A vacuum pump rebuild kit can make pump rebuilds much easier

Vacuum pump rebuild kit

A vacuum pump rebuild kit can make daunting vacuum pump service projects much easier. The temptation is to ignore your vacuum pump until it fails.  Vacuum pumps are the heart of the liquid waste transport vehicle. Often they seem to work tirelessly with little or no maintenance. However, an ounce of prevention may reveal a significant problem just before it costs a pound of cure!

The rotary vane vacuum pump is a workhorse machine that is fairly simple and very dependable. However the internal moving parts are all subject to wear. You probably will not notice decreased performance until it is too late to avoid costly repairs. A vacuum pump rebuild kit contains components you need to keep your vacuum pump in peak condition. Once a year it is a good idea to take an extra close look at these components on your pump. Every pump manufacturer varies in their approach to pump wear parts. Some pumps have small ports allowing you to easily measure vane wear. Others require removal of the housing cover which also allows you to examine for rotor contact and check the gaskets and bearings. Provided that nothing is wrong, removal of the housing cover and re-assembly is a relatively uncomplicated procedure with a good owner’s manual for reference.

The parts most likely to need replacement are the rotary vanes. The vanes are designed to slide in and out with each rotation of the pump. As the vanes wear down they are more susceptible to breaking. A broken vane can jam between the rotor and pump housing causing pump failure and possibly a cracked housing. Remove the old vanes when they begin to de-laminate or show significant wear. A generous application of lubricating oil will help the new vanes from your vacuum pump rebuild kit slide in easily. This maintenance procedure will save you a lot of costly down time in the event of a broken vane and subsequent cracked housing!

Other parts that may require attention are the seals, gaskets and o-rings. These parts are included in a vacuum pump rebuild kit from Pik Rite, Inc. or individually from the pump manufacturer. A vacuum pump rebuild kit is a good items to keep in stock in your facility. Having the full set of needed parts will minimize the amount of time and frustration involved in a quick vacuum pump rebuild. Individual parts are also available to make your daily routine easier. Even seemingly insignificant things like a stiff or broken pump valve handle can be easily replaced in your shop. Any extra care that you give your pump in house will save costly repair bills incurred by a lack of maintenance.
Remember, your pump may not complain about worn parts until they break! You won’t know the problem exists until you go looking for it. Keeping a good supply of pump replacement parts or a vacuum pump rebuild kit will save you time and frustration when you perform regular maintenance checks. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

For more information on our vacuum pump rebuild service click here.


Broken Couplers

Equipment breaks! That’s a quick lesson from the school of hard knocks. However vacuum tanks are set up with a variety of protection components to take the sting out of your repair bill. The coupler between your gearbox and vacuum pump is one of these components.

Couplers take the stress every time you engage the PTO to start your vacuum pump. There are multiple styles, but all of them are basically designed to dampen the shock when you start your vacuum pump, lengthening the life of your equipment.
Although it’s mostly out of sight and out of mind, your coupler insert is slowly wearing down. At some point it will need to be replaced. Preventative maintenance is not necessary often, but periodically checking the teeth for wear and the rubber for dry rot or cracking may save you down time in the future.

If you are replacing your coupler, there are two very important concepts that will significantly increase the life of your equipment. The first one is verifying the alignment of the metal coupler housing. Use a straight edge to verify top, bottom, left and right sides of coupler housings are perfectly aligned with each other. If the housings are not perfectly aligned, your rubber coupler insert will quickly wear and fall far short of its intended lifespan.

The other concept to consider is allowing endplay on both ends of the rubber insert. When the insert heats up it will expand significantly and push on your pump rotor. The pressure can force your pump rotor into the pump housing endplate. As mentioned before, every coupler can vary but on a common #9 Sure-Flex coupler you should have approximately 1-7/8” total distance between the steel flanges (smaller for a #8 and larger for a #10). This will allow room for the coupler to expand without putting pressure on your pump rotor. For exact measurements refer to the instructions that come with your new coupler.
Hydraulic motors may use a coupler style that allows metal teeth to interlock. This is acceptable because of the hydraulic relief valves. Direct drive PTO systems should never use this type of coupler. A complete rubber insert should be used allowing the coupler to shear if something in the pump locks up.

Attention to the small details will often pay large dividends. Giving your coupler some attention today will put you ahead of the game and save you costly down time in the future.

Ike Martin -Pik Rite, Inc.
Ike has been servicing and rebuilding vacuum pumps for the past 13 years. His experience and expertise in the service department at Pik Rite, Inc. is highly valued. Pik Rite manufacturers and services commercial vacuum tanks, hoist units, roll-offs, slide-ins, portable toilet service units and tank trailers ranging in size from 300 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.

Call 800-339-3840 and mention promo code ALW for a 10% discount on pumps and pump parts during the month of February.

A closed subject…Valves

Some things in life do not get a lot of attention until they break! If you’re like most busy pumpers, you probably haven’t given your tank valves much thought over the holiday season. However, there are some options that will come in handy if you are fixing a broken valve or compiling your new tank wish list!
The four main types of valves installed on vacuum tanks include lever valves, piston valves, ball valves and butterfly valves. They all have unique features to accompany their pros and cons that contribute to their relevance in the water and wastewater industries.
Butterfly valves are the least utilized valve type in the grease and septic liquid waste industry. The valve features a paddle type stopper that swivels in place allowing fluid to flow around it when open. Debris can easily get caught on the stopper in the open position. This valve type is more commonly used in the oil and gas industry for water haulers and liquids that do not contain debris or solids.
Lever valves are more common and universal because of their friendly price point and full open design. Commonly these are brass valves, but are also available in stainless steel or with stainless steel components, if you’re willing to pay for the upgrades. The lever pulls the stopper completely out of the line of flow and allows liquids and solids to pass through easily. This valve design has become the workhorse solution for many pumpers; however care should be taken to prevent damage to the stopper. When closing the valve, check for small rocks or hardened debris that can collect in the valve body as these could mar the surface of the stopper if forced shut, which could cause leaks and valve failure.
Piston valves also feature a full open design much like lever valves. The handle on a piston valve is larger and easier to operate but can be bulky on trucks with multiple valves in close proximity. Many options for automation make the piston valve desirable for those needing remote control options or for land applicators. They can be powered with air or hydraulic allowing the valve to open and close from a control module. More expensive than brass lever valves, brass piston valves are a middle of the road option from a price perspective, unless adding stainless steel or automation components.
Brass ball valves carry a hefty price tag and are the endangered species of the liquid waste valve options. Most commonly available in brass these valves also have limited stainless steel upgrade options. They feature an enclosed ball with two openings allowing liquid or solids to pass when rotated to the open position. The ball sits on a Teflon seat and has seals that wear over time. This design can also break if it freezes in either the full open or full closed positions. When operating in cold weather, ball valves are best maintained in the half open position or closed with heated options.
Regardless of the valve type, repair or replacement will be needed at some point. Replaceable components are often more hassle to tear down, fix and reassemble than replacing the entire valve. Keeping some valve money in your budget is a wise consideration.
Hopefully this article finds you contemplating your new rig set up rather than nursing repairs on old faithful. Either way, be sure to keep an open mind when it comes to valve configurations.

Submitted by Tim Lightner
Tim is a sales associate for Pik Rite, Inc. His expertise in the vacuum tank product line has been sought by local operators as well as multiple international and military accounts in both septic and gas and oil industries. Pik Rite, Inc. is a custom manufacturer of commercial vacuum tanks. Pik Rite hoist units, roll-off units, slide-in units, 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.

10% Discount on new valves!

We’re wrapping up the holiday rush and finally getting back into a normal schedule again. Now is a great time to look over your truck and make sure things are ready for the new year.
For the entire month of January we are offering a 10% discount on the order of any valves!

(Lever, butterfly, ball valves, and pressure / vacuum relief valves)
Use this opportunity to stock up on valves now so you don’t have down time when things start to get busy! Call us today to get your discounted price on valves this month.

Call now to get the details! 800-326-9763

For more information you can also email Jamie in our Parts Department.
*Phone orders must be placed before 5:00 PM EST January 31, 2017 to qualify.
Orders submitted by fax or email must be submitted by
midnight January 31, 2017 to qualify.

Man the Pump!

vacuum pump  Vacuum pump set up

The driver was unsure what had happened. He had depressed the clutch on his pumper truck and switched on the PTO, but when he released the clutch to engage the vacuum pump the truck nearly stalled. “It’s broke…” he simply reported after pulling it into the shop.

Vacuum pumps are the heart of a pumper rig set-up. Maintaining your pump will make or “break” your business and bank account in a hurry! While blowers are increasing in popularity this article is devoted to rotary vane pumps. There are several simple steps to keep your pump in good running condition.
A working oil system is the first place to start. Unlike an internal combustion engine, your vacuum pump is designed to consume oil to keep internal parts lubricated. It will expel a fine oil mist out of the muffler. Contact your pump manufacturer to determine the correct oil usage for your pump. Some pump manufacturers have installed external sight eyes or tubes, while others will require you to check the oil internally. Another best practice is to keep an eye on the external oil reservoir to make sure the level is decreasing as you go throughout your day.
Running your pump at the proper speed is essential! Manual transmission trucks allow you to engage the pump gently with the truck clutch. Automatic transmissions engage immediately when you flip the PTO switch. Either should be done at the lowest engine RPM’s possible. Once the pump is engaged you can adjust to the proper engine speed. Remember that your engine RPM’s do not match your pump speed. Refer to your tank manufacturer for suggested engine RPM’s for your particular set-up. Running your pump too slowly can prevent the vanes from extending, resulting in no vacuum. Over running the pump will overheat it and prevent proper lubrication.
Overheating your pump can result from a variety of other causes, as well. If your vacuum or pressure exceeds recommended levels, your pump will quickly overheat. Most trucks are equipped with a pressure gauge on the secondary to monitor vacuum or pressure in the tank. Check your relief valves periodically to ensure proper working condition. Keep your pump clean. Dirt and debris on the exterior of the pump housing will prevent it from properly radiating heat.
Be sure to frequently check your secondary and muffler drain valves. Sometimes the valves can clog preventing proper drainage. When driving over rough terrain or down steep inclines, water can seep past your primary into your secondary. If you ever notice white “smoke” coming from your muffler you should immediately drain your secondary and allow the pump to expel the water. Allowing water into your pump is the quickest way to break a vane causing costly repairs and downtime.  Some tank manufacturers install a flushing fluid kit on the truck. Flushing your pump with a small amount of approved flushing fluid is recommended every 10-20 loads.
Attention to the small details is the name of the game. Your oil level, RPM speed, pressure gauges and drain valves can be easily overlooked. Proper attention to these indicators will go a long way towards a healthy pump and a healthy pocketbook.

 Ike Martin -Pik Rite, Inc.

Ike has been servicing and rebuilding vacuum pumps for the past 13 years. His experience and expertise in the service department at Pik Rite, Inc. is highly valued. Pik Rite manufacturers and services commercial vacuum tanks, hoist units, roll-offs, slide-ins, portable toilet service units and tank trailers ranging in size from 300 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.

Call 800-339-3840 and mention promo code ALW for a 10% discount on pumps and pump parts during the month of December.