+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Bulk Milk Tank Refrigeration Repair - Paul Mueller Tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY USA
    Posts
    617

    Default Bulk Milk Tank Refrigeration Repair - Paul Mueller Tank

    I just bought a used 300 gallon Paul Mueller bulk dairy tank with refrigeration. The seller had intended to use it for cider but changed plans. He claimed the condenser/compressor unit worked when he bought it but he never used it.

    Can this be salvaged or am I in for a big expensive project? I would love to add refrigeration to my arsenal if it's possible to resurrect this.

    Anyone here know anything about getting this to work again? Info on the internet is limited with regard to these tanks. Or maybe I just don't know where to look.
    IMG_3784.jpgIMG_3782.jpgIMG_3785.jpgIMG_3783.jpg
    Smoky Lake 2x6 fuel-oil fired, raised flue, hoods, SSR, concentric exhaust
    Home-built auto draw off
    Home-built RO - single XLE 4040, PLC controlled
    10x12 Sugar House
    130 taps on tubing with Shurflo 4048 vacuum
    https://www.facebook.com/flowercitymaplesyrup/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Is there any local dairy producers around you. Talking with them might at least put you in touch with repair facilities that could look at the tank. I have also got a tank however none of the compressor or fan came with it.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    385

    Default

    As far as information, simply contact Mueller. They emailed me all of the tech manuals for my tank, compressor and auto washer.

    As far as the tank, you will have to have nitrogen put in the lines (do not fill with air) which means that you might as well put everything where you want it and braze the lines back together.

    For the compressor and unit: the nitrogen (if everything hooked back together) will tell you if there are any leaks. compressor will need power and freon to tell if it works. At least that is what my son did when putting mine back together. Make sure that you get the correct freon. From what I hear, compressors do not typically go bad from setting around, contactors do, and if the lines we not capped they may need help.

    Good luck, it will change how you make syrup
    Last edited by minehart gap; 09-26-2021 at 09:47 PM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Verona, NY
    Posts
    383

    Default

    if you're in Rochester maybe ask Finger lakes dairy service, they could have some insight. the setup service call will probably be expensive wherever you go though.
    4000 taps on vacuum, just trying to get a little better every year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,951

    Default

    I set up a 410 gallon Sunset tank in the spring. I had the local delaval dairy service do the work which included installing lines between the tank and compressor, charging with refrigerant and testing. I was very lucky in that the decades old equipment was in good shape and only required a new filter. It had been working until three months prior to me purchasing it.

    The refrigerant and labor (2 techs for 5 hours) were the big ticket items and the final bill was close to $1500...

    The unfortunate reality is that you can't really assess the total functionality of the whole system without hooking it all up, charging it with refrigerant, and running it. A dairy or refrigeration technician can likely look it over and give a sense of whether or not it is worth it, but you'll likely have to spend a good bit of $$$ to even know if it will work.

    But yeah, total game changer if you can get it to work so its definitely worth the $ and effort IMO.
    Last edited by GeneralStark; 09-27-2021 at 11:09 AM.
    About 750 taps 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
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY USA
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Thanks everyone. I got what Mueller had for documentation which has been helpful. Now I realize the challenge is where to put my tank. I'm going to have to hire a tech to come out and do the testing and charging anyway so I think I'm probably in for the same $$ as GeneralStark.

    What are some ways it's changed the game for making syrup? For me, I work out of town so I was thinking this would buy me the time and flexibility I need and want.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 fuel-oil fired, raised flue, hoods, SSR, concentric exhaust
    Home-built auto draw off
    Home-built RO - single XLE 4040, PLC controlled
    10x12 Sugar House
    130 taps on tubing with Shurflo 4048 vacuum
    https://www.facebook.com/flowercitymaplesyrup/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,197

    Default

    First thing I would do before committing too much money into this project is to get someone to come and do a pressure test of the bulk tank gas lines to make sure that the cooling plates don’t have a leak. That is the most common downfall of bulk tanks and is almost virtually impossible to find anyone willing to repair. I know because we had one do that for milk production and ended up having to replace it. If it holds gas, then move onto checking out the compressor. Make sure when you set the tank up, it is on a good solid, level surface to keep from twisting when full and breaking the refrigeration plates.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    189

    Default

    If the lines on the compressor have been open to atmosphere the oil likes to collect water. The "right" way to do it is pull a vacuum and charge with dry nitrogen for storage, then pull a vacuum to charge the system. If the oil is contaminated with water it might be difficult to pull a vacuum to under 500 Microns. That said when my system was unhooked I pinched the copper shut with pliers and soldered it closed. It pulled down to under 200 Microns when the tech did the refrigeration work and seem to work fine last year. Time will tell, always a gamble with old equipment.
    2.5X10 HE
    600 RO
    Vac

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts