Grain Pump Solutions from Skyway
Follow these steps when your grain pump stalls or plugs.
Of course we can't possibly cover every issue and question you may have about our systems, but we've gathered up a few of the more common questions we encounter, and provided some grain pump solutions. If your question is not answered here please contact us.
What do I do if my Grain Pump system experiences a stall or a plug?
A stall, plug or stop under load may occur in spite of the operator's best efforts. A power failure, bin overfill, mechanical or electrical breakdown, or operator error could be the cause. Follow these steps.
- Shut down the Pump immediately and lock out the power. Close the inlet(s) where grain was flowing into the Pump.
- Determine the cause by a visual inspection if you can.
- If the stall is due to a grain overload, remove the corner inspection door at the bottom of the vertical up-leg corner. Considerable grain will likely flow out. Remove the grain away from the corner. Allow all the grain that will flow out to do so.
- Leave the corner inspection door off. With everyone clear, attempt restart. If it starts, more grain will push out of the door opening. If it does not start, lock out power and look for other causes. With the Pump running, continue to operate until motor loads have reduced before shutting down. Once again, lock out the power before replacing the inspection door.
What if the stall is due to excessive amounts of grain in the Pump?
When the overload is due to excessive grain amounts in the Pump, the stall will usually occur when those excess amounts enter the vertical part of the loop. As the Pump approaches stall, the paddles at the lower corner of the vertical experience higher than normal loads due to the extra grain in that area and above. Once stopped, grain higher in the vertical, flows down through the paddle openings forming a solid pack of grain extending up to 80 percent of the vertical height. Restart in this condition is virtually impossible. Restart attempted after only a portion of the vertical block is drained away or when the lower corner inspection door has been closed will cause high paddle loads that should be avoided.
What about versatility?
The Hutchinson Grain PumpT is one of the most versatile grain conveyors to be developed. Loading, unloading, blending and transfer operations can be accomplished using the conveyor. There are management requirements to operate it. The variation that can be accomplished requires monitoring of input levels. Careful attention to this detail will yield years of excellent performance.
What type of motor will work best with my system?
Motor starting systems of the 'soft start' type are recommended. This reduces the shock loads of a more conventional starter and allows the mass of chain, sprockets and paddles to come up to speed more gradually.
What are some common situations that may cause overload?
A few common situations that may cause are:
- The excessive flow of grain into the Pump may be from another conveyor. Make certain the delivering conveyor will not bring more grain than the Pump will handle. The delivering conveyor may be another Grain Loop of the same size and speed. This can result in an overload situation for the receiving Pump when the delivering Pump is carrying grain a shorter distance. Maximum horsepower on the short Pump will likely carry more grain than maximum horsepower on the long Pump
- Failure to open an outlet gate. This results in the loop filling throughout its length and then additionally filling as grain returns to the inlet point. This overloading will cause a stall. Close attention to the load meters by the operator at start-up could alert the operator to close the inlet until the problem is identified.
- Excessive flow of grain at an inlet. The Pump will likely tolerate an overflow for a short period. An overload and stall from this overfilling will probably not occur until this load reaches the vertical portion of the loop. The vertical requires much more horsepower per foot than the horizontal sections.
- Be particularly careful of overload when multiple inlets are used. This could be a desired blending situation with grain from more than one bin or when multiple intermediate wells are opened.
Avoiding frequent overloads will result in less overall maintenance of your system.