Frozen Lead Removal Lee Pot

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Fishingted, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    I have a Lee pro four 20lb bottom pour melter. Only had it for a little over a year. While casting some jigs about a week ago I heard a loud pop about like a 22 crack and the melter died. Scared the crap out of me. The melter is still under waranty. Called Lee They evidently have had this problem with this melter. They said they I could replace the parts myself or send them the melter for a replacement. My problem is the thing is about half full of cold lead. Yea kicking myself in the butt for not emptying the thing before it got cold. They mentioned using a blow torch to melt the lead out. Best I have is a propane torch. Haven't tried it yet. Thay have sent me the coils and thermostat. Any suggestions Much appreciated.
     
  2. GJeffB

    GJeffB Member

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    Under warranty. Used as expected, properly. Failed when used properly, under warranty, as expected.
    Expectation 1: shouldn't they pay return shipping for warranty repair? Dunno, I don't know what warranty is. "We'll repair/replace?" or "we'll provide replacement parts?"
    Expectation 2: If they'll repair/replace warranty ... seems like they should provide a return shipping label AS IS ... including the 10lbs of solidified lead. If you're willing to forgo said metal.
    Caveat: I don't cast, don't melt, no experience with furnace, just working off a "under warranty" situation.

    -jb, so tired of dealing with warranties
     
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  3. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    Put in the new parts and fire her up!
     
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    A propane torch should melt the lead enough to remove it from the pot.

    You may have to do it in stages. Melt some and ladle it out, then melt some more and so forth.

    It may take a while and several iterations. Propane torches are plenty hot enough but it depends on how much BTU’s you lose to the atmosphere. If you can get some help with a second torch, things wii go quicker.
     
  5. Big Bore 44

    Big Bore 44 Member

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    For most people, Propane torch=blow torch. Tip the pot to ~45* down angle and go to town with the propane. The lead will run right out.
     
  6. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Here is a youtube video that will at least show you how to take this apart and install the new parts. Personally I wouldn't bother with emptying the pot as the pot will come out even with it full of lead..

     
  7. Phantom 309
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    Phantom 309 Contributing Member

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    My thoughts exactly. Tilt it down and get a river of lead trickling into an ingot mold or some other pot. Saves you from ladling it all out and should go fairly quickly.
     
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  8. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Thanks for the vidio. I would really like to try it without emptying the pot if posible.
     
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  9. dgod
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    dgod Contributing Member

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    Excellent video, thanks for the detail...
     
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  10. milsurpguy

    milsurpguy member

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    Yeah I would put the new parts in and get melting.
     
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  11. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Lay the thing on it's side in a cake pan and have at it with the propane torch. Shim the pan 1/4 inch or more so it drains away from the furnace. I'd have them do the parts replacement just in case it happens again and then you can blame them and they won't blame you. You might be interested to know I've been buying from Lee for over 30 years and they are a very good company to work with.
     
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  12. dartor

    dartor Member

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    Turn the pot over and give it a rap on the bench, the lead will pop right out. I've done it many times.
     
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  13. mdi

    mdi Member

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    My Lee pot is out in the shop so I can't look at it. Can you disassemble and replace parts without emptying the pot?
     
  14. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Why not. it's not connected to anything.
     
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  15. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I'm curious on which of the two.parts actually failed. The coil or the controller. Based on their experience it's most likely cheaper to mail you both and close the case. Is the high failure part known.
     
  16. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    They did send me both parts. I don't know which one Failed It made a heck of A Pop when it went. Scared me Good. Hopefully when I disasemble... it will be obvious which part blew. I am thinking Coil.
     
  17. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    A resistance check of both parts should tell you minimizing your tear down requirements. The numbers should compare to the new parts. The zero or infanite reading is the the dead part.
     
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  18. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    From my mechanical experience working production maintenance for a food company my guess is the loud pop would be the heating coil. The rheostat controller normally don't give any indication they failed.
     
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  19. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Last year about this time I had a 20 lb melting pot fry 2 controllers before I found the element went bad.

    I had melted 1 pot for trial. Poured some ingots. Second time using it, I heard a loud pop, and the breaker kicked out in the panel. Took to controller box apart and found the controller fried. The element gave me a good ohm reading, so I ordered one controller off Lee's site, paying only shipping. I didn't bother contacting them, just wanted to get it back to running.

    With new controller installed, I plugged the pot in, heard a slight buzzing, then a faint pop. Controller fried again, this time no ohm reading from the element. Contacted Lee, after some emails, they shipped a relabeled box, I sent it in, and got it back within a 10-12 day window.

    Since then, the pot have melted well over 1000 lb of lead and alloys with no incidence.
     
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  20. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Intermittent or changing indications is any technicians worst case scenario. Power supplies are my.least favorite thing to figure
    Out.
     
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  21. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    seeing as I have both parts I will replace both of them.
     
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  22. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Yeah, in hind sight if I had jumped the power wires I would have found it sooner. In the first controller I seen that the contact point was burnt, and a good element ohm reading, I assumed that was the issue.
     
  23. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    My experience is in tooling, with minimal electrical background, mostly hobby.
     
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  24. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    In a scenario such as this again my experience has shown that when something like this happens both parts are stressed and when one fails the other has been weakened. Heat does strange things to electrical parts.
     
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  25. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Yep thinking same thing. If you have both parts it only makes sense to use them. Hopefull one and done. Gonna attempt the repair tomorrow.
     
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