- How much vacuum can a Guzzler pump produce?
- When used for creating vacuum on maple sap collection lines, Bosworth Guzzler pumps can generate up to 28 in Hg vacuum if the pump valves are wet. (With dry valves, the pumps pull approximately 20 in Hg vacuum.) However, our Guzzler diaphragm pumps are ’low-cfm’ pumps, so even small leaks can reduce the vacuum you are able to achieve.
The amount of vacuum a Guzzler can generate depends in part on the type of valves used in the pump. Umbrella valves produce the best vacuum, followed by duckbill valves.
- How many taps can a Guzzler pump support?
- Our single diaphragm pumps (GE-0401, GE-0403, GE-0501 and GE-0503) can be used to produce vacuum on up to 400 taps. Our double diaphragm pumps (G2-0501 and G2-0503), with double the capacity, can create vacuum on up to 800-900 taps. The new QUAD diaphragm pump (G4-0501N) can be used on sugarbushes with up to 1,800 taps.
All if our Guzzler diaphragm pumps fall in the category of "low-cfm" pumps, so even small leaks can reduce the vacuum you are able to achieve. With well-managed lines (i.e., where leaks are kept to a minimum) and operating with wet valves, 120 vac Guzzler pumps can achieve 28 in Hg vacuum (25 in Hg vacuum for our 24 vdc pumps).
- Do your G2 Double Diaphragm Pumps produce a higher vacuum than the single diaphragm pumps?
- Both our double and single diaphragm pumps produce the same amount of vacuum. The double diaphragm pumps have twice the capacity of single diaphragm pumps, which means that they can transfer fluid or air at twice the rate of single diaphragm pumps. If the single diaphragm pumps are rated at 10 gallons per minute, the double diaphragm pumps can transfer fluid at 20 gallons per minute. In terms of vacuum service, the double diaphragm pump has twice the cfm (cubic feet of air per minute) rating as the single diaphragm pump. Our single diaphragm pumps can be used on sugarbushes with up to 400 taps, while the double diaphragm pumps can support vacuum production on up to 800 taps.
- Does a Guzzler pump need a separator (extractor)?
- No. Because they are self-priming pumps, Guzzler pumps can both establish a vacuum and transfer fluid. No separator is required.
- Can a Guzzler run dry?
- Yes. Guzzler pumps can pump air as well as fluids, so a Guzzler pump can continue to operate when there is no fluid to pump. This is why the pump can be used to establish and maintain a vacuum.
- What is the best valve to use when using a motorized Guzzler pump to create a vacuum?
- The best valve for vacuum use is the umbrella valve. It typically gives another inch or so of mercury better vacuum than the duckbill valve, which is the next best valve to use.
However, if the pump is also transferring a liquid, then the liquid should be relatively free of any materials in suspension. In the ’400 series pumps, the umbrella valve openings through which fluid passes are as small as 3/16 inch in diameter and may become blocked if the fluid contains material. As a result, some maple sap farmers begin the sap season using duckbill valves in their ’400 pump, which do a much better job of passing fluid that contains materials, and then switch to umbrella valves once the sap is running clear.
Umbrella valves in the ’500 series pumps have a 3/8 inch diameter pore, and can tolerate larger materials in suspension, so there is less of a need to begin with ’500 series duckbill valves and then switch to the umbrellas.
- How long a mainline can a Guzzler support?
- Users have reported success with Guzzlers on mainlines as long as 2600 feet. The most important factor is to have good grade on the line so that the pump’s vacuum is applied at the tree taps, as opposed to expending vacuum lifting sap up to the pump against a negative grade. The longer the main line, the more air that the pump will need to evacuate from the system when first starting up. This simply means that it will take a while longer for the pump to reach a good vacuum. As long as the lines are tight, having longer lines will not compromise the amount of vacuum that the pump will produce.
- Are there ways to install a Guzzler that increase the vacuum it produces?
- Guzzler pump valves seal better when they are wet. Consequently, some users install a line that allows a small amount of collected sap to feed back into the pump, so that the valves always remain wet, even when there is no "new" sap flowing into the pump.
Additionally, some have found that introducing a small upside-down "U"-shaped bend in the line between the pump outlet and the sap collection tank increases the vacuum. This small upward bend (bending up only an inch or two) ensures that there is always a wall of sap at the outlet valve. When the outlet valve is transitioning from open to closed, this prevents air from being sucked back into the pump, thus reducing the vacuum. Introducing this "reverse-trap" into the outlet line can sometimes increase pump vacuum by 1 inch of Hg.
- What kind of a generator can I use for powering your 115 VAC GE or G2 pumps?
- The 115 motors used by our GE and G2 pumps are very efficient 1/8 HP motors that draw 1.6 amps at full load. The QUAD (G4-0501N) pump uses a ¼ HP motor that draws up to 3 amps at full load. Full load generally occurs only at startup. Most of the running time of the pump, the motors draw about 1-2 amp, which means that the run-time load of a GE or G2 pump is close to 120 watts, the equivalent of powering 2 60-watt light bulbs.
Nonetheless, because of the peak load that needs to be supported to get the pump started - especially under cold weather conditions - we recommend using a 1,000 watt generator that can reliably deliver 115 VAC power. With most such generators, you can expect a gallon of gas to operate your pump for 10-14 hours.
- Are there battery-powered versions of your Guzzler pumps? How long will they run between battery charges?
- The GE-0404D, GE-0404N, GE-0504D, GE-0504N are single diaphragm pumps that feature a 24V brushless DC motor. The same motor drives the G2-0504N double diaphragm pump. When powered by two (2) 12 VDC 60 amp-hour batteries connected in series, the single diaphragm pumps will pull a dry vacuum for up to 50 hours, and up to 20 hours when transferring water at full capacity. When powered in the same fashion, the G2-0504N double diaphragm pump will pull a dry vacuum for up to 40 hours and will transfer water at full capacity for up to 12 hours.
- Can I run Guzzler motorized pumps 24/7?
- Guzzler pumps use continuous duty motors. However, the elastomers (i.e., diaphragms and valves) in a Guzzler pump will tend to fatigue and wear out over time.
Under factory testing, our black Buna-N diaphragms last on the order of 1 million cycles. While this may seem like a lot of cycles, keep in mind that a pump running 24/7 at 72 rpm will reach one million cycles in a little over 10 days!
Under operating conditions in which the pump is generating significant positive or negative pressure (i.e., vacuum), diaphragm life may be shortened. Additionally, the choice of diaphragm material will affect diaphragm lifetime. While our Buna-N diaphragms (made of an FDA-approved formulation of Buna-N) last on the order of 1 million cycles, our recently introduced santoprene diaphragm (off-white in color, also made of an FDA-approved material) can last in excess of 5 million cycles. You should inspect your Guzzler pump on a regular basis to look for signs of wear and tear on your pump diaphragm and its components.
- Will ice damage my Guzzler pump?
- Yes, if ice forms inside your Guzzler pump, it can crack the plastic pump body or pump flanges. In particular, if you start your Guzzler when the pump body contains frozen sap, the motor will drive the ice through the bottom of the plastic pump body.
Some users disconnect their Guzzler from their sap line at the end of the day and drain it to be sure it is not full of sap that might freeze and damage components. To drain it, run the pump for several seconds while disconnected from your line so that it can pump out any residual sap. Then turn the pump off and tip it to drain any remaining sap left in the pump.
Other users keep their Guzzler in a "doghouse" structure that is heated by a light bulb. This can keep any ice from forming overnight in the pump. (Just be sure that the doghouse does admit some airflow around the pump, as ventilation is necessary to keep the motor from overheating.)
Finally, some users include a wire-mesh type of screen in their mainline just before it connects to the Guzzler, to keep ice in the line from being sucked into the pump.
Of course, if ice does damage your pump, you can order replacement parts for any damaged Guzzler components.
- How long do Guzzler diaphragms last?
- When we test the black Buna-N diaphragms at our factory, we achieve lifetimes on the order of 1 million cycles. These tests are conducted for the pump pulling 28 in Hg vacuum and transferring water. The santoprene diaphragm (off-white in color) introduced in 2023 has achieved operating lifetimes in excess of 5 million cycles.
However, operating conditions can significantly impact diaphragm lifetime and operating conditions can vary considerably from one sugarbush to another. For example, if ice chips or sharp foreign objects (e.g., wood or plastic shavings) enter the pump body, they can tend to tear or puncture the pump diaphragm. For this reason, we recommend using a strainer in front of the pump inlet to strain out such material.
Users who operate their pumps in a way that not only creates a vacuum but also requires the pump to generate head pressure to push the sap to a collection point above the pump probably see the shortest diaphragm lifetimes, as the additional head pressure causes the diaphragm to flex in both directions during a pumping cycle. We recommend installing the pump so that it sees no more than 1-2 psi of back pressure at the pump outlet.
As different factors can impact diaphragm lifetime, we recommend always having a spare diaphragm available, and all our motorized pumps ship with a spare diaphragm.
- What are the limitations of using a Guzzler?
- Guzzler’s are "low-cfm" pumps. As opposed to more expensive pumps that can deliver 20 cubic feet of air per minute, Guzzler pumps move on the order of 1-4 cubic feet of air per minute, depending on the pump model. Consequently, even very small leaks in maple sap collection lines can admit air into the tap lines at a faster rate than Guzzler’s can remove it, resulting in a loss of vacuum. Guzzler pumps require tight lines.
Guzzler pumps can be damaged by ice. Users should take care to prevent ice from entering or forming within the pump. There are a variety of ways of doing this. (See Will ice damage my Guzzler pump?)
Finally, users should expect to periodically replace diaphragms and/or valves in the pumps. These elastomers are the "consumables" in the pump. We recommend always having a spare diaphragm and valve set on hand.
- Can I use a Guzzler to both create vacuum as well as "push" sap to a higher delivery point above the pump’s outlet?
- In principle, Guzzler’s can be used to create both negative (vacuum-producing) pressure on the inlet side and positive (so-called pump "head") pressure on the outlet side. However, this greatly increases the mechanical forces on the diaphragm, thus shortening diaphragm lifetime. We recommend that head pressures be kept to a minimum for maple sap applications, in order to prolong diaphragm lifetime under conditions of creating and maintaining vacuum.
- I have very little vacuum in my lines. How can I tell if the pump is working properly?
- We recommend having a shut-off valve near the inlet to the pump and installing a vacuum gauge between the inlet and the shut-off valve. If the vacuum on your sap line drops, the first thing to do is slowly close the shut-off valve. If the vacuum gauge near the pump climbs back to 20-22 in of Hg (if the valves are dry; with wet valves, up to 28 in Hg), then the pump is working fine and the problem is caused by a leak somewhere in your lines or taps.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a gauge installed at the pump, turn the pump off and disconnect the pump from your line. Turn the pump on and place your hand over the inlet line. If you feel a strong suction, your pump is working properly. If not, then the problem is with the pump and you need to examine the pump to determine the cause.
- My pump is not producing any vacuum. How do I determine what’s wrong?
- If your pump stops working, first check to see if there is a hole or tear in the diaphragm. If so, replace the diaphragm.
If the diaphragm is intact, then the problem is most likely a result of valve malfunction. Each Guzzle has two valves. The inlet valve is attached to the pump between the inlet port and the pump body inlet flange; the outlet valve sits between the outlet port and the outlet body flange. Check the valves one at a time. First, remove the inlet port from the body of the pump (attached with 4 screws for ’400 series pumps; 6 screws for ’500 series pumps.) Inspect the valve to ensure that it is not torn and that there is no foreign material lodged in the valve that prevents it from opening or closing properly. Clean the valve of any such material. A torn or damaged valve must be replaced. Reinstall the valve and the inlet port and repeat this procedure for the outlet valve of the pump. (Consult your Operator’s Manual for images showing how the valves should look and how they should be installed.)
If there is no material lodged in either valve, the valves may simply be old and no longer seating properly. You can purchase replacement diaphragms and valves - as well as any other parts needed for your pump - directly from our website.
- The 115 VAC motor on my Guzzler pump runs too hot to touch. Is that normal?
- It is normal for the 115 VAC motors on the Guzzler GE and G2 motorized pumps to become too hot to touch when running. However, the surface temperature of these motors should not exceed 212°F (100°C). The pumps should always have adequate airflow around them so that the motors do not overheat. The 115 VAC motors are equipped with a thermal switch that will shut the motor off if its temperature exceeds a preset threshold. If that happens, correct the conditions that led to overheating. The motor will restart once it cools.
- What comes with SapCheck?
- The SapCheck "box" and power cord, plus one each of 3 sensors: vacuum sensor, temperature sensor, and tank float switch. All wiring that connects the sensors to the SapCheck box is also included.
- What plugs into what in SapCheck?
- You plug the SapCheck power cord into a 115VAC power source. You plug your pump into the outlet on the SapCheck box. You plug the sensor plug into the front of SapCheck box to connect it to the three sensors. When SapCheck plugs into power, it sends a message to your cell phone confirming that it is on.
- How does SapCheck communicate?
- SapCheck communicates by sending and receiving cell phone text messages.
- What do you need to make SapCheck work?
- You need the ability to send and receive text messages at your sugarbush. You do not need the ability to connect to the Internet. You also need either 115 VAC power or 24 vdc power. SapCheck-AC works on 115 vac power, while SapCheck-DC works on a 24 vdc power source.
- Does SapCheck need to have Internet service at your sugarbush?
- No, SapCheck does not need Internet access to operate; just the ability to send/receive text messages via cell phone service.
- What alerts does SapCheck send you?
- SapCheck provides two alerts: a "Loss of Vacuum" alert and a "Collection Tank Full" alert. (Where you install the Tank Float Switch will determine the sap level at which you will receive the "Tank Full" alert.)
- What information can SapCheck send you?
- SapCheck can text you "Status" information from your sugarbush: the current temperature at the sugarbush; current vacuum at the pump; whether the pump is on or off and whether sap has reached a target level in your collection tank.
- Can you control your pump with SapCheck?
- Yes, you can turn your pump on/off remotely via text messages. You can also set a temperature at which SapCheck will automatically turn your pump on, and another at which it will automatically turn your pump off. You will receive text notices when this happens.
- Are SapCheck communications secure?
- SapCheck will accept text commands only from its list of authorized users. Authorized users can use SapCheck commands to easily add or delete phone numbers from this list at any time. SapCheck ignores communications it might receive from any other cell phone numbers.
- Does SapCheck work with all Guzzler pumps?
- SapCheck works with all 115VAC Guzzler pumps.
- Can SapCheck work with other pumps?
- SapCheck can control any 115VAC pump using up to 3/4 Hp motors or any 115 vac device drawing up to 3A. Additionally, there is a version of SapCheck that can control any of Bosworth's 24 vdc pumps equipped with the SapCheck Remote Control Interface.
- Will SapCheck work in Canada?
- Yes. SapCheck is available with a communications plan based on the Rogers cellular network.
- Is there a communications charge for using SapCheck?
- You purchase a SapCheck Support Plan from The Bosworth Company that provides communication and software updates. Product Support Plans are available that provide communications for from one to up to six months. Plans provide for up to 1500 text messages per month. (Messages that SapCheck sends or receives are counted as messages.)