 ohms. Or you can apply 230V across the wires and see if it gets warm.

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  • 2 months later...

Adding my two bits. 

I use a Branson B200 i bought 2nd hand several years ago. The one i bought was actually marketed by minolta or someone to clean inkjet cartridges and came with an insert to hold four cartridges. 

It's output power is 19w. Which is not much. It has no heating element but the transducer and electronics do generate a little heat. I typically use hot water in it. Keeping the lid on it during the cycle helps maintain heat. 

The default cycle is 5 minutes. I modified mine so that the cycle is more like 20 minutes. It just has an on button and an off button. Some have said that 20 minutes is too long, but i can stop whenever i want. I'm not addicted. 

I should state that my B200 is at least 20 years old and i routinely run it through three 20-minute cycles back to back to back. USA-made quality. I also use it to clean cases, bracelets, auto parts, tools, and anything that fits in it and has something that is hard to get at with a brush. 

I'm cheap so I am using about a 3:1 ratio of naphtha and odorless mineral spirit (aka stoddard solvent) for wash and straight naphtha for 1st and 2nd rinse. 

Mineral spirit often contain paraffins in solution that may leave a waxy residue. Solvents can be freeze distilled. Put them in the freezer for a few to several hours. The heavier constituents will plate out, sometimes making the solution look cloudy. A lot of the plated-out heavier stuff will stick to the walls of the container, so don't use the container you are going to wash parts in. Run the freezing-cold solvent through a paper coffee filter and almost all of the heavy stuff will stick to the paper. 

If you are particularly hard up for money you can use this technique to recycle wash solution but your final rinse should probably be virgin solvent. 

The little jars that minced garlic (christopher ranch) and pimentos (dromedary) come in in the USA fit nicely in this cleaner. Two of them fit at a time. The standard short jars for nacho cheese dip and salsa fit too, but are much larger and thus heavier and may result in poor efficiency. 

Heavily soiled parts still require attention with pegwood and rodico and i am under the impression that this is normal. 

I have at times had additional jars containing an ammoniated detergent solution (from hardware store), distilled water, alcohol, evapo-rust, etc. I should note that you shouldn't mix use of water based and petroleum based solutions without drying first. 

I've noticed that the seal on a pimento jar lid gets gummy when exposed to acetone. Not sure how they react to trichloroethane (troop-balas one-dip) but i should check. 

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Oh yeah one more thing that may have been mentioned before: 

 

Testing for ultrasonic functionality is easy. 

 

Drape some light-duty aluminum foil over a stick of pegwood or whatever so that it dangles into the water and turn on the machine. 

A functioning ultrasonic will perforate the aluminum. Because the real scrubbing bubbles don't eff around. 

Edited by TimpanogosSlim
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  • 3 weeks later...

As i got an Ultrasonic cleaner as one of my Christmas presents, i thought i'd provide some feedback for any newbies on a budget. (got it for £46.99)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LifeBasis-Ultrasonic-Jewellery-Polishing-Dentures/dp/B088H5L4J4/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=LifeBasis+Ultrasonic+Cleaner+850ml+Jewellery+Cleaner%2C+Ultrasonic+Jewellery+Cleaner+with+Basket+Watch+Stand+CD&qid=1641464338&sr=8-5

Very pleased with the results of this one. I also purchased a load of mini glass jam jars from amazon too and the ultrasonic cleaner can hold 8 of these.

Divided up the parts of a cheap mumbai special ebay watch i was using for service practice on and used a covering of IPA solvent in 6 of the jars and lighter fluid in 2 of them (for pallet fork and balance). Then put the the required amout of tap water in the ultrasonic cleaner, just short of the top of the jars and ran 600 seconds clean, which worked well.

Also tested the ultrasonic cleaner with very warm tap water and some drops of good old fairy liquid (other detergents are available) using the plastic watch holder (which keeps the body of the watch out of the water), with my Rolex, as the strap needed a clean.

Fantastic Results on maximum 600 seconds clean.  Water was filthy and watch shone beautifully. cleaned out the strap clasp crevice perfectly.

The only problem i found was that after i finished cleaning the watch strap, i was surrounded by ladies handing me their rings.  gotta keep the ladies happy i suppose 🙂

 

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 Some balance pivots may get damaged or completely disappear in ultrasonic, regardless of cleaning solutions, not sure but I think its the vibrations. 

I put the parts in plastic bottle.

 Also shellac gets washed away in ultrasonic if in any petrolium products. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stretch said:

Many thanks for the advice gents, i shall stop using it for Parts then and just soak them in the solutions.

Ultrasonic is OK to clean for movement parts, although largely unnecessary. In fact they are made by various makers of washing machines for watchmaking. However, there is no need to go high power and long time, 10 minutes is a lot.

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I've never seen damage to a watch part from either my industrial Elma and Sonoswiss 2.5L tank machines, or actual watch cleaning machines with ultrasonic. The Watchmaster machines are only ultrasonic (no agitation) and they're powerful, and still in use and a new version being made by another company.

 

If using glass jars inside a larger ultrasonic tank, that attenuates the force quite a bit. US is ok.

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6 minutes ago, Stretch said:

Great you tube channel, i found his video's on watch regulating and beat error interesting and helpful too

Talking about videos, always worth to highlight those made by our Host Mark Lovick. Consider subscribing his channel, and why not, becoming a Patreon in order to supporting funding for this website.

 

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It was Mark's You Tube channel that inspired me to explore the hobby; which i believe has been the case for many other people i've come across.

Has he retired from You Tube do you know, or just taken a break, as he's not put a video out for a long time.

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