Winter and the K40

What steps have you taken if your laser is an area where the temperature can get below freezing? Let us know your solutions. I am am sure there are more than one.

Currently I’ve been keeping my pump running continuously but I’m very close to having an Arduino based version of Russ Sadlers winterization system that uses a temp sensor and some bulbs to heat the water in the tube once the temp drops below a certain level. The pump will also be triggered to turn on when the temp drops below a certain level.

I’ll post more details when I get it installed in the machine. Hopefully this Tuesday.

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I currently use a aquarium heater/controller and leave the pump running. It has a tethered remote digital readout and is self controlled.

I plan to add the use of a Sonoff TH10 WiFi Smart Plug with Waterproof Temperature Sensor Probe so that I can see and control the temp from my phone and Google Home.

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I have been adding anti-freeze in the water supply with no apparent ill effects for a couple of years. My laser is in a shed-in Wyoming- so below freezing temps for extended periods of time is common. When I know we are going into the -10 or colder range I try to remember to blow out the water lines. kinda low tech but so far so good.

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That’s great if it hasn’t led to any problems for you. For others we really caution against adding anything that makes the cooling water conductive. While the insulating properties of the glass should in theory protect the cooling water from the high voltage of the anode, we have seen direct evidence that this is not always the case. I myself found my cooling bucket once had 600V relative to ground because one time I used an ice pack that leaked a salt mixture into the water. High conductive cooling water has also been identified as the cause for quite a few power supply failures. @donkjr has some write up on his blog about it.

Well Dang, that’s good to know because I recently replaced my power supply, so maybe this has not been a good work around. Of course out here we have lots of access to stock tank heater ect. so I’ll probably look into the whole warmed water with continuous pump action. Thanks for the heads up.

BTW there are waterless coolant systems that claim to be non-conductive. I have never used or bought any of these products, but if somebody has maybe they can add to the discussion.

I have tied nearly 100 LPS failures to suspect coolant problems.
I think the current leakage through the coolant is enough to stress the supplies capacity but haven’t gotten a tube or time to test it yet!

I leave my water pump running at the moment but have almost finished a system similar to Russ Sadler’s winterizing solution with halogen lights and a temp sensor. I have an Ardunio hooked up to some relays to turn on and off pump and lights.
Just haven’t had time to finish it off yet.

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I plan to use the below wifi controller to manage my water during the winter next year.
Its relay will be connected to an aquarium heater (which I use now) and the water pump.

I can monitor the control and temperature from its App (eWeLink) on my phone.

Update: their is an alternate waterproof sensor for this controller.

Remote wifi temperature and humidity alarm & control!

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Dont know if anyone following this still but…would it stress anything by leaving water pump on with say power set to 0% for say 10 hours to avoid possible freezing (no fan). Tried it for a couple of hours and with IR thermometer Power supply approx 20degC in 3deg ambient. fluorescent light in cutting bay adds about 2degC to ambient.

I don’t understand what power you are saying is set to 0%. The laser power supply??

If you are talking about the laser power supply I don’t think it’s going to be an issue for moderate freezing temps. If you are talking very cold sub freezing temps then that could possibly be an issue?

The temp of the water in the tube is the main concern as if it freezes then that will most likely cause the glass tube to crack due the expansion of frozen water. Having the water pump on helps to prevent the water from freezing and the pump itself adds a tiny bit of heat to the water. Just having the pump on is not recommended as the water can still freeze if it’s cold enough. That’s why we normally recommend adding an aquarium type submersible heater.

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