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Author Topic: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid  (Read 47438 times)

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Offline woodbowl

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Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« on: November 05, 2010, 10:39:46 PM »
I just drained the hydraulic fluid from a backhoe and it is quite milky with water to say the least. Since I am cheep thrifty I always store old oil in the barn for a couple of years and let it settle out. I pour it off the top and it looks good as new.

In this case I am in a hurry and didn't really want to buy 10 gallons of new oil. I googled a few key words and found forums using tolit paper filters and chemicals. I did a little experiment and heated some in a can untill all the water steamed out and it was clear.

I don't plan to go to a lot of trouble on this, but it bugs me that people throw away emulsified oil. I know you can wait on it to seperate, but I think there is a quicker way. I don't plan to build an evaporator, but I have thought about setting up a drip system at the peak of the tin bar and let the sun work the moisture out then catching it in a bucket off the eave. 

Full time custom sawing at the customers site since 1995.  WoodMizer LT40 Super Hyd.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 11:04:34 PM »
I've wondered that same thing.  Man, I hate to drain 5 gallons of milky hydraulic fluid and then use it to ignite brush piles.

Heating and boiling the water out would be risky, because that stuff will really burn.
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Offline clif

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 01:33:34 AM »
Ah, another reason to live in Alaska 8) just set it outside in the winter!
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2010, 04:09:08 PM »
oil is to cheap to risk wrecking something.change the filters more often or use differant brand
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline Whitman

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 09:19:59 PM »
If you have a large sturty contaner ,you can draw a vaccum on the mix. the water will come off as steam . the reverse of a pressercooker.  it will help if it is warmed to150f or more

Offline footer

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 12:10:58 AM »
You could always buy one of these. You can get into an entry level one for a couple grand. ;D
http://www.fischer-robertson.com/como_oil_recycling.htm

We did this with a bunch of Hydraulic oil at a place I used to work.
We set up a few 55 gal drums to seperate "most" of the water. We wleded some legs on the drum so the drum sat a couple feet off the floor in a virtical position. Welded a fitting in the bottom and screwed a Ball Valve in it. Put the Oil/Water in the drum. Get a Barrel Heater from someone like WW Grainger. Put heater around lower 1/3 section of the barrel and let it sit for a couple weeks. Drain out the water from the bottom.
We would then pump this into another barrel and run the recylcler filter system on this for a couple days.
With out the Recycler, you will probably get 99% of the water out, but there is a small % that wont settle out.

Offline sdunston

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 05:46:32 AM »
Tractor sells a filter that is used for diesel but on light oils also, I was going to make a set-up but have not had time latley, but hyd oil @ over 10 bucks a gallon its time
Sam
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Offline Dangerous_Dan

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2010, 07:21:48 AM »
Woodbowl-
You need a centrifuge.
I built a small one to clean WVO when I was running my homemade 50kw Veggie gen setup. It was the only way to get the oil clean enough to not plug the fuel filters every few hours.

DD
First you make it work, then you trick it out!

Online Gary_C

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 09:02:04 AM »
These equipment manufacturers have two schools of thought about water in hydraulic systems.

One belief by the people at CaseIH is that all hydraulic oil should have additives so it will absorb water in the oil. Their reasoning is so the water is held in the oil and doesn't precipitate out the other additives which will plug the filters. Plus free water in the hydraulic system will rust steel parts and cause problems and it will freeze in cold weather.

The guys at John Deere have the opposite viewpoint. They do not want any water absorbed in the hydraulic oil so no additives for that in their hydraulic oils. They prefer to allow water to collect in the bottom of reservoirs and hope it does not build up enough to get mixed in with the oil in the pumps.

So as far as I am concerned if any hydraulic oil shows signs of water, out it goes. I will not reclaim any to put back in the reservoir. I am not taking any chance on screwing up the additives or if the oil is saturated with absorbed water. Those hydraulic pumps and components cost way to much to replace and no amount of reclaimed oil can save anywhere near the cost of a pump and installation.

As much as I dislike the cost of that hydraulic oil, there is no way I am going to be an oil refiner too. 

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline woodbowl

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 09:23:36 PM »
I decided to change the filters and add more hyd oil to clean it up. Problem is there are no filters. For what ever reason someone has been running this backhoe without Hydraulic oil filters.  >:(  I just bought the machine. Knowing that the hydraulics move slow and the fluid is like pancake batter it was reasonable to think that an oil change would bring it back into operation, and may still.

I have no idea how long it has ran without filters. I just hope the pumps are ok. The plan is to fill it with fluid and run it through a few cycles to mix it all together then drain it again. I suppose the correct thing to do is to install new filters. Immediate clogged filters comes to mind. I may not put them on. Go ahead and shoot me.

At any rate it seems that I will be going through quite a bit of hydraulic oil just to get things cleaned up. I'll be saving this oil for sure to seperate the water from it. I'm all for new oil in a running machine. If for nothing else, reclaimed oil that the water has been cleaned from would make a good cleaner for future water problems. I just checked my tractor hyd oil. Now how did that water get in there again, I just changed it a few years ago.

Woodbowl-
You need a centrifuge.
I built a small one to clean WVO when I was running my homemade 50kw Veggie gen setup. It was the only way to get the oil clean enough to not plug the fuel filters every few hours.

DD

OK Dan, you talked me into it. How did you build your machine?  I've got two 5 gallon buckets of contaminated hyd fluid ready to attach to the end of the bush  hog blades. How long does it take to sling the water to the bottem of the bucket?  :)
Full time custom sawing at the customers site since 1995.  WoodMizer LT40 Super Hyd.

Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2010, 07:46:56 AM »
This is one time when being "cheap/thrifty" could possibly cost you.  When you let oil set for long periods of time all the water does not drop out.   All of the oil not falling out has to do with everything from viscosity to water droplet size to ambient temperature.  This link “U.S. Navy Restores Mineral Hydraulic Oil on Submarines”:  http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/1056/mineral-hydraulic-oil  takes you to an article that explains some of this.  One illustration/comment in the article that I liked was that “due to viscosity, the water drop settling rate in the diesel fuel is about 20 times faster than that of the hydraulic oil for a water drop of the same size.”

This next link takes you to a video on what contamination can do to you equipment:  http://www.machinerylubrication.com/View/1806/hydraulic-contamination .
 
Here are several more articles about hydraulic systems and what you can do to maintain them:
http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/26929/pros-cons-hydraulic-filter
http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/25967/hydraulic-oil-lubrication-viscosity
http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/1396/hydraulic-equipment

Having worked a good number of hydraulic systems during my many years on the boats along with working in the oil sampling business  for a number of years, I STRONGLY recommend you take very good care of you hydraulic fluid.  Make Dang sure your filters are changed on a regular interval, based on usage and calendar year.  If you are making your living using big equipment, remember what the video said about cycle time and equipment failure.

One other point I would like to make.  If you have fluid in storage, keep it clean and TIGHTLY closed!  Just due to temperature changes around it, hydraulic fluid can become contaminated with water.  When this happens, algae can grow in your stored oil.  I know this for a fact because the team I was on in Kingsbay Submarine Base many years ago had to assist in the fixing of a contaminated boat.  Both the Main and Vital systems stopped working while they were on patrol.  They had to surface and wait for an ocean going tug to go get them and bring them into port.  What a mess!  All due to them not taking care of their stored oil.  When the main system needed oil they transferred contaminated oil from storage and the algae blocked all the filters and many of the electro-hydraulic control valves.

CLEAN YOUR SYSTEMS!

Bruce

Offline doctorb

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2010, 08:35:18 AM »
Submariner
Does that apply to systems that use low viscosity hydralic fluid (like automatic transmission fluid)?  It's used in wood splitters that routinely are not stored indoors.

Doctorb
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2010, 08:52:24 AM »
 Woodbowl ,
 I wonder if putting the pails into a freezer if the water/oil would separate and only the water would freeze  ... if so you could use it to run through the backhoe till you have the system cleaned out , after that , put new oil in ...
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline ely

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 09:02:50 AM »
i dont mess with contaminated oil here. it is only 21 bucks for 5 gallons.

Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 08:00:00 PM »
Submariner
Does that apply to systems that use low viscosity hydralic fluid (like automatic transmission fluid)?  It's used in wood splitters that routinely are not stored indoors.Doctorb

Doc,

Based on what I have read, I would recommend you use an desiccant type air filter/breather on all your hydraulic equipment.  A quick Google search and I found this one:  http://www.des-case.com/.  Now, I don't know anything about this company, but it gives you a good illustration of a desiccant type tank air filter.  

Yes, they do cost more, but your oil and equipment could last longer.  Water is one of the biggest problems there is in oil systems, not just hydraulic systems. I wasn't kidding when I told you guys about that submarine.  I was recently involved in a problem at one of the very large Army bases that had about 260,000 gallons of #2 fuel that was NEVER treated.  When we finally got them to sample and test this oil, it was junk.  We sold it off for them at about 25% of what they paid for it.  It was too far gone to fix with clay filters and other treatment chemicals.  What a waste.  Good thing we jumped on them about sampling and testing.  They were getting ready to start feeding it to their backup/peak shaving generators - big ones.  About 2.3 MW each.  For once we got it right before there was any major damage.  

This is also why I like filling up my 250 SD diesel at the bigger truck stops.  They usually cycle though their oil more quickly giving it less of a chance of going bad.  Smaller mom and pop stations have a better chance of having water and other stuff in their oil, meaning fuel oil.

Any more questions, PLEASE let me know.  I hope worded all of this right ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ;D :D :o

bruce

Offline woodbowl

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2010, 08:46:59 PM »
Thanks Bruce, that's a lot of good usefull information. Marcel, I ran across a site that mentioned freezing it. I'm gonna have to try a sample. Ely, I just bought 5 gallons this morning for about $34 bucks, cheapest in town.  :-\  I'm really excited about a slow drip down a piece of hot barn tin. It was 34° this morning here in north Fla. I guess I won't be doing it for a while.
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2010, 10:24:48 PM »
Marcel I just took a container of milky hyd oil out of the freezer. The wife ain't happy about my experiments even though the container was in three walmart bags. So far it looks like a big slushy. I'll let it thaw and try to tell what's going on. Anybody know how the separation works?

I've drained the hyd oil and changed the filters on the backhoe twice now as well as clean the pick up screen and it seems to be working a bit better. According to the specs only a third of the oil will drain durring oil changes meaning that two thirds of the contaminated oil is still in the cylinders. This is starting to get a bit expensive.

Draining the cylinders is what I keep hearing about of how to purge the system. I tried it some, but I could see that it was going to be a big chore. I may could have left the loader, the hoe and the outriggers in the up position then gravity bleed it down after the oil was drained to purge a little more. Has anyone done this or am I unpriming the pump?
Full time custom sawing at the customers site since 1995.  WoodMizer LT40 Super Hyd.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2010, 07:31:29 AM »
Once the milky fluid is kind of frozen, strain out the ice crystals.

I had all the fluid out of my backhoe this summer and it sat there for 6 weeks. The pump did not un-prime. The pump on mine is at the front of the engine. I had replaced the main hyd. output line and was waiting for someone to weld the frame which is the hyd. reservoir.
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2010, 09:11:19 AM »
If you start bleeding the cylinders ...make sure everything is either in the down position or properly blocked...I know of a contractor that had a helper disconnect a hose while they were working on a dump truck several years ago, the bed was up and when the hose got loose enough the bed fell on him and killed him....the helper was his son.  Tim
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2010, 06:50:31 PM »
Once the milky fluid is kind of frozen, strain out the ice crystals.


I can do that. It flows as slow as honey so I'll need to do it in the freezer. Da wife is really going to mad.

That's a tough one Tim. You just can't be too careful. I wouldn't want to undo anything in the up position. Using the control handle is what I had in mind.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2010, 09:03:31 PM »

I've drained the hyd oil and changed the filters on the backhoe twice now as well as clean the pick up screen and it seems to be working a bit better. According to the specs only a third of the oil will drain durring oil changes meaning that two thirds of the contaminated oil is still in the cylinders. This is starting to get a bit expensive.

Woodbowl after having a 1979 backhoe for almost 20 years (bought in 88) I think you chose the right words "starting to get expensive", I must say though that if I had gave or thrown it away a few years ago when I sold it the old thing really didn't owe me a dime for the amount of work we had done with it... just got tired of working on it. I always told people that thought it would be handy to have an old backhoe that I could go out and spend $1000 any time, and do it again next month.


 The pump on mine is at the front of the engine. I had replaced the main hyd. output line and was waiting for someone to weld the frame which is the hyd. reservoir.

Sprucebunny sound like you might have a Case?

Banjo picker that is very good advise, I might add that some of the parts a very heavy so don't get directly under them when removing them and put a tie down or rope on heavy parts when removing or installing them just incase the fall.

Offline Dangerous_Dan

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2010, 06:10:11 PM »
Woodbowl, here's the pics you requested via PM of the homemade centrifuge.
I figured I would just post them here so everyone can see them and copy my setup.
Not pictured is the holding tank for the liquid. It's best to heat oil before running it through. The thinner it is the more crap will come out in less time.
The liquid is gravity feed and the valve allows you to set the flow. The lower the flow, the cleaner the oil and the more time it will take.
The spinning rotor is made from a modified Ford sepentine style power steering pulley threaded on a standard 3450 pump motor. The stand is homemade from some angle iron. To clean the crap out of the centrifuge unscrew the rotor and wipe out the goo. Screw it back on and your ready to go agian.


 



 



DD
First you make it work, then you trick it out!

Offline rbarshaw

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2010, 06:35:54 PM »
My Grandfather had a cream seperator that worked on the same principle, I just wonder if someone was to use one if it would work.
Been doing so much with so little for so long I can now do anything with nothing, except help from y'all!
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2010, 11:30:39 PM »
Thanks for the pics Dan. I hadn't thought of using a pully. I just took a look at the power steering pulleys on all my vehicles. They seem to have the shape, but not as good as yours.

Lets see if I understand how this works. The stream enters the center and is slung outward against the pully wall. The heavy crud clings to the wall and the lighter oil is to the inside. As the pully wall is filled the light oil climbs the wall and slings out over the top and into the pan to be drained off.

I can't tell from the pic, but is there a lip on the inside of the pully to keep the crud from spilling out with the clean oil? What volume can it handle per hour?
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2010, 06:47:47 PM »
.  
 .
     Both the Main and Vital systems stopped working while they were on patrol.  They had to surface and wait for an ocean going tug to go get them and bring them into port.  What a mess!  All due to them not taking care of their stored oil.  When the main system needed oil they transferred contaminated oil from storage and the algae blocked all the filters and many of the electro-hydraulic control valves.

CLEAN YOUR SYSTEMS!

Bruce

--and I well imagine they had a change of command and no doubt the engineering officer could kiss his career goodbye over that one .--BTW I spent 4 years on the boats ,fast attacks  ,one boomer ,one diesel --- Norfolk,New London ,Rota .

Offline Dangerous_Dan

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2010, 07:59:25 PM »
I welded a plate to the open end of the pulley and bored a hole in it with a lathe. In the pic, the oil is stream is running through this hole.
The pulley can trap 1-2 cups of crud.
I was running about 5 gallons of WVO in 1 hour and getting 1 cup or so of crud and goo.
The slower you run the oil through it, the cleaner it will be.

DD
First you make it work, then you trick it out!

Offline Wintergreen Mountain

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2010, 09:24:22 PM »
     woodbowl,

I would find a good clean 55gal barrel, drain all the oil you can out of the macine. Put it in the barrel. Lay it on it's side in a dry warm place with the small bugne down at the bottom and up so you can get a pail under it later without disturbing it much. Get NEW oil and put it in the machine.
    Let it set for about 2 months. without disturbing it, take the small bunge loose and drain off the settled water and dirt. Tip the barrel up to get all the water you can out. When just oil comes out, stop draining. I have reclaimed hundreds of gallons of oil this way. Once you have most of the water drained out, strain it and put it in pails for later use. If the oil doesn't clear up it has addatives in it.
    Leon
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2010, 12:26:35 AM »
Well now gents and ladys .You can cheap out and use contaminated oil  but just like the Ampco man pay me now or pay me later.Use that water logged oil for wood preservative or burn it,do not attempt it in a usable hydraulic system .Don't be penny wise and pound foolish now .

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2010, 09:22:26 AM »
I had never thought about reusing it.  Some of these methods sound pretty good, but I guess I am just too cheap to try it .   ;)  Tim
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2010, 09:21:27 PM »
, It just burns a lot better with the water removed .  ;)
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2010, 06:13:46 AM »
Well there is some merit to that .I've got two buddies with waste oil burners and they do very well .One owns a welding shop the other has a 60 by 95 building with about a quarter  million bucks worth of Camaros and Vets in it .

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2010, 08:19:59 AM »
Well there is some merit to that .I've got two buddies with waste oil burners and they do very well .One owns a welding shop the other has a 60 by 95 building with about a quarter  million bucks worth of Camaros and Vets in it .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Would that be 4 cars or 5? :)
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2010, 04:12:38 PM »
 :D I think the number varies from time to time . There were a couple Yanko or who ever that  Camero wizz kid is in his shop .Long story .

Point being though with the oil burner and essentually free oil he can maintain his temp and humidity to preserve the investment .Makes more sense to me rather than use contamenated oil and take the chance of ruining a piece of equipment but that's not my call ---just my 2 cents worth . ;D

The old not detergent oils kept things in suspension but modern oils do not .It won't "settle" like that 50 year old stuff .Once hydraulic oil becomes "homoginized " with water I'm not so sure you can get it out or not .

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2010, 10:02:41 PM »
I've done quite a bit of reading lately about cleaning oil with a centrifuge. Most of it seems to be about wvo. What I haven't found is a small home operation that cleans up their own motor oil to reuse in their personal vehicles. What happens when motor oil gets really hot and burns, and is put through a homemade centrifuge to be cleaned up to within 1 micron? Is the viscosity affected or can it be continually cleaned and reused? Are we talking about the same quality recycled oil that is sold to the public?

If it does that good a job, fish grease should be a really big savings.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2010, 03:41:54 PM »
When I was younger, recycled oil was sold in the filling stations to top off your crankcase oil.  It must have been sold to them as bulk, because, at the pump, it was delivered in quart mason jars with a cone shaped metal lid that they used for a pouring spout.  You could mix non-detergent with detergent oils, so I guess that the recycled oil kept its viscosity.

You could also buy "Generic" canned oils.  They were usually in a stand next to the pump and were in cans with plain green or blue labels with white lettered "OIL" printed on the side.  I was always told that it was reclaimed and the equivalent to 30W, since it had no other markings.  30W was good for pretty much everything back then, and many mechanics didn't care for Detergent oils because you couldn't mix the oils if you were on the road.  It limited you to one brand of oil/gasoline.  'Course we were all very brand dependent anyway.  My family bought Gulf until Philips 66 showed up, then it was tried because of the claim of better mileage.

It seems to me that heat would be a good way to get rid of water in oil.  Water doesn't stay liquid above 212°.  If you turn it to steam, it has to go somewhere.

I  have always had a probem with water in my Little Blue Tractor (Ford 1910, 1985 model).  The oil in the transmission is hydraulic oil and feeds all of the applications of the tractor.  Within a short time, I noticed that it was white.  The Dealer told me that it was water from condensation and that all of these tractors do it.  They had complained to Ford and were told that it didn't hurt anything.  so, for the last 25 years, I have not paid any attention to it. Now my 3 point hitch doesn't hold good and my frontend loader won't pick up what it should.  The filter is new, so I'm thinking that the valves under the seat may need attention.  I've never been into them before and hate to screw something up.  It's not the pump because strength is only a problem intermittently.    The engine has to be run awhile before good oil flow happens so I guess I need to find someone who knows what is going on.  Unfortunately, Duval County Florida is lacking in that kind of expertise deciding that retail malls are more important than farms and mechanics.

Anyway, I degress.   I've been told that oil is a lot more durable than we give it credit for being.  If it weren't for the marketing efforts of big oil companies, we could still be using reclaimed oil economically and with good results.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2010, 09:51:13 PM »
Don't see why heat wouldn't do the job. Water boils at 212 deg F at sea level. Oil doesn't start to break down till around 300 deg F so keeping a batch at a steady 250 should get rid of the water. Maybe a turkey fryer would do 5 gallons or so ?
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Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2010, 05:39:14 AM »

Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2010, 05:48:19 AM »
Here is an other good article on seperating water from oil and why you should do it:  http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/503/water-oil-removal.

I had forgotten about the effects that water has on the additive package in the oils.  And believe in or not, additives can be very important to your oil.

Bruce

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2010, 07:21:00 PM »
Trying to reclaim contaminated Hydraulic oil is not being cheap or thrifty. That is just plain irresponsible.

I have wrenched on both the Green stuff and the Red stuff and the Cat stuff and all have their pros and cons.

Regular swap out of Hydraulic fluids is the best preventive maintenance you can give your valuable equipment. Most hydraulic fluids will have an expect life of about 200 to 500 hours use time max and that is dependant on your care or lack there of and the operating conditions.

IT is very easy to blow 8000 to 10000 to repair a hydraulic system that was damaged through just plain bad maintenance practices.
8000 bucks will buy more hydraulic fluid than you can use in the life time of a good piece of a equipment but it will never put your equipment back to OEM quality. Only good maintenance will prolong that time frame as far as possible.

Heating Hydraulic fluid with out proper equipment to establish measure and maintain the correct temperature is a good way to alter the molecular structure which can have very undesirable side effects in your machine.

It is possible to set up a system to clean the oil but for the price why bother. New oil is not that expensive in the long run.

There are still a few reclaimers in Canada. Not sure if the product ends up back in the retail oil products market but no reason it shouldn't as far as i know.  
        
 
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Offline Popeye1

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2013, 12:11:37 PM »
i dont mess with contaminated oil here. it is only 21 bucks for 5 gallons.
Sorry to post on an old thread like this, but I would really love to know where to find hydraulic oil for a price even close to this.  $21 for 5 gallons!!

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2013, 01:01:34 PM »
popeye
What was the price of gas in Nov. 2010 ? 

A bit less than now... IIRC ;)
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2013, 08:02:56 PM »
No idea where popeye1 is from, but I just looked up the price from 27 NOV 2010 in VA Beach, which was at $2.71. The average in the city today is $3.37.

After working with hydraulics on the aircraft in the USN for over 20 years, my educated opinion is dispose of all hydraulic fluid contaminated with water. I would also flush the system extensively, and replace all filters at least once. Water in any hydraulic systems opens a BIG can of worms.
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2013, 08:45:14 AM »
   that post is coming up on 3 years old.    ;)
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2013, 08:02:15 PM »
 :D Might be 3 years old but it still applies .Once it's contaminated it only good to burn ,not as a lubricant and certainly not under pressure in a hydraulics system .

However for the frugal it might work as bar lube for a chainsaw. Homoginized hydraulic oil and water  couldn't be any worse than black as tar old crankcase oil I shouldn't think .

Offline julio

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2013, 08:30:52 PM »
i have funnel that have a filter made inside that will serparates water out of fuel and yes it does work  it is made by Racor
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2013, 09:07:43 AM »
I will second the filter idea.  The hydraulic shop here has a water separator for hydraulic oil, basically they transfer contaminated oil through a special filter that is a available which separates water, but oil can pass through, and it comes out clean.  After it catches a certain amount of water, the filter plugs( similar to water filters on diesels).
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2013, 04:42:31 PM »
Hey woodbowl,

I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering if you ever found what was causing your problem.

I am assuming that you were referring to a tractor style backhoe where the hydraulic oil is stored in the transmission and rear axle cases. If so the first thing to look for is a torn or missing shifter boot. In most applications there will be some type of breather too, maybe under the seat. Check to see that it is not damaged. Any problem like this will let rain water or condensation in.

Usually everyday running will heat things up to drive the moisture out. If the machine is only used a little at the time and doesn't  get the chance to heat up you are likely to have a recurring problem with the water.

Alan
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2013, 06:26:21 PM »
Once the water becomes entrapped in the oil it's amost like it's homoginized .I'm not so certain you could let it set and the oil float to the top .

Now of course it will drain out of the transmission or perhaps the final drive of a dozer or something of that nature.Once it gets well stirred up in a hydraulic system though I think it stays there forever until you drain the system .

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2013, 07:10:11 PM »
Our hydraulic contractor has a combination unit of pumps-heaters-and multible filters.  I have seen milky dirty oil go in and clean turbine oil come out.  Yet he will only do that if it is going back into a unaltered system. 
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2018, 01:24:48 PM »
Has anyone added Sea Foam Hydra Trans Tune or any other additive to a hydraulic system to remove the moisture from the valve bodies where it freezes and will not drain out?
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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2018, 05:20:53 PM »
  I tried it in an attempt to keep the Greisen valve body on my Tree Farmer forwarder from freezing up.  It didn't make any difference.  The machine had to be started and allowed to warm up for the valve to thaw.  You could watch the snow melt on the oil line going into the valve body and tell when it was going to work ;D  It was that way when I sold it.
  I did use it in another machine when the reservoir cap was left off and the fluid got milky.  The fluid cleared up but it may have been from heat in the system.  If it wasn't an old fashioned gear pump I'd have changed the oil ;) ;D  I've got a couple cans on the shelf in garage.  They've been there a couple years now. 
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Offline Trahlin

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2018, 10:07:35 PM »
New oil, new clean up filters (short term), and change filters after a days work.  Most filters are have a cellulose (paper) media.  Water destroys the filter.  Use the clean up filters to trap the remaining water from the system.  Remember water and steel don’t play well together.  Hydraulics are based on tight tolerances, and finely machined metal surfaces.  Pitted metal surfaces tear up seals and o rings.  It is a never ending cycle, if you choose the cheap route.  It hurts the wallet now, but will play out better in the long run.

This advice is based upon my career as a farm and industrial machinery dealer.  Pay now, or pay much bigger later.  I feel your pain!
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Offline HuckFin

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2018, 05:55:50 PM »
Where I live we get a lot of moisture in the air during the winter so when I had my Case 580B (parked outside) I found out that if I drained the water off at the hydraulic tank drain plug before starting it the first time in the spring the milky oil problem went away.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2018, 12:16:10 PM »
Any oil using an organic plant based stock is gonna be hygrosopic, itll absorb the water particles that it comes in contact with through condensate in vented crankcases and tanks etc. 

The easiest removal is by heat and vaccuum.  I have done a few thousand gallons of waste vegetable oil that could have had fully seperated or emulsified water.  Settling time is your friend, as its very inneficient to try to remove large quatities of water by decanting.   Let sit in the sun for a time and without any disturbing of the vessel, open cap and draw the cleanest oil off the top with a suction tube rig.  Stop way before you get near the bottom as itll draw a vein of trash up from inches below the suction tube. 

Really filthy stuff can be settled in another tank or go into the decanter.  A very simple rig would be a 55gal drum on blocks over some coals.  There needs to be a valve welded into the bottom to let air in, and a hose out the top to a vaccuum pump.  You heat it up a while under vacuum.  After an hour or so there will be moisture in the headspace of the drum.  Open the bottom air valve and the vacuum pump will let it burble in while suctiom that moisture out the top.  Youll want to make a condensor jar on the the suction line so it doesnt all go into the vacuum pump oil.  A pickle jar inside a bucket of water works great.  Dont fill your drum past 2/3s or youll be sucking up oil too.  Also welding some verticle angle iron, rebar or flat strip from bottom to top will help keep the drum from caving in, it doesnt take much.

If you added a gear pump circulator loop through a bank of filters in parallel with sequentially finer stages youd have you a reconditioning rig.

40 gallons of perfectly clean looking oil will typically have a beer can worth of water dissolved into it fyi. 
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2018, 07:53:35 PM »
Didn't think of this until today when I was trying to get all the wet oil out of my skidder . Jacked the cylinders up to top and down to bottom and pumped all the oil out of the trans. then put in 2 gallon and pumped that out . I use the spoon test . Take a small teaspoon put a little oil in it and heat it with a Bic . Any water trapped in the oil will boil off as bubbles and can be seen . Try it next time you think you may have wet oil .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer , TC 5 International track skidder and not near enough time

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2018, 04:06:46 PM »
Yeah, Lotta people call that hot pan test or hpt.  Its a good quick check for dissolved water.   bit more accurate if you smear some oil on the spoon or pan or in my case scrap of sheetmetal, then heat till it just starts to smoke a few whisps.  Now splash on a cap full of oil and look for the bubbles. 

If you start heating oil direct the oil itself will start to boil eventually and you can think its water.  The trick is to be above 212 yet below like 400 or so
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Offline Randy88

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Re: Seperating water from hydraulic fluid
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2018, 08:58:00 PM »
Really old thread, but the best way to determine the amount of water in any oil is to have it sampled and run the tests in a lab, they'll give the percentage of water in the oil along with all the wear metals and silica [dirt] and micro minerals in the oil, gives an overall condition report of my machine's internal shape of the components.     

As for settling out the water, most hydraulic oil won't release all the water, the additives in the oil with encapsulate the water and not release it.     

There are water filter carts out there that will take a large portion of water out of the oil, but the filters are not cheap, and you need large volumes of oil to justify the cart and filter setup costs, most implements can't justify the cost of those units, let alone any individual.     

My advice is to keep the backhoe inside under cover whenever possible, change oil often and put a set of filters on the system, if for nothing else, to clean out wear metals and clean the oil as it flows through the system.         


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