Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?
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  1. #1
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    Default Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    I'm using a 1" brass gear pump hooked to a Honda gx120 (4hp). I started noticing trouble last month when I switched from sugar water to the mannlake syrup. In order to start the motor I have to first close the ball valve on the tote and after several tugs the motor will start up. It runs fine while the valve is closed but when I open it up and allow syrup out of the tote the motor starts to bog down and then just stops. I have a relief hose running off the pump back into the tote when I'm not feeding. Something I'm noticing in the relief hose is there's a lot of air being mixed in.

    Is this a motor problem or a pump problem and how can I fix this?

    It's been fairly cold here in Linden CA with the nights freezing and the day temps getting up into the high 50's.

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  3. #2
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    Sep 2010
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    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    I'd try heating the syrup to see if that solves your problem. I have a dadant syrup pump and if the syrup is cold enough, it will slip the belt enough to make it smoke. Mann Lake sells immersion heaters that work very well; just don't overheat the syrup or you'll get problems with toxicity

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    I glad you shared that information about you Dadant pump.

    Do you mean like this one?
    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shielded...olt-1000-watts

    Will it heat up 100 gallons of syrup in a tote?

  5. #4
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    Jul 2000
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    NE Calif.
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    It does sound like a cold thick syrup problem. I tried to pump some cold syrup today and it came out slow with lots of air.Looked like creamed honey.I am going to try to heat the tote with the Mann Lake immersion heater, but looks like it will only go down a little ways into the tote.
    How does one go about warming a tote with this heater? It says not to immerse the cord. I am thinking a lot of stirring.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Would using a bigger motor help or hinder or make no difference do you think?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    Lightbulb Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Quote Originally Posted by beesohappy View Post
    help or hinder or make no difference do you think?
    Ok, so first, you shouldn't be feeding syrup at this time of year anyway, get those bees heavy in the fall, syrup stimulates them to fly bad idea right now in this weather, also the shortest day of the year bees should be sleeping right now. So on to your question, you really need to warm the syrup if at all possible, make a make shift oven over the tote. Best of luck.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  8. #7
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    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Quote Originally Posted by beesohappy View Post
    I glad you shared that information about you Dadant pump.

    Do you mean like this one?
    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shielded...olt-1000-watts

    Will it heat up 100 gallons of syrup in a tote?
    That's the one. It will heat that much syrup. I make my own syrup and put 2 of them in 100 gallons of water over night. By morning, it's the temperature of hot coffee and dissolves sugar well. Be careful not to overheat HFCS because of toxicity issues

  9. #8
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    Sep 2010
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    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Like Keith said. Get them heavy in fall and then stimulate them in mid-January for almonds. Last year, I used 2 lbs of nutrabee between the two hive bodies of each hive and gave each hive a gallon of syrup. Got paid for all the hives I shipped and they still looked sweet when they got back to North Dakota

  10. #9
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    Jul 2000
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    NE Calif.
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Just mixing up some sub for later. Bees are resting. Though I saw a lot of cans on down in the Valley.

  11. #10
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    If it's been sitting it'll probably settle out a bit too with a really thick slurry at the bottom that's probably barely in liquid form, assuming the pump is sitting on the bottom of the tote.

  12. #11
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    Landing, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    When the syrup is really viscous a number of things can happen. On the suction side the pressure can drop so low that the syrup cavitates, the pump then breaks the bubbles into foam giving the syrup the creamed look described above. On the pressure side the pressure can rise very high because the shear forces in the relief line restrain flow back to the tank. The shear forces in the fluid in the pump use a lot of power.

    The best solution is to have the whole setup in a warm place.
    Next best is to heat the fluid in the tank, you may still have some resistance until the warm fluid can clear the cold fluid from the lines and the pump.
    If you run the delivery line back to the tote and let it run wide open into the tote it may help the pressure side problem, and after a while the friction in the fluid will warm the fluid.
    You can temporarily restrict the flow into the suction side of the pump to get things going but only totally close that valve for a few seconds. The pump needs the fluid for lubrication, and if the fluid isn't moving it won't warm up either.
    Pouring hot water over the pump and the suction line may be enough to get things going.
    You could go to an engine with a gear reduction output, that will turn the pump slower, the pumping rate will be less. Before this you should check that you will not be exceeding the allowable input torque for your pump. (output torque for a gear reduction engine of similar horsepower will be higher)

    Have fun now-
    Bill
    Last edited by whiskers; 12-21-2016 at 08:32 PM. Reason: addition

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Quote Originally Posted by loggermike View Post
    Though I saw a lot of cans on down in the Valley.
    I believe it Mike, I like to put sub on the first part of January, then if needed, syrup the in the second part of January, but I rarely feed syrup in January only if there lite.
    BSH, that heater looks like that would really help you, I would still try to blanket the tote some way.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Quote Originally Posted by loggermike View Post
    It does sound like a cold thick syrup problem. I tried to pump some cold syrup today and it came out slow with lots of air.Looked like creamed honey.I am going to try to heat the tote with the Mann Lake immersion heater, but looks like it will only go down a little ways into the tote.
    How does one go about warming a tote with this heater? It says not to immerse the cord. I am thinking a lot of stirring.
    Could you heat a smaller unit of water, then run some hosing through the tote and pump the warm water through it for a bit with the syrup pump?

  15. #14
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Although most people use gear pumps they really get a lot of forces put on them by a thick mix. Now I'm using a 5.6 hp honda trash pump, simple and pumps anything.

    Good for mixing also cos can use a 2 inch hose and wind the speed right up way past what you'll get with a gear pump, have the tank churning real good.

    Showed it it on our local site and noticed a few guys have flicked over to the same thing since, all happy.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    I miss my little Walinga, it would clear that tote in no time.....

  17. #16
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    May 2007
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    clayton cal.
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    If you are feeding pro sweet this time of year-you have to thin it with water it is over 70 percent solids
    dont try to deal with a full tote if you are only going to feed half a tote--
    back off the preasure on the relieve valve -and let the syrup cycle back into the tote for a far amount of time
    this in itself will warm the syrup--(this is why you only bring the amount you are going to feed-takes time )
    there are other tricks you can do about the stalling-the dadant pump has a stand pipe--good for many things
    like thining syrup in the pump or hose for easy start up--or even mineral oilat end of season storage-- RDY-B

  18. #17
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    Jun 2013
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    wright, mn, usa
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    Thinning the syrup with do the trick. I had to thin the last tote of prosweet I used.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    So does no one not make a circulatory heater or something specifically designed for totes that you could just toss into one?

  20. #19
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    Jul 2016
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    9

    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    That Mann Lake immersion heater works fine if you submerge the cord. I've done it for two years with no problems. No idea why they put that warning on there.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Thick syrup and pump trouble. What's the problem here?

    I bet it's some sort of safety requirement to cover their liability in case someone reaches into the tote and gets zapped.

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