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Thread: Cleaning Diaphragm Pumps

  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning Diaphragm Pumps

    Curious as to what those of you using them, do to clean and maintain your diaphragm pumps. Run hot water through after each filtering, take apart ea year?
    I have a Wilden P1 that came with the Leader Clear Press. Aluminum body on the wet contact end. Any one using Stainless bodied?
    Thanks - John
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  2. #2
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    Default

    If I will be using it the next day or two, no cleaning, if longer, I run hot water (permeate) thru it, then run it dry a minutes or 2, then just shut down.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
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    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks Dave. I’ve been doing that, but apparently not long, or often enough. Broke it down today and found it loaded with clumps of white crystal-like “stuff”. Going to boil all the aluminum fittings out and see if that cleans it out. It has no sugar taste to it, and is waxy.
    Not sure if it’s filter aide or what, but it it’s bugging me.
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  4. #4
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    I pumped hot steam hood condensate through mine after every use. I never took the pump apart to see what it looked like inside but never had a diaphragm or check ball failure after many years of use. I'm going to treat the pump on my new press, Wes Fab 7" full bank with Wilden AOD pump, the same way.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Lampron View Post
    I pumped hot steam hood condensate through mine after every use. I never took the pump apart to see what it looked like inside but never had a diaphragm or check ball failure after many years of use. I'm going to treat the pump on my new press, Wes Fab 7" full bank with Wilden AOD pump, the same way.
    I never looked at mine either except today,after splitting wood, I was looking for something to do. I was kind of surprised to see the build-up in there. Maybe it’s not an issue but it’s weird looking stuff and don’t think I want it on my pancakes.
    Last edited by johnallin; 11-17-2019 at 06:55 PM.
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnallin View Post
    Maybe it’s not an issue but it’s weird looking stuff and don’t think I want it on my pancakes.
    That weird looking stuff is before the filter so it would get filtered out. As hot as the syrup needs to be any bacteria or mold will get killed and filtered out if there's any in there.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Lampron View Post
    That weird looking stuff is before the filter so it would get filtered out. As hot as the syrup needs to be any bacteria or mold will get killed and filtered out if there's any in there.

    You are absolutely correct. But I'm not so concerned that the weird stuff would get past the filter press, but more so that all of the syrup had to pass over or through it and what effect it may have on taste.

    I suspect that since diatomaceous earth is mostly calcium, that it had built up over time, and hardened. I also suspect that the waxy texture was residual defoamer that had stuck to the DE and caused the clumps that were beginning to clog the passageways in the pump.

    Tonight I broke the pump completely down - pretty easy to do with the Wilden P1 - and boiled all the aluminum parts, manifold, check valves and passageways in water and vinegar. They came out very clean and I feel better.

    I thought I was doing everything by the book. I'm glad I took mine apart and looked inside because I wasn't even close...I will be using a lot more hot water after each use.

    I'd recommend to anyone to take the time to tear your pump down and see what's going on inside - you may be surprised.

    Anyway - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    Last edited by johnallin; 11-19-2019 at 06:52 AM. Reason: spelling
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  8. #8
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnallin View Post
    I suspect that since diatomaceous earth is mostly calcium,....
    Correction....DE is mostly (80-90%) silica, with varying amounts of aluminum (from clay inclusions) and iron.

    I suspect you are correct that the substance was built-up DE and defoamer (or grease).

    We typically run hot permeate through our press after each use to: 1) purge the sugar (we save the first 20 gal of permeate coming out of the press) and 2) clean the pump.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Correction....DE is mostly (80-90%) silica, with varying amounts of aluminum (from clay inclusions) and iron....
    ...We typically run hot permeate through our press after each use to: 1) purge the sugar (we save the first 20 gal of permeate coming out of the press) and 2) clean the pump.
    I'm fine with being corrected - that's what this forum is for! And all this time I thought DE was made up of prehistoric skeletons of tiny fish-like creatures...

    I've been running, maybe, 5 gallons through my press to re-capture sugar but no where near the 20+ you're doing at Proctor. I will now clean it out with 2-3 times that amount.
    It never occurred to me that nothing going into the pump was filtered at all...mental block maybe?...and that any defoamer and/or DE would just sit in there. Thinking I could rinse it out with 5 gallons of hot water/permeate was just plain dumb on my part. Water and defoamer don't mix well...the DE just acts like "hamburger helper".

    As I said, this was a learning experience and I'm glad I tore the pump apart.
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Hi John....you actually were right about the "prehistoric skeletons" part. DE is made up of mined deposits of diatoms, which are microalgae. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom Their cell-walls, like many plants, are made in part of silica (which is why grass is so hard on teeth of grazing animals). Other salt- and fresh-water crawling things have calcium carbonate bodies (clams, crabs, etc).

    Interestingly (perhaps...it was to me), diatoms are one way they figure out if someone died before they were in water or after. Diatoms inside the lungs mean the person probably drowned and inhaled water. If they died or were killed before they got put in water, no diatoms -- except for in sugarmakers who don't wear dust masks perhaps.

    The amount of permeate to run through the press to flush it out depends on the size of the press. Just start running permeate through and measure the sugar content with a refractometer. When it gets down below the sugar level you want (we target about 1%), then stop capturing it. Ours is set so that once we finish filtering a batch, we connect to the hot permeate line and use the pump to run the permeate press washing right back into the sap tank. We have a meter in line so we know how much liquid runs though, but you can do the same with a timer. No more carrying liquid around -- getting too old for that. The only place we have left where we use buckets is the hood condensate, but that'll change this year to make it a little easier.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 11-19-2019 at 03:38 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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