Introduction: Pier 9 Troubleshooting: How to Unclog the OMAX

Picture of Pier 9 Troubleshooting: How to Unclog the OMAX

This Instructable is for trained Shoparones and Shop Staff only at Pier 9.

Requirements for using this Instructable.

  • Be a member of Shop Staff OR
  • Be a Shoparone who has received training from a member of Shop Staff.

This is part of the routine maintenance and troubleshooting we do at Pier 9 to keep our machines in operating order. Waterjet Users at Pier 9 should talk to Shop Staff if they are experiencing issues with any machine in the workshop so that we can safely assess and repair our equipment. Users should never attempt to repair, adapt, or alter any of our equipment.

This Instructable will help you clear routine garnet clogs. After going through these steps, if the clog persists or other issues occur please attach a yellow caution tag to the machine with your name and date and find or email Shop Staff for assistance.

Step 1: How to Tell If It's CLOGGED

Picture of How to Tell If It's CLOGGED

Before attempting to unclog the OMAX Waterjet, you must assess whether it is clogged!

Is the small garnet hopper leaking dry garnet?

  • It is clogged and there will be a drizzle of garnet coming out near the red arrow in the photo.

Is the nozzle spraying water all over the place and not cutting through the material?

  • It is clogged, and garnet is not flowing into the mixing tube.

NOTE: You will cause a clog every time if you start cutting with the water jet and the pump is not turned on!

Step 2: Stop Cut and Move Head

Picture of Stop Cut and Move Head

Move the head up and jog the head within 1 foot of home. Make sure small garnet hopper is to be positioned over the machine surface and not the water.

Be careful not to hit the hard stops. If you do, the computer will need to be restarted and you might loose your saved coordinates.

If you are in the middle of a cut, don't worry! You can always start the file again with Spot on Path Start.

Step 3: Inspect Leader Tube

Picture of Inspect Leader Tube

Once you know that a CLOG is the problem, and you have moved the head into the right position:

Remove and inspect the smaller diameter leader tube that goes into nozzle.

Look for small cracks or holes. Err on the side of caution and replace this tube if necessary.

Replacement tubing is kept in the blue Lista cabinet next to the water jet pump, in the Hose drawer, inside of the pictured plastic bag.

Cut a piece about 1.5" in length with one end cut perpendicular and the other end cut at an angle.

Wait until Step 7 to put leader tube back in the nozzle.

Step 4: Remove Solenoid for Cleaning

Picture of Remove Solenoid for Cleaning

Get a tray from the blue water jet Lista cabinet. Put this underneath the small garnet hopper. This will catch the garnet that's about to pour out and will keep it from going all over the place (unlike the example in the photo).

Get a standard Sharpie.

Gently pull the solenoid out of the garnet hopper and stick the bottom of the Sharpie in the hole to plug it.

Make sure not to pull the rubber gasket out of that hole in the small garnet hopper!

The solenoid has now been removed and you can safely clear it while the garnet hopper is plugged.

Step 5: Clean the Garnet Tube

Picture of Clean the Garnet Tube

Unplug the garnet tube from the solenoid.

Use compressed air to blow out tube:

  • Be careful to direct the other end of the tube away from your face and the water.
  • It's best if you have someone hold the loose end of the tube and aim it away from people and water while you blow air through the tube.

Step 6: Clean the Solenoid

Picture of Clean the Solenoid
  • Have compressed air ready.
  • In Make program select Test button (right hand side of screen next to begin machining button).
  • Select Abrasive Only.
  • Press Start Test.
    • This will trigger the solenoid to open so you can clear it out.
  • You will have 60 seconds to blow out solenoid.
    • Make sure to blow air up thru the solenoid and thru the garnet hole to clear any wet clumps of garnet or other clogs.
  • Press stop if you do not need the full 60 seconds.
  • When done with the Test, the solenoid will close.

Step 7: Put Everything Back Together

Picture of Put Everything Back Together

Put the garnet tube back in garnet hole of the solenoid.

Replace the Sharpie with the cleared solenoid. Be gentle but firm.

Place perpendicular side of leader tube back in the head.

Place larger garnet tube over angled smaller leader tube, completing the garnet flow from hopper to nozzle.

Step 8: Test the Garnet Line

Picture of Test the Garnet Line

Turn water pump on.

Position head away from your project material and in-between slats.

In Make select Test button (right hand side of screen next to begin machining button).

Select Water and Abrasive. Press Start.

Check the tubing, if you can see garnet flowing through the clear tubing (it will be a tiny amount), you are golden and ready to go.

If you can’t see the garnet, take the tube end out from solenoid.

In Make select Test button (right hand side of screen next to begin machining button) Select Water Only.

Hold finger over hose to see if it’s pulling air. If it is, then go back to Step 5 and start again.

If not, you are out of luck and will need Shop Staff assistance for repairing the machine.

Please attach a yellow caution tag to the water jet controls, label it with your name and date, and either find or email the Shop Staff so we can repair the machine as quickly as possible.

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