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Thread: Gear pump vs diaphragm pump for filter press

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New Ipswich New Hampshire
    Posts
    30

    Default Gear pump vs diaphragm pump for filter press

    Looking upgrade my hobby filter press. Anyone have experience with gear vs diaphragm syrup pumps. Also wondering if the Air diaphragm pumps require a compressor?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Mike Hughson
    Hobby setup first 4 years
    2016 85 taps new 2 X 6 drop flue evaporator
    2017 18 X 24 timberframe sugar shack.
    Just leased 1000 tap woods.
    Officially in way over my head.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,437

    Default

    Yes, you need a compressor to run an air powered diaphragm pump. On my filter press Initially I had a gear pump, but when it needed rebuilding I changed to an air powered diaphragm pump. You get far more control with the diaphragm pump. I run mine using a small pancake compressor. My compressor does fine and it's only a .8 HP motor on it. This is what I use https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...gaAl2eEALw_wcB
    I like the diaphragm pump far better.
    Last edited by maple flats; 04-02-2020 at 04:47 PM.
    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:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Peru, Maine
    Posts
    627

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    We have a 7” Wesfab with a gear pump. Works perfectly fine but a diaphragm pump is nice. Like mapleflats did, when it is time rebuild that pump we will go with a diaphragm. They are just very expensive. If you want to save a few bucks, nothing wrong with the gear pumps.
    380 gravity taps
    2x6 Darveau Mystique Oil Fired Evaporator
    Wesfab 7” filter press
    IBC totes in the woods, 800 Gallon CDL bulk tank at the shack

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,639

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    If you are buying a brand new press get one with a diaphragm pump on it. Gear pumps are being phased out and a press with a diaphragm pump will be easier to sell when it's time to upgrade again. I put a diaphragm pump on a hand pump press that I used to have and really liked it. I replaced that press with a full stack press with a diaphragm pump and love it. It's easy to control and there's no messy bypass hose to deal with. I use a 3 hp oilless contractors compressor to run mine.
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New Ipswich New Hampshire
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thanks guys for your input.
    One more question, I know with cone/wool filters and pre filters they work better if warmed and moist. Do you do the same with press filters?

    Russ
    Do you remember which air pump you bought for your hand press. I have a Maple Guys Mini Jet press that the motor won’t move the syrup with any amount of DE in it. It comes with a little magnetic beer pump. I want to replace it so it works again before I sell it to upgrade.
    Mike Hughson
    Hobby setup first 4 years
    2016 85 taps new 2 X 6 drop flue evaporator
    2017 18 X 24 timberframe sugar shack.
    Just leased 1000 tap woods.
    Officially in way over my head.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Colton, NY
    Posts
    602

    Default

    We switched this year from a 1/2" gear pump to a 1/2" diaphragm pump and have found that we have trouble getting more than 30 gallons through before changing while we used to get 60. We have a ten inch press and use DE per the Guidelines Leader has on their Website.

    It could be that there's more niter this year as I've seen large flakes (some as big as a 50 cent piece) of it in the syrup pan after a 4 hour boil that I've never seen before.
    3,100 taps
    60 cfm flood
    HC2
    5 by 14 oil

    Brian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,639

    Default

    Mike I bought a Yamada 1/2" pump for my hand pump press. I don't remember the model number but do remember that it had Teflon diaphragms. I have since replaced that press with a larger press that also has an air pump on it. That pump is a 1/2" Wilden pump.

    Brian I had a lot of trouble with nitre this year for all but the last two boils. I had trouble getting 20 gallons through my 7" full stack with a 1/2" air pump. It would do it but the pressure would be spiking up to 80 psi. The last two boils went right through and the pressure never went above 30 psi.

    I don't know if it was the nitre or if it was the filter aid. I struggled with nitre, or so I thought all of last season too. If I remember right I started a new bag of Diatomite filter aid that I bought at Bascom's at the beginning of last season. I bought a new bag of Diatomite filter aid from Sunnyside Maples toward the end of this season and started using it on those last two boils when filtering got easier. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Russell Lampron; 04-02-2020 at 08:59 AM.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    west virginia
    Posts
    745

    Default

    used a gear pump for 20 years on D&G 5 bay filter press, pump finally gave up the ghost, it will still pump just can't build pressure to get syrup thru filter press, so we just got an air diaphragm pump, even when the gear pump was brand new it could not get syrup thru the filter press like the diaphragm pump, 22 year syrup producer votes for air pump!

    Mark 220 Maple
    1100 taps on low vaccum, 900 on gravity.
    900 plus taps leased and on high vacuum
    35 cfm Indiana Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
    80% Sugar, 20% Red MAPLES
    http://s247.photobucket.com/albums/g...Maple%20Syrup/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Bakersfield, VT
    Posts
    237

    Default

    Hands down, go air. Started with a gear pump, when it failed went to a air pump (bought from H2O) way more control and easy to us. Also works great pumping barrels out.
    54 Acres bought in Sept 2010, hope for a lot of fun
    Kabota 3400 w/ bucket
    couple Husky chainsaws and a couple of Stihl
    Big dream
    2011 = 106 on gravity tubing, 100 bucket
    2012 =700 vaccuum 100 gravity 80 bucket's
    30" x 12' Vortex with Leader Revolution Max Raised pans
    2013 = 1200 vac, 200 gravity, 5 buckets, buying from 300 buckets, 500 vac
    Springtech RO 600 Deluxe
    2015= 1800 all vac @ home, buying sap from 1200.
    2017= 2200 all on vac. no longer buying sap

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,437

    Default

    Besides that, brass gear pumps are no longer legal to use (Since Jan 2020), if going with a gear pump it now needs to be SS. The cost of those SS pumps are right up with an air diaphragm pump and the diaphragm gives you far easier control.
    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:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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