Author Topic: Condensate drain cleaner modification  (Read 220 times)

Offline bonneyman

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Condensate drain cleaner modification
« on: March 22, 2019, 05:53:22 PM »
OK, you guys saw the cute little blow out tool from my weekend pawnie haul. I've known about them for some time, but thought it was kinda gimmicky - like the CO2 cartridge would last one use or something. So I never bought one. Since I found it in a bin of old stuff - and the hose and rubber tip was nearby - I figured what the heck. Give it a try. So I grabbed it.

The sealing ring was worn and distorted, so I went to my big Ace Hardware store to see if I could find one that would work. they have selections of both inch and metric O-rings (surprising, I know!), so the chances were good I'd find one that would fit. A 13/16" one was close, but will need some slight whittling down to be right.

While there I asked if they had some CO2 cartridges like those that run pellet pistols. They did, took one out of the box, and it won't work. Seems like the drain gun uses carts with a threaded head. "Oh, I think we carry those!" And they did - $30 per box of 10, sorry, no individual sales. Well, if the thing works I'd invest the $30, but for testing purposes I didn't want to go all in. So I decided - the MacGyver juices flowing - could I adapt regular CO2 carts to work in the thing? Those are $7 for 5. Right there I figured this might make a neat tutorial. If it works.

So follow along, and I'll see what I can do. I probably won't be able to do this quick. The schedule is a bit messed up. But I'll see what I can do.

Here's the gun and hose assembly that I'm starting with.

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 06:24:34 PM »
Pretty good idea for a project BM -- lookin' forward to the mods

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 06:30:46 PM »
OK, here's the pieces and the details of the working surfaces.
Also the existing O-ring that's almost squared on two edges. I think this is what happened to make the tech ditch the tool. the OEM ring started to leak, and either the replacement was NLA (and they want you to buy a whole new tool) or the cost was outrageous. He bought a regular O-ring, and it doesn't work. My replacement is doing the same distortion thing, so, I'm figuring the OEM ring has some minute differences to prevent someone from doing what I'm attempting.

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 06:34:27 PM »
Here's the details of the internals of the head. The OEM carts are threaded, so you install one and as you tighten it the piercing point in there opens the cart and allows for use.
While in the store I tried various bolts to see if it was a standard thread or not. It is - a 3/8 x 24 NF. Thinking of taking a 3/8" fine bolt, drilling out a hole just big enough to snug on a standard CO2 cart, and use it as an adaptor. My tightening the base body to the head will act to pierce the cart seal - if it's not too hard a steel. At least that's my thought at this point.

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2019, 03:53:19 PM »
As luck would have it I parked next to a used CO2 cart that someone had tossed in the parking lot. So I snagged it. Needed one for testing my NF thread collar, and I like free! ;D

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 07:40:53 PM »
Was messing around with the tool today, and couldn't figure out why the o-rings were deforming into squares. Then I realized the 4 empty spaces near the head were allowing the rings to move inward when twisting pressure was applied. Took one of the o-rings and cut it into sections, then pressed them into the spaces. Now a thin flat rubber rings can't move inward when compressed. Me thinks that might do it.

And the standard CO2 cartridge fits pretty snug in the piercing area. Juts need a spacer on the bottom of the perfect length to do what I need there.

Online Matt_T

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2019, 10:23:34 PM »
Was messing around with the tool today, and couldn't figure out why the o-rings were deforming into squares. Then I realized the 4 empty spaces near the head were allowing the rings to move inward when twisting pressure was applied. Took one of the o-rings and cut it into sections, then pressed them into the spaces. Now a thin flat rubber rings can't move inward when compressed. Me thinks that might do it.

Is the o-ring a seal or a retainer to stop the barrel from unscrewing from the head? I've been trying to figure out where it went and what it was sealing??

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2019, 12:06:19 AM »
I'll post some pics tomorrow. According to directions on the company website one must quickly and completely tighten the handle once the cart seal is broken to prevent leakage. I'm thinking the sealing ring is the weak point in the design.

I want to get it to work if I can - the list price is $141!!! :-\

Correction: Went to the warehouse today - list price is $38 and change.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 02:22:22 PM by bonneyman »

Offline eborcim

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2019, 01:54:02 PM »
I picked one up at the mom n' pop hardware store in town.  I bought it to blow the condensate line out on my furnace.  I also want to try it on the sludge of my water heater drain.  However I think I will rig it to an air line instead of the CO2 cart.  I don't want the blast to damage the water heater. 

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2019, 02:25:13 PM »
Went to the warehouse and was allowed to inspect a NIB unit. Found what looks like just a regular O-ring.

Learned that the carts are single use - one job out of each. So, leakage of gas isn't really a big deal. Getting a perfect, total seal is not a prerequisite. So, I'm just gonna get the o-ring close and that'll be GTG.
They wanted $35 and change for a dozen carts. No individual sales. So I'm gonna continue with my mod and see what I can get it to do.  ;D

Offline stokester

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2019, 02:32:04 PM »
Can't you get cartridges from a bicycle shop?
Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2019, 07:01:13 PM »
Can't you get cartridges from a bicycle shop?

Hadn't thought of that!

They do make those portable mobile tire inflators, and I think they are charged with CO2.

Offline Mikebaker1129

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Re: Condensate drain cleaner modification
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2019, 06:50:50 PM »
 Funny thing about this thread , I picked one of these up at a pawn that was missing the hose ?
I located the hose online for $5 and change ordered it. I got sticker shock on the carts and assumed co2 pistol carts were the same,but they are not. I purchased 25 at Wally for $12.
A buddy at worked mentioned his neighbor gave him some of the carts for the granddaughters BB pistol but they  didn't fit, we have a trade in the works  as soon as he gets those back from his deer lease.
 I thought these would be great to flush the drain lines on ice Machine's .