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Read our primer articles on Grease Guns and Oil Sight Glasses.

I have several gearboxes that get an ingress of process water through failed seals. When this happens, we sometimes have to run the gearbox for a month or more before we can shutdown for repair. The lube oil is Spartan EP 220 (80 gal capacity. Since we have 7 of these gearboxes, I am looking for a portable unit to clean this lube system up or at least improve it until repairs can be made. Can anyone tell me what is the most practical method for doing this?
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We had a similar situation with a large water cooled pillow block bearing that could not be shut down.
We drained the oil/water at the bottom drain valve as we topped up to maintain level, we continued until the oil looked clean, then we used a water absorbing spin on filter cart to clean up the traces of water. This worked very well.
A few days later I tried the same spin on filter again and it failed badly, the filter media was dispersed into the oil. I was then told by the filter rep. that these water absorbing filters are like a baby diaper, one use only.
Another thing you could do if you have clean dry instrument air, put a slight purge on the gearbox, this will keep water out and will dry the oil.
I've tried to attach a picture three times now, but can't as there seems to be some kind of problem. What I had also tried to explain was I have been using Davco diesel fuel processors to seperate water from lube oil in the automated lubrication systems I supply.

The Davco is designed to filter the fuel and seperate water as diesel injection pumps do not like water running through them. The website is

the design is actually backwards to most filters and that is why they work so well, they have an animation as to how the concept works

The unit has the filter on top and has a very large cavity below. As the oil moves through the filter it hits the large cavity and slows down. This is where the water and other heavy contaminants are dropped and can be emptied out. Since lube oil is much more viscous than diesel, you just have to slow the volume passing through in order for it to work the same way. That is why it works well in a kidney loop, filtering a small amount constantly and returning it to the system/reservoir.

If you want pics of what I have done, hit me offline and I will send some showing ISO 220 that has water being seperated.

The first line of defense is in attempting to eliminate the water ingression or reduce it substantially. By providing a small volume of regulated (low pressure) air over the head space of the lubricant, you can mildly pressurize the case which usually results in a substantial reduction of water intrusion.

The use of high quality gear lubricants will demuslify from water. The water will readily separate out and can easily be drained off. When used in conjunction with the Esco oil sight glass as mentioned by ackley, personnel can vew any water accumulation and drain off as required.

It is my belief that forums of this type should not be used for commercial benefit, however it is hard to ignore the opportunity to help one in need, consequently, if you would like to learn more, contact me directly.
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