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We are considering building a new honey house and have a couple of questions. (best would mean cost effective, not unlimited budget)

1. What would be the best coating to put on the floor to help keep from slipping? Does anyone groove the floor?

2. What would be the best way to cover the walls so they can stand up to constant pressure washing?

3. What is the best floor drain system to use? Is the u drain worth the expense?

4. Anyone built an in ground honey sump?

Thanks
 

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FRB sheets for the wall. The same stuff that is used in commercial bathrooms.
David
 

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I used white roofing tin for the inside of my honey house. Not sure what the best answer is for that.

Floor covering is epoxy but if you get the nonskid type its a real pain to get wax and propolis off it.

I have seen in ground honey sumps. My only concern is how easy it would be to knock crap into the sump at floor level and if you need to warm the honey before pumping how would you accomplish that?
 

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I have had an in floor sump for years and love it. Just make sure it extends above the floor an inch or so to keep wash water out. It needs to be heated. Ours is sitting on foam with "v" grooves for pex tubing cut in the top. A small water heater and pump are used to first circulate hot water to our uncapper blades then to the in floor sump. We have steel panels on the walls, throughout but I think the dairy panels on the bottom are a better way to go. Floors are another issue, they need to be smooth for easy scraping and cleaning but then they become quite slick, I'm interested in hearing others solutions to this problem. Also floor slope and well thought out drain placement is quite critical for cleaning ease.
 

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It's not realistic to expect to heat your honey in the sump, that's where a heated floor to store honey before extracting comes in. If the honey is warm enough to extract then it's warm enough to pump out of your sump. The warmed sump just keeps the honey from getting cold when you aren't extracting.
 

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The U drain cost me about $500 per 10' length. Very small cost considering everything else involved in the floor.
The other option is drains, or a basic gutter. Remember the basic gutter still costs you in labour to form and you still need grating over top and a sump.
 

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I was just looking at those drains. For sturdy SS ones they look to cost around $900.00 us to purchase plus labor to install.

Heating honey and pumping out of sumps???

So Jim, Ian are you two using progressive cavity pumps? I have warmed my honey in a hotbox for the past 5 years since moving to NY and still have issues with pumping the honey out of the sump with standard gear pump. This past year I used an auger pump with minimal issues, except I had to manually turn it on and off.

Jim a fairly reasonable solution to the slick floor is the rubber restaurant mats. Gives you a nice cushion for walking on and gets rid of the ice skate rink issue.
 

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Brian, a gear pump can be a bit overmatched if the honey gets cold that's for sure. I dealt with those for years. Put a moyno (progressive cavity) pump on your Christmas list. Pricey but one of the best investments I ever made, plus you are good to go if you decide to go with a spin float.
 

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Yes I haven't found much use for the gear pumps I have with the exception of the one we use for bottling. Of course that honey is 100 degrees out of the drum. I have been considering spin float and progressive cavity pump. Albeit they are pricey. I am writing up plans for my amish neighbor to build me a heat transfer for before the spin float and will utilize that this year with my current spinner. Another issue I run into is I dont have a general heat source in my current honey house. I am thinking about installing an apartment heater in it this summer though.
 

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Brian, a gear pump can be a bit overmatched if the honey gets cold that's for sure. I dealt with those for years. Put a moyno (progressive cavity) pump on your Christmas list. Pricey but one of the best investments I ever made, plus you are good to go if you decide to go with a spin float.
Jim what moyno model did you purchase and what can I expect to pay for one?
 

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Jim what moyno model did you purchase and what can I expect to pay for one?
Here is Cowens current price list.
http://cowenmfg.com/equipment-price-list/
Cook & Beal's pricing is pretty similar. My understanding is the Cowen units are Argentine made and the Continental units that C&B handles are US made. Pricing is pretty similar and both are no doubt very good. I opted for the 3" stainless Continental. I'm biting the bullet and getting everything stainless, seems like a commonsense long term goal to do so. What a beast that pump is, we can adjust the speed that it runs and typically only run it at around 30% so I would say a 3" is probably overkill for most operations. Its so quiet you only know if it is running by looking for honey flowing out of the discharge pipe at the end of the heat exchanger. Ironically the only times it failed to pump were first thing in the morning when it was sucking warm clear honey. The solution was just to run it in reverse for a few seconds, stir the honey in the sump and turn it back on.
 

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Or you can build a 2 story building, and not have to use a pump. Gravity rarely fails. The only down fall is it may be hard to ge the proper floor pitch on the upper flour if pre cast concrete "Span Crete" is used.

Freezer board 5 foot up the walls is good, as is monolithic epoxy textured floor.

Crazy Roland
 

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So Jim, Ian are you two using progressive cavity pumps? I have warmed my honey in a hotbox for the past 5 years since moving to NY and still have issues with pumping the honey out of the sump with standard gear pump.
ya I just switched to using a progressive cavity pump. Before I used two gear pumps pulling the honey up from the sump no problem
 

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I don't use a sump at all. Pull the honey back from the extractor with cowen wax collection auger, mix it with the wax from the uncapper and then pump it to the heat exchanger with C&B progressive cavity pump. I am not totally satisfied with the mixing of the wax and honey before it gets pumped but prefer it to using a sump. Progressive cavity pumps are great pumps. Bought a second one this year for pumping the honey from the spin float to the tanks.

I seal my floor every year with concrete sealer. Probably not as nice as epoxy but sure a lot cheaper and does the job nice for us. Slipperiness is not a problem as long as you keep the floor clean. Wet is fine. A poorly mopped floor where honey has not all been removed is a disaster waiting to happen.
 

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Or you can build a 2 story building, and not have to use a pump. Gravity rarely fails. The only down fall is it may be hard to ge the proper floor pitch on the upper flour if pre cast concrete "Span Crete" is used.

Freezer board 5 foot up the walls is good, as is monolithic epoxy textured floor.

Crazy Roland
Is it more cost effective building a 2 story building or using pumps?
I know a beekeeper that uses a two story honey house and sometimes he accidently leaves a drum of honey on the floor because nobody is down stairs.
 

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We coated our floor with Rustoleum EpoxyShield.
We are VERY, VERY happy and impressed with the result.
There are many very helpful You-Tube videos about this epoxy floor coating and others as well.
But a word of warning:
PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING!!!
If the floor is anything other than brand new concrete, and you want a perfect, long lasting floor, preparation goes way beyond what they show in the video's.
We rented a super heavy duty floor machine and purchased several very aggressive pads to clean the floor.
First we mixed up some heavy duty industrial degreaser and hot water and scrubbed the floor with the floor machine.
The soapy solution turned into a soupy dark brown yuck.
Then vacuum it all up with a wet and dry.
Rinse and repeat, over and over vacuuming it all up until the wash and rinse water stayed clear.
Then SEVERAL more rinses.
Next step is to etch the floor. Carefully chose the etch material and method. This step is very important!
Let the floor dry.
Now you can fill cracks, floor joints, dings and holes with the matching epoxy joint filler.
Then coat the floor.
We also sprinkled the decorative chips on the coating as we went. Looks really nice.
Cracks and floor joints disappear completely if done right.
Watch the videos and DON'T CUT CORNERS or get in a hurry.
Our floor makes our honey room sparkle!
Couldn't be happier!
 

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I'm a beek from Montana but my day job is steel buildings. We have a building system that is 100% galvanized(not a quonset hut.) We build a lot of veterinary buildings because of the number of times they hose down the inside in a day. Galvanized won't support mold or bacteria. We use a white steel panel to line the inside of the building so they can put the water to it. It works better than fiberglass panels and is a lot cheaper. Let me know if you have any questions. You can see some examples on my website www.tntbuildingsystems.com Steve Thorson 406 580-4944
 
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