Get The Biggest Pump For Your Buck

Pumps and blowers are the heart of your machine. Whether you’re buying a pump or blower for your truck or jetter, getting one that does the job is critical to your business.

Vacuum Pumps and Blowers

Since the pump or blower creates the vacuum needed to pump septic tank sludge from the tank into the truck, you might think the bigger the better. That isn’t necessarily the case. The folks at Brudon Air Vac say that this is one of the most critical services they offer clients. “We’ve talked guys into a smaller blower and others into a larger one,” says Robert Hawkes, operations and technical sales manager for Brudon. “You have to find out what their needs are before you can recommend a size. If a guy gets the biggest blower there is, but doesn’t need that much, then he is wasting room in his truck that could hold other equipment, burning more fuel to haul around the extra weight, and putting additional strain on the engine.”

“This is a very good question and one that is often overlooked or not enough time is spent on proper selection procedures, says Bruce Wispinski, owner of Brudon Air Vac and Blowertech Ltd. “Many variables come into play when selecting a blower and this is where Brudon applications specialists earn their pay. The truck market is a classic example where a proper sized blower system has a huge impact on a contractor’s bottom line. Tank capacity along with airflow piping and efficient filtration comes into play, how fast the customer would like to load product, from what distance and vertical height considerations. We also need to determine what the payload product is in terms of weight and density. Is the payload product liquid, solids or semi-solids all of which have a specific range of molecular weights and density? One simple analogy offered is; try blowing through a drink straw, then blow through a garden hose, which offers most resistance without getting blue in the face. It is a simplistic scenario, but in a nutshell blowers operate in the same manner. Every 28″ Hg high vacuum blower has a specific volumetric capacity normally expressed in CFM rating (Cubic Feet per Minute). Also, does the application require pressure off-loading capability, which is a high-heat process due to reversal of airflow and bypass of the air-injection cooling feature?”

When you are in the process of buying a pump or blower, Hawkes suggests a rugged design that will stand up to the strain of the pipe and motion of the truck. “You want to make sure it has proper reinforcement and ribs on the exterior housing,” adds Hawkes.

“Blowers have come through quite an evolution over the past 15 years,” says Wispinski. “We’ve gone to oil free blowers and even those have gone from bi-lobe to a tri-lobe design with reduced pulsation and increased volumetric efficiency, minimizing absorbed horsepower and increasing longevity for the user.
“All PD blowers have a max of 15 psi. The issues are once they exceed 15 psi, that is when you have thermal expansion and growth of impellers that contribute to failure. With our designs we incorporate pressure relief systems to prevent over-heating and failure of internal components.”

Understanding pump or blower features is also key to maintaining the longevitiy of a truck. “Professional support staff who are knowledgeable and trained in PD blower applications. All KAY authorized distributors and OEM builders are offered an extensive two-day training program in the fundamentals of PD Blower design, applications, installation, troubleshooting, repair and maintenance procedures,” says Hawkes.

“Our commitment to customer service is paramount in all our operations. We offer innovation, quality and value in all our projects and services. From specification and application assistance to 24/7 help with trouble shooting and technical support, our customers appreciate the personalized service received from Brudon Air Vac. We also support our dealers and OEM accounts with comprehensive no-charge training seminars.”

What Separates One Pump From Another?

“Rotary-vane pumps use a series of sliding, flat vanes rotating in a cylindrical case to generate vacuum,” says Wispinski. “As an eccentrically mounted rotor turns, the vanes slide in and out, trapping a quantity of air and moving it from the inlet side of the pump to the outlet.

“A positive-displacement blower creates vacuum by isolating and compressing a distinct, constant volume of air through rotation of impellers using timing gears. The compressed air is vented out one port, and a vacuum is created at the other port where the air is drawn in. This generates relatively high vacuum.

“The simplest way to explain the differences is by flow and pressure and then by other factors such as noise, heat, horsepower draw and durability. The PD blowers are by far the most durable and require the least amount of maintenance. The rotary vane vacuum pump can require vane replacement every 4-6 months of operation.

“There are many manufacturers of positive displacement vacuum blowers available on the market today. KAY blowers carry a two-year warranty, which is twice as long as most competitor models.”

Pumps For Jetters

That all-important pump is the key to making your jetter deliver those powerful jets of water needed to clean out pipes. Different pumps put out different pressures and flow.

So, how do you decide what the best is for your needs?

Again, bigger isn’t always better. Tripp Amick, owner of A&H Equipment says, “Larger pipes generally require more flow to be cleaned effectively both because of the greater diameter and the potential of more material. Pressure is responsible for loosening the material, but flow is what moves it down the pipe. Having the right combination will increase your productivity considerably. A pump delivering 2,500 psi at 80 GPM to 500′ of 1″ hose will lose about 1psi per foot, resulting in about 2,000 psi at the nozzle.”
Charlie McSwain from Water Cannon says, “it depends on what their ultimate goal is, but a good all around one would be 2,500 psi at three gallons per minute. If you have a limited water supply, then you don’t need four or five gallon per minute one.”

McSwain has 31 years in the industry. “I walk our customers through the process,” says McSwain. “We can take him from what he’s got, to what he needs and customize it just for him. All of our sales people are very knowledgeable, even our newest sales person has 12 years of experience.”

Water Cannon offers hydraulic and gasoline powered pumps. “The hydraulic works off your hydraulic system,” says McSwain. “It’s smaller and more compact because you don’t have another engine to have to store on your truck. The gasoline is a stand-alone unit with a 6 ½ horsepower Honda engine. We also carry a complete line of parts and accessories.

Whether it’s for your jetter or truck, make sure to talk to your manufacturer about choosing a pump or blower that is right for your needs.

Story by Jennifer Taylor

Resources
For more information:
—Blowertech Ltd. www.blowertech.ca
—Brudon Air Vac Ltd. www.brudonairvac.ca
—Water Cannon www.watercannon.com

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