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Author Topic: How do you clean ceramic tubes?  (Read 5803 times)
KA1J
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Posts: 168




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« on: October 11, 2012, 07:32:26 PM »

I just bought an amp from a smoker and need to get rid of all the nicotine around the HV parts. Denatured alcohol seems to work well. The tubes are coated with this gunk and I was wondering if I can put the tubes in the dishwasher to get it off the fins or if that is a bad idea.

Thanks
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WX7G
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 07:38:24 PM »

I see no problem using the dishwasher to clean the tube.
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KA1J
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 09:25:55 PM »

I see no problem using the dishwasher to clean the tube.

I can't imagine any problems doing so but thought I'd get another opinion.

What I also would like to do is remove the nicotine from the loading air variables but they are really packed in there and removing them would be a pita. Maybe I can wrangle some paper towels underneath and spritz them from above. They're not as bad as the tubes are though. I've done a pretty solid job of getting the nicotine off of most everything else with high voltage on it. That tar seems to love high voltage.
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N4CR
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 10:11:47 PM »

There are disposable absorbers that work really well for catching over spray. And they have a plastic backing.

You can get the ones that don't have giraffes and teddy bears at auto parts stores. I use those for oil filter changes on my Miata. Keeps it from making such a mess on the cross member. Or you can borrow one from the younger set. We won't tell anyone...
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
K4EJQ
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Posts: 99




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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 10:32:04 PM »

Hello All; I've been cleaning "grungy" external anode CERAMIC power tubes for years using the following method. Place an ALUMINUM saucepan with enough tap water  to cover the tube (S) on the stove. Add to this some crumpled up  ALUMINUM foil. Bring to a rolling boil. Using tongs and an old toothbrush hold the tube and rub gently being careful not to get burnt. The grunge will come off and the silvered surfaces will return to their original color. A HOT rinse should remove any residue. Depending on how grungy your tubes are, you may have to change water frequently. Just keep in mind -NO DRASTIC CHANGES IN WATER TEMPERATURE.
Your mileage may vary- 73, Bunky, K4EJQ
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K8AXW
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 09:26:16 AM »

1j: I've never cleaned a tube in the dishwasher but I have done a lot of dishes and silverware.  My recommendation is, don't!  Or at least don't use Cascade dishwasher gel.  That stuff eats aluminum alive so I certainly wouldn't trust it for cleaning an expensive ceramic tube.

Just MHO.

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N4ATS
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 09:29:32 AM »

I use Tarn-X , dip it in , comes out sparkly new in about 10 seconds. Been using silver cleaner for years , no issues at all.
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WX7G
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 10:23:08 AM »

1j: I've never cleaned a tube in the dishwasher but I have done a lot of dishes and silverware.  My recommendation is, don't!  Or at least don't use Cascade dishwasher gel.  That stuff eats aluminum alive so I certainly wouldn't trust it for cleaning an expensive ceramic tube.

Just MHO.



Metal ceramic tubes have no aluminum.
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N4ATS
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 12:08:50 PM »

Also 409 works magic removing the yellow nicotine. Spray on , blow off . Its gone. I use it on front panels of radios quite a bit.

Also to rid the scent of the cigarettes , put the unit in a garbage bag with a few dryer sheets , let them sit for a few days...it helps a bunch
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 12:27:30 PM by N4ATS » Logged
K6AER
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 12:33:52 PM »

When I was younger (Much Younger) I worked at a HP instrument calibrating facility. We cleaned everything but meters in the dishwasher. Transformers took two days to get dry.

I clean my ceramic tubs in the dish washer all the time. they come out bright and shinny.

For really big tubes I use a car wash self squirt facility.
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 12:57:11 PM »

I have read that Eimac recommends soap and water.  silver polish should work fine for the anodes and grid rings.  I would not be soaking up the tube in electrolytic solutions... the ceramic is not glazed against moisture, and it would sux to embed something that would be a permanent flash-over.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2012, 02:03:44 PM »

I've used our dishwasher and Cascade "lemon" dishwasher detergent for my tubes (both ceramic and glass) for decades.

Only problem is it can wash off silkscreened lettering a bit (or make it harder to read), so I make sure to keep track of what's in there so I can re-label with a Sharpie if necessary afterwards.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 02:06:43 PM »

Krud Kutter is the best stuff I've found for removing nicotine and tar
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N4NYY
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 08:41:32 PM »

Krud Kutter disolves nicotine. I use it on Boatanchor restorations.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 10:45:38 PM »

7G:  Copy that..... no aluminum but the point being that Cascade is hard on aluminum so could also be on other metals...... just a FYI.
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