End-of-season vacuum pump maintenance is essential to protecting your investment in high-quality maple sap extraction equipment. Becker vacuum pump maintenance is designed to be simple and straightforward to save you time and spare you trouble during your spring teardown.
PACK IT UP: VACUUM PUMP MAINTENANCE MADE EASY
The postseason can be the toughest time of year—and not just for tired football stars. For maple sugar farmers spring means long hours in the sugarbush, pulling taps and taking in laterals. It’s also time to do end-of-season maintenance on your vacuum pumps to prepare them for months of storage and ensure a clean start for next year’s first sap run.
More and more sugaring operations are investing in high-vacuum sap collection equipment, allowing farms of all sizes to boost production by anywhere between 50% and 200%, depending on terrain and other factors. Those gains come with a long-term commitment to performing regular and thorough pump maintenance, especially at the end of the season.
SMARTER PUMPS, LEANER MAINTENANCE
The good news is that modern electrical pumps require far less care and maintenance than gas-powered equipment both during use and after the season. That’s especially true of higher-end units like Becker’s U Series oil-flooded rotary vane vacuum pumps, which offer superior cold weather resilience and performance with minimal on-site maintenance.
Conventionally oil-less rotary vane or hook and claw pumps can also provide long hours of low-maintenance outdoor operation, especially for smaller sugaring operations but care must be taken that these units do not ingest moisture during operation.
The increased use of always-on variable frequency drive technology in vacuum pumps also dramatically reduces the wear and tear previously caused by repeated cold starts.
WHAT DOES END-OF-SEASON MAINTENANCE INVOLVE?
Provided your pump is running smoothly, end-of-season maintenance is usually straightforward. While the exact parts and servicing required will depend on the pump design and model, standard recommended maintenance can include:
- Draining and disposal of old oil
- Replacement of oil filters
- Replacement of air/oil separator filters
- Replacement of intake filters
- Replacement of vanes (oil-less pumps)
- Bearing greasing (oil-less pumps)
With modern, precision-engineered pumps, it’s important to use original replacement parts and the grade of oil recommended by the manufacturer during any maintenance.
If your pump parts were exposed to excessive amounts of moisture or came directly into contact with sap during the season, then further maintenance or servicing by an experienced technician may be required.
Fortunately, Becker Pumps now supplies maintenance kits that can be ordered ahead of time and kept on hand for both unplanned on-site work and end-of-season servicing. Having a kit ready on the shelf means:
- Faster turnarounds for both planned and unplanned maintenance
- Reduced waiting time for parts to arrive
- All necessary maintenance is performed at the right time
- Original manufacturer parts and servicing recommendations
Every Becker maintenance kit includes the original Becker parts you need to keep your vacuum pump in peak operating condition for another tough season on the farm.
Becker oil-flooded maintenance kits include:
- Replacement intake filter
- Replacement air/oil separator filter
- Correct grade Becker oil
Becker oil-less preventive maintenance kits include:
- All filters
- Replacement vanes
- Ball-bearing grease
We also maintain a complete set of easy-to-access operating and maintenance instructions, as well as online and phone support to make sure the maintenance is done by the book.
5 WAYS TO MINIMIZE VACUUM PUMP MAINTENANCE
While regular maintenance is essential to ensuring the longevity and performance of your vacuum pump equipment, it’s still a labor-intensive and time-consuming process even at the end of the season. Worse, unplanned maintenance during the season means lost production during critical sap run windows.
With so little time to work with during the season and so much to do post-season, it’s worth doing everything you can to minimize maintenance over the lifetime of your pumps.
1. BUY SMART, BUY BECKER
Oil-flooded rotary vane pumps are designed to provide powerful vacuums and reliable always-on operation in the toughest conditions. Becker’s U Series pumps feature high-efficiency cooling and true oil-flooded lubrication to deliver the season-long reliability and minimal maintenance required by medium to large-scale sugaring operations.
2. PROPERLY SIZE YOUR EQUIPMENT
Maximize your production and reduce wear and tear by matching your vacuum pump to your gathering system and terrain. Becker’s entry-level O-Series, Oil-Free and Hook & Claw pumps provide powerful vacuum across a range of inlet sizes from 0.5 to 3 inches. Talk to a Becker representative about the best-sized pump for your sugaring operation.
3. PROTECT YOUR PUMP
Installing properly configured equipment including moisture release valves and air/liquid separators upstream from your pump will improve efficiency and protect your equipment from damaging exposure to sap or excessive moisture.
Becker’s Advantage M systems can be equipped with our ready-built sap vacuum units, which also include:
- High-efficiency air/liquid separators
- Oversized gas ballast for increased vapor tolerance
- Moisture release/flow control valves
4. USE ORIGINAL PARTS
It can be very tempting to use generic or cut-price parts for your end-of-season overhauls, especially in a time crunch, but this will only end up costing you more in the long run.
For example, Becker’s oil-flooded pumps deliver oil separation efficiency of 99.9% or more, but only when used with original Becker separator filters.
5. CHOOSE A RELIABLE PROVIDER
Investing in vacuum-powered sap extraction is a serious commitment for any maple sugaring operation. It makes sense to work with a reputable equipment partner who understands your industry, builds quality equipment, and provides lifelong after-sales support and service through a reliable service network.
Becker backs up the best pumps in the business with:
- Authorized repair and warranty centers throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
- On-site service by factory-trained technicians
- Fast, guaranteed factory repair
- Manuals, maintenance guides, and parts lists
- Unrivaled 24/7 parts and technical support
BECKER: YOUR ALL-SEASON VACUUM PUMP PARTNER
Every maple sugar farmer knows you’re not out of the woods until your end-of-season maintenance is done. Make your spring easier by choosing equipment that looks after itself all season long and requires minimal maintenance afterward.
Click below to learn more about why Becker hits the sweet spot with powerful, reliable, and easy-to-maintain vacuum pumps built with the maple sugaring industry in mind.