Entropy

Relax in southern comfort on the east bank of the Mississippi. You're just around the corner from Beale Street and Sun Records. Watch the ducks, throw back a few and tell us what's on your mind.
User avatar
JR.
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Wed May 26, 2021 1:11 pm

Just confirmed that my (air) rifle scope is sighted in by dropping my first squirrel of the year. 8-)

JR
Cancel the "cancel culture", do not support mob hatred.

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Thu May 27, 2021 2:34 pm

JR. wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 5:24 pm
Scratching another one off my to do list, I used my new "Y" driver bits and took apart my previous sump pump. I was looking for a blocked air vent and found a ball bearing check valve. The ball was stuck up, sealing the vent hole, but it dropped easily when I touched it with a nail point. Shaking it the ball bearing appeared to move freely.

I reassembled it and in a test pull, it starts from pretty low, only a couple, inches from the impeller level. This seems better than before, while the ball bearing check valve air vent did not appear stuck very hard.

Looks like I have a like good spare sump pump.

I may need to repair the lightning damaged float level controller. It is a low tech design using a 555 and a few discrete components.

No hurry

JR
another data point...

I ran a couple more trials this morning on my 1/2 hp sump pump. It started first time with almost no head, maybe 1 inch... but a second time I was able to cover it completely with water and it still remained locked up, no water pumping. I shook it and apparently freed up the ball bearing. I saw a bunch of air bubbles come out and then it started pumping water.

My latest thinking is that I should just remove the ball bearing entirely. The hole is small enough that it won't lose much water pressure when pumping but should start pumping more reliably.. I could partially block the vent hole with a toothpick or something like that.... The ball bearing check valve is a premium feature if it works. From reading customer complaints I am not the only one having this start up issue.

I think my 1/4hp pump just has a pin hole vent... they mention keeping it clear of blockage.

JR
Cancel the "cancel culture", do not support mob hatred.

User avatar
terkio
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:17 am
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by terkio » Thu May 27, 2021 4:49 pm

I presume there are shapes inside that trap air. A design mistake or a convenience about something else.
Centrifugal pumps I am well familiar with don't have such vent. They do need pipes, at the outlet side, without any air trapping shapes. That is a must for easy priming.
At cold start there is always a bit of trapped air that should flush out easily. When priming fails one refills water again in the pump and restarts.

Ball bearing stuck, a known issue....
A possibility is because they use WD40. Many people are not aware it is not a lubricant. It works wonder to free jammed stuff but it will jam again because of no oiling.
I prefer to use thin oil after or instead of WD40.

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Thu May 27, 2021 8:30 pm

I don't feel like oil would make much difference, it looks like a stainless steel ball bearing, loosely held in a cylindrical boss in the cast plastic housing. The ball bearing closes off the even smaller hole at the top of the boss. A simple metal bar/clamp in the bottom of the boss, keeps the ball bearing from falling out.

Apparently water pressure pushes the ball bearing up and closes off the hole at the top of the cylindrical boss. Gravity allows the ball to drop down again venting out air.

I am unsure about how the ball gets stuck closed. It's almost as if air pressure is holding the ball bearing up. Over time with the pump turned off the ball would drop, but with the pump running and air locked it seems to stay air locked.

Removing the ball and metal clamp definitely frees up the pump to pull from comfortably low level. But the vent hole allows a little more water than I like to flow out the side of the housing (looks faulty). Not enough water loss to make a different when pumping out a sump, and not spraying water any distance. Just more water than I'd like to see leaking out.

My plan B is to close off that original vent hole with a self threading screw and then drill a new smaller pin hole vent elsewhere, maybe two pinhole vents just to be safe.

It is already usable the way it is now, and starts reliably. Not sure why I am wasting time on improving this design. :lol:

JR
Cancel the "cancel culture", do not support mob hatred.

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Fri May 28, 2021 12:37 pm

I have a new plan... I have a small drill to add a pinhole vent or two, but asked myself do I really need to close off the original hole. Why not reinstall the ball bearing? If it works all good, if it air locks, the new pin hole vent will deal with that. 8-)

[update] Suckcess I just reinstalled the ball bearing into the vent check valve, and drilled one ancillary pin hole vent. There are obvious places for two more pin hole vents, but I decided to try one first... Almost no noticeable excess water leaking out, but after a handful of attempts I couldn't get it to air lock... before it was all too easy to lock it up /update].

JR
Cancel the "cancel culture", do not support mob hatred.

User avatar
terkio
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:17 am
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by terkio » Sat May 29, 2021 3:25 am

Smart upgrade. 8-)
Could the pinhole improve the ball bearing valve behavior ?

User avatar
JR.
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Sat May 29, 2021 8:48 am

terkio wrote:
Sat May 29, 2021 3:25 am
Smart upgrade. 8-)
Could the pinhole improve the ball bearing valve behavior ?
The redundancy doesn't hurt... I am starting to apply some hindsight at this apparent design problem. I was mainly seeing the air lock and refusal to pump in my testing outside the crawl space... after the pump is allowed to pull air, apparently it pressurized that air enough to hold the check valve vent closed.

I used this pump down in my crawlspace for a year or two and if it chronically air locked it would have burned itself out.

Since this is now my spare sump pump, time to stick a fork in...
=====

Next entropy project is to put my bent and then straightened chain saw bar back on my saw and confirm that it works... I have several stumps that need to be lowered before my stump grinder can chew them up. I don't have any more trees on my cut list but having a "maybe works" back up bar isn't good.

[update- the formerly bent bar makes sawdust just fine... /update]

JR
Cancel the "cancel culture", do not support mob hatred.

Post Reply