Dairy Equipment, Surge and Dairy Goats

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I am not a dealer, but over the years have set up a couple milkers/vacuum tanks

and sold a few. 

Most vacuum pumps will work any any milker.  It would need the correct RPM.  It is best to have 1/2 HP that will usually milk 2 goats, the smaller ones should milk one goat.  Be careful what you buy.  Some have vacuum holding tanks which is good. There are several vacuum pumps available (when I checked a couple years ago) from different distributors.  The starting price was about $250. new with warranty, that price did not have the vacuum gauge, or air tank. I do not know if it had the pressure regulator. Another from the same company was $399.00 and did have a vacuum gauge but no air tank, I don't know what else it had.  This was a company that's specialty was vacuum pumps. I purchased my portable new from a electrical supply company, it was about $500. delivered, from out of state.  A shut off valve is  a must to shut off the suction to the milker, one end of the hose attaches to the vacuum pump or air tank if it has one, and the other end of the hose goes to the pulsator.  The pressure gauge release vacuum is to keep the pressure at the correct pounds, if to high could  cause problems.  I keep mine for goats between 11 and 12 pounds, 13 may be ok.  Cows use about 13 or more pounds. There are companies that sell an assortment of goat supplies that purchase the equipment and resell. Larger cow dealers only handle dairy supplies and build numerous vacuum systems, and have a large assortment.  One had free delivery on their  complete vacuum pumps, their price was fairly reasonably. However the milker was a separate price depending on the type you wanted.    but this is a heavy duty system that will hold up from a reliable cow dealer.  You can add a new motor if it dies, other models have the motor built in and can not be easily replaced.  Usually it is cheaper to buy a new vacuum.  I have purchased a smaller 1/3 HP vacuum pump to take to shows  from an electrical supply company, it has a built in motor, but just to use for shows has lasted so far 6 years, new without a air/holding tank. I also use it at home frequently to test milkers to be sure spare pulsators still work.   I didn't want a tank on it because it is easier to take to shows without it. Mine is light enough for me to carry and I am only 105 lbs.  For home,  I have a old Surge vacuum pump with an air tank that is at least 40 years old.  I have been using it for 20 years with no problems. Be cautious with some dealers as they do not give written warranty or guarantee.

Oil or oiless vacuum pumps

Oil is better, it lubricates the pistons, they last longer, but oil has to be added or changed. Oiless has a shorter life.  From what I see with people who have new smaller pumps (similar to my portable) at shows they last about 5 to 10 years depending on manufacturer. They usually cannot be rebuilt, most people just buy a new one. 

Motor size

Depending on the size of the pump and if it milking cows or goats, for goats 1/3 HP for one goat, a friend bought a 1/3 HP from a dealer and his will not milk 2, he was told by the dealer it would, and the dealer would not stand up for it.  Ours  is a Surge SP11 and has 1/2 HP Surge motor and had milked cows before I bought it, it will milk 2 goats, probably more and I have had the same motor 20 years.  It is easier to just milk one,  two is a lot of hoses to fool with and wash.

Air tank or not?

For home use, I like the air tank on the old surge.  An air tank builds pressure and holds it, and helps maintain pressure better.  When you turn off the machine it still holds pressure.   So when putting the inflation on the goat it attaches immediately.  Without a air tank when you turn it off, there is no vacuum build up and  it takes longer,  3 or 4 seconds for the inflation to attach to the goat.   I use the shut off on  the vacuum pump to stop and start the vacuum, that's what the farmers do.   You can have individual shut offs in the milk hose/tube.  The disadvantage the shut off in the hose can collect bacteria and hard to wash.   If a beginner has a problem you can use inflation plugs called plug it that you put in the inflation and does the same thing, and does not have the bacteria problem, easy to wash.  They look like a nipple without the hole, and some have a small chain to hang it up when not in use. They are about $3.50. You only need this if you don't have a air tank. There should be a photo on one of my other pages.

Portable vacuum pump 1/3 HP

 The bottles were on the tank, one is for oil overflow, the others ?   On the end  of the handle is a air shut off.  You turn it off after milking each animal so it doesn't suck dirt in the motor. You attach the vacuum hose to it and to the back of the pulsator. The black cord with red botton is a shut off to the electricity. Washing is not necessary for this.  I add a tiny bit of oil occasionally in the jar shown on the vac.  Actually I use mineral oil as it doesn't have a odor.

This is my small vacuum I take to shows.  I can carry it easily. See the shut off on the right, vacuum hose attaches to a nipple on it.  Vacuum gauge above handle, that's all to putting one together. Jars (were on it),  one has a oil wick, one oil overflow, the other has a plastic ball, probably to do with suction, really don't know what it is. It did have a check valve which allows adjustment of the suction.  On the side  an electric switch to turn it off completely, its black with red button.  The other shut off only shuts off the valve to cut off the vacuum when finished milking each goat.  Milk does not go through the vacuum hose, just suction, it doesn't need washing. If we have to leave it run to long without milking (using it) we shut off the electric switch.

Shown Surge cow vacuum pump one of the smaller ones.

Sorry I'm dirty, my owner don't bathe me.

On this set up their is a belt that runs to the motor.  The shut off is on the other side of the wall. It can also be attached to the vacuum tank, that's where cow farmers had it. It's hard to see but a black hose is under the black electric wire is going to the other side of the wall.  You can see my milk room photo to see how it is hooked up.

The Surge is  powerful, I use 1 milker for 1 goat, would milk 2.  As it milked cows.  It should  run 2 or more milkers it really isn't hugh.  Has 1/2 HP Surge motor.  Two piston, The belt/wheel makes it more powerful. They had different size models.  According to my booklets they had a BB 1,2,3, 4. The BB 4 very large about the same as SP22 model. They don't make them like this anymore.  So when they talk about portable 1/2 HP not the same.  I once put wheels on  mine  to take to a show.  I can't lift it myself, my husband can. He went up the ladder with it to mount it near the ceiling.of the barn.  There is a black vacuum hose to the right bottom, hard to see, it is attached to the tank and through milk room wall to the shut off.  So the tank is out of the way on the other side of the wall.  A mini pipe line. I do leave this running while switching goats and in no hurry to turn it off, it milked cows for several hours twice a day. They are hard to kill, never seen anything like it.

Through the wall hose from the vacuum pump.

Instead of the tank in the way in the milk room, I put a hole through the wall to attach the hose. Vacuum on the other side. I set on a mechanic stool with wheels and have my milker set on a plant stand with wheels, makes it easy to move around.  Switch is to turn off the electric when finished. Actually while a goat is milking I can go feed the cats and other animals.  Only have a few minutes but can get half my work done.  Have to be quick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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