Solvent reclaimers and gun washers

Info on automatic spray gun washers and solvent reclaimers. April 20, 2001

I'd like to learn about automatic spray gun washers and solvent reclaimers.

Forum Responses
Most remover reclaimers (stills) will return about 2 to 3 gallons of reusable remover for every 5 gallons of remover you put in. Some reclaimers may return more remover. I think they pay for themselves over time. They make the EPA inspectors very happy, because you're reducing your waste.

You can't use a reclaimer for lacquer. It's not safe. It is for CV or urethanes.

I thought they were used to reclaim "used" solvents, where dirty solvents are recycled in the still, and are rejuvenated to be used again. The same thing with used paint remover--the sludge stays behind, and the reclaimed MC is used over again.

Lacquer and pre-cats have nitrocellulose in them and when heated, they can become unstable and flash or explode. I own one and really don't use it much because of this. They are very popular with the car painters because they are using mostly urethanes now, not lacquers.

There are refinishers who do a lot of stripping that use reclaimers for their removers.
Many companies that use solvents to clean their equipment also use reclaimers to recycle their dirty used solvents. Can you explain why any coating would be used in a reclaimer?

Solvent reclaimers are just that, for cleaning solvent, etc. They are typically explosion-proof and can handle fast solvents like mek, acetone, etc. You need to provide your prospective supplier with the solvent you use.

As for a gun washer, this is an enclosed metal box that is powered by an air powered pump that pumps solvent through the fluid passages and sprays the outside with solvent from nozzles typically located on the corners of the washer. You take a clip that is provided that will pull the needle of the seat.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor B:
There seems to be some misinformation on reclaiming in this industry. First of all, the recdycler will recover 99% of the useable solvent or stripper in the waste. Second, when reclaiming nitrocellulose paint waste, you must stay below 120 degrees C to prevent auto-ignition or reclaim under vacuum. By adding a small quantity of an oily substance, the waste will never become dry and also prevent auto-ignition. Solvent reclaimers are safe for use in this industry, with a little bit of knowledge of the chemistry.