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.
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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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.
EXAIR‘s line of Industrial Housekeeping Products consist of liquid and dry vacuums that utilize compressed air to operate. They do not have electric motors which most ‘all purpose’ vacuums rely on. In industrial settings with harsh conditions and rugged use, the Industrial Housekeeping Products are ideally suited for the everyday wear and tear.
The heart of the EXAIR liquid type vacuums, like the Reversible Drum Vac, the High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, and the same range in the Chip Trappers is shown here. Installing onto an any closed head, 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum creates a high powered vacuum. It can fill a 55 gallon drum in less than 2 minutes. Then, with the turn of a knob, the the same pump quickly empties the drum. Useful for refilling coolant sumps, vacuuming floor spills, or transferring contaminated liquids to filtration tanks in minutes. Flow rate can be controlled with the knob. The Chip Trapper has an internal filtration system to separate the chips from the coolant, allowing for disposal of the solids, and for pumping of the clean coolant back into the sump.
The EXAIR Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac is a powerful industrial vacuum for use on wet or dry chips. Both are for use with 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums, and the Chip Vac can also be used on a 5 gallon drum. The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac has the added benefit of the HEPA quality filter system. Filtration per IEST-RP-CC-007 to 99.97% minimum filtration at the 0.3 micron level ensures performance meets the needed criteria.
When you look at the vacuum producing units, you’ll notice there is not an electrical cord. Because the EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products utilize compressed air for operation, they do not have the same issues with wear, breakdown and failures as electrical type vacuums. There are no moving parts in the vacuum units to wear out or break. They are maintenance free, just supply clean, dry air, and they will operate for a long time. For the the liquid type systems, there is a built in pressure/vacuum relief device and auto safety shut-off to prevent overfilling.
There are no motors and bearings to wear out and no impellers to clog. The Chip Vac is 50% quieter than a comparable electric vacuum. Safety is a top priority, and the use of the unit on wet floor and spills is not an issue.
If you would like to talk about Industrial Housekeeping products or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
There are some very good reasons to consider an EXAIR compressed air operated Industrial Housekeeping Product for liquid applications:
*Durability. No moving parts means nothing to wear or get damaged.
*Safety. No electricity means no dragging an energized cord through a wet area.
*Convenience. All you need is a supply of compressed air.
*Reliability. If you supply it with clean, dry air, it’ll run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.
Depending on the needs of the application, we have different models to choose from:
Reversible Drum Vacs
If you’ve got a closed top steel drum that’s in good condition, look no further than the Reversible Drum Vac System. It comes with everything you need to turn that drum into a powerful, 2-way liquid pumping system. This is great if you just need to park the drum in one spot and suction out a sump or tank on a regular basis, using its 10 foot Vacuum Hose & Suction Wand. They’re in stock for your existing 30, 55, and 110 gallon drums. A 5 Gallon Mini Reversible Drum Vac System is also available; it includes the drum as well.
If you’d like a little mobility, and a way to clean up floor spills, then the Deluxe Reversible Drum Vac System might be what you’re looking for. It adds a Drum Dolly and our Spill Recovery Kit…it consists of a floor-length wand and a dual squeegee tool. It also comes with a set of plastic tools (crevice tool, small skimmer, and two 20″ extensions) and a Tool Holder with clips for the tools, and magnets to attach to the drum. We keep them in stock for your existing 30 and 55 gallon drums. It also comes in the 5 Gallon Deluxe Mini Reversible Drum Vac System(drum included.)
For a complete system, the Premium Reversible Drum Vac Systems have everything you need for most any liquid drum transfer job: they add a drum, lid & latch ring, as well as a compressed air supply hose & shutoff valve, and an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools. They’re available with 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums; in stock.
Any of the 30, 55, or 110 Gallon systems are also available with our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac. These provide for increased performance with more viscous liquids, and/or when the liquid needs to pumped from a depth of up to 15 feet. They are outfitted identically to the standard Reversible Drum Vac Systems, except they come with a 20 foot Vacuum Hose.
As versatile as the Reversible Drum Vacs are, we also incorporate them into another 2-way pumping system, designed to help you get maximum life and performance from machine tool coolant and cutting oils: The award-winning Chip Trapper Systems.
Powered by the Reversible Drum Vac, the Chip Trapper System draws the incoming liquid into the drum through a Filter Bag, which retains (or “traps”) any particulate as the drum fills with liquid. Then, the freshly filtered liquid can be immediately pumped back out, while the particulate remains in the bag. Once the bag is full, simply remove the drum lid, unhook the bag, empty it out, and return it to service. The Chip Trapper System comes with two Filter Bags, in fact, so you can clean one while you use the other. They are available, from stock, in 30, 55, and 110 gallon sizes. They are all three available in High Lift configuration as well, with a 20 foot Vacuum Hose.
I think we have all heard the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – a phrase that is thought to have originated back in 70’s when environmental protection became a governmental policy.
We at EXAIR can help your company follow this important principle and help to keep your costs down as well.
Reduce – Reduce the number of times you change out your coolant, reduce your wastewater. Our Reversible Drum VAcs and Chip Trappers help keep your coolant clean by providing a simple and effective method to remove and/or strain your coolant.
Also, remember this – they are VERY hard to break or ruin. If you have one of our liquid handling Reversible Drum Vacs or Chip Trapper units, and the performance isn’t quite as you remember it to be, give us a call. We can help to trouble shoot and narrow in on the root cause. Most of the time, it is a simple fix, such as a air leak or a change to the air supply system that has caused a drop in performance. If we have eliminated all of those possible causes, we can offer the RDVREFURB option. Simply send in your Reversible Drum Vac pump unit, and we will do a free evaluation. Then we’ll let you know what we find, and provide a quote for the repair. The repair typically involves a thorough cleaning, replacement of a few basic parts, and then setting and testing to original factory specification. Because the unit has no moving parts, there isn’t much that can break down or go wrong. Don’t throw away that unit, REDUCE the amount of waste you create.
Reuse – Maybe you have a Super Air Knife in storage that is not in use, and you come up with a need, but the Knife doesn’t quite match the application. We can provide new custom shim to change the air flow pattern. Perhaps you have a 24″ Super Air Knife, but the new application requires only 18″ of airflow. You can send the knife in and we can clean it up and install a new custom shim to provide the exact airflow pattern that meets your requirements. Or, we can send the new shim directly to you for your team to install. Don’t let the unused product lie around, REUSE it for another process or application.
Recycle – If for what ever reason a product has been deemed to be no-longer viable and cannot be reused, the time comes to dispose of it. We hope that you would take the time to recycle it properly. With materials of construction including brass, aluminum and type 303 and type 316 stainless steels, most EXAIR products can be RECYCLED as common metals and you may even get a little money back!
To discuss your processes and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can provide a beneficial service, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been going back and forth with my phone provider over some technical issues I’ve been having with the device. After some troubleshooting, we were able to conclude that the antenna has likely become loose, leading to the phone periodically not receiving service. Naturally, we’re outside of the 1-Year “Warranty” period that covers a defective device. I paid my insurance deductible and received a “refurbished” phone the following day. Unfortunately, this refurbished phone was unable to take pictures with the front-facing camera. I know what you’re thinking, how on Earth can I take selfies without a front-facing camera? So it was back to the phone provider to get another replacement, fortunately this time they sent a brand new device.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get something to work right out of the box, only to experience issues. Whenever a customer is having an issue with a particular product, there’s a certain progression that we go through in order to assess the problem and determine the root cause. In some cases it is something simple, others it can be a few individual problems that are compounding each other. I recently assisted a customer that was having problems with his 110 Gallon Reversible Drum Vac System. He was having difficulty pumping water out of a container and into the 110 gallon drum. He stated that he just received the unit and was unable to get it to work.
This is a call that we get from time to time, and is generally remedied pretty quickly. Our first step is to check the air pressure at the inlet of the Reversible Drum Vac while it is operating. We recommend an inlet pressure of at least 80 PSIG for proper operation. By installing a pipe tee with a pressure gauge directly at the unit, we can not only verify the inlet pressure but also that the Reversible Drum Vac is being supplied with an adequate volume of compressed air. If the pressure on the gauge begins to decrease once the unit is in operation, we can conclude that the volume of compressed air to the Reversible Drum Vac is insufficient. This can be due to the use of restrictive quick disconnect fittings, improper line size, or a compressor that is undersized.
If the air supply is sufficient, we then inspect the system for vacuum leaks. If the drum does not have a complete seal, the system will not function. If there’s no vacuum leak and there is an adequate supply of compressed air, the Reversible Drum Vac likely needs to be cleaned. It took us a few tries to get there but through a little bit of trial and error, we were able to determine that this was exactly the case in this scenario. Even though the system was new, it had been supplied with compressed air that was not properly filtered. Some scale, rust and debris from the customer’s supply lines made its way into the body of the Reversible Drum Vac, impeding the flow of air. Here is a video that shows the cleaning procedure for the Reversible Drum Vac. Over time the Reversible Drum Vac can accumulate debris inside of the plenum chamber. Regular maintenance of the unit will ensure that it stays within specifications for when it’s needed most!
If you have an EXAIR product that’s not performing as well as it used to, give us a call. One of the Application Engineers will be able to walk you through the steps to ensure that you’re getting the most out of our products!