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Thread: Most vacuum for the money

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Fulton, NY
    Posts
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    Default Most vacuum for the money

    I need a small vacuum pump for my research bush (<100 taps). Would really like to pull 25"+ to properly test lifting/production methods. Would any cheap dairy pumps work for this, or do I really need a "mainstream" pump, proven to pull high vac?

    Thanks,
    Tim
    Tim Whitens
    Willow Creek Farm
    Fulton, NY

    2340 on vacuum, 3hp 3ph Busch pump, 2567 Gast
    30X8 Leader oil-fired evap. w/ steamaway
    Airablo 1000 RO
    12 Alpacas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sugarhill NH
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    397

    Default

    most refurbished dairy pumps are not going to pull 25" they were designed to run about 15" to run vacuum for a milking system.
    30x8 Leader revolution, wood fired blower, steamaway/hood. 903 taps all but 54 on pipeline and 3 vacuum systems. Hauling sap this year with a 99 F350 7.3 diesel dump and of course back up is the Honda 450 and trailer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nothern WI
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    20

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    Design is one thing capability is another! Most dairy pumps are capable of high vac but they were not designed to handle the heat loads that high vac brings with it. You would have to modify the pump through flood oiling and oil cooling to get rid of the heat. The pump needs to be in tip top shape inside and those modifications aren't cheap if you want to set up a reliable system ($400 or more on top of pump rebuild). Breezy Hill can attest to this as well. All said and done you probably aren't going to get away super cheap for 100 taps. If you are spending the money and time to do research you will need something reliable or it can really mess with your results and statistical significance.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Hoosick Falls
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    Tim,
    As long as you adjust the vacuum controller to the correct settings and the controller is able to be adjusted that far. A dairy pump will work if it is not at a point that there is already to much blow by to achieve 25".
    I have a Delaval 75 that I am rebuilding. Finished honing the housing last night. waiting on a bearing and then she will be put together and tested. I will post pics here with the vacuum gauge pics.
    I personally wont make blanket statements with out knowing the facts. My experience over my life is that most of the pumps that I have personally seen were not setup in a way that they could reach 25" plus. The ones that were did.
    If you are looking for inches for dollars, a used dairy is the answer...but don't just go to a farm looking for a pump and buy it. I can get you one right now that was a 200 cfm pump for $50. It has drawn its last breath. Looks great but inside it has eaten sand used for bedding.
    This past week end I picked up two, a D 73 and a Universal M3 both should be fine as the farmer went from buckets to 2" pipeline, then retired. So the 73 was upgraded to the M3. I got it to spin freely; but she will be pulled down and cleaned before I run her as 40 years of moisture has surely put some surface rust on the vanes and housing. This rust will eat at the vanes and reduce the vacuum as the pump is used.

    If people went out and just fired up a pump that had sat for any length of time and then it failed; then that was abuse and not the fault of the pump. It would be like buying a used car form a stranger in the next county and then driving it to California and being mad if it gave out. Did you change the oil, grease the chassis, check the tire pressure? No then don't blame the car. I have a couple of boxes of New Surge vacuum weights it is enough to go to 20". You need to put two kits together to get to 22 even 28". Some regulators will only hold 22" of weights. The Surge clear vented housing is just one example of a 22# max control unit. That hanger shaft can only hold that many weights.

    Hope this helps.
    Ben

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    845

    Default

    It may be worth reading through this thread if you have not already. http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...or-High-Vacuum

    It seems like for less than 100 taps you have some good options for pumps, but the bigger question that cost is how much time do you want to spend screwing around and how important is it to be able to maintain high vacuum during the season? Sure you can modify a dairy pump and probably get it to pull 25" but how much time and energy do you want to spend dealing with it?

    If you go with a small 3 phase pump like a 1.5 hp liquid ring, you can run it with a VFD and control the rpms of the pump with a transducer.

    How important is this "research bush" and is it worth spending more to get a reliable pump that you don't have to invest time and money into so you know you will be able to achieve high vacuum throughout the season?
    2014- 550 on High Vac
    2015 - Shooting for 800 on High Vac
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Fulton, NY
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    Default

    Points well taken. I would really rather not screw around trying to make something work. If time wasn't such an issue, I wouldn't mind. But the main bush keeps me plenty busy. Actually, after a couple years on high vac, I might not mind going back down to lower levels. Then I could take the high vac pump to a more productive location I suppose. Might just have to bite the bullet for now to accomplish what I want.

    Thanks guys,
    Tim
    Tim Whitens
    Willow Creek Farm
    Fulton, NY

    2340 on vacuum, 3hp 3ph Busch pump, 2567 Gast
    30X8 Leader oil-fired evap. w/ steamaway
    Airablo 1000 RO
    12 Alpacas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hoosick Falls
    Posts
    893

    Default

    Great point, Reliability is of utmost importance; and yes the world renowned maker of vacuum pumps...Delaval... model 73 & 75 even has on its tag the motor size needed to spin at three different rpms. Thus it would be easy for a person to use a variable speed to run the unit. This is how delaval sets up the new pumps in order to use less power and even longer and higher reliability, than the pumps of the past century that lasted for decades.

    When the unit turns on or is turned on it runs at max rpm and slows down when the desired vacuum level is reached. Then the unit loafs along to maintain the desired vacuum level. The slower speed of the pump also reduces the amount of heat generated, thus increasing the reliability and performance of the pump.
    Yes it does take a little time...hour or so to make these older pumps really sing. But if you want a bullet proof pump...literally, then you add the drippers to the vac system and get a fan to cool the housing. Yes I do have several designs on oil coolers but I am testing them to see the best for the least amount of $$$. Pretty amazing how Delaval business has stayed around for over 100 years.
    The 15" number is misunderstood by many also. This is the amount of vacuum that can be applied to the mammary system of the cow, goat or sheep and not cause cellular damage or pain/discomfort. If you have ever put your finger in a 1.5" section of tubing and applied 28" of vacuum you will not forget it soon. Now think about a rather delicate piece of tissue, a cows teat, under that amount of vacuum, on and off for about 10 minutes. She is not going to let you do that twice and certainly not two or three times a day for 300 days, and again after the next calf for another 300 days. Cows will freely walk into the parlor to be milked.
    So yes dairy is LIMITED to 15" for health reasons not design parameters. Oops did I let that secret out?
    If a person ever looked inside a gast and a delaval or an Alamo pump they would be surprised to see nearly no difference. Just different vane materials, widths, diameters and some have more or less vanes. The big thing that gast did was to make the pump body like the old GE motors with a fan that blows over the body housing for cooling and having an option of drippers and oil reclaimers. The pumps of the 50's to 80's didn't have that because they didn't need that. Today some of these pumps run 24/7 for years until they crap the bed and the standby unit is turned on and a replacement is installed. I know one farm that gets about 3 years out of a pump milking 24/7 on 1800 cows. Synthetic pump oil and oil changing is the key. These units all it takes to change the oil is open a valve and drain the reclaimer and pour in the new oil. Quick and easy.

    If you do have a money tree... can I get a grafting off of it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Fulton, NY
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    Default

    That is a good point about using a vfd with a dairy pump! I've been running a vfd with a Busch, and love it. Surely it wouldn't take much to maintain decent vacuum in 100 taps, assuming I'm keeping on top of leaks (which should take all of about 10 minutes to check). I've been planning on doing variable speed with whatever pump I end up with. Was going to convert my 60 cfm gas unit for the time being (wayyy to much pump, but it could just idle). But it takes a 5 hp electric motor, then a $1600 vfd. Hence, I'm looking at other options.

    BTW, my brother-in-law got rid of his cow, so there's what I think is a Surge sitting in his little barn. Saw it pull 22"~ before. Maybe I should talk to him!
    Tim Whitens
    Willow Creek Farm
    Fulton, NY

    2340 on vacuum, 3hp 3ph Busch pump, 2567 Gast
    30X8 Leader oil-fired evap. w/ steamaway
    Airablo 1000 RO
    12 Alpacas

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fulton, NY
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    Default

    Just found a new 2567 Gast online, oilless, around $800. Says 1.1 cfm at 25". Sounds like a decent fit for me, maybe.
    Tim Whitens
    Willow Creek Farm
    Fulton, NY

    2340 on vacuum, 3hp 3ph Busch pump, 2567 Gast
    30X8 Leader oil-fired evap. w/ steamaway
    Airablo 1000 RO
    12 Alpacas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Enfield NH
    Posts
    231

    Default

    For <100 taps, I strongly recommend a $100 A/C evac vacuum pump. You get them on ebay or amazon 1/6 hp. I've run mine for three years with excellent results. I pull 26 inHg with my homemade releasor. There's a thread on it somewhere on mapletrader if you search for it.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    140 Taps on Vacuum, 20 Buckets
    Homemade Releaser
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 10 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 5 gph
    Homemade RO - 10 gph

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