There are a few ways to get the liquid out of a drum:
You can use a pump. Some pumps are even made to mount straight onto the lid of the drum.
You can siphon the liquid out, if you can get the drum higher than where you want to put the liquid. And if you have the time.
You can turn the drum over. I used to do field service in chemical plants…some of them had drum handlers on fork trucks that could pick up and tilt the drum to pour the liquid out. Some of them pushed the drum over and simply let the liquid spill into a pit or below-grade sump.
But pumps break down. Siphoning is finicky and slow. I’m loath to knock the skills of the fork truck operator that can pour out a drum like a sommelier pours a fine wine. And I’ll never forget the first time I saw an operator half-roll/half-dance a drum to the edge of that pit and let the liquid dump as he dropped it precisely where he wanted it…however, even in the context of the inner recesses of a chemical plant, it was simple, but inelegant.
EXAIR has an engineered solution that preserves the simplicity, though: the Reversible Drum Vac. Thread the standpipe into the bung connection and the RDV itself into the vent, and that drum is now a two-way pumping system, able to be emptied via a 10 foot long Vacuum Hose in as little as a minute and a half. Turn the knob on the RDV to switch modes, and you can fill that same drum just as fast.
The EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac Systems come with a variety of configurations and options:
Made to fit an existing 30, 55, or 110 closed top steel drum in good condition.
Mini Reversible Drum Vac System comes with a 5 gallon drum.
Deluxe Systems add a Drum Dolly and a set of tools.
Premium Systems add a drum (30, 55, or 110 gallon,) an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools, and a 20ft compressed air supply hose with shutoff valve and pressure gauge.
High Lift Reversible Drum Vacs generate a suction head of 180″H2O for maximum lift. They’re also specified for higher viscosity liquids.
Below is a great video that showcases just how easy it is to from installing the Reversible Drum Vac to using the Reversible Drum Vac and just how fast the RDV operates.
When it comes to industrial vacuums, wouldn’t it be nice to have a durable, long lasting vacuum that is quiet? There is such a vacuum that has these qualities; the EXAIR Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System. This vacuum system has no moving parts, no motors to fail, or bearings to wear. They only require compressed air to operate.
The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac is used to vacuum dusty materials, solid materials, sand, and even heavier materials like steel shot. The vacuum generator is made from a hardened alloy construction to resist wear and abrasion, and it is designed to create a powerful vacuum level measuring -60” H2O (-15 KPa) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). To accommodate the multiple types of industrial applications, EXAIR offers the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Systems in three different options and in three different drum sizes.
The design of the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac is based on, like the name states, the HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air filter. It has a 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 micron. We designed the filter to have a large amount of surface area by pleating the media. This will extend the life of the filter as well as retain very fine dust contamination inside the drum, not in the surrounding air. The HEPA filter and vacuum generator are uniquely designed to be incorporated in a modified drum lid that will fit onto a standard 55-gallon, 30-gallon, or 110-gallon drum (209L, 114L, or 418L respectively). It is also quiet, overall the noise level is only 82 dBA at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar). Measure that against any electric vacuum.
The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Systems come in three different packages to best fit your application. The standard package comes with the drum lid described above and a latching ring to attach to your drum. It also comes with 10 feet (3m) of an anti-static hose, 20 feet (6m) of a compressed air hose, an aluminum chip wand, a hose hanger, a gauge, and a manual operational valve. For additional protection, the kit will include a Pre-Filter. This will wrap around the HEPA filter to capture the “big” items to keep the HEPA media filtering the fine particles. The standard package is available with three different drum sizes. For example, model 6199 is for the 55-gallon drum (209L), model 6199-30 is for the 30-gallon drum (114L) and model 6199-110 is for the 110-gallon drum (418L).
The next package is the Deluxe Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System. This option will include all the items in the standard option plus it adds the heavy-duty aluminum tools, a tool holder and a drum dolly. The upgraded aluminum tools include a floor tool, crevice tool, skimmer tool with detachable brush, and a two-piece double bend wand. They can be easily attached to the vacuum hose for quick cleaning of material spills. The Deluxe system is a great option for getting into tight areas, hard-to-reach places, and large floor areas. This option is also available in three drum sizes. For example, model 6299 is for the 55-gallon drum (209L), model 6299-30 is for the 30-gallon drum (114L) and model 6299-110 is for the 110-gallon drum (418L).
If you do not have a drum to use in your facility, no problem. EXAIR offers a steel drum in the Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Systems. The Premium package has all the items in the Deluxe package plus a heavy-duty steel drum. We offer the Premium option for all three sizes as well. For example, model 6399 will include the 55-gallon drum (209L), model 6399-30 will included the 30-gallon drum (114L) and model 6399-110 will include the 110-gallon drum (418L).
EXAIR offers some additional items to adjust the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac to perform better in other applications. We have the Filter Protector which is a very inexpensive filter to help protect the HEPA media. For materials that are very light and buoyant, like powder paint, the Filter Protector can capture much of this material before it gets to the HEPA media. Another item that we can offer is the 20 feet (6m) anti-static vacuum hose. If you need to reach at greater distances with your tools to do a thorough cleaning, this hose can be purchased with your system.
If you get tired of throwing away your electric vacuums for burned up motors, you should try the EXAIR Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System. They will definitely extend the useful life, make it much quieter to operate and vacuum heavier materials quickly. For U.S. and Canadian customers, EXAIR offers a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try the units. Also, for a limited time. an end-user will get a free EXAIR Vac-u-Gun, a $112.00 value, with any purchase of a Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System. If you want to learn more about our Industrial Housekeeping Products, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We would be happy to help you.
Vacuum cleaners…most of us think of the electric-powered devices that we clean our carpets at home with. The idea of utilizing vacuum in cleaning applications, however, predates the widespread introduction of electric power by a couple of decades. The original idea was to marry a manual vacuum generating device to a carpet sweeper. These had been around for some time, and they’re still seen today: the beater brush turns as the sweeper is pushed across the floor; it picks up dirt in the brush bristles, and deposits it in an internal receptacle. You’ve probably seen them used in restaurants to tidy up small messes on the floor, in lieu of dragging out the noisy vacuum cleaner while folks are eating.
Anyway, these first vacuum cleaners relied on a bellows, piston cylinder, or other such device that was operated by hand, foot – or, according to one source, a rocking chair – to generate a vacuum. Since it took one person to operate the vacuum generating part, and another to push the sweeper, they weren’t very popular at a time when folks were generally looking for labor SAVING products.
The proliferation of electric power around the turn of the 19th/20th century brought about electric vacuum cleaners. Most homes have one…including the ‘shop vac’ in my garage, my home actually has three. These are great for home use; many have long cords that allow you to clean the floors in adjacent rooms without unplugging & re-plugging, and most come with a convenient set of tools for baseboards, furniture, HVAC vents, etc. For carpet & upholstery, they can’t be beat.
In industrial settings, though, the electric-powered models can find themselves at a disadvantage. The impellers can clog or break, and the electric motors will, in time, burn out. If used in wet environments, great care must be used (as with any electric products) or there can be a very real shock hazard.
EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products offer a solution to all of these issues. With no moving parts or electric motors, they are extremely reliable. If you supply them with clean air, they can run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free. And no electric power means no shock hazard.
We have a variety of products to meet most any need. Our Chip Vacs and Heavy Duty Dry Vacs are made for dry material cleanup. They install (in minutes) on an open top drum, and are available with a variety of accessories…tools, drum dollies, tool holders…even the drum itself if you need one. The Chip Vac is specified for most ‘general purpose’ jobs; the Heavy Duty Dry Vac is more powerful, and abrasion resistant, for more aggressive needs. Both exhaust the vacuum air flow through a Filter Bag to contain the particulate in the drum.
The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac features the same high power and rugged construction as the Heavy Duty Dry Vac, but replaces the Filter Bag with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter for maximum dust containment. These are used where critical dust removal, mold & allergen containment, or trapping airborne irritants are called for.
The Reversible Drum Vac is a two-way liquid pumping system, also made for mounting on standard steel drums…closed top drums, in this case. They can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds. Options include 5, 30, and 110 gallon drum sizes, and a High Lift model – increased suction head for deep wells, underground tanks, or higher viscosity liquids, up to 1,400 cP.
The Reversible Drum Vac is also at the heart of our popular and award-winning coolant filtration system: the EXAIR Chip Trapper. A Filter Bag in the “fill” line traps chips, swarf, and shavings. The liquid passes through, and is able to be immediately pumped back out. Not only is coolant life extended, regular cleaning of the coolant sump prevents loss of coolant flow due to clogging of the supply lines. The Chip Trapper is available in 30, 55, and 110 gallon sizes, and also in the High Lift version.
Speaking of two-way operation, the EXAIR Vac-u-Gun is both a vacuum AND blow gun…simply reverse the orientation of the nozzle insert to reverse the operation:
The Vac-u-Gun is an efficient, quiet, and versatile tool with numerous applications, from vacuuming sawdust or shavings, to conveying small parts or pellets, to blowing off chips, water, coolant, or scrap. And, just in time for Spring Cleaning season, we’re letting you find out just how handy it is, for free – by including one with any qualifying Industrial Vacuum purchase, now through April 30, 2019.
One Christmas, a long time ago, my Mother In Law gave me a beautifully wrapped present, and a great big smile. I opened it up…it was an extension cord. One of those heavy duty orange, indoor/outdoor, 100 foot long models. I returned her smile, while thinking about all the things I might be able to use it for…and not coming up with anything really solid.
As the family continued to open presents, she disappeared into the other room, and came back with a much larger package and handed it to me…still with that great big smile. It was a convertible string trimmer; one that worked as a ‘weed eater’ or, with a twist of the handle, an edger. And it was electrically operated…NOW I knew what the extension cord was for. As great and useful a gift it was – eighteen years on, and I’m almost competent at edging the sidewalk – I got a valuable lesson from it: accessories make a great gift better. Since then, I’ve always thoughtfully considered:
If I give someone a battery operated gift, I give them batteries too.
If it comes with its own rechargeable battery, I carefully open the package and charge it up, before I wrap it up.
If accessories are available, I think about how they might use it. I’ve even presented them with the accessory first, in tribute to my wonderful wife’s wonderful Mom.
If there’s a “deluxe” or “premium” version, sometimes it’s worth it to just go all out…again, after consideration of how they might use it.
Now, this is not only the case with presents…many household, commercial, or industrial products offer Deluxe or Premium packages…like the EXAIR Chip Vac System.
At the most basic level, a Model 6193 Chip Vac System for 55 Gallon Drum is all you need to turn an existing drum into a powerful, reliable, durable industrial vacuum. It comes with a lid & latch ring, Filter Bag, 10 foot vacuum hose, a set of plastic tools, and of course, the Chip Vac itself. All you need for simple, on-the-spot cleanup purposes.
Sometimes you might have (literally) more ground to cover: the Model 6293 Deluxe Chip Vac System adds a Drum Dolly for mobility, and a Tool Holder to keep the attachments handy.
Other times, you may just be looking for a complete system, ready to handle everything, right out of the box. Enter the Model 6393 Premium 55 Gallon Chip Vac System, which adds a heavy duty steel drum, an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools & Static Resistant Vacuum Hose, and a 20ft Compressed Air Supply Hose with Pressure Gauge & Shutoff Valve.
With no moving parts to wear and no electrical components to burn out, the EXAIR Chip Vac is a virtually maintenance free replacement for noisy, damage-prone electric vacuums. If you’d like to find out just how handy they are, give me a call.
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If you need to clean up spills, pump out a sump, or basically just move liquid from one place to another, the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac is what you’re looking for. The Model 6196 Reversible Drum Vac System is all you need to turn a closed top steel drum into a powerful two-way pumping system. They’re reliable (no moving parts), durable (stainless steel construction), safe (no electricity), they install quickly, they’re compact, and portable. They’re also very low maintenance…in fact, if you supply the Reversible Drum Vac with clean air, it’ll run maintenance free, darn near indefinitely.
That’s not to say things can’t go wrong…Murphy’s Law still applies…but most anything that can go wrong with the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac can be identified fairly easily, and remedied fairly quickly. Here’s a rundown of “the usual suspects:”
Vacuum leaks. Even small leaks can be a big problem…a crack or split in the hose, a worn hose cuff, a damaged seal, even a hairline crack in the drum or lid…if air can enter anywhere other than the suction end of the hose, vacuum performance can suffer. The first thing to do in most any troubleshooting procedure is a visual inspection, and the Reversible Drum Vac is no exception. We stock the gaskets for the vacuum hose quick connect, as well as the drum lid seals.
Compressed air supply, part 1. There are some tight passages in the Venturi chamber inside the Reversible Drum Vac; this is how the vacuum is generated. Any contaminants such as dirt or rust can accumulate in these passages, hampering the ability to draw its rated vacuum levels.
Use of a Filter Separator (like our Model 9004 Automatic Drain Filter Separator) with a 5 micron particulate element is recommended. If the Reversible Drum Vac does get dirty inside, though, it can be cleaned pretty easily…here’s a video that walks you through the process:
Compressed air supply, part 2. The Reversible Drum Vac will produce rated performance when supplied with compressed air at 80psig. Make sure you can get enough air to it; if your supply line is too long and/or too small in diameter, you’ll get line loss…and poor performance. Use a 3/8″ ID compressed air hose, or a 1/2″ ID if it’s longer than about 10 feet, and avoid any restrictions like quick connect fittings.
Compressed air supply, part 3. If you want to fill the drum a little faster, you can increase the supply pressure to 100psig or so. Too high of a supply pressure can actually degrade vacuum performance, though. Excessive pressure can create enough flow to overwhelm the Venturi, hampering its ability to generate vacuum.
Safety Shutoff Valve Float. The Reversible Drum Vac provides overflow prevention via a plastic float that rises when the drum is full. This breaks the vacuum so that no more liquid can be pumped into a full drum. When the float rises, you’ll hear a change in pitch. If you hear this, and the drum isn’t full, remove the Reversible Drum Vac from the drum lid and turn it upside down/right side up a few times. The float should move freely, all the way from the bottom to the top of its chamber. If it doesn’t, remove it and make sure the float, o-ring, and the inside of the chamber are clean. Certain chemicals can cause the float and/or o-ring to swell, which will impede its free movement. If the body of the Reversible Drum Vac is damaged (pro tip: don’t drop it) that can also cause the float to hang up and not work properly.
Like I said, these are just the first things you want to look for, and it’s highly likely you’re going to solve the problem before you reach the end of this list. If your Reversible Drum Vac (or any EXAIR product) isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, though, don’t hesitate to call an Application Engineer. Chances are, the vacuum unit is just fine and just needs a fresh gasket, a little cleanup, or a new drum. We want to make sure you get the most out of our products.
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Have you ever heard an electric vacuum toward the end of its life? It gets an irritating high-pitch noise caused by the bearings going out. A customer was hearing this annoying sound after only two months of use. Their application was shot blasting metal parts. The shot blast media was very dusty and carried everywhere around the room. After use, they would use a shop vac to clean the machine and around the area. When they started to hear that “moan” from their electric vacuum, they knew that they would have to purchase another unit. Additionally, they noticed a lot of dust migrating into the work environment from the shop vac, creating a breathing hazard for the operators. After their second electric vacuum failed, they started looking for a better choice.
When they contacted EXAIR about these issues, EXAIR had a great solution for them. I recommended our model 6399, 55-gallon Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System. This system comes with a drum, drum dolly, heavy duty accessories, HEPA Filter, and a robust vacuum system. The heavy-duty accessories are easy to use to vacuum in tight spaces. The HEPA filter inside the drum has an efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron. So, the dust will remain in the drum and not migrate back into the ambient air. The HEPA filter media is pleated to give a large surface area of 36.7 ft2 (3.4 m2). Packed inside a supported cylindrical, it will allow for great amount of debris before changing. With the shop vac above, the surface area of the filter was very small causing the filter to plug and under-perform. The EXAIR Heavy Duty vacuum generator is made from a hardened-alloy steel construction which is very resistant to wear. It does not have any moving parts or bearings to wear. For this application, the generator is perfect for the shot blast media. The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac only requires compressed air to operate, not an electric motor which can fail from dusty environments. The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System only has a decibel level of 82 dBA which makes it very quiet compared to shop vacs. With clean compressed air as the engine for the vacuum, this system can last for years; not months.
When the company above started to use the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, the first thing that they noticed was how quiet it operated. That constant loud noise from their electric vacuum was gone, making it a better working environment for the operators. They also noticed that the dust was not getting back into the environment, reducing the dust nuisance. If you find that your electric vacuums are breaking down or you would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products. You can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.
I had the pleasure of talking with an operator in a power generating plant recently. A small sump, in a hard-to-access location, needed to be emptied periodically, or it would overflow and make a big mess. They didn’t have room for a “great big” (his words) 30 or 55 gallon drum, and it was difficult to use an electric shop vac because there wasn’t an outlet nearby (it’s a very humid location in the steam plant) so they had to rig an long extension cord through a doorway and down to the lower mezzanine.
They DO have compressed air available…in fact, there was an unused port on a manifold that supplied other pneumatic equipment, right next to the sump. He thought it sounded like an ideal application for the Mini Reversible Drum Vac.