Whether you’re pulling the pumper rig back into the home parking lot after a long day or just starting the engine on a cool morning, it always brings a good feeling to know that your primary and secondary’s have been inspected and maintained. Primary and secondary shut off valves are easily dismissed as having “always worked before” and are expected to be maintenance free. However, there are few components on your truck where regular maintenance is more important.
Your primary shut-off valve keeps your truck from overfilling and allowing liquid to enter your vacuum pump, which will cause extensive damage to the pump. It has a stainless steel ball contained in a metal cage that floats to the top when full and “seats” on a rubber gasket, effectively sealing the tank. The secondary also has a float ball and rubber seat offering protection in case the primary should fail. If the primary float ball is positioned in a carbon steel cage, the cage will rust after time. When the cage breaks the ball will fall to the floor of your tank or float to another area allowing wastewater to pass through your primary shut off and enter your secondary. If there is debris on the rubber seat it can cause the ball to seat improperly with the same result. Simple maintenance performed on a regular basis can prevent this.
Removing the wing nuts and visually inspecting the cage for rust, corrosion, or debris is important. Regularly rinsing it off with fresh water will help extend its life. You may want to consider replacing it with a stainless steel cage. The rubber seat should also be inspected for wear. Make sure there are no cracks in the rubber and clean off any debris that may adhere to it. When replacing the primary lid be sure the rubber gasket is free of debris and has no cracks or tears. The secondary needs the same basic attention. It also operates as a moisture trap and is equipped with a drain valve at the bottom. Check the drain valve to make sure it is not clogged. The secondary should be drained after every load.
If you need to make any repairs to the plumbing of the primary or secondary, be sure to consult the pump or tank manufacturer. It is very important that the proper sizes of pipe and hose are used depending on the CFM capability of your pump. Wrong sizes of plumbing can cause your pump to underperform and eventually overheat.
Simple maintenance on a monthly basis will keep your truck on the road and making you money. However, if you fail to routinely clean and maintain your primary and secondary, you will soon have much bigger concerns.
Submitted by the Pik Rite Team
Call 800-326-9763 and mention November Parts Promotion for a 10% discount on primary and secondary parts and assemblies during November.
Pik Rite, Inc. is a custom manufacturer of commercial vacuum tanks. Pik Rite hoist units, roll-offs, slide-ins, portable toilet service units and tank trailers come in sizes ranging from 300 gallons to 6,500 gallons. Our 15 year steel tank warranty sets us apart from the competition. Tanks are available in steel, stainless steel and aluminum.