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Frozen Valve Oil

Postby Tubachin » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:24 pm

Hi, I've been putting my tuba and valve oil, stand, stand light, etc. in my car the night before a rehearsal. The winters in Maine are cold and it gets well below 32F/0C overnight. I don't know the freezing point of valve oil, but I am wondering if the cold changes the characteristics of my Hetman lubricant 2 valve oil.

Coincidentally, my second valve is a bit sluggish - are they related? Thanks for your help...
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Re: Frozen Valve Oil

Postby Jerryleejr » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:45 pm

Im no Sheldon Cooper, But Ive left instruments and accessories in the car overnight in a variety of temps with no long term detrimental effects..

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Re: Frozen Valve Oil

Postby rtucker5612 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:35 pm

I’ve worked in the oil business my entire career (39 years), mostly developing lubricants. Oil doesn’t have a freeze point, as it is made up of a range of hydrocarbons of various carbon chain lengths. However, they do have pour points. As they get colder, they get thicker. When they warm back up, they thin back out - no long-term effect due to the cold. So, yes, the cold does change the characteristics of your valve oil, but it returns to its thinner state when it warms back up. It shouldn’t cause a sluggish valve on I it warms back up. Probably a lot more than you wanted to know!
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Re: Frozen Valve Oil

Postby bloke » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:26 am

It's easiest for me to find answers and solve problems when as many factors as possible are isolated from each other.

You're reporting "cold temperatures" and "one valve sticking":

> Why don't all of the valves stick?
> Is my 2nd valve only sticking when the instrument is very cold?
> If only valve #2 sticks when the instrument is cold, what is the cause?
> If only valve #2 sticks whether warm or cold, what is the cause?

If there is a 100% relationship between "cold temperatures" and "2nd (only) valve sticking", I might (??) begin to wonder (??) if the upper #2 slide circuit is retaining water at the ends of playing sessions.

Otherwise, when the instrument is warm, I would probably mash down on all of the pistons' buttons with various sideways forces in various directions, to see if any of them stick. If the #2 sticks (when warm, and when sideways forces are applied), the #2 piston/casing may possibly be dirtier (hard lime deposits and/or filth in the bottom caps and adjacent tubing knuckles) than the rest of the valves, or there may be an imperfection in the piston, in the casing, or in both.

one think that I've learned from various brass instrument musician discussion lists:
When our website is finally up-and-running, we need to offer expensive, high mark-up, name-brand valve oils on it.
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