gunk in tube: what to do?

Mike Teachman
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:43 pm

gunk in tube: what to do?

Postby Mike Teachman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:44 pm

I'm looking for ideas on cleaning out gunk that is collecting at the two pinch points in our 45W LO tube. I think the gunk originates from water tub algae that gets pumped thru the tube and then collects at the two narrow points in the glass tube. Water flow seems OK right now, but I am concerned that further buildup will put tube cooling at risk.

I'm considering trying to reverse flush the tube with water and some cleaning additive. Vinegar seems like a viable additive that should not degrade the pump or silicone tubing.

Can anyone in the laser community offer advice?


Posts: 112
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 7:52 pm

Re: gunk in tube: what to do?

Postby Axeman » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:13 am

I just recently did this as well, had some gunk built up in my tubes.

I did a mixture of warm water, bit of vinegar and a bit of bleach to give my whole system a good cleaning. I reversed flow and forward flow over and over until the gunk was dislodged and cleaned out. After about an hour of letting it flow on it's own, it cleared up. I quickly switched back to the standard distilled afterwards and it runs like a champ!

Been doing the laser thing for 4+ years and haven't had issues yet doing this.

Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:28 am

Re: gunk in tube: what to do?

Postby SWMS » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:45 am

I’ve had problems with mould /gunk too.

The best thing to do is clean your buckets and lines with a sterilising solution. That could be a weak bleach water mix or the stuff they use for cleaning lines in a pub. Then add something like Milton sterilising fluid or iodine every few weeks. It doesn’t matter if it’s distilled or not you will get mould growth.

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