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  • Pump vac thoughts

    As all know who've read my ranting for a while, I prefer to jet vs. cable in most situations. When I have a unit/house backed up, must work from inside, and suspect a frozen (or also frozen) line, managing the water to prevent flooding becomes the major challenge of the job.

    Hauling out the wet vac when it fills up gets old quick, and finding somewhere to dump it is often an issue. If the carpet guys are there, they have about 500 gal of storage and that eases the issue, and a vac truck of course makes the issue disappear, but these are costly solutions.

    In many cases a small device to pump out the water would make life a lot easier. It would take the job back down to a scale where one tech with one van's worth of stuff could do the job cleanly and efficiently.

    I have tried many things. Small diaphragm transfer pumps clog with paper either at the pump or at the suction hose. Sump pumps need a controlled flood to sit in to work. A sump pump in a stoppered tub, then dump the vac in the tub works, but is annoying and involes a lot of stuff to trip on in the already too small bathroom.

    Pump-vacs are a great idea, but the execution I've seen thus far is cheap homeowner crap. The pumps won't keep up with the vac and plug at the first sign of paper, and the float shutoff kills the whole thing, not just the vac side of it.

    I think there would be a market for a sewer pump-vac that could handle paper. The pump side should be a small centrifugal with a grinder head for the paper.

    A first thought is that something like a disposer body inside a vac rigged with a shaft coming up through it driven by the vac motor shaft might work.

    Thoughts?

    - viable market for this exist? or is it too specialized
    - better ideas for how to make it work?
    - will an air op diaphragm pump do just fine anyway and no need to reinvent something?
    Last edited by Ace Sewer; 01-19-2011, 02:46 PM.
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: Pump vac thoughts

    Depending on budget, I think you would be happiest with the small 500 gallon or less pumpers that are trailer mounted.

    Here's a quick shot of one that might work although it is supposed to be a "Vacuum Excavator".

    http://www.ditchwitch.com/vacuum-excavation/fx20/

    There are others. I'll try to find some more later.


    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pump vac thoughts

      tks jc,

      I've looks at things like that for both this app and for graese traps and sand traps, and there is undoubtedly something like it in my future.

      My thought though, is that is another vehicle and another driver, or at least a trailer, and that increases the scale of the job to where I might as well just call in a pumper, (or haul wet-vacs and charge for time). I hate making a big project out of something that needn't be one.

      In many cases a paper-handling pump-vac that did 4-6 gpm would knock the scale of job back down to where it is straightforward for one tech with one vehicle. That lets me or my tech get it done quick and clean and easy, eliminates logistics issues, and lets us take care of the customer at a reasonable cost and get on the the next one.
      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pump vac thoughts

        I have a 55 gallon barrel vac head and some barrels, I fill the barrels until full and then go to the next one. When the line is open I dump the barrels done the drain. Or pump them back down the drain.
        Sent From The StoolBus

        www.appletondrainandsewer.com

        Appleton WI, 54915
        1-920-284-7471

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pump vac thoughts

          Originally posted by appletondrain View Post
          I have a 55 gallon barrel vac head and some barrels, I fill the barrels until full and then go to the next one. When the line is open I dump the barrels done the drain. Or pump them back down the drain.

          maybe I need a vac head for the tub lol.

          Your vac pull from outside, or do you schlep barrels in? don't you drive the stoolbus? plenty of room on there for barrels, not so much in a van, I couldn't park a stoolbus. I wan't a little pump to fertilize the lawn with.
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pump vac thoughts

            i have had them in and out. i can only fit 4 barrels in the stoolbus
            Sent From The StoolBus

            www.appletondrainandsewer.com

            Appleton WI, 54915
            1-920-284-7471

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pump vac thoughts

              I get what you'd like Ace. I find for myself that often if I don't go bigger than what I think I need alot of times I get pissed and start throwing things.

              Mostly mad at myself because I didn't pony up for the equipment, the phone is ringing, and my job is harder.

              Don't know if there is something like a 20 gallon sewer vac.

              Heck, buy a small grinder, stick it in the vacuum, and rig the cord out of it.

              I'll let you handle the UL listings.


              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pump vac thoughts

                When we get jobs where the jetting is a must and flooding is a must not we send out the Combo unit to vac while jetting.

                If the sewer is not frozen, I rather power rod it than jet. But as you know that is me and my preference in drain cleaning.
                Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pump vac thoughts

                  If you built an overflow device with a 2" hose or 1.5"? attached so the overflow would flow into a plastic drum with a pump mounted in it......I'm thinking a washing machine pre-packed pump system might work. You would hafta have a rig to attach to the pipe or cleanout thats water tight and a T in the rig for an overlfow.

                  Saniflow makes a helluva small grinder thats made for sewage. has a 3" inlet and 1.5" inlets at the floor. The whole macerator is about 7" deep 18" wide and 10" tall. Those are from memory and I'm sure not correct but close.

                  Then just run the discharge hose out from the pump. Jet away

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pump vac thoughts

                    its gut to suck out of a hose, with the hose down the flange; by the time is on the floor it's too late. yeas, a sump pump in a bucket, then vac the flange and dump vac in bucket would work, but again that is more stuff to trip over, and basically the same thing I often do now which is sump pump in the tub and dump vac in tub.

                    I guess I'm looking for a tiny pump head that would eat paper that can live inside the vac and run off the same motor shaft turning the vac blower.

                    I don't know of a grinder that is small enough, gutting a disposer came to mind as thats the smallest grinder-esque thing I can think of and it's kind of a pump, in a way.

                    maybe i can mount a tiny centrifugal pump impeller on a thru shaft with a disposer abover it, feed the centrifugal from the disposer, hook the discharge to a bulkhead fitting on the side of the vac, and power all 3 with one motor/shaft through from the top. lord it's getting complicated.

                    anyone know of a tiny macerating pump that can run submerged?
                    Last edited by Ace Sewer; 01-19-2011, 07:35 PM.
                    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pump vac thoughts

                      Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                      its gut to suck out of a hose, with the hose down the flange; by the time is on the floor it's too late. yeas, a sump pump in a bucket, then vac the flange and dump vac in bucket would work, but again that is more stuff to trip over, and basically the same thing I often do now which is sump pump in the tub and dump vac in tub.

                      I guess I'm looking for a tiny pump head that would eat paper that can live inside the vac and run off the same motor shaft turning the vac blower.

                      I don't know of a grinder that is small enough, gutting a disposer came to mind as thats the smallest grinder-esque thing I can think of and it's kind of a pump, in a way.

                      maybe i can mount a tiny centrifugal pump impeller on a thru shaft with a disposer abover it, feed the centrifugal from the disposer, hook the discharge to a bulkhead fitting on the side of the vac, and power all 3 with one motor/shaft through from the top. lord it's getting complicated.

                      anyone know of a tiny macerating pump that can run submerged?
                      Yes once its on the floor its too late...I understand that. Picture a test plug shaped like a doughnut that you can pump up to make a seal with.....with a 2" pipe in the center hole. Insert that into for instance a floor drain or a closet flange and pump it up to make the seal. Off that 2" pipe connect a tee with a hose running to your container and pump. When the container fills up it will pump itself out. Non stop jetting.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pump vac thoughts

                        I get it now.... that could work. Usually though I'm jetting from the closet flange and that is where the water is coming also, so no seal with room for jetter hose too....

                        tks for the tip on saniflo btw... I'm still thinking bionic macreating pump-vac, and the guts of one of their toilet deals might fit in the vac. they are the smallest units I've seen like that.
                        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pump vac thoughts

                          Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                          I get it now.... that could work. Usually though I'm jetting from the closet flange and that is where the water is coming also, so no seal with room for jetter hose too....

                          tks for the tip on saniflo btw... I'm still thinking bionic macreating pump-vac, and the guts of one of their toilet deals might fit in the vac. they are the smallest units I've seen like that.
                          Yes the water would back up into the 2" pvc....and then run out the tee to your container. The jetter hose would enter the 2" pvc above the tee.

                          The seal would be made between the pipe your cleaning and the 2" at the floor....while your feeding your hose 30" off the floor into the 2" pipe.

                          The saniflow macerator cannot be submerged.
                          Last edited by TheMaster; 01-19-2011, 08:21 PM. Reason: add info on saniflow.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pump vac thoughts

                            ok, the tee, sheesh I'm dense...

                            That'll work.

                            All I need now is an inflatable doughnut. or a test ball with a 2" through it. or, heck, ramming enough rags tight around it should work.

                            tks! I'll try this and let you know.
                            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pump vac thoughts

                              Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                              ok, the tee, sheesh I'm dense...

                              That'll work.

                              All I need now is an inflatable doughnut. or a test ball with a 2" through it. or, heck, ramming enough rags tight around it should work.

                              tks! I'll try this and let you know.
                              Yeah the inflatable doughnut I dont know if its made but i've never seen one. You might could use a push-tite seal if the walls of the pipe are good. Maybe try rags soaked in oil...pack it in there tight like oakum
                              You could have a piece of metal cut so once you packed the rags in you could slip it down and use closet bolts to compress it. I know that would seal fine.

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