vacuum pump for milker

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Cheryl aka JM, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Cheryl aka JM

    Cheryl aka JM Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Carol found an old surge milker in her barn~ I'm cleaning it up and looking at vacuum pumps. WOW are they expensive!! Those using them help us out please~ if you don't mind telling us

    where you got your vacuum pump,

    what it cost you,

    what you wish you knew BEFORE you made your vacuum pump choice

    and if there is anything special about ones sold by dairy supply places vs ones that you can find on Ebay for a bit less like these:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ROBINAIR-6-CFM-.../170673840359?pt=BI_Pumps&hash=item27bcf420e7

    Thanks for any help~ I'm gonna cross post this in the goat forum as well so we can get as many answers as possible.

    BTW~ Bessie is coming right along allowing to milk...it would be nice if I could feel my hands after I milk. Stupid carpal tunnel
     
  2. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    I paid 100 bucks for ours at a flea market at a tractor show.
    The bearings were seized up and the motor was no good.
    It was a 3 HP Universal/Masport which IMO are the easiest to work on out of all the brands and was mounted on a balance tank. Popped the pump apart and replace the bearings with a pair I bought for 20 bucks and found a 2 HP motor for it and we were in business.

    If you are looking at regular farm type pumps the most common type is the vane pump.
    Universal leads the pack in ease of repair, quietness, and cfm per HP
    Surge is OK and there are plenty of the old Alamo type pumps around.
    DeLaval and BouMatics are screamers and I would not bother with either of them although there are a lot of them out there as well.
    You may find some older Surge and Universal piston type pumps and they are very quiet but I do not know how easy it is to get parts for them.

    To run a bucket you will need 4 or 5 cfm (per bucket) at 13-15 inches of vacuum. If the smaller pump will provide that, then it will work fine. You will also need a balance tank with a drain and some form of vacuum control.
    The pump you posted looks like it should handle a bucket.
     

  3. Cheryl aka JM

    Cheryl aka JM Well-Known Member Supporter

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    help me understand the balance tank and drain. I've read that on a few websites but not entirely sure I understand exactly what we are talking about.
    Thanks!!
     
  4. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    the vacuum pump needs to be piped to a tank and then to a stall cock where you connect the milker.
    The tank balances and evens out the vacuum, provides a little reserve for when you are connecting the milker to the animal and will catch any moisture before it gets into your pump.
    Usually at the bottom of the tank there is a drain, most times it is just a rubber flapper over a hole. When there is vacuum it seals and when you shut it off the flap will allow any condensation or milk overflow to drain out.
    The tank can be steel or plastic. Most small portable units use a piece of large diameter PVC pipe. Just cap the ends and drill and tap for connections or use the proper fittings to get down to the size you need for hookup. Your bucket will provide a bit of reserve so the balance tank on a small portable system doesn't need to be as big as one for a pipeline.
     
  5. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I bought a 1/3 hp lubricated Gast medical pump off of Ebay. I plumbed it with PVC, drilled and tapped a hole for my vacuum gauge into the PVC, used a PVC ball valve with a filter rigged to it as a regulator, and as sammyd suggested, used a piece of 4" PVC as a balance tank.

    This entire cobbled up outfit was assembled for about $125.00 and has served me very well for several years with no trouble.
     
  6. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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  7. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. Madsaw

    Madsaw Well-Known Member

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    Sammy,
    I assume you have not been around the surge alamo pumps much. For the most part all vain pumps are same in principle and repair. But, I would like to know how surge gets theirs so quite. Most of the ones I ever used had the oil reclaimer on them yet. This helped witht eh noise and also reclaimed any oil that was passed through the pump out the exhaust. Any vain pump with out a reclaimer leaves a oil mess all over. We are running a surge alamo 75 right now. Its a belt drive wversion of the 100 which is direct drive. New bearings and vanes can still be bought for most pumps. Pump its the end plates that wear and cause low vaccuum.
    Bob
     
  9. Cheryl aka JM

    Cheryl aka JM Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I appreciate all the help. I bought one online last night, it should be in next week. It's a 1/4hp 6CFM pump for $138 shipped. I'll need to put the regulator and balance tank on it but I don't see those peaces costing too much and I think I can get them at the local hardware store. Right or wrong choice I'll let everyone know how it works out when I get it. So far on this project I've spent $75 on parts to repair the bucket, claw and pulsator and $138 on the pump. I still have parts to buy and I don't know if the parts I've already bought will all work or not.....I'm sure hoping I don't wind up spending more than a finished milker would cost!
     
  10. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    I have found that a lot of poor vacuum is from bad vanes. Either one will hang up or they will mushroom a bit and not seal well. I have only ever had to have 2 pumps rebuilt and the major thing they did was hone the barrel and shaved the vanes to remove any part that may have been contaminated with metal. They came out of a large parlor and the crew was known for not checking oil levels and after a few years of no oil or just water the pumps gave up.
    Keeping an eye on your oil level, cleaning your filter stone or changing your filter as appropriate, draining the bottom of your reclaimer once a week or so to keep the water out will go a long way towards keeping your pump alive and well. Flushing with kerosene or diesel once a year to get rid of any gunk in the pump will help as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011