News Archives - Hydra-Tech

The most valuable tool you might not have in your hydraulic toolkit.

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If your company / rental location has Hydra-Tech Pumps in your arsenal, then you probably have a shop where the pumps and hydraulic power units can be serviced and maintained.  If hydraulic power units and pumps are new to your organization, what are some of the basic tools that should be on hand to properly troubleshoot and service a hydraulic power unit?

In addition to a basic set of mechanic’s hand tools, a good standard and metric Allen wrench set, pipe wrenches, and clean rags are helpful to have available.  Making repairs and doing periodic maintenance to a hydraulic power unit is important and both the service interval recommendations supplied by the engine manufacturer and Hydra-Tech Pumps should be followed closely to insure long life for your HPU.

When it comes to hydraulic power unit set up or troubleshooting, the most important tool that you can have on hand but probably can’t buy locally is a good flow control / flow meter setup.  A flow control / meter will allow you to properly test the hydraulic flow of your hydraulic power unit, make adjustments to the hydraulic flow, and allow you to temporarily affect the hydraulic flow and pressure if you had hydraulic pumps or tools that you wanted to test in your shop.  Without it you are only able to determine what pressure you are producing through the hydraulic pump coupled to the engine – not the gallons per minute of flow you are getting.  This is especially important if you have a variable volume piston pump and want to make adjustments to the flow at a pressure that the HPU is delivering to your submersible pump / hydraulic tools.  If you provide too much hydraulic flow to hydraulic motors on tools or pumps, you will most likely damage the motor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured: Flow Meter Control for 1” connection 0-32 GPM 0-5000 PSI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured: Close up of 0-32 GPM Flow Gauge and 0-5000 PSI Gauge.

 

Here are a few things you can do with a flow meter / flow control setup that you cannot do without it:

  1. The tool / test set shown above allows you to run a loop of hose from the pressure fitting on the reservoir back to the return fitting with an inline flowmeter. With this you are able to see the hydraulic flow and pressure that the HPU is producing.  This benefits you in two ways:
    • Very basic but helpful, you can verify the max performance (how it is set up – flow and pressure at full throttle) of a power unit. In the rental world, this is especially important if you have received an HPU from another branch.
    • If your unit has a hydraulic pump (variable volume piston pump) that allows adjustment, you can change hydraulic pump settings (how the HPU is set up for flow at a pressure) and have instant feedback on the changes that you are making. Some customer will buy a single power unit for two different pumps with two different hydraulic requirements and will change the set up on the HPU depending on which pump they need for the job.
  2. You are also able to use this device inline to adjust the flow up or down, or simply use it to see what affect changes in the throttle setting of the engine have. The flowmeter allows you to see changes in hydraulic flow (and pressure can be noted on the gauges) as you increase or decrease the throttle on any power unit.  For example, the flow control would allow you to see what impact to the flow running an HT13G at half throttle would have.
  3. You can troubleshoot an HPU more effectively with this tool to determine that in addition to building pressure, your unit is providing hydraulic flow to the devices it is meant to power. One of the challenges we have when helping a customer to trouble shoot a problem with a system (pump and power unit) is verifying hydraulic flow (and as a result, hydraulic pump function).  This device allows Hydra-Tech and our customer to verify that the HPU is producing hydraulic flow and isolate the problem with the device you are powering.

Hydra-Tech pumps can put together a setup appropriate for the hydraulic power unit(s) you will be working with.  Call today for more information, you will quickly find that when it comes to preventative maintenance as well as other tasks related to your HPU this will be the most valuable tool in your “hydraulic” tool box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orders – We’ll take them!

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Sometimes in the quest to have blogs that are exciting, unique or educational we overlook the most basic procedures we go through in the daily course of business.  So although it might not be the most exhilarating topic in the world, let’s cover the subject of placing an order with Hydra-Tech Pumps.  We take purchase orders from our customers any way they prefer, via email, verbally by phone, and by fax.

Orders By Email:  htpump@hydra-tech.com           This is the best and easiest way to get an order in our hands, especially if a purchase order is being generated.

Orders By Phone:  (570) 645-3779   Anyone who answers the phone at Hydra-Tech can take your order – we’re looking for Item Part Number or Description, quantity, Purchase Order number (if used), and we want to know if you would like an order confirmation sent or not.

Orders By Fax:  (570) 645-4061       We still get some orders via fax – this is another good way to get your order in our hands if a purchase order is being generated.  Let us know if you would like an order confirmation sent or not.

We are always willing to send an order confirmation with pricing and an estimated ship date – just let us know when you place your order.  Keep in mind that estimated ship dates are based on lead times provided at the time of a quote (if one was supplied) and that lead time could have changed depending on the age of the quote.

If your company has specific shipping / freight instructions and carrier preferences please make sure that we are aware of those requirements.  We ship smaller orders with UPS and use a variety of carriers for LTL shipments.

Finally we appreciate our customers big and small.  Thanks for your continued confidence in our products, our people, and our company.  Please let us know about the next challenge Hydra-Tech Pumps can help you to overcome!

Passing the test – S30M and HT400DJV

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On a warm and overcast day two weeks ago, members of the Hydra-Tech team arrived at Bridgeport, NJ to test our S30M,  the new 30″ axial flow pump paired with our  400 horsepower hydraulic power unit. This axial flow beast stands 92″ tall and weighs in at over 2800 pounds. The lead up to this effort was long but we were confident that we would see positive results. We were not disappointed.

 

 

 

With that 400 horsepower John Deere engine humming and 140 gallons per minute at 4000 PSI of hydraulic fluid spinning the vane motor and mixed flow impeller at the heart of the S30M,  the water was moving and delivered almost exactly  the kind of output we expected.  We worked our way up and down the hydraulics input profiles at several head pressure points.  Based on the readings, we developed the max curve seen here.  Also on site was an independent Professional Engineer who is in the process of certifying our curves for the S30M.  Squeezing every ounce of horsepower out of the engine we were moving more than 25,000 gallons per minute of water at nearly 30 feet of head.  When pushed to the max, we almost reached 70 feet of head.  Check out our curve below.

 

 

So where do you put a big boy like this to work for you?  Low to medium head applications like flood control, levee work, dam construction are just a few of the potential applications.  Our Axial Flow pump line now offers our customers a 6″, 8″, 12″, 18″, 24″ and 30″ pump depending on your needs.  Can one of Hydra-Tech’s axial flow pumps move some water for your company?

Final Tier 4 Engines, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD)

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As “we” (Hydra-Tech Pumps and our customers) make the transition to Final Tier Four engines through the end of 2018 we wanted to put some important information in front of you.  There are two key things that you need to know as you begin to operate and maintain hydraulic power units with Final Tier Four engines as their power plant.

Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD)

Final Tier Four (for that matter Interim Tier Four as well) diesel engines require Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel – to be clear the fuel must contain less than 15 parts per million of Sulphur.  Anything above this level will impact the performance of the engine and its ability to operate.

Generally speaking, ULSD has been available in the United States and Canada since it was widely introduced in 2006.  So for our domestic customers and those in Canada, there is not much concern about running non-ULSD through a Final Tier Four engine.  There is a map that updates on a monthly basis the diesel fuel Sulphur levels in every country around the world – this is a nice resource for our international customers who might want to see what the diesel fuel Sulphur content levels are in their country.  Check out https://www.unenvironment.org/explore-topics/transport/what-we-do/partnership-clean-fuels-and-vehicles/sulphur-campaign

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

Diesel exhaust fluid is a liquid solution comprised of 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water that is used in the exhaust after treatment system on Final Tier Four industrial engines of 75 horsepower or higher.  Basically it is injected into the exhaust pipeline to eliminate nitrogen oxides which are harmful pollutants.  The requirement on us as a manufacturer of hydraulic power units is that the DEF tank contain an appropriate volume as a ratio to the fuel capacity.  If our HPU has a 100 gallon diesel fuel cell then the DEF tank will need to hold 3-4% of that volume, or 3-4 gallons of DEF – there is some variation of the ratio from one engine manufacturer to another.

As you begin to build Final Tier Four engine based hydraulic power units (and other equipment) into your fleet, make sure that you are filling the fuel cells with Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel and topping off the DEF tanks!

How about a pump application that involves the Cold War and Hollywood?

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On January 31st, 1963 in the Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard in Gorky, Russia the keel of a Juliett class cruise missile submarine K-77 (also referred to as the Juliett 484) was laid down.  Two years later on March 11th she was launched and in the fall of 1965, commissioned into the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.  The submarine was 282 feet long and equipped with 4 nuclear missiles capable of striking targets as far away as 300 miles as well as 22 torpedoes.  For 30 years, this submarine patrolled North Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and later in its career the coast of West Africa as well as the Caribbean Sea near the US Virgin Islands – often her time was spent following US Navy aircraft carrier battle groups and other submarines as well.  After the end of the cold war, sometime post 1991 the K-77 was decommissioned.  By 1994 all of the Juliett class submarines had been retired from the Russian naval fleet.

In the spring of 1993, a Finnish businessman convinced the Russian government to sell him two Juliett class submarines, one of which was the K-77.  The K-77 was moved to Helsinki where it became a bar / restaurant and was one year the location for a beauty pageant where a “Miss Submarine” was crowned – (the winner later became the Finnish businessman’s 3rd wife).  The bar and restaurant wasn’t a very lucrative endeavour and at some point the sub was leased to a Canadian promoter who wanted to create a tourist attraction and the sub was towed across the Atlantic to Tampa, Florida.  This effort never amounted to much and there were a couple of attempts to sell the submarine on eBay.

Eventually the submarine caught the eye of Intermedia Film Equities Ltd., who chartered the sub for $200,000 and had her towed to Halifax, Nova Scotia to be used in the filming of the movie K-19: The Widowmaker starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.  The K-77 was modified to resemble the correct K-19 sub for filming.

 After filming wrapped in 2002, the submarine was purchased by the USS Saratoga Museum foundation and was towed to Collier Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island.  The hope was that the K-77 / Juliett 484 submarine and the USS Saratoga CV-60, a Forrestal-class supercarrier built in the 1950s that served the United States Navy from Vietnam through Operation Desert Storm, would someday be displayed together.  During each vessel’s service to their respective nations, they spent plenty of time in the waters with one another.  In fact there is a story about the President of the Saratoga Museum Foundation doing some research on the Juliett 484.  He was in a bar drinking with former Juliett 484 naval officers when one of them produced a photograph of the USS Saratoga taken through the periscope of the sub further confirming that the two had spent time in the waters together during the cold war playing cat and mouse.

The sub was actively used as a tourist attraction between August of 2002 and March of 2007 and hosted some 40,000 visitors to its deck and cramped interior.  Interesting fact – sailors who served on the K-77 / Juliett 484 were required to be no taller than 5’8”.  Then on April 18, 2007 tragedy struck.  During a particularly vicious storm the sub took on enough water through some off its hatches to sink to the bottom of the waterfront mooring in the Providence River.  In the more than 12 months it spend resting in the silt on the bottom of the river, it was determined that it was damaged beyond what could reasonably be repaired.

Unfortunately the sinking brought about the eventual demise of the K-77 / Juliett 484, but it also brings us to the part where we had a hand in her story.  On June 2, 2008 divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two in Norfolk Virginia (Navy) arrived and began preparations to raise the submarine.  They were joined by members of the US Army Dive Company based out of Fort Eustis, VA and in a unique joint effort, real world training opportunity, almost 100 active and reserve Sailors and Soldiers set about raising the sub off of the riverbed.

First the team sealed the hatches that had allowed water in and led to the sinking in the first place, used 8 hydraulically driven submersible dewatering pumps (some Hydra-Tech Pump models included) to remove the water from the inside of the sub while the submarine was raised via lift bands run under the sub and attached to pontoons.

Once raised the assessment of the interior of the sub confirmed what was feared, that the time spent on the bottom of the river had damaged everything beyond what was economically feasible to repair / restore.  Items like the periscope, torpedo tube doors, missile firing stations, engine order telegraphs and other instrumentation and controls would be removed and saved, but eventually the sub was sold to a scrap yard 1000 feet up river and was towed to its final resting placed were the 3500 ton behemoth would be cut apart for scrap metal.

 

https://vimeo.com/1410702

https://vimeo.com/1410693

https://vimeo.com/1410715

Dredging is the new Dewatering

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This is going to sound like a repeat of a recent story but it is not – dredging just seems to be an application that Hydra-Tech Pumps are being called on to do more and more lately.  This story is out of New Zealand – our friend Doug Kirby, who is two years new to Hydra-Tech Pumps as a representative and distributor of our products, is involved in exactly the kind of dirty jobs you would expect with a name like Slurry Services. 

In preparing for a significant dredging project on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand, Doug ordered a 6” Sand / Slurry Pump (S6CSL) from Hydra-Tech Pumps as the key component in their approach to the job.  The project they were preparing for involved removing river sediment from a marina to create a channel to allow better access to the ocean for the Coast Guard rescue boat and recreational boats as well.  They had been launching off of the beach and this work would prevent this and make the boaters’ lives a little easier.

 

Doug and his team put together their barge / excavator / pump set up (for anyone who has ever watched Discovery Channel’s Bearing Sea Gold this concept is familiar) and got to work.  The biggest challenge was ripping up the bed – a mixture of compacted fine clay and sediment as well as larger solids and debris.  They worked to tear up the bed and move the mixture to the pump and operated only when the tide was going out so that the sediment wasn’t coming back to where they were working.  The water and solids (less the tree branches and other larger debris) was pumped over 1000 feet away.

Despite the very difficult dredging conditions they averaged 32 cubic yards (86 tons) of solids per hour from day 1.  The project was a success and has led to additional opportunities based on their short set up time and efficiency in getting the job done.  The next job is on the east coast of the island where the sediment is primarily sand and flows more easily, here over a similar pumping distance they expect to move in excess of 60 cubic yards (162 tons) of material an hour.

Applications like many other things seem to come in waves.  Right now it appears as though Doug and many of our other marine / diving customers are putting Hydra-Tech Pumps to work to earn dredging jobs and exceed expectations!

Get the Job Done

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Don Coleman of Blue Diving & Salvage LLC in Mobile, Alabama had quoted a big opportunity and wanted to change how he was going to approach the job.  Don’s company provides inland / onshore commercial diving services along the Gulf Coast and had recently submitted a proposal to a condominium association for some dredging work along the inlet to their private marina.  The requirement?  Remove an average of 30” of coarse sand from an area 220’ x 20’ at a depth of up to 5 feet so that boats aren’t scraping bottom on their way in and out of the marina.  Deliver the sand 90’ away and build an area of beach back up where some erosion has occurred.

In the lead up to hearing from the association that he had won the business, Don contacted Hydra-Tech Pumps to help him to determine what different options we could provide to make this job go smoothly.  He was familiar with Hydra-Tech Pumps because he has occasionally rented for other jobs through some of the rental companies.  After a number of phone calls and emails, Don had information on virtually every kind of 4” pump we manufacture – this was something that he thanked us for later.  He said that it meant a lot that we took the time to go through the options and explain the technical differences in features, construction, applications and price on all of the different pumps without rushing him or abandoning him in the learning process.  Don placed an order for a ductile iron 4” pump at almost the same time that he heard that he had been awarded the job at the condo association.  Hydra-Tech built the pump in three days and shipped it to Blue Diving and Salvage on the fourth.

Within a week they were on site and ready to go.  The Hydra-Tech pump was suspended off of the front of the boat – the strainer was swapped out for a flange and fitting to get them to a length of suction hose and a nozzle that the diver would hold.  In two and a half days and about 22 hours of run time, the diver and the pump moved over 400 cubic yards of sand or a little over 18 yards an hour.  The job was done and Don was happy with his pump and experience.  The best surprise was still to come – when he removed the top from the volute to inspect the impeller for wear, it was minimal considering what the pump had been doing for 22 hours.

We hope that Don will be a Hydra-Tech Pumps customer for a long time.  If you want to check out his website go to www.bluediverllc.com.  How can Hydra-Tech Pumps help your company to get the job done?

Check out video here!

 

Troubleshooting your Hydraulic System

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Is your hydraulic power unit not working correctly, or how you believe it should be working?  Here are a few steps to make an initial diagnosis of what may be causing a low or no pressure situation with a Hydra-Tech hydraulic power unit system.

1) Make sure the hydraulic hoses are not connected.
2) Start the unit with the oil cold
3) Activate the hydraulics by engaging the HYDRAULIC CONTROL VALVE (H.C Valve) by turning it clockwise until it stops
4) Read the high pressure gauge.
5) If the pressure does not build to at least 2200psi (HT25DD and above or 1100psi for HT20G and below), then…
6) Stop the engine, remove the reservoir cover and locate the relief valve
7) Look to find the discharge pipe that comes off the relief valve body and dumps into the tank.
8) Start the unit (with the oil cold) and engage the HYDRAULIC CONTROL VALVE (H.C Valve) by turning it clockwise until it stops.
9) Reach into the tank and feel if any oil is coming out of the discharge pipe off the relief valve.
10) If oil flow IS coming out, the relief valve cartridge may have some debris in it and will need to be removed and cleaned. Or, the steel tubing going from the relief valve to the H.C. Valve may be cracked or loose and needs repair. Or, the aluminum block housing the relief valve cartridge may be cracked.
11) Check and or correct all of these conditions and return to steps 2-9, then…
12) If the proper pressure is not being attained, and/or if no if no oil is flowing from the discharge pipe the hydraulic pump is probably worn out.

NOTE: Noises in the hydraulic system are usually from cavitation due to a bad hydraulic pump. This is usually caused by dirt or contamination getting into the system. When contamination and cavitation occurs, the pump will get hot and the pressure will usually go up and down with the engine speed. If the hydraulic pump is replaced, the reservoir will have to be drained and thoroughly cleaned, the suction strainer will need to be cleaned, the system will need to be purged of any contaminated hydraulic oil, the return filter must be replaced and the case on the hydraulic pump filled with oil BEFORE re-starting the engine.

If your power unit is still not working correctly after this, please contact us for additional help!

Overcoming High Suction Lifts

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Problem:

There are some applications where using a centrifugal pump is best suited for the job but the suction lift limitations of centrifugal pumps create a problem.

A typical centrifugal pump without vacuum assist priming can reasonably lift water only 15-20 feet before running into cavitation issues and loss of performance. Adding a vacuum assist primer to remove air and lower the atmospheric pressure in the suction line can increase the effective suction lift to an absolute maximum of 34 feet (at sea level).

At these high suction lifts there is still a significant loss of pump performance.

What do you do if the suction lift exceeds these limits?

The Hydra-Tech Solution:

Adding a Hydra-Tech hydraulic submersible pump to lift the water to the centrifugal pump will solve the high suction lift problem.

By lifting the water to the centrifugal pump you also remove the performance loss issues caused by high suction lifts.

Click on this link to see an image of how this works:  High Lift S6300

In this application the customer has an offshore fire-fighting platform that is elevated 90 feet (27 Meters) above the sea level. The high-pressure centrifugal pump is the best pump for fire fighting. The light suction lift does not allow the centrifugal pump to pull water from the sea.

By adding the Hydra-Tech S6300 12” pump to the suction line they were able to overcome the high suction lift problem.

Hydra-Tech Pumps provided a Hydraulic Kit that uses the existing engine power to drive the S6300 Pump. This was a win-win for the customer and proves the concept of overcoming high suction lift problems.

Made in the USA

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The phrase “Made in the USA” gets tossed around quite often but what does it really mean? If you have some free time and are looking for some exhilarating reading go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and you can read pages of detail about complying with the Made in the USA standard. Ultimately what it means is “all or virtually all” product has been made in the United States. How about we tell you what it means to Hydra-Tech.

Hydra-Tech Pumps was founded in 1977 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey and moved to Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania in 2007. We believe in supporting small and local businesses so we use local, domestic suppliers as much as we are able for anything we source from the smallest fasteners and fittings through a huge 400 horsepower diesel engine and all items in between.

The area where we really utilize the Made in the USA statement is castings. Of the approximately 130 cast parts we source to make the wide variety of aluminum, ductile iron and stainless steel pumps we manufacture, almost 97 percent are purchased from foundries within a 100 mile radius of our Nesquehoning location. Anyone who has been involved in manufacturing of any kind knows the significance behind this. Hydra-Tech Pumps could send all of these parts overseas and probably cut parts costs by 50% – 75%. However, challenges arise if a problem comes up when you can’t get in your car and visit a foundry in person and look at a pattern and their processes. Lead times are longer and logistics challenges are more significant when that skid of aluminum volute castings are coming from the other side of the world instead of the next county over. And based on the FTC’s guidelines I’m sure that would mean we couldn’t say “Made in the USA” anymore if went down that road.

All of our 22 employees are proud to promote and live by the Made in the USA phrase. We believe that it still means something to our customer base and to any new prospects as well.

A WWETT week in Indy

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Hydra-Tech wrapped up another great WWETT Show on Saturday afternoon before packing up and returning home on Sunday – thanks to all of our customer and friends who made it to the show and stopped by to visit!  For those of you wondering what the WWETT Show is – WWETT stands for Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport.  The show was original called the Pumper Show from its inception until about 5 years ago when they made the name change.  Originally the Pumper Show was primarily focused on septic tank pumping professionals but the show has evolved through the years to include so many more applications and professions that it was renamed.

Hydra-Tech was one of 624 exhibitors showing their hydraulically driven submersible pumps and power units in the Indianapolis Convention Center for the two and a half day show that drew more than 12,000 visitors.  At the show we saw some customers we expected to see, as well as some surprises and new prospects as well.  We helped some visitors decide if our pumps would benefit them, and if so, how best to power them and maximize the benefit of hydraulic submersible dewatering pumps.  We saw our old friend James Penner from In The Round Dewatering (see our blog post last year about working with James  https://hydra-tech.com/one-thing-leads-another/.

While it did rain most of the time that we were in town, we managed to enjoy some of Indianapolis’ great restaurants and bars after the show.  We have been to our fair share of trade shows in the last 11 years in a number of different cities.  And while Indianapolis doesn’t offer the over the top kind of excitement of the Las Vegas Strip, we have always enjoyed Indy because everything is right downtown within walking distance from the hotel and convention center.  As well, like Minneapolis / St. Paul, there are a number of connectors downtown that allow you to move from block to block and cross streets without getting wet in the rain.

  

We will be back next year for WWETT Show 2019 – will we see you there?

It’s Time You Get to Know the CPB

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Since its beginnings over 80 years ago, the Contractors Pump Bureau’s primary reason for existing has been to serve pump guys that design, produce, sell, rent and buy portable contractor and dewatering pumps.

You can count among the CPB full members, some of the largest companies and some of the most notable personalities in the pump industry.  Gorman-Rupp, Global, Xylem, Holland Pump, Hydra-Tech Pumps, Tsurumi, Mody, Sulzer and Thompson Pump are represented in the CPB by people like Rod Mersino, Jeff Gorman, Sam Mody and Bill Thompson.  Associate members are those companies that manufacture some of the major components used by pump companies and names like Honda, Deutz, LOFA Industries and Hatz.

The CPB serves pump people by:

  • Developing and maintaining industry consensus standards for pumps and auxiliary equipment.
  • Promoting the common interests of the pump industry as a whole
  • Creating and disseminating Best Operation Practices, Safety related support documents and informational publications on pump selection.
  • Looking forward to find ways to improve customer service and knowledge and make products safer and more efficient.

The following Tools and Standards, as developed by the CPB serve as valuable aids to engineers and others tasked with choosing the correct pump for most pumping situations:

  • The Pump Selection Guidebook helps choose both the right style and size pump for the job. And, it serves as an introduction to all types of pumps for those new to the industry.
  • The CPB Pump Efficiency standard, when employed by pump producers, allows for more transparent comparisons of pump performance and efficiency as it seeks to standardize the ways in which these technical details are represented on a performance curve.
  • The Noise Level Standard, which is included in the Portable Pump Operator Safety Manual, is a long standing benchmark which details the acceptable noise levels for portable dewatering pumps when they are operated in noise sensitive areas.
  • Member companies can proudly display the CPB logo on their pumping equipment, and it serves users by providing quick visual proof that the pump they are using is produced to the high standards required by the Contractor’s Pump Bureau.

Membership in the group is open to members of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers who in turn are pump manufacturers or major component suppliers to pump companies.  Among other benefits, members of CPB can participate in and use data from the Statistics program which collects and categorizes historical pump sales for the North American market, including Canada and Latin America.

If you manufacture pumps or are a key supplier for one or more pump companies, you can learn about membership by searching the web for the Contractor’s Pump Bureau.  Or, if you are a pump buyer, specifier or user, give yourself one less thing to worry about by looking for the CPB logo before making that next investment in a pump product.

www.aem.org/groups/product-specific/contractors-pump-bureau-cpb

Can a Submersible Pump Run Backwards and Still Work?

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Centrifugal pumps, whether submersible or not, are designed for the most part to operate in one direction only.

When liquid enters the center or eye of the impeller it is subjected to centrifugal force that moves the liquid towards the discharge port on the pump.

The path for liquid to flow is determined by the shape of the impeller and the design of the pump body or volute.

If the impeller is run in reverse direction the liquid may still be discharged from the pump due to centrifugal forces overcoming the normal flow path.

This is very inefficient and can cause serious problems including cavitation, loss of performance, bearing and seal issues.

If the impeller is on a threaded shaft it may unscrew the impeller.

It is always good practice to check impeller rotation before you start pumping.

Most (but not all) Hydra-Tech Pumps rotate in a counter-clockwise rotation (looking at the impeller inlet from the bottom).

We mark the Pressure and Return ports when the pumps are shipped.

This assures proper rotation when properly connected to a hydraulic power source.

Click on this link to see how to properly connect our pumps to your hydraulic power source:

Hydraulic Schematic Customer Supplied

Click on this link to see a pump impeller rotating properly:

Impeller Rotation

A good year in the rear view mirror.

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As we all head back to work after New Year’s Day, we close the books on 2017 and start over with a fresh year before us.  Based on conversations with many people in the industry, we don’t think there are many who aren’t glad to put in a good 2017 sales year after a down 2016!  We were fortunate enough to have our best sales year ever in 2017, the same year we celebrated Hydra-Tech Pumps’ 40th year in business – thank you to our customers for helping to make that happen.  As with the beginning of any year, we reflect on 2017 and look forward to 2018.

We started 2017 off with a change in our pump warranty – moving from a 1 year warranty to 2 year warranty.  We made some moves internally to strengthen our manufacturing group and ended the year with a solid group of employees, some seasoned including 3 “originals” and a couple of new hires who are settling into their roles here.  Maintaining personnel is a seemingly never ending battle, but we finished the year in a happy place with our group.  We built our first 30” axial pump, and with the completion of a 400 horsepower HPU in the first quarter of 2018, we will get it tested, confirm the curves, and have it available in our arsenal of axial flow pumps.  Throughout the year we participated in 4 trade shows, numerous customer trainings, and traveled to see as many customers as we could.  We also developed a brand new catalog (let us know if we can drop one in the mail to you!).  We continued to make improvements to our new website and we are updating and adding information all of the time.

So what’s in store for 2018?  One thing that we are discussing is an addition to our building to further improve work flow, receiving and pump testing.  We are early on in the discussion, but we all agree that we need additional space to continue to grow and improve our manufacturing techniques for you our customers.  For those of you who don’t know / haven’t been to our little corner of the world for a visit, we are in a former banquet hall that we converted into our light manufacturing operation.  It has served us well but it is time for some additional space.  We have some casting patterns that have challenged us in the last year – we will be investing the money for new patterns where required to address some of these challenges.  As with any year, our crew at Hydra-Tech Pumps will work hard to help our customers resolve their problems, whether simply placing a parts order, application help in choosing the right pump or system, or working through a pump rebuild or repair.  We are always working to improve our catalog, manuals and other marketing literature, our website, and our products and services.

There is only one trade show on the calendar at this point – will we see any of you at the WWETT Show in February?  www.wwettshow.com – we will be in Booth #4104 – please stop by and say hello if you make it to the show.  So cheers to a happy, healthy, and successful 2018!

 

Experience makes a difference

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As we continue to celebrate 40 years of business at Hydra-Tech Pumps since Ken Reim started the company, we are celebrating some service milestones at our Christmas party next week.  After the ownership of Hydra-Tech Pumps changed in 2005, the business moved in October of 2007 from Mt Holly, New Jersey 123 miles north to Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania.  It goes without saying that with the exception of Ken Reim, the founder who continues to contribute in all facets to the business, we completely started over with employees.

So in addition to celebrating 40 years in 2017, we also celebrate 10 years (and one month) in our new home.  We have 19 employees, 8 of which have been here for the full 10 years since our relocation to Nesquehoning.  Across the 19 full time employees we have an average of 7.4 years of service.  That means that the people in the office taking your calls, fielding your questions, quoting your needs have the experience to get it right the first time.  It also means that the people in production fabricating the frames, machining the volutes and other pump parts, painting, assembling and testing the equipment we provide to you are going to get the job done right.

They say knowledge is power, and while we would never claim to know it all, we certainly have worked hard through the years to learn about you, our customer, your industries, and how and where you use our products.  Our job, as individuals and collectively as a company, is quite simply to help you.  We want to solve your problem, figure out how to get you the right pump, hydraulic power unit, or complete system to do what you need done.  How can our talented group of employees help you today?

Winterizing your equipment

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Tips for storing your hydraulic submersible pump so when your pump is needed you’ll be ready to go

  • Clean any dirt and debris from the pump head
  • Check the hose tails and quick disconnects for damage
  • Release any pressure trapped in the quick disconnects thus leaving room for expansion
  • Remove hydraulic motor and inspect motor lip seal
  • Remove top cover from volute and inspect wear parts (order worn parts as needed)
  • Check the bearing housing oil level and the condition of the oil
  • Store pump in vertical position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing your power unit for cold weather usage/storage

  • If your unit uses diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and you plan tostore your unit for the winter you will need to winterize the system,  DEF freezes at 12° and expands by 7%.
  • Switch your fuel to the winter blend to prevent the fuel from gelling, there are also plenty of additives available
  • Replace your fuel filters
  • Check your coolant level,  make sure the engine coolant will work in your expected winter temperature
  • Top off your fuel and hydraulic levels to prevent condensation
  • Change the hydraulic oil and filter and don’t forget to clean the suction filter at the bottom of the reservoir
  •  If you choose not to change the hydraulic oil, it should be sampled for condition and water contamination
  • Check all the hoses for cracks and chafing
  • Charge and disconnect batteries
  • Check and adjust your belts
  • Check tire condition and pressure
  • Check the nuts and bolts for your guarding
  • Clean out the hydraulic oil cooler and radiator and hose off the unit
  • Replace any worn or unreadable placard

Too hot to handle – We think not

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In the world of all things pumping, many frustrated pump rental companies and service and equipment providers have to walk away from certain jobs because they just don’t have the technology to do it right.  One of the most common sources of these lost opportunities results from not having an answer when customers need to pump hot liquids.

In cases where fluid temperatures approach 200oF or 95oC, there are few options, especially when the TDH requirements call for using a submersible pump.  The fact is that most electric submersible pumps, because of built in protections, will only perform in these conditions for short periods of time before they experience thermal overload and thus shut down for a cooling period.  With the pumping action stopped, downstream processes cease, or the upstream influx of hot fluid overcomes the sump or storage vessel, resulting in work stoppages or overflow conditions.

Any savvy business person knows that effectively solving a problem like the on described can open up new customer bases and revenue streams.  So, who has the cool answer to this hot question?

To solve this riddle, it is first important to understand the other critical components of a pumping system that must be considered.  Beyond thermal overload in motors, the pump’s materials of construction, including the elastomers in mechanical seals, O-rings and gaskets and other non-metal parts must be equal to the task.  In the world of sealing materials, the most common “rubber” compound used is nitrile/Buna, and depending on the manufacturer, these pieces are rated to hold their sealing properties up to 210oF (99oC).  EPDM and FKM gaskets and seals can offer an extra measure of protection since they are rated for temps up to 250oF/121oC and beyond.  Because most pumps made have one of these three seal types built in, this part of the systems offers minimal cause for concern.  Then, any wetted part of the pump that contains plastic, including the insulation on wiring must be studied.   Because different types of plastic begin to distort at different temperatures, failures could result if the resin compounds inside the pump cannot take the heat.

Armed with the knowledge of what to look for in a workable hot liquid pump, you should consider the hydraulic submersible equipment manufactured in Pennsylvania by Hydra-Tech Pumps.

Hydra-Tech’s submersible pumps, built on non-electric, hydraulic drive technology are not subject to electric motor based thermal overload, and because they have the correct elastomers in the seals and O-rings and because there are no plastic parts, these pumps are built to beat the heat, with one note of caution.

Anyone used to working with hydraulics knows that heat in hydraulic oil is the mortal enemy of any hydraulic system.  And, since our pumps are designed to be submersed in the hot liquid, the oil flowing through the pump motor is seeing and absorbing some of the heat from the hot fluid.  To minimize the effects of this exposure, we have engineered in to most of our hydraulic power units Air over Oil hydraulic oil coolers which use ambient air flow to remove a lot of the heat.  In cases where the pumping job is continuous, or when ambient temperatures are elevated, there is still a chance that the standard on board cooling may be overcome.  In these cases, additional cooling methods, from simple to sophisticated, can be employed to make sure oil temperatures remain below 160oF/71oC.

In a temporary situation, it can be a simple as removing heat by putting an extra length of hydraulic hose in to a fresh water bath.  If the customer is uncomfortable with that kind of fix, you can reach out to our engineering staff, and we can look at adding additional cooling at the hydraulic power unit. The options here include swapping in a larger oil cooler or building in a dedicated fan assisted oil cooler.  In cases where the installation is permanent or semi-permanent, and where a fresh cooling water source is available, a highly efficient tube and bundle type oil cooler can be employed.

So, before you dismiss hot liquid pumping jobs and the new revenue streams they may offer, give Hydra-Tech Pumps a call and we will be happy to help you evaluate the job and come up with a pumping solution.

 

Exciting trip to Mexico

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Very early on Thursday September 7th,  Jeff Whittaker flew down to Mexico for short trip to see our distributor and provide training for one of his customers who recently purchased a number of HT11D hydraulic power units and S3T submersible pumps.  Little did he know how unique this trip would be?

His flight arrived without delay or problem – he took care of some other business Thursday afternoon and evening and after a delicious dinner he was dropped me off at his hotel.  In typical fashion he fell asleep on the bed fully dressed watching the end of the New England / Kansas City game with every light on in the room.

He was shaken out of sleep by the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in 100 years – the magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck 60 miles off the southwestern Mexican coast near the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.  600 miles from the epicenter, the 8th floor of the Holiday in was moving 8-10 inches back and forth, which wasn’t nearly as unnerving and the groaning sounds coming from the building itself.  He rode out the end of the most violent shaking in his room and then headed downstairs, almost as if to get confirmation that it was really an earthquake (having never experienced one before).  Once outside the hotel, feeling the aftershocks on solid ground was an unsettling feeling – He couldn’t imagine what the people within 100 miles of the earthquake felt.  Sadly there was much destruction in the states closest to the earthquake and a number of people were killed in building collapses.  The next day he learned that one of the people at the training has a crack in a wall in his house as a result of the quake that happened 600 miles away – He was not surprised to hear this based on his newfound respect for their power.

Back to bed and up in the morning to go and see the customer for the training.  Schools are closed on Friday because of the quake so Mexico City traffic was “light”, at least lighter than normal.  Because of the recent rains and then the earthquake it took some time for all of the employees to arrive for the training, but once they did they spent an hour reviewing the proper pre start checks, start up and operation of the HT11D hydraulic power units and 3” submersible pump.  After fielding some good questions from the group they enjoyed a nice lunch together before departing.

Saturday morning was another early ride to the airport to get on the plane and depart for home as hurricane Katia was moving west across Mexico from Veracruz where later that day it was downgraded to tropical storm Katia.  They always say it is nice to come home after any trip, despite good food, good friends and good business in Mexico, he can’t think of many trips where this was truer!

 

If more is Better, You need these Slurry Pumps

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As companies look for more efficient and effective ways to get fossil fuels out of the ground, the use of slurry pumps in cellars and for general mud handling at rig sites has become more common.  Past practices included the use of trash pumps or close coupled centrifugal pumps to do this work, but those pumps were not designed specifically for the harsh duty of moving mud with specific gravities up to 2.4.

A few submersible pump companies developed and put to market their own versions of sand slurry pumps.  These pumps featured some hardened wear components and in some cases external agitators to help homogenize the fluid being moved.  These pumps vastly improved the work flow while at the same time offering better pump life.  The start of a win-win.

We at Hydra-Tech decided to take this one step further and offer customers the opportunity to get up to 15% more head capacity and flow from the same size pump.  To do this, we partnered with BJM pumps of Old Saybrook, CT and eliminated the limitation inherent in the typical electric motors which top out at around 1800 rpm.  Specifically, we took BJM’s robust design and engineered a stronger shaft and bearing set along with all of the required adapters to mate to the lower end of the pump, including the hardened wear parts.

The result…performance curves that consistently and across the range of the curve provide more gallons per minute and a higher head capability.  Additional benefits of using hydraulic power include the ability to slow down the impeller speed to meet specific pumping conditions and of course the added safety of not having high voltage electric cable running through water in an area where workers are present.  This design is successful to the point where Hydra-Tec Pumps is now private labeling the units back to BJM with the hydraulic drive and this line of pumps is now widely used by the customers of both companies.

Beyond exploration, these pumps have also proven most effective in the Horizontal Directional Drilling industry as those firms transfer mud from the sump at the bore hole back to mud recycling systems.

This story is typical of what we have been doing at Hydra-Tech for the last 40 years; we work to find ways to create the best option for getting work done.  That’s why the World Pumps us for Solutions.

 

One thing leads to another

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This year’s WWETT Show in Indianapolis, Indiana was my 17th show in 18 years and I tell people all of the time that it is my favorite industry trade show.  For 25 years or so WWETT was referred to simply as the Pumper Show (because that was really who it served) – in recent years it was renamed WWETT – for Water & Wastewater, Equipment, Treatment and Transport.

WWETT is the most laid back trade show I have ever attended.  The casual atmosphere is due in large part to the number of family businesses that both attend and exhibit at the show, Hydra-Tech Pumps included.  When I walked into the Pumper Show for the very first time in 1999 in a sport coat, I quickly realized that I was overdressed – overalls or jeans dominate the show floor at WWETT – you won’t see many suits and ties at this show.  It is not unusual to see a group of 5-10 people from a small pumper company with a territory of a county or two come strolling down the aisle.  Many times the group is an entire family and includes kids or grandkids who are enjoying a trade show for the first time (and especially those booths with the candy dishes!).

One of the companies that Hydra-Tech Pumps has had the pleasure of getting to know this year is AA Septic Service Inc. in Clayton, Indiana.  James Penner’s father bought this business in 1984 from another family – more than 32 years later his family business still serves their community in central Indiana some 30 miles west of the Capital.

About 15 years ago James began exploring various septage dewatering equipment for their operation including a belt press, dewatering box, and vacuum pump systems – none of which worked to his satisfaction.  At the time he was still able to cost effectively dispose of his septage.  With the benefit of hindsight, James now says he should have pressed on because slowly but surely throughout the Pumper industry fewer and fewer municipal wastewater treatment plants were accepting septage.  Also increased regulations restricting land application of septage, causing pumpers’ costs for disposal to significantly increase.  James decided that the techniques he had tried weren’t working, so he addressed the problem in true American entrepreneurial fashion – he designed and built a complete dewatering system that would allow him to treat his septage.

After 4 years of developing, refining and testing his concept, he spun his idea off into In The Round Dewatering so that he could market and sell his solution to other pumpers around the country and around the world.  James’ system is a patent pending dewatering drum that is fed from a storage tank and it processes a batch of sludge and polymer of up to 25,000 gallons.

James had one more challenge to overcome – how could he consistently, effectively and efficiently “feed” his dewatering beast when he needed to?  He had access to a digester that was 16’ deep where he could store the septage, mix it into a homogenous fluid, and then pump it to his drum.  The little trash pumps he used previously were inconsistent as the level of the water changed essentially affecting head.  They also had issues with clogging and generally didn’t hold up for very long before needing replaced.  After this year’s WWETT Show James reached out to us to figure out which pump would solve his problems for good.  We hooked him up with an aluminum S3T Hydraulic Submersible Pump – James wrote to me a couple of months later to tell me about his experience since going hydraulic:

“The biggest challenge we have been experiencing during our several years of dewatering has been our ability to pump the liquid waste from the digester to the dewatering drum.  From the beginning, we have used gas powered trash pumps as they are relatively inexpensive. We would scrap them when they quit and buy a new one.  Finally, however, we decided to fix this issue by getting a three-inch submersible hydraulic pump from Hydra-Tech.  The results have been amazing because all we do now is turn on the hydraulic flow and we are pumping.  We no longer have issues priming or dealing with reduced flow when our tank levels get low.  After using Hydra-Tech’s pump for several months, we have not experienced any plugging problems.  The ability to increase the (hydraulic) oil flow and thereby have the pump speed up is more efficient because we are able to fill our In the Round Dewatering drum faster leading to fewer man-hours spent filling the drum. Dewatering has truly become much easier with the addition of this hydraulic submersible pump from Hydra-Tech.  Additionally, the Hydra-Tech pump is light enough to transfer to other tanks making cleaning and emptying them easy. This pump has become a valuable asset to our operation.”


          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope to help more of James’ In The Round Dewatering drum customers efficiently get their wastewater from storage to drum more consistently, with better control, and with a light, reliable and long lasting pump.  If you would like to learn more about James Penner’s serious dewatering drum, check out www.itrdewatering.com.  Our thanks to James for his contributions to this story, as well as for his faith in our product – we are glad it did everything you hoped it would!

 

Pump Materials of Construction

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When choosing the right pump for the job there are always several things to consider. You have to make sure the pump can provide the right flow (GPM) at the total head the pump will have to overcome (TDH). You need to know if the pump is designed to handle solids or if it only needs to pump clear water. You may have an existing hydraulic power source you want to use to drive the pump so it is important that you find a pump that will match the available hydraulic supply.  Other things to consider are the type of hydraulic and discharge hoses used for the job and hydraulic fitting selection.

Choosing the right materials of construction can make the job easier and extend the life of the pump.  The majority of Hydra-Tech’s pumps are available in aluminum and ductile iron, some are available in stainless steel.  Here are a few examples of the thought process behind choosing from different materials:

  • Let’s say that the pump will need to handle some solid material from time to time but it is more important that it be lightweight so it can be hand carried to the center of a lagoon. In this case an aluminum body pump would be the best choice. An example of this could be the S4T-2.
  • You have a settling tank that needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis and the fluids that get dumped into the tank have a wide range of PH values. To make sure the pump resists the corrosion that can occur in these conditions a stainless steel body, impeller and other parts would be the best way to go. An example could be the S3TSS pump.
  • You have a mine dewatering application where the pump will be stationary and you know that there will be solid and semi solid materials (silt, sand, gravel, rocks) passing through and you will need a tough pump to take those hits. Ductile iron is good choice here – an S8T or S10T would move some water and be tough enough to withstand the solids passing through.
  • The pump is being mounted on an oil skimmer and will be pumping primarily salty seawater and a mixture of various oils. A marine Aluminum Bronze construction would be a good choice for this application. Our S2TCAL-2 with optional Aluminum Bronze parts could be the answer.

What special consideration does your pump application require?  Our technical specialists are here to help you make the informed choice.

S6TC Seal Upgrade

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Let’s answer the common question we get about seals…“Yes” part number 6715U replaces part numbers 6715 and 6716 on the channel impeller 6” pump head (S6TC).  The drop in replacement requires no special machining, no special tools and no cup ring.  This uniquely designed 21” manhole pump has been one of our most popular pumps for many years.  As we continually try to improve things, we again listened to our customers when they described some of the field problems they experienced.  While they understood that the extended oil housing in this pump head helps to keep the oil cool and extends the life of the mechanical seal, customers said it was prone to catching debris and causing seal failure.  Our customers asked for a better design that would reduce failures caused by wire-ties, plastic bags, rags, branches and other things that get jammed in the seal area.

We responded by going back to the drawing board to make it better.  With our own ideas on paper, we contacted our seal manufacturer to try and find a mechanical seal designed to hold up in one of the toughest of environments-the rental market!  The result is the S6TC pump head’s new direct replacement seal, part number 6715U.  This seal is also known as a bellows style seal because of its 316 stainless steel closed spring design (see the picture below of the #6715U seal installed).

To make things even better, we also redesigned the extended oil housing casting in new pumps being built today by adding four cast in place kick down lugs which push away the solids in the seal area.  And we added a pin to prevent the stationary half of the mechanical seal from rotating. (NOTE:  If you are only replacing the seal on a repair it is not necessary to add this pin).

 

 

 

 

 

 

To complete the upgrade, the seal faces are now made of silicone carbide to better hold up to the toughest mud, grit and fluids. The elastomers are made of Viton which resists a wide variety of chemicals and offers broad temperature operating ranges from 0° to 400° Fahrenheit.

The three set screws hold the rotating section in place on the impeller hub.  Since the seal height is preset at the factory, the mechanical seal and will be at the correct height when you replace the impeller on the shaft.

As always, we appreciate your feedback on this and all of our products.  With your continued support, Hydra-Tech Pumps will continue to make smart and cost effective improvements to our products, to benefit you.

Can I use my vehicle with your pumps?

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Can I run the pump from a skid steer or back hoe?

Many times we are talking with potential customers and they ask if they can run our hydraulic submersible pumps off of their skid steer or backhoe.  The answer is yes you can run our pumps off of your vehicle’s auxiliary hydraulic circuit as long as the hydraulic output (flow and pressure) meets or exceeds the requirement for the submersible pump. Most of our pumps operate at pressures up to 2500 PSI (170bar) which is common to many vehicle hydraulic power supplies. If your vehicle’s hydraulic system is capable of providing more oil flow than is required by our pumps, a flow control can be added to the circuit to prevent over-speeding.

What if my vehicle’s auxiliary circuit is controlled by a directional valve?

If your vehicle’s auxiliary circuit is controlled by a directional valve (spool valve with lever), it is allowable if they are Open Center (motor spool) valves. In an open center circuit, the valve controlling the direction of oil on the submersible pump is allowed to pass through the valve and return to the oil reservoir and allows the pump impeller to slowly wind down.  See this hydraulic diagram that shows a typical open center hydraulic circuit.

hydraulic circuits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the valve has the capability to run the pump in reverse direction, a check valve must be fitted to the return line to prevent reverse rotation. We recommend running the return line directly back to tank (preferably through a return filter before entering the reservoir) to prevent the possibility of reverse operation and to alleviate the concern of whether your valve is open center or Closed Center (cylinder spool).

If you are not sure if the equipment you currently have is a good match for our pumps, just give us a call 570-645-3779.

Mechanical Seals – What are they and what causes them to fail?

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In a centrifugal pump, the mechanical seal (referred to as the “shaft seal assembly”) prevents the water that is being pumped from entering the bearing housing of the pump or simply the area between the motor face and the volute where the shaft passes through.  This is not the same seal as the motor lip seal (or wiper seal), a part of the hydraulic motor that seals the motor shaft at the motor face and prevents any liquid from entering the hydraulic motor.

A picture is worth 1,000 words right?

You can see the different pieces of a mechanical seal, in the picture below – in this case a carbon ceramic seal that would be used in a number of our smaller pumps.  It is called a mechanical seal because there are two halves of the seal with flat faces that are pressed together by a spring.  A spring presses the primary ring (or rotating face) against the stationary face – the primary ring spins with the shaft and impeller, the seat or stationary face doesn’t move.  Tiny amounts of liquid pass between but are typically vaporized by the heat of the shaft and seal before even getting past the mechanical seal – this liquid is  actually important to the mechanical seal as it provides both cooling and lubrication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The motor lip seal and the mechanical seal are the heart and soul of any submersible pump.  In another piece we covered the causes of a motor lip seal failure – here we are going to cover the possible causes of a mechanical (or shaft) seal assembly failure.  Some are simple and obvious, some might surprise you.

  1. Mechanical seals do wear out over time. Friction, heat and other factors contribute.
  2. Improper installation. If the mechanical seal is replaced and the new seal is not properly installed, this can lead to a quick failure of your new mechanical seal.
  3. Motor lip seal failure. If one of the many situations (see “What happened to my Motor Lip Seal” article 4/13/17) that can lead to a motor lip seal failure occurs, the bearing housing will fill with pressurized hydraulic fluid and push the stationary seat out of its recess (it will likely dislodge the rotating piece as well) and cause hydraulic fluid to flow into the volute.
  4. Debris in your pump. Something as simple as a plastic garbage bag or piece of rope can wrap around the pump shaft and compress the mechanical seal spring and jeopardize its function.  Something like a long bolt with the strength to lock up the impeller can also have a detrimental effect on the mechanical seal.

We will follow up this post with one that covers some of the material choices available in mechanical seals and the pros & cons involved with those materials.

 

Extremely Custom? No Problem!

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One of the things Hydra-Tech Pumps is known for is our customization – we have written about it before in general terms and have developed a long list of options for both pumps and power units from custom paint to custom design.  How about an extreme example of something that started with an idea that we had never built before.

An excellent customer / distributor of ours who works in areas with extremely cold temperatures contacted us in November with an idea for a power unit that would be more appealing to his customers than our normal offerings.  Oh, and it has to perform in subzero temperatures most of the time.  And by the way Hydra-Tech hasn’t made this unit before.  Can we do it?  Our answer, as so often is the case, was “Yes, we can do that.”

The unit pictured below is a fully enclosed (although not sound attenuated) 35 horsepower liquid cooled diesel hydraulic power unit with a 54 gallon fuel tank and 30 gallon hydraulic oil reservoir.  The unit will provide 14 GPM @ 4000 PSI to a submersible pump or any hydraulic tool and has both adjustable flow and adjustable pressure.  For the extreme cold environment we included a 3.5kW Yanmar diesel generator that will power the engine block heater and hydraulic oil heater in the reservoir.  It can also be used to power any electric tools required at the job site.  The generator can be separated from the HPU by removing two pins and as a result can be used in a different area of the job site than the HPU.  Complete access to the inside of the unit is available through the 6 louvered swing doors – 2 on each side and one on each end.  To top it all off, every control on this Hydra-Tech HPU is properly labeled in the customer’s language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This unit shipped about 4 months after the conversation about this HPU got serious enough to become an order.  Have a custom hydraulic power unit design need that no one else will consider?  Give us a call and let’s see if we can do it – I bet we can!

Hydraulic Circuits, Open vs. Closed

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There are different types of hydraulic circuits used in fluid power applications.

The two types are described as Open Loop (or Open Circuit) and Closed Loop (or Closed Circuit).

Open Loop Circuits:

These are circuits where both the inlet to the hydraulic pump and the motor (or valve) return are connected to a hydraulic reservoir. The hydraulic flow from the pressure port on the pump is directed to the device that it is powering and then returned back to the reservoir. A relief valve or directional valve in the circuit may divert any unused fluid back to the reservoir. Suction strainers and return filters keep the fluid clean.

Advantages are:
  • Generally less expensive.
  • Better for lower pressure applications (below 3000 PSI).
  • Simple to maintain and easier to diagnose problems if they occur.
Disadvantages are:
  • Could create heat in the system if working pressure exceeds the relief valve setting when using fixed displacement pumps.
  • Reservoir size has to be larger for adequate cooling of the fluid.

Closed Loop Circuits:

These are circuits where the motor return is connected directly to the hydraulic pump inlet. To maintain pressure in the loop, the circuits have a charge pump (a small gear pump) that supplies cooled and filtered oil to the low-pressure side. Closed-loop circuits are generally used for hydrostatic transmissions in mobile applications. The reservoir only has to have enough capacity to feed the small charge pump. These circuits are mainly used with higher-pressure piston hydraulic pumps and motors.

Advantages are:
  • Systems can run at higher pressures with less fluid flow so smaller hydraulic lines can be used.
  • Direction can be reversed without the use of valves.
  • More control options are available.
Disadvantages are:
  • More expensive components are used.
  • May require high-pressure filtration.
  • More difficult to diagnose and repair.

 

Many of the Hydra-Tech Pumps systems use open loop circuits with high efficiency pressure compensated hydraulic pumps to help prevent heat build-up while offering ease of maintenance that is so important in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of open and closed loop circuits.

International sales opportunities

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In today’s world economy, it surprises us that many businesses large and small shy away from pursuing international sales opportunities.  While the realities of language barriers, shipping regulations, import regulations, letters of credits and wire transfers can appear scary, doing business around the world need not be difficult or risky.

Like any transaction, the key to doing well internationally is to establish a level of trust between the companies involved.  These days, most of the communication from foreign clients reach us by way of email.  We do not treat these people or opportunities as secondary, rather we strive to answer their technical questions and make commercial offerings with the same accuracy and urgency as we provide to our domestic clients.  This quick and clear transfer of information lets a potential buyer know that they are important and that you value their potential business.  Because of email and language translate programs, written communication is most times much clearer and more effective than a verbal exchange.  As the relationship grows over days, weeks or months, both parties will work through more technical issues, negotiate the commercial side of things and with good faith dealings on both sides put pen to paper on proper proposals and purchase orders.

That sounds easy, but what about the pitfalls associated with commercial transactions and logistics?  On deals that are not in the millions of dollars, it is our experience that over 90% of foreign entities accept that a wire transfer between banks participating in the Swift program is both he most convenient and simplest way to complete transactions.  The paperwork, fees and risks are minimal when compared to letters of credit or doing business on open terms.  Of course as the relationship grows, moving a trusted oversees partner to open terms is something that we have done successfully in places like Russia, China, UK and Australia.

Probably the single biggest key on the logistics side is selecting a freight forwarder that has extensive experience moving product in to the destination country.  This may mean different carriers for different areas of the world.  Often times the customer desires to direct the freight, so providing them with accurate weights and dimensions (often in kilograms and centimeters) is required.  A word of caution here…there are export restrictions placed by our government which forbid the sale or re-sale of goods to restricted countries and business entities.  For information on this, it is best to review all federal trade regulations.

It should come as no surprise that the most difficult part of the process is the actual paperwork.  Most countries place very exacting requirements on the importers of products; from requiring a license for every item code brought in to fumigated packing materials, to certain types of shrink wrap.  While it may ultimately be up to the client to jump through these hoops, cooperation and patience on the seller’s part is required to further cement the relationship and to insure future business.

Because we take the steps outlined above, Hydra-Tech Pumps has been able to share our passion for providing pumping solutions to at least 20 countries around the world.  Beyond the lands mentioned above, we placed pumps in Malaysia, Ireland, Denmark, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Turkey and others.  So regardless of the political climates around the world, there are many great business opportunities around this growing smaller planet.

ConExpo – The biggest trade show in the Western Hemisphere!

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Wow.  Although Hydra-Tech Pumps has exhibited at the ConExpo / ConAGG show before, this was my first time and the word wow doesn’t even begin to convey the size and scope of this show held every 3 years in Las Vegas.  Labeled as the “biggest trade show in the Western Hemishpere” this show earned its reputation.  In my 22 years of trade shows, ConExpo is easily twice as big as the next largest show I have attended.  The stats:  more than 2800 exhibitors whose displays took up more than 2.8 million square feet of exhibit space to show their products to 128,000 total attendees, including 26,000 international visitors from 150 countries.  Twenty percent of the visitor came from other countries – the Hydra-Tech Pumps booth saw a steady stream of visitors from Australia, South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East as well as Canada, Mexico and the US.

In our booth, Hydra-Tech Pumps displayed a 16 horsepower Kohler diesel power unit and a 13 horsepower “special” power unit with a Yamaha engine and galvanized frame.  We had a 6” Sand / Slurry pump, an S6V sewage pump, an S4T-2 an S4TLPAL, and a stainless steel S3T.  Sand / slurry pumping seems to be the hot need right now – it seems as though every other conversation at the show was about pumping sand or grit, dredging, or running a CSL pump in some similar application.

As with any trade show there are so many different aspects to appreciate.  We enjoyed meeting many new prospects both local and far flung.  Having current customers, distributors, dealers, competitors and vendors come through the booth is always fun.  We had the chance to explore the IFPE section of the show to see what new hydraulic technologies can help us build better power units and controls.  And I can’t speak for my colleagues, but walking around the indoor and outdoor exhibits took me back to being a kid playing with Tonka trucks in a pile of dirt in my parent’s back yard.  Excavators, trucks, cranes, pavers, wood chippers and every piece of equipment used in any aspect of construction and agriculture imaginable.  The next ConExpo / ConAGG show March 10-14 in 2020 and I can’t wait to go.

Written By: Jeff Whittaker

In a blink of an eye, the month is over……

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In 2017 we celebrate 40 years in business and already, in the blink of an eye, January is in the rear view mirror and we’re halfway through February.  Any of those New Year’s resolutions holding up?  Both personally and professionally, January represents that fresh start that allows you to reset and refocus on the coming 12 months.  It’s funny though how your work can get in the way of, well, your work.  Sometimes the day to day busy of taking calls, helping customers, preparing quotes and getting orders out the door while necessary can keep us from the things we should be doing.

We are halfway through our very trade show-centric 1st quarter, with 4 shows in 10 weeks to start the year.  The amount of time that goes into all of the details related to exhibiting at a show is significant.  Forgetting about the work done in the 8-12 months before the show, we pack the equipment for the trade show, make the pick-up date, fly to a city, unpack and set up the booth at the show, man the show, break down the booth, ship it home, fly home, catch up on the week you missed, get the stuff back from the show and start all over for the next one.  The upside is getting the chance to visit with customers and prospects and get feedback (the good and the bad) on our equipment from existing customers.  We also look for feedback from prospects on our equipment as well as what they currently use instead of Hydra-Tech equipment.  Oh, and St Louis and Indianapolis are lovely this time of year, so there’s that upside too.

Once the dust clears on the trade shows in early March after ConExpo, we’ll catch our breath and begin to plan travel and training for the rest of the year, evaluate potential shows through the end of 2017 and begin working on those we’re committed to in 2018.

It starts with an idea…..

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When Ken Reim, the founder of Hydra-Tech pumps needed a product that wasn’t available to him to solve a problem for the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, Africa in 1977, he designed and developed the HT8G and S2, the first power units and pumps sold by Hydra-Tech. This was the story with many other products Hydra-Tech has come to be known for in its time in the pump and power market.

In 2017 Hydra-Tech will celebrate 40 years in business and the concept of custom designed and purpose built pumps and power units continues today. Sure Hydra-Tech sells a lot of its “bread and butter” products week in and week out. At the same time, we have never shied away from the calls that start out with “I don’t know if you guys can do this or not” or “I have an idea for something I need – do you think you can build it?”

The amazing thing about Ken is that he is as passionate about these calls today as he was during the first five years Hydra-Tech was in business. He likes that challenge that comes with making something new that we haven’t built before. Might be a hydraulic power unit to run a piece of equipment that we don’t manufacture. This year we built and shipped as many as 10 custom power units to run something other than a Hydra-Tech pump and have a couple more we are working to get out the door in the coming weeks.

Customization of our pumps and power units is always an option – we are wrapping up the development of a menu of options for both types of product and they will be up on the website soon. We had a new customer from a marine diving / salvage business contact us about a week ago with a request for an item that we have never built or offered – an idea to solve a problem he has. We are working right now to take his idea from a sketch on a blank piece of paper through design and fabrication to a finished product. As a smaller organization, this is one of the many benefits we can offer our customers over some of the big boys, who would rather sell what they have and not what they don’t have. Do you have an idea related to pump and power that we can help you with?

New Year’s Resolutions

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As we approach the end of 2016 everyone thinks about their New Year’s Resolutions. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to go back to school. I’m going to be a better person. We all kick around the usual promises and hopefully make one or two stick. As a company we go through some of the same thought processes as it relates to our business and our customers, but on a year-round basis. 2016 has been a challenging year with oil and gas down, domestic mining suffering, and of course all of the fun leading up to (and following) our election in November. Many of our customers have suffered and we have suffered with them.

In 2017 Hydra-Tech Pumps will celebrate 40 years in business since Ken’s filled the first order in 1977 for some pumps and power units for the Peace Corps. Despite the challenges in 2016 we worked throughout the year on a number of things that will ultimately benefit our customers. This perpetual review of everything we do covers the mundane daily administrative tasks all of the way up to which trade shows we participate in and where our sales travel should take us. It is never easy and ever evolving – one particular subject this year was addressed, debated and discussed, and ultimately improved 4 different times between February and this week until we think we got it fine-tuned to where we want it – again with the benefit of the customer in mind during the entire process.

We constantly look at collateral to insure that it is accurate for our customers. Our website was completely redesigned and launched in April with new enhancements like our chat feature. There have been constant improvements made to the new website since its launch as well. Our spec sheets have been reviewed and updated this year. We re-run pump tests to insure that our pump curves are accurate and have begun working with an outside source to certify our curves. In 2017 we will have a brand new catalog available.

So as far as New Year’s Resolutions go, here’s what you can expect from Hydra-Tech Pumps in 2017. We will continue to work hard to earn and keep your business by trying to continually improve as a company to try and exceed your customer service expectations. We will celebrate 40 years of existence. We might not lose weight. Happy New Year to you and Cheers to a happy, healthy, and successful 2017!

Holiday Season followed by Trade Show Season

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Ah December, the most wonderful time of the year (at least according to a song I’ve heard). At home you have the frantic lead up to the holidays, the shopping, the traffic and people, the work to get everything done, the arrival of family or the travel to see family and the holidays themselves. At work you have the full court press to finish a strong calendar year, sales and expense budget forecasts for the coming year, and the pressure of a holiday party (don’t drink too much). If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, throw in the exciting possibility of foul weather. Finally, as of January 1st you have to remember to write the year as 2017 – how many weeks until that happens without thinking about it?

2017 starts off with a run of trade shows for Hydra-Tech – we hope that might see you at one of them.

From Tuesday January 17th through Friday January 20th we will be exhibiting in Booth C6802 (Central Hall) at the World of Concrete show. The event is held inside and outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. You can find more information at https://worldofconcrete.com.  In 2015 this was ranked as the 21st biggest trade show by square feet of the top 250.

In February Hydra-Tech Pumps we will exhibit at the WWETT Show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. WWETTT stands for Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport. You can find us at Booth #4105. Learn more or register to attend the show at https://wwettshow.com.

In March comes the big boy of trade shows ConExpo – Con/Agg – this show is every 3 years and always in Las Vegas – to give you an idea on just how big this indoor / outdoor event is, it fills the entire Las Vegas Convention Center (all halls and parking lots) – in 2014 it covered 2.35 MILLION net square feet and 2017 will be even bigger. Hydra-Tech Pumps will be in booth #90925 – for additional information on the show or to register go to http://www.conexpoconagg.com.

So enjoy the holidays, celebrate the New Year and if you can, come visit us at one of these shows in 2017!

What does CPB mean in the pump world?

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While not tasty like Chocolate Peanut Butter candy, viewed by millions like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or listed on the New York Stock Exchange like “CPB”, The Campbell’s Soup Company, the “CPB” all pump choosers and users should know about is the Contractor’s Pump Bureau.

Around since 1938, the CPB, now part of the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s (AEM), provides practical, technical and market information available to any person interested in making the most appropriate pump selection when faced with moving a fluid from point A to B.

The mission statement of the CPB:

The Contractors’ Pump Bureau promotes matters of mutual interest to pump users, manufacturers and major parts and component suppliers.

More specifically, the CPB’s work product includes agreed upon standards for pump equipment operational safety, explicit methods for noise level testing of pumping systems, a Pump Selection Guidebook and exacting guidelines for the consistent and accurate representation of pump performance curves.

In addition, the members meet twice per year to discuss regulations, trends and other factors which impact all participating companies. The body of members go beyond pump companies and include other manufacturers that supply ancillary equipment like controls and engines to a long list of reputable pump companies. With insights coming from varied inputs, including the politically in tune AEM, the informational exchange serves to broaden the knowledge base of all parties.

As the CPB nears its 80th year of existence, plans are in the works to spread the news and grow the membership. CPB member representation at the upcoming ConExpo 2017 will be strong, and the active member companies plan to fly the CPB logo in their respective booths while taking the opportunity to invite any and all interested parties to attend two informational sessions at the show being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 7-10, 2017.

For a full list of members, and to inquire about joining both AEM and CPB, follow the link below.

https://www.aem.org/groups/product-specific/contractors-pump-bureau-cpb/

When a vacuum truck can’t reach it, we can!

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Faced with either cost overruns or lost opportunities due to the inability of a vacuum truck to handle tank pump outs from long distances while at the same time dealing with stringy solids, a Tennessee company went looking for a better way.

In more and more instances, tanks are getting filled up and clogged up with stringy materials which are difficult to pump and sometimes not pump-able at all if the equipment being used can’t pull enough vacuum.

Faced with this reality, sanitary pumpers either had to turn their backs on some potentially profitable work, or haul often unreliable trash pumps long distances over uneven terrain in order to be able to set up and pump out remote tanks.  While these trash pumps could be effective, that was not always the case.  The sometimes performance coupled with the weight and maneuverability and suction hose failure problems of these pumps, meant breaking even or even losing money on some jobs that just did not go right.

After calling the manufacturer, Hydra-Tech Pumps and being connected with a local representative from a distributor in Chattanooga, TN, the end user was able to demo a submersible trash pump, S3TRDI powered by an HT13G hydraulic power unit.

This hydraulically driven pumping system solved all of the handling and performance issues and saved time to boot.  Because the pump is light weight and can be set up with hydraulic hoses extending up to 150’ from the power source, it was easy for one person to get the pump down to and in to the tank to be pumped.  Then, because the pump is self-priming when dropped in the pumpage, the only other hose required is the hose on the discharge side of the system.  With all the hoses in place, the user fired up the power unit, activated the hydraulics and observes as the S3TRDI not only handled the solids, it also pumped out the tank at a rate of roughly 300 gallons per minute.

The demo went so well that the end user immediately purchased the demo package and continues to be happy with his investment.

Have a serial number?

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Hydra-Tech Pumps uses serial numbers as a way to identify which pump or power unit our customers have purchased.   It allows us to track the year or specific custom parts that may be used on the units and also as a means for finding compatible parts.  All of the equipment is supplied with a serial identification tag at the time of fabrication.   This identifier will help with any questions or issues that may arise and also used for quality control, service management and sometimes even theft.  Anything that we custom build or if we use a non-standard part on your pump or power unit will be noted in our system before it is shipped.

Now that we know why we have serial numbers let’s talk about where you can find it on your particular system.  On our smaller pumps which includes all 2 inch and 3 inch pump models, the serial number is stamped on the side of the top cover.  On our larger pumps which includes 4 inch pumps and larger, look for a metal tag mounted on the top of the top cover on the pump.  As for the power units, the open power units have the serial number tag mounted on the lifting bracket.  The serial number on the closed power units, also called the Quiet Pak is located in the door of the unit.

The system used for the serial numbers are different for the pumps and power units.  The pumps will start with a number and then have a letter and followed up with three more numbers.  On the power units the serial number will start with a letter followed by four numbers.  The other information you will see on the tag are the model number, the kilowatts and the weight of the unit.

If you have additional questions about serial numbers, feel free to call us at 570-645-3779 or email to htpump@hydra-tech.com

You want it? You got it?

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Hydra-Tech Pumps manufactures an extensive line of Hydraulically Driven Submersible Pumps and Gas, Diesel and Electric Hydraulic Power Units.  We stock many of the smaller pumps and enough parts for our bigger pumps that we can typically get them assembled in a reasonable amount of time.  We typically have a few of the more popular small (20hp and smaller) power units in stock and ready to ship.

For those who might not know, Hydra-Tech Pumps prides itself on our ability to meet customer needs through both the adaptation of existing products as well as the development of new products to suit everything from a one-off project to an OEM development project.  Because of our in house design and manufacturing capabilities Hydra-Tech Pumps is able to control everything about your pump / power unit build from the paint color to the choice of hydraulic motor and engine.

Need a slight “tweak” for the pump you are ordering?  Lose the strainer, get the pump without pigtails, add a flow control to protect the pump when running it with a larger power unit, and get a different motor based on your power setup.  How about a custom color?

And for your power unit.  Want a remote shut down kit?  Need a twin circuit?  Whose control panel do you prefer?  Have a particular engine that you prefer over the engines we typically use?  Let us know.  Is Tier 4 Final a concern?  We have solutions.  Want your power unit painted in your company colors?  How about a coolant gauge or shutdown switch?  Need something bigger than a 200hp power unit?  Let us know – we have built power units bigger than what we show in our catalog and online.  This is true as well in Electric Hydraulic Power Units where we have built units up to 400hp.  Do you need an electric power unit that is explosion proof?  We can do that too.

Whether you need a little bit of customization or something exclusive to your requirements Hydra-Tech Pumps is ready willing and able to build it for you!

Choosing the Right Pump and Power Unit for the Job

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At Hydra-Tech, one of our specialties is helping our customer choose the correct pump and/or power unit. We recognize that choosing the right pump for your situation is a very important decision, and that using the wrong pump can cause frustration and prevent the job from being accomplished in a timely manner. For these reasons it is important for you to consider several factors before you turn to us for your hydraulically driven submersible pump and hydraulic power unit needs.

Some of the factors to consider are the following:

  • The type of hydraulically driven pumps available-Solids handling, General purpose, Axial mixed flow, Sand and slurry, Slim line, Shredders, Centrifugal screw, High performance pumps with high heads or high volumes and each type serves a specific purpose. For example, axial mixed flow pumps are ideal for moving large volumes of fluid at a relative low head, while the centrifugal screw pump is ideal for pumping high viscosity liquids such as crude oil, latex, and molasses type materials.
  • There are three main factors when selecting a pump; the total head of discharge, what your desired flow rate is at that head, and the characteristics of the pumpage you’re pushing. If you know this information you will be able to narrow the pump down to the right one for the job!
  • When selecting a hydraulic power unit, you can choose from one of our standard power units which include electrical motor, gasoline engine, propane or natural gas engines, diesel engines or you can use the hydraulic power you may have such as a skid-steer, excavator, and tractor.

NOTE: The hydraulic power unit-Is totally customizable we’ll listen to what your requirements are and design and manufacture to your specific needs.

Customer Focused

A 40 year tradition of listening to what the customer wants to accomplish and then applying our engineering and manufacturing skills to meet those requirements. Whether it’s a catalog or custom product, we promise to do the work up front to make sure that the product we deliver exceeds customer expectations. After the sale, we offer product support at a world class level.

“Battleship Texas BB 35 – The Only Remaining Dreadnought”

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battleship-texas

The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Texas on March 12, 1914. She was the most powerful weapon in the world, a complex product of an industrial nation emerging as a force in global events. In 1916, USS Texas became the first U.S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns. She was also the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers. These early computers increased firing accuracy.

In World War I, USS Texas joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Her duties included laying a North Sea mine barrage, responding to German High Seas Fleet maneuvers, and helping prevent enemy naval forces from cutting off Allied supply lines.
Late in 1918, she escorted the German Fleet to its surrender anchorage.

In 1925, the Navy opted to modernize USS Texas instead of scrapping her. This meant converting the ship to run on fuel oil instead of coal. Tripod masts and a single stack replaced the ship’s cage masts and two smoke stacks. Torpedo blisters added another layer of protection to the ship’s waterline.

USS Texas received one of the first radars in the U.S. Navy in 1939. With new anti-aircraft guns, fire control and communication equipment, the ship remained an aging but powerful asset in the U.S. naval fleet.

USS Texas became flagship of thebyron-flynt-2-2 U.S. Atlantic Fleet before World War II. She had a close call in 1941 while on “Neutrality Patrol.” German Submarine U-203 had the ship in its sights and asked permission to fire. Adolf Hitler eventually denied permission to engage the ship, or any other U.S. ship.

During World War II, USS Texas fired on Nazi defenses in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Shortly afterward, German coastal defense artillery near Cherbourg hit the ship twice. The first shell exploded, injuring 12 and killing one. This was the only combat fatality ever aboard USS Texas. The second shell hit the ship, but did not explode. The Navy deactivated this “lucky shell” and returned it to the ship as a good luck charm. After repairs, the battleship shelled Nazi positions in Southern France before transferring to the Pacific. There she lent gunfire support and anti-aircraft fire to the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

After Japan’s surrender, USS Texas carried soldiers stationed across the Pacific home from war.
When she completed her final mission, the state of Texas acquired the ship. On April 21, 1948, Battleship Texas was decommissioned, and became a memorial ship.

Today, Battleship Texas is a floating museum and the last remaining U.S. battleship of her kind. Of the eight American battleships open for public display, she is the only one that served in both World Wars and stands as a memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of the servicemen who fought in both World Wars.

The battleship is both a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Ensuring her future will require a concerted effort from Texas citizens and businesses. Luck has gotten her this far, but now it’s up to citizens to save Battleship Texas.

Our Connection to the Battleship Texas…

battleship-texas-2On June 14, 2012, T&T Marine Salvage was contacted and provided an in-water survey and made temporary hull repairs in response to uncontrolled flooding onboard the USS Texas. On June 18, 2012, T&T was again requested to provide additional commercial diving, marine salvage and pollution response services to include continued underwater hull damage surveys, internal tank entries with commercial divers, dewatering of flooded tanks, opening of hatches for inspection, environmental response operations, and additional temporary repairs of the damaged hull. To support these expanded operations, T&T Marine Salvage also provided a Salvage Master, Project Manager and Safety Officer, as needed, throughout the duration of the project. Salvage services included, but were not limited to, submersible hydraulic pumping operations, temporary hull repairs, safety officer oversight, and naval architectural services.

After nearly two months the T&T and USS Texas Crews sealed as many leaks as possible and dewatered the spaces using portable hydraulic pumps. The salvage crew accessed a large number of void spaces to determine if they had been affected including the blisters which had been installed in 1925 to protect the hull against torpedoes.

A plan was developed to place pumps onboard the USS Texas that would remain after the salvage crew was demobilized. T&T installed several pumps in strategic locations as a precaution for further water ingress. The pumps included two Hydra-Tech portable hydraulic submersible pump systems that were placed on board in case of an emergency. These systems were chosen due to their lightweight and ease of installation in various tanks as needed. The S3TC portable three inch pump and HT11DXR portable hydraulic power unit have been used by T&T for many years on smaller salvage projects. The proven reliability and durability of these systems were one of the reasons they were chosen for this project.

 

To lea7101-mainmountmonument-2rn more about the Battleship Texas please visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/battleship-texas. For an interesting video of the structural repairs and dry berth project please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYJwhCyPUls.

To learn more about T & T Marine Salvage and their impressive operations and capabilities, check out their website at www.teichmangroup.com.

To learn more about Hydra-Tech Pumps and their hydraulically driven submersible pumps and hydraulic power units, please visit their website at www.hydra-tech.com.

We appreciate the significant help on this piece provided by Kevin Teichman of T & T Marine Salvage and the Texas Parks & Wildlife / Battleship Texas Historical Site.

Heading to Vegas!

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MINExpo2016_cmykIn just 2 weeks, Hydra-Tech Pumps will be headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2016 MINExpo Trade Show.  The event is held both inside and outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center and runs from Monday September 26th to Wednesday September 28th.  You can find more information at www.minexpo.com.

The theme for the show this year is “MINExpo 2016 is all about solutions.”  This is similar to the statement Hydra-Tech uses on its catalog “The World Pumps US for Solutions”.  Ultimately, that is what all sales are about no matter the industry, someone has a problem or requirement for which they are looking for a solution.  We will be there for those visitors who have a challenging dewatering requirement but aren’t sure what kind of pump they need.  High head application?  Corrosive or slurry-like pumpage?  Need a dewatering pump specifically for Phosphate mining?  We want your tough applications so we can provide an effective solution with our pumps.

At the same time, we look forward to seeing existing customers who will be attending the show.  We love to see the people who use our equipment on a daily basis and get feedback on our pumps – the good and the “needs improvement” kind.  The only way we get better is through a willingness to listen to both the compliments and the criticisms.

Finally, the trade show is a way to make sure we are up to speed on an industry, in this case, mining.  Although mining in the United States is down, the day to day needs of the global marketplace continues to create greater demand for the metals, minerals and energy that come out of the Earth.

So if you are reading this, and you are heading to Las Vegas for the MINExpo, please stop and see us at Booth 27029 in the South Hall!

Picking the Team to Pump Out a Big Win in the Big Game

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Pumped Up for Football?

The prime week of a new season of professional football means all team hold hopes for the NFL Championship.  Everyone likes to think they can predict the future and we at Hydra-Tech Pumps will join that crowd and offer a few observations and our best predictions for division winners, playoff teams and the ultimate champion.

Surprise Team of the Year – Tennessee Titans, Runner Up Tampa Bay Bucs

Disappointments of the Year – Oakland Raiders, Runner Up – Buffalo Bills.

AFC East: The Jets and Dolphins pump some excitement in to the division race as they make headway in the annual quest to overcome New England’s dominance.  The Bills disappoint early and often, Rex Ryan hears the boos and is the first coach flushed.  In the end, and in honor of a great Patriot fan, Laurie Auger from BJM pumps, we are predicting one more divisional championship for the Patriots.

AFC North: With many new faces, the Steelers defense needs to quickly move up the performance curve to balance the force that will be Ben Roethlisberger and the offense; Cleveland’s rebirth will not overcome the centrifugal force caused by years of poor personnel moves and that mean three wins at best; Under the negative pressure of relying on youth and aging veterans, the Ravens will make an early push before cavitating down the stretch and fall from the playoffs.  With one of the best rosters in the league, the Cincinnati Bengals will overcome some early head pressure and capture this division.

AFC South: Mining a diamond out of this slurry of mediocrity — the Texans, Jaguars, Colts and Titans– is not easy…The Texans fail with the overmatched Brock Osweiler; the underachieving Jags and Gus Bradley fail to meet the duty point and Andrew Luck may not pass solidly through week 3 if his offensive line continues to perform like a leaky suction hose.  Powered by a dynamic two headed run game and some added lift from Marcus Mariota the Titans and their dynamic defensive front the go from worst to first and make the playoffs.

AFC West:  We will bypass on the resurgence of the Raiders.  The lack of skill position talent and depth means 8-8.   As solid as they have been in recent years on defense, Chiefs front will struggle to push the pocket and the offense will not win shootouts.  The Chargers, recirculating for one more year in San Diego will improve on both sides of the ball and surprise many by finishing second to the defending champion Broncos…a team whose defense will help maximize the performance curve of an average offense.

AFC Winners: Patriots, Bengals, Titans and Broncos

AFC Wild Cards: Pittsburgh and NY Jets

AFC Title Game: Pittsburgh and Bengals (yes they will finally win a Playoff game).

AFC Champion – Pittsburgh

 

NFC East: With a weak offensive line, the Giants will need to count on a repaired defense and big plays from Eli and Odell, it won’t be enough as they struggle to keep Manning upright.  The favored Redskins filled holes on their defense, but the O-Line may struggle.  While their defense will be surprisingly strong, Dallas with no Romo is like a pump without an impeller… It just doesn’t work.  Putting Carson Wentz behind a poor offensive line may doom the future of the franchise and certainly keep the Eagles at the bottom half of division.

NFC North: Maybe not any team’s division to win, but it will be competitive top to bottom as the lions build on last year’s late success, the Bears improve on defense and at Soldier Field and the Packers and Vikings fight it out for the top spot.  In the end, Aaron Rogers while still in his prime, Eddie Lacy and a strong group of receivers overcome Adrian Petersen’s big year and the stout Minnesota defense to propel the Packers to the top of the division.

NFC South: The offensive arsenals of all four teams will make the games exciting.  But with the Saints and Falcons both trying to rebuild on the defensive side and Tampa Bay running with a new head coach, the class of this division is clearly the Carolina Panthers led by Cam “MVP” Newton.

NFC West:   Some like Seattle some Arizona and no-one gives San Francisco or the Rams much of a chance.  We have to agree.  The 49ers need players and the Rams need coaching and front office reboots.  The Seahawks will dredge up enough offense to dominate at home and do enough on the road to secure a Wild Card, but the Cardinals roster strength will carry them to more road wins and the division title.

NFC Winners:  Redskins, Packers, Panthers and Cardinals

NFC Wild Cards: Seahawks and Vikings

NFC Title Game: Panthers and Cardinals

NFC Champion: Cardinals

Championship Game:  In a rematch from 2009, the outcome is reversed as the Cardinals deadhead the Steelers 42-27.

 

Sludge and slurry, no problem!

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S4VHL

Hydra-Tech’s S4VHL, four inch hydraulic submersible sludge/slurry pump offers three inch solids handling and head capabilities up to 210 feet.  This heavy-duty slurry pump is designed to handle wastewater and sewage and will fit through a 20” diameter manhole.  The primary uses for this pump are sewer by-pass into force mains and general transfer of solids laden fluids.  Combined with our HT25 to HT60 power units, the S4VHL is capable of flows up to 750 GPM.  This safe and variable speed hydraulic drive submersible pump can be used where electric power is hazardous or impractical.

 

Example of how this pump is being used.

Problem: Treatment plant in a large southern municipality, pumping out of the on-site clarifier using hydraulically driven slurry gate pumps.  Pumps would frequently clog with rags, diapers or stringy materials causing the need to pull the pump out and clean it as often as 1-2 times per day.

Solution: The national equipment rental company servicing the job-site suggested installing a Hydra-Tech Pumps’ vortex impeller S4VHL hydraulically driven submersible pump. The municipality agreed to a side by side test in the same clarifier.  Over the course of several days, the slurry gate pump had to be pulled and cleaned six times while the S4VHL pump with the stainless steel vortex impeller did not stop working.*

Result: This municipality liked the S4VHL pump so much they are budgeting for the purchase of their own system.

*The superior performance by the vortex impeller can be attributed to the nature of vortex flow pumping.  Unlike channel impeller pumping where the pumpage comes in full and direct contact with the vanes on the impeller the pumping action in a vortex pump takes place mainly in front of the impeller.  So, stringy materials, semi solids and other debris are balled up in front of the impeller and ejected from the pump.

 

 

Improve and upgrade

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In the Pump Industry, a common cause of pump downtime is mechanical seal failure.  In order to avoid having that phone call about a blown seal from our customers, Hydra-Tech Pumps is always trying to improve and upgrade our products.  One particular pump we have improved is the 6 inch hydraulically driven submersible trash pump, by making a few minor changes.  The first change is replacing the current mechanical seal with a newly designed and better performing mechanical seal which provides both superior materials of construction and is cost efficient.  The look of this seal is completely different.  The open springs have been eliminated so items such as wire ties won’t get held up, which ultimately could lock up the rotating section of the seal and create a failure.

This seal is made up of silicon carbide with Viton elastomers and stainless steel making it resistant to certain chemicals. Along with the mechanical seal improvement there are additional changes to the pump.  The oil housing will be designed with kick out veins which will help keep the pumpage and solids from building up around the mechanical seal area.  There will also be a pin installed in the oil housing to hold the stationary seal from rotating, which then allows the bellow seal to be pushed completely down onto the impeller.  P80 rubber lube is used when assembling the seal.  Each seal comes with set screws to hold it in place.

Sometimes when you hear upgrade or improvement you see dollar signs.  That is not the case here.  This upgraded seal will remain the same cost as the old seals but adds so much more to your 6” pump.  Hydra-Tech understands the customers’ concerns and always pushes to find a better way.

Please see our other post https://hydra-tech.com/what-happened-to-my-motor-lip-seal/ to find out what can cause seal failure.

Friction Loss Impacts on Hydraulic Power

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Most people are familiar with friction loss and velocity requirements when it comes to pump discharge lines and the impact these factors have on overall system performance.  In the world of hydraulic power packs, hydraulic tools and hydraulically driven submersible pumps, the same factors must be considered to insure that enough energy is being efficiently transferred through the power unit and on down to the hydraulic motor powering the tool or submersible pump.

Each size of hydraulic hose has limitations when it comes to how much flow can be pushed through the Inside Diameter (ID) without adversely affecting both working pressure on the input side and back pressure on the return side of the system.  So, choosing the right diameter hose is critical for eliminating inefficiencies which result in heat generation and excess back pressure in the motor.

The general rule for velocity in a pressure line is 10-20 feet per second and on the return side it should be between five and ten feet per second.  The use of different ID hoses will alter this velocity, and the right size hose will insure that your system runs efficiently.  This can be the case whether you are running 50 feet or 500 feet of hydraulic line out to the tool or submersed pump.   The link below provides an industry standard reference to hose selection as it relates to velocity.

http://www.hydraulichose-fittings.com/images/hose-flow-velocity-chart.jpg

As mentioned above, the size and length of the hose run could also create an adverse impact on both the high pressure fluid delivery and the system back pressure.  In fact, the hose size can have a greater effect on the tool performance even if the velocity of the fluid is within range.

For example, if a power unit is outputting 8gpm at 2500psi and you are using ½” (-8) hydraulic hose for delivery, the pressure loss across a 50 foot run is 33psi and the velocity of the fluid is 13f/s (ideal).  If you add hose to a length of 150 feet the psi loss jumps to 99psi while the velocity remains the same.  And, if the one way hose length increases to 300 feet, the pressure loss jumps to 300psi with the same 13f/s velocity.  So at 300 feet out, the system pressure drops by over ten percent and the added friction also builds harmful heat which will eventually damage the critical hydraulic components as the oil quality degrades.  And of course the performance of the tool or pump will drop off by at least the same percentage.

Not using the right size hose on the return side does not result in a pressure loss, rather it creates a pressure build.  This increase in back pressure, when not controlled, can lead to failure of the lip seal in the hydraulic motor which can lead to mechanical seal failure and possibly a loss of system hydraulic oil in to the material being pumped.  Before providing some sample numbers, consider that any lip seal in a hydraulic motor is typically rated for 100psi.  With that in mind, using the same inputs as above (8gpm at 2500psi), and the same starting length of 50 feet of ½”ID hose, the system back pressure would be 33 psi at 13 f/s (the system pressure of 2500psi has already been expended doing the work).  Moving to 150 feet of return hose jumps the back pressure to 99psi or the limit of most lip seals, and a 300 foot hose run results in back pressure of nearly 200psi.

In both cases above, up-sizing the hydraulic hose one size to 5/8” (-10) has a dramatically positive effect on system pressures.  On the input side, the pressure loss of 300psi drops down to 67psi and on the return side, the back pressure drops to the same 67psi.  These new pressures realized are dramatically better and will help insure that your system runs more efficiently.

The other thing to consider as you set up the hydraulic lines is the number of quick disconnects or other connections across the length of the run.  It is always better to have fewer connections as each junction creates friction which impacts both delivery and back pressure.

Taking the time to think about the hoses and making sure to choose the right hose will go a long way towards insuring that your hydraulic system runs efficient and trouble free.

Make it hard…..Make it last

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Now that we got your attention, let’s explain what we are talking about.  Hydra-Tech’s submersible pumps include several wear parts in the body of the pump that can be replaced should they get worn out.  The internal wear parts in the 3 and 4 inch sludge and slurry pumps, and 4 and 6 inch vortex flow trash pumps have a few common parts, the wear ring, wear plate and vortex impeller that are interchangeable.  To lengthen the life span of these wear parts, they are now available with a carbide coating Shieldzall, which Hydra-Tech gets from a company called Oliver Carbide Products*.  This coating provides a cost effective solution to the everyday wear and tear along with the harsh abrasive environments that our submersible pumps are used for.  Some of these challenging applications include pumping driller’s mud, mine slag, dredge work, stones and rocks of all sizes and of course abrasive sand.  A common statement Hydra-Tech hears from the end user is if you can get these harsh types of material into the inlet of the pump and then get that pumpage through the volute then the pump is a success.

Hydra-Tech did a case study with one of their customers.  The customer was using a 6 inch trash pump in a mine and after 8 hours the impeller and wear ring were worn down. Hydra-Tech then supplied them with the Shieldzall carbide coated wear ring, wear plate and impeller, and had them run the pump to see when the parts would get worn out.  With these coated parts they were able to get 280-hours out of one set, after that amount of time the wear ring was the only part that needed to be replaced.

*Oliver Corporation is the world premier manufacturer of tools and specialty coatings utilizing nickel-brazed carbide coatings.

New Employee – Celebrating 1 Year!

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Just over a year ago Jeff Whittaker started working for Hydra-Tech Pumps. He knew most of the employees fairly well since most had been working for Hydra-Tech since the company moved to Nesquehoning PA in 2007. Jeff’s family acquired the business in 2005 when it was located in Mt Holly NJ.

From Jeff’s perspective, his first year:

As I sat at a desk that I made my home in my first week at Hydra-Tech, part of what I did was eavesdrop. Seriously. What better way to begin to figure out the culture and hear the Hydra-Tech end of technical calls, application calls, sales calls etc. I heard people stressing our great customer service, and I began to see it myself. In my first back order meeting where we review the orders in house, the production plan and the shipping schedule, I realized that it was a symphony of friendly ribbing, but that everyone was pushing each other to get the orders out as quickly as possible and do whatever was possible to do better than the customer expected.

On a daily basis I saw firsthand how hard Hydra-Tech’s employees work for the customer and how dedicated everyone is about their role in the whole process. It was also immediately obvious to me that Ken Reim, who founded the company back in 1977, is as passionate about the design of pumps and power units as he ever was. There is nothing he likes more than a new application and challenge.

So with a year under my belt (and a still a lot to learn) I realize that our customer service is one of our most important aspects, something that has been confirmed time after time with customers I have spoken to. So as much as we are selling hydraulically driven submersible pumps and hydraulic power units, we are also providing solutions to pumping needs and working hard for your business every day.

Manufacturer of the Year

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awardManufacturer of the Year – Hydra-Tech Pumps, proudly recognizes the efforts of all of its employees for the contributions made which have enabled us to be recognized as the Manufacturer of the Year by Gorman-Rupp Pumps.  The award comes to us as a long time GR vendor and participant in the Supplier Scorecard evaluation program that Gorman Rupp has been using since 2006.

Pre-dating the Supplier Scorecard, Hydra-Tech’s relationship with GR goes back to the mid 90’s.   During that time period Gorman-Rupp recognized that Hydra-Tech’s USA made products offered both the best value and the best technology in the world of submersible pumps driven by hydraulic power.  With that in mind, they invited Ken and his partner to Mansfield, Ohio to help create the right product offerings for our joint customers.  After some brief negotiation, a handshake deal was done, and Gorman’s hydraulically driven submersible pump and hydraulic power unit program was born.  While G-R’s line of hydraulics are limited to three, four and six inch pumps along with the compatible power units, Hydra-Tech’s product line has grown to include pumps from two inch discharge up to 24” axial flow pumps.

The GR hydraulic product line is manufactured in Pennsylvania by Hydra-Tech and in accordance with G-R’s quality standards.  The equipment is private labeled and carries to market the distinct Gorman Rupp color scheme.

In addition to the standard products, GR and HT have partnered on some custom projects, including sound attenuated auto-start systems employed in western Canada, small auto-start diesel packages in use in Mexico City and a pneumatically activated auto start system for use in a permanent industrial setting.

We thank Gorman Rupp for the honor and want all of our client companies to understand that we work each and every day to be the Manufacture of the Year for each and every one of our valued customers.

Hydraulic vs Electric Submersible Pumps – The Hydra-Tech Advantage!

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Comparing Electric Submersible Pump with Generator and Hydraulic Submersible Pump Systems.

Electric Submersible with Generator:

  • Submersible pump is not affected by suction lift limitations
  • Generator must run at constant full speed at all times
  • Fuel usage is high regardless of demand on pump
  • May be unsafe to operate in certain areas
  • Potential shock hazard
  • Costly to repair

Hydraulic Submersible: (from Hydra-Tech Pumps)

  • Submersible pump is NOT affected by suction lift limitations
  • Variable pump speed to suit job conditions
  • High overall efficiency and low fuel consumption
  • Can be used in hazardous environments
  • Many different pumps can be driven from a single power unit
  • Pump and power unit are field serviceable
  • Easy and inexpensive to maintain

Time is Money!

"
Weight
Height
Diameter
Discharge
Inlet Flange
Solid Handling
Hose Ports
Pump Body
Impeller/Screw
Suction Case
Elastometers
Hydraulic Oil
Input Flow
Operating Pressure
Power Source
Engine
Horse Power
Hydraulic Output
Oil Filtration
Oil Reservoir Capacity
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption
Dimensions
full specs

Here we are ready to go to work laying a foundation at the bottom of the 40 ft. deep excavation. We are keeping ahead of the incoming groundwater with our electric submersible pump connected to the local electric supply when suddenly the power goes out! No problem. We run over to our backup diesel self-priming pump and start it up. What? Why isn’t it pumping?!!

Oh, that’s right. The dig was deeper than we anticipated and this type of pump can’t lift the water that high. Now our only choice is to stop everything and try to lower the pump into the hole until it can catch prime and hope it can keep up until we find a better way. Tic-Toc, Tic-Toc…as time and money passes by.

Wish we had used a hydraulic submersible to begin with.

What happened to my Motor Lip Seal?

"
Weight
Height
Diameter
Discharge
Inlet Flange
Solid Handling
Hose Ports
Pump Body
Impeller/Screw
Suction Case
Elastometers
Hydraulic Oil
Input Flow
Operating Pressure
Power Source
Engine
Horse Power
Hydraulic Output
Oil Filtration
Oil Reservoir Capacity
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption
Dimensions
full specs

My Submersible Hydraulic pump has a blown motor lip seal, what’s the cause of this?

Seal failure on the hydraulic motor is usually caused by excess pressure build-up in the motor casing.

Some other common causes:

  1. Not connecting the quick disconnect fitting completely on the wing style fittings.
  2. Hooking up the pressure line before the return line causing the pressure in the hose to build up with no place to go except past the motor lip seal and mechanical seal and into the pumpage.
  3. Disconnecting the return line before the pressure line causing the same as above, no outlet for the pressure.   **The motor lip seal is not designed to hold the full system pressure only internal leak oil for lubrication.**
  4. The return hose might be too long and/or diameter might be too small.
  5. Clogged return hose or coupling obstructing the return of oil flow back to the tank.
  6. Power unit, Bobcat, Truck, or Excavator hydraulic controls may not be an OPEN CENTER or motor control spool meaning the return is closed off and traps the pressure at the motor.
  7. The power unit is putting out too much pressure and hydraulic flow for the motor.
  8. Running the motor at full speed in cold weather without allowing the hydraulic oil to warm up first.

*Always be aware of your max hydraulic motor pressure and flow requirements.

*Before you hook up your power unit know what your power unit’s output is to prevent bodily damage and equipment failure.

We have a solution for solids handling

"
Weight
Height
Diameter
Discharge
Inlet Flange
Solid Handling
Hose Ports
Pump Body
Impeller/Screw
Suction Case
Elastometers
Hydraulic Oil
Input Flow
Operating Pressure
Power Source
Engine
Horse Power
Hydraulic Output
Oil Filtration
Oil Reservoir Capacity
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption
Dimensions
full specs

Vortex Impeller Pumps Solve Solids Handling Challenges.

Think about how effective the average toilet is…It creates a vortex action using water flow and pressure to quickly and efficiently dispose of human waste, sanitary products and the occasional dead goldfish.  The vortex energy found in the common toilet is the same kind of energy which makes our vortex impeller pumps perfect for handling stringy materials, rags, slurry and many types of solids and semi-solids.

Consider also, that engine driven hydraulics powering a motor atop our submersible pumps magnify this vortex effect, creating an even more effective pumping system.  Using any vortex type impeller submersible pump will help eliminate the clogging which sometimes occurs in channel impeller pumps.  In addition our vortex pumps do well when pumping sludge, sewage, silt and even the occasional goldfish.