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I need some pump advice. First, I have reread and reread every posting on pumps here, talked to the suppliers and searched everything I can find on the web. I do not want to engineer my own pump, I want to buy something that has a history in the honey industry. For almost 40 years I have used the 1" Kelley and Maxant pumps. I just installed a new Cowen 28 frame line and the sump is not heated (have been using a heated sump). I run 200-250 colonies and extract once in August/Early Sept. The honey house(honey) temp may get a low as 70 degrees in the morning. Depending on how I configure, on the discharge side the pump may need to push as high as 9' in a 1.5" line (currently doing this with 1" pump warm honey) . I am considering the Mann Lake 2" vane pump (will it pump to fast for my strainer clothes?), Dadant 1.5" pump with 1hp motor, Vermont 1.5" flexi pump (Anyone have positive or negative experience with this one) and Mann Lake 1.5" ss pump (They told me this would not push 70 degree honey). $3000 is the top of my budget, would like to spend $1500 if it would work. I know many of you might shake your head and say you could do it for $800 but at this stage in my "career", I want it nice, minimal bottlenecks and to work well. Can anyone weigh-in with their opinion?
 

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I know a couple of beekeepers with the Vermont and both are happy. I would guess that they are pumping the honey above 70 deg though. I would ask the mfg what honey temperature range the pump was engineered for.
 

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There is a reason you don't find much info about running cold honey and that is because 70 degree honey is pretty hard to process. A heated sump dosent really raise the honey temp to amount to much during an extracting run, it helps only when the honey is allowed to sit in it for a period of time, like overnight. If you could build a small warming room you would not only solve your pump problems but you would find that the whole process would work much more efficiently and you would net a little more honey as the combs and cappings would spin out drier.
 

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I ended up with the Dadant gear pump. It is 1.5" with a larger motor than the other gear pumps readily available. I am used to using a gear pump. After configuring the system, I am sure it will work well. Thanks everyone for the input.
 

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I run a cowen 60. I built myself a 2hp 1.5 inch gear pump. It will pump 70 degree honey full of wax without any issues. Our sump is heated but we extract more than it can handle so usually have 85 degree honey pumped to our bulk tank. To filter honey efficiently, you need 100f. It can filtered at lower temps but takes time.
 

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I ended up with the Dadant gear pump. It is 1.5" with a larger motor than the other gear pumps readily available. I am used to using a gear pump. After configuring the system, I am sure it will work well. Thanks everyone for the input.
How'd the Dadant gear pump fare? I'm looking at the Cowen 28 frame line, and moving honey from the unheated sump concerns me for all the same reasons you mentioned. I'd hope to extract from warmed-up frames, but I'd still like the system to work if they're not quite to temp. Also, is it a 1.5" outlet on the sump?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How'd the Dadant gear pump fare? I'm looking at the Cowen 28 frame line, and moving honey from the unheated sump concerns me for all the same reasons you mentioned. I'd hope to extract from warmed-up frames, but I'd still like the system to work if they're not quite to temp. Also, is it a 1.5" outlet on the sump?
This year I finally ran my 28 frame Cowen line without a bottleneck. The Dadant pump was key to this as a smaller (Maxant) pump could not keep up. I believe it is a 2" outlet on the sump because I run 1.5" plastic hose and the short run from the sump to the pump is 1.5" and next year I will increase to a 2" hard pic line because the 1.5" line seems to "suck" down when pumping.

I run from the sump to two tanks that I do not filter or strain going into. This is key because the 28 frame line will put out a lot of honey ion they supers are full. It will quickly over run the backside if the backside can't handle all of the honey. From those tanks I can bottle the unfiltered but settled honey into 60# pails but most of it I slowly run into a Dadant sump where it is warmed and pumped into a third tank where it is strained. I can then put it in pails from that tank ready for sale or bottling.

The nice thing about my systems is I can carefully control the heat (or lack of heat) applied to the honey. The two tanks offer a buffer in the backside. Without these, I would need to heat the honey more and I prefer not to do that.
 

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Glad to hear the pump is working out for you! If you don't mind me asking, what are you using for your two settling tanks? How fast do you fill 'em and how long do you let them settle? I plan to scale up to 200 hundred production hives, and am concerned about filling up my limited workspace with settling tanks (I can't get tanks bigger than what would fit through a standard door at the moment). My thought was to pump from the sump directly into another heated sump (looking at Maxant 60"), then strain into a bottling tank, and then take a break from extracting when the bottling tank gets full to transfer into buckets. My other idea is to use 55 gal drums as settling tanks, but I question how well I can pump the honey back out without 'undoing' the settling.
 
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