How to clean West System Pumps

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Guest

Guest
The pumps (yellow nozzle pumps) on my cans of West System resin and hardeners are old, some older than others. I’ve never cleaned them and I don’t completely trust the accuracy of the hardener ones in particular.

I called West System technical services to ask about their pump maintenance and cleaning recommendations. Long time user, first time caller.

To clean the resin pump, flush it with a solvent - lacquer thinner, acetone or denatured alcohol - West suggested alcohol.

To clean the hardener pumps first flush with hot water (the hardener is water soluble) and then with alcohol.

Wow. I had an ancient can of 205 fast hardener with a tiny amount remaining. That tiny amount had turned black and useless and the pump was stuck, but a hot water bath and pump, another rinse and pump in clean hot water and an alcohol flush and the pump was like new.

I alcohol pumped and cleaned an old resin pump with similar success.

Yippee, I have clean spare pumps.

I had one pump break irreparably years ago, and it sucks to be in the middle of an epoxy job and have to go hunt down graduated measuring cups to eyeball the resin/hardener ratio. Having clean spare pumps on hand is a good thing.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Had no idea cleaning them was even possible... I just bought new ones when I needed them... $25, I think... thanks (for next time!)
 
G

Guest

Guest
Had no idea cleaning them was even possible... I just bought new ones when I needed them... $25, I think... thanks (for next time!)

I bought new pumps several years ago so that I would have a spare on hand if one broke in mid-squirt. My old pumps were getting stiff, especially the hardener pumps, and I was considering installing the new ones, which would have left me without a spare if a pump failed.

I didn’t find pump cleaning advice on the West System website, but a phone call was all it took.

I was leery of starting any large epoxy job without a spare pump on hand. With that concern alleviated it is time to start cutting some glass, kevlar and dynel.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
427
Location
Long Island, NY
That's cool. Thank you for the good info. Just the mention of West System and my brain can imagine the odor, funny how that works.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Just the mention of West System and my brain can imagine the odor, funny how that works.

I run an exhaust fan in the shop for any epoxy, varnish or etc work. The smell of West 105 resin is minimal compared to poly or Vinylester resins. The odor of G/flex is reminiscent of the vileness of urethane resins.And turpentine is as pervasive as any resin odor.

I am sure I left some brain cells behind working with poorly ventilated poly or Vinylester resins years ago.
 
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