Air Leak in My Hypertherm Powermax 600 Plasma Cutter?
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  1. #1
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    Default Air Leak in My Hypertherm Powermax 600 Plasma Cutter?

    I was putting a longer power cable on my Hypertherm Powermax 600 plasma cutter yesterday and while I had the cover off I also decided to chase down an air leak that I suspected was there. I have an external filter/regulator on the machine and found a leak there but when I screwed the assembly back on and applied air (no electric power at this time) I could still hear the hissing of a leak. I found that the drain in the internal filter regulator was constantly leaking yet there was still water trapped in the bowl. Then I wondered if this is always supposed to be leaking air as a way keeping water out of the air flow to the torch. Or is it some kind of pressure relief type valve? There was a bit of rust like particles in the bowl so I have immersed it in an ultrasonic cleaner as I thought maybe a bit of crud has caused the drain valve stick in the open position. Anyway, not sure if I have a problem or not - the torch worked properly before I started on the power cable change but would like it all to be correct before I put it back together and put it back on its cart. Thanks for any help or comments.

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    With out pics its hard to say, but a lot of traps have a pressure held drain valve in the bottom, apply pressure and they stay closed, drop line pressure and they spring open venting any liquids - crap caught in the filter bowl, a bit of crap on the typical o ring seat in there will make a slight leak, a rust particle would do that, as would a failed o ring. Clean, yes, but see if you can just unscrew it and see the sealing faces are still good.

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    My 1995 model Thermal Dynamics plasma cutter has a constant leak since new- I was told it is done that way on purpose, as a constant purge.

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    On my refrigerated air dryer there is a float in the bowl and when it fills up it opens a valve which makes it spit the water out and then the valve is supposed to close.... But over time it builds up a slime which can make the valve stick and have a slow leak.

    If you have a float in yours you may just have to clean it all out.

    If your drain has a slow leak and water is still in the bowl I would definitely look into cleaning it out.

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    Thanks for the comments!
    After hours in the sonicator, things became a bit more clear. Before cleaning, when I looked down into the bowl I could see a sintered bronze filter element but could not see much through the sides of the bowl because of the crud. This morning I took a closer look after cleaning and I could see that the filter element did not go all the way to the bottom, it was just a disc held by plastic float! So that is how it was supposed to work - the bowl would fill with water, float the filter element and allow the water to drain as Adama surmised. There was to much crud in there to allow it to work and it was stuck in open position. I should be good to go now.
    Thanks again all!

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    Post some pics, normally the filter element screws into the bottom of the regulartor, the filter should not be riding the float!

    Yours should be as bellow, but if it has a float, it would be part of the bottom valve, the sintered bronze bit in the pic is the filter.


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    There are two sintered bronze filter elements in this regulator/filter unit. A cylindrical one very much like what you show in your attached image and then a disc type one that rides on the float as I mentioned. Honestly, I do not understand how the disc one does any filtering. It is set into the plastic float and held by a sort of bezel type thing. I cannot see any way that air could pass through it to the other side unless it came out of the groove that the very thin rubber "piston ring" type thing was set into. In any case the machine is all back together with no perceptible air leaks now. Thanks again for your help!

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    The OP is located in "NH"....And the OEM is located in "NH"....

    It's really not that hard of a problem to solve now is it ?

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    I know. There was a member here who worked there who has answered my questions about my machine before and I was hoping he would respond . Sometimes when I call manufacturers about an issue I am having with their product I get some customer service types voicemail. And from experience from a former job in customer service, many companies believe that any warm body can be given a list of problems and solutions and they just reply off the list. They don't have to know anything about the equipment they are trying to help fix, they just have to be able to find the issue on their list. As far as the company being located about 45 minutes from me, that no longer matters with cell phones and internet, unless I have to return it for service which they probably do not do and would direct me to one of their dealers who is a authorized to service.

    And your right, I would have figured it out on my own eventually but had never seen the float type water trap. That bit of information was key to my fixing the problem quickly. My apologies if you wasted time reading all this.

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    Wrong-O about hypertherm.

    i rang them up a couple of years ago about my very old Max100.
    got a young "dude" on the tech line, and I'm thinking I'll
    never get a good answer.

    Wrong, Person was very knowledgeable, had the schematic at hand, told of several things to check (not just reading from a script) along with some helpful hints of what they have
    seen over the years, with this particular machine.

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    Okay, you win. Make sure you add it to your resume.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    Okay, you win. Make sure you add it to your resume.
    "Win" ?

    I try to help you ?

    And I get this crap-o-la from you ?

    Jeesh....

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    "The OP is located in "NH"....And the OEM is located in "NH"....

    It's really not that hard of a problem to solve now is it ?"

    This is help? Perhaps I misunderstood. I know they are located just up the road but as I explained I know there is a member here who works there and was hoping he would respond. You offered no help just some comments about my ability. And it was easy once I knew that there was a float in the filter water separator which was stuck in place due to the crud. The helpful info came from someone else.
    Goodbye.
    Last edited by Gazz; 04-10-2019 at 10:13 PM.


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