Golf Course Management

AUG 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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30 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.19 An old hand sprayer was converted into an effective vacuum tank that simplifies and speeds up all manner of fluid-handling jobs in the service shop. e largest cost was about $100 for a vac - uum pump as used for auto air conditioning work. You may spend a bit more if you buy a new garden sprayer and don't have a supply of various valves and tubes. We vacuumed the 90W oil from the front and rear differentials of a four-wheel-drive pickup truck that had its axles under water during flood recovery work. at took about 60 minutes using the tank. e alternative was spending two-plus hours removing the differ - ential cover plates, catching the nasty oil, sop- ping up the remnants with rags and bolting the covers back on. We didn't have to spend $40 for new gaskets. Water-logged transmission oil was drained from a tractor, then the last dregs were pulled out using the vacuum pump, tank and tubing that included a 1 ⁄8 -inch-inside-diameter tube that fit down the dipstick hole. e red hose ( 1 ⁄4 -inch air line) is 12 feet long, so the pump and possible electrical sparks stay far away when vacuuming gasoline and other flammables. To make a tank, cut everything except the cap and threads off a garden sprayer's pump assembly. Fill the bottom and/or top cavities with silicone caulk. Let it cure for a few days. Make sure the rubber seal gasket is in good shape. Get a metal tire valve stem and drill a hole (usually 5 ⁄8 inch, or 16 mm) near the top of the tank. Use a soft wire or valve stem chaser to pull the tire valve into position and tighten securely. Keep the original tube that runs inside the tank from the spray wand outlet. e farther that tube's outlet from the tire valve, the less likely you'll draw waste liquid into the pump. You may want to keep the spray wand's on/ off control. Or spend some tinker time fitting vinyl tubing, shutoff valves or whatever to suit your preferences and resources. We used 1 ⁄4 -inch air hose from the pump to an air chuck that locks onto the tank's tire valve. Drain and replace the pump's oil frequently to avoid damage from contaminants. e vac - uum pump can be disconnected after about Handy fluid vacuum (shop) Scott R. Nesbitt five minutes, and the tank will hold enough vacuum to draw out a few quarts of fluids. We first made a one-gallon tank used for clean work, like reverse-bleeding hydraulic brake systems by pressurizing the tank. e photo shows the parts used to make a two- gallon vacuum tank to be used for dirty fluids that will be discarded, like old engine oil. e tanks can be emptied by unscrewing the tank top, or fluid can be discharged by pressurizing the tank through the valve stem, like inflating a tire. Scott R. Nesbitt is a freelance writer and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga. Top: Hardware to make a vacuum tank includes a metal tire valve stem, a ball valve, a lock-on air chuck and a cut- down sprayer tank pump assembly filled with silicone caulk. Use various tubes and fittings to tie it all together. Tools used include a "pine tree" drill bit with the 5 ⁄8 -inch size marked and the wire puller to feed the valve stem into position Photos by Scott Nesbitt Bottom: The last dregs of water-logged transmission oil were pulled out of a tractor using a vacuum pump, an old one-gallon hand-sprayer tank and some simple hardware.

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