Many people have asked about using the Reflow Oven Cleaner (#MCC-ROC) in a big cleaning tank. Often customers have parts and conveyor chains they want to clean, and it’s easier to dump them into a tank and let them sit for a little while before scrubbing. The Oven Cleaner works great in this environment.
But the Oven Cleaner works best when it is warm. The difference is amazing. When it is at room temperature, the Oven Cleaner barely removes residues at all. Warmed up to 40°C, it MELTS the fluxes away instantly. That’s why it is so great on the reflow ovens and wave solder machines: the heat of the oven makes the solvent more powerful, making it easy to clean. But how does somebody safely and inexpensively heat a pail of the Oven Cleaner?
The answer is a simple tool called an “immersion heater.” An immersion heater is a simple dipping tank which holds and heats liquids to pre-set temperature and then sustains that temperature. The heater typically looks like a simple metal stick with a hook. They simply hang on the side of the tank, slowly heating the solvent. Immersion heaters have many uses. They are used to make hot drinks and to keep fish tanks warm — they are everywhere.
One such immersion heater can raise a 30 gallon/120 liter tank from 65° F (15° C) to 105°F / 42° C in about one hour. A 100 gal./400 liter tank will take approx. 2.5 hrs. to warm up. The maximum temperature for the unit is 250° F /115° C. The unit requires up to 240 volts/single phase of AC power and works on both North American and International current.
This heater will reach the bottom of a tank 36 inch/one meter deep. This particular heater is an “L” shape with the electronics in a top mounted housing. The heating probe simply hangs over the side and can be attached to the tank with clips. There are even optional “sludge legs” which hold the heater off the bottom of the tank. This prevents the build up of sludge from affecting the heater’s efficiency.