Picture of Inexpensive, easy to build, peristaltic pump
Why Peristaltic Pumps? Peristaltic pumps are great! They require no priming, they can pump uphill, they can pump viscous liquids or fluids that have 'chunks', require no special materials, and can be cleaned/sanitized very easily. In short, they may be the perfect pump for the home brewer!
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How Peristaltic Pumps Work? Peristaltic pumps work by squeezing a tube like you might squeeze a tube of toothpaste - except in this case the tube is a 5-foot-long silicone hose, with as much "toothpaste" as can fit in your bucket. This squeezing action is called 'occlusion'. Usually, you get this squeezing force by pressing the tube against the wall of the housing with a roller. The number of rollers in a pump determines how much fluid gets pumped for each pulse, the more rollers, the more pulses per revolution, the less fluid per pulse. All things being equal you get less fluid per revolution with more rollers, but smoother output. More rollers can also reduce the hose life.

Why build your own? As mentioned previously, peristaltic pumps don't require special materials, but there's a serious dearth of manufacturers building for the home market. You can buy little peri pumps for lab use or giant ones for industrial use, but not much in between. So, if you need to pump some wort around, want to water cool your laptop or just want to make a pump you can take with you and power with a drill, then a peristaltic pump may be the answer.

Ready to have a go? Follow along and get pumped up! (har har)

Here's some info on my setup:

Test 2
A 'tour' of the pump

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mbeukes1 month ago
Brilliant idea and simplistic! Thanx!
siddharthaj14 months ago

Is there a vacuum pump that can pump both gas and liquids

Lord Napier5 months ago
jack ruby (author)  Lord Napier5 months ago

Your comment is blank, Lord Napier. Were you trying to post a video?

Lord Napier5 months ago
Ok, how much occlusion is enough occlusion? Will try out other hose materials tomorrow (can't seem to find silicon hose here)...will try posting a video tomorrow
Lord Napier5 months ago
Made one with the regular garden hosepipe, not getting any suction. Any suggestions as to why there wasn't suction? Will appreciate a response
jack ruby (author)  Lord Napier5 months ago
Not sure. Perhaps your hose is not getting enough occlusion? Garden hose is pretty stiff stuff, resistant to the walls collapsing together by design. Care to post a video?
Filipb8710 months ago

Hey I'm in a process of running my home made hose pump and I have only one problem right now. The hose walks and slips of the rollers. I have longer rollers so I thought even if the hose moves it can only go so far but it ends up on the edge. That's when I get lose of suction. Any one can explain or help?

jack ruby (author)  Filipb8710 months ago
Can you post a pic? What are you using for rollers? There are a few ways you could mitigate this, depending on your pump design.check out my references, there are a couple of different ways that others have dealt with this problem in their threads.
soulhunter011 months ago

How about using a "soft" fabric regular garden hose instead of that silicon tubing? Have you tried that? Do you think it works?

C I A H1 year ago

looks like this would work well for moving water from a flowing source to wherever you needed it, attach a paddle wheel where the motor would be and put the input hose in the water and there ya go, probably wouldnt get very fast but small scale would work for moving water to a bucket for camping or something

Step 4, you are refering to a jam nut?

jack ruby (author)  Strider30191 year ago

YES! That's it! Amazing what one's mind forgets :)

Nice! Adding a paddle wheel would make a quiet alternative to a hydraulic ram.

thomas96661 year ago

Awesome, I've always loved watching the peristaltic pumps in dialysis machines, I know it sounds quite morbid but I love it changing from faint pink through to deep crimson... But I digress, great ible, would love to try making one

Awesome i cant help but think a pvc pipe pump wouldn't be more efficient if you can find a way to motorize it, but this is cool.

jack ruby (author)  the_burrito_master1 year ago
What is a PVC pipe pump? I'm curious now :)

It's literally just a piston made from pvc with 2 self adjusting valves!

you could make a smaller one powered by a Sawsall!

what kind of suction can you pull? and how much pressure can you build with it?

jack ruby (author)  kyle brinkerhoff1 year ago
I don't know I don't have any way to measure, though I did put my thumb over the hose and got about 20ft of spray

That sounds about as scientific as I get testing pressure too :)

Like your work!

If you look at commercial peristaltic pumps, most of them are rated at about 28 feet of suction lift. I'm assuming that must be about the physical limit of the pump type. To get PSI from 28 feet of water column, you divide by 2.31 which gives you about 12 PSI.

jjavorsky1 year ago
if you haven't seen this type of pump before, look in the medical field. IV pain killers with a button for dispensing use this idea of pump turns when you press button. also seen in in a platelets donation center on the pheresis machines.

that's what I was thinking when I was watching the video

boston75131 year ago

my fist impression is one could substitute the silicone hose with an inner-tube from a bike or truck tire. could be made into a hand powered water filter for back wood camping, or wind powered well pump. thanks for sharing this insparation instructable

cyberdove1 year ago

Elegantly simple.

Tanzer261 year ago
Very nice. For those looking for lower speed pumps, another design to consider I gear pump, but this one is better for particulates. As for pump performance, pumps generally work better close to the source, pushing fluids up, rather at the top, vacuuming them up. Unassisted, a pump won't pull more than about 30 feet, but as long as enough power is available, can push much higher. Above 30 feet, you just end up with a vacuum bubble in the suction line, if the pump has enough power and the line doesn't collapse first.
grt571 year ago

Great post! This would be good for pumping cooling fluid on the cold end of a Stirling Engine.

jack ruby (author)  grt571 year ago
Thanks, the tricky part is that the flow isn't smooth, it pulses. That may be a problem for a stirling engine, but you could possibly synch the pulses to the stirling engines cycle to get cold water pulses when you need them.
jack ruby (author)  grt571 year ago
Thanks, the tricky part is that the flow isn't smooth, it pulses. That may be a problem for a stirling engine, but you could possibly synch the pulses to the stirling engines cycle to get cold water pulses when you need them.
cody10001 year ago

do you think this pump would pump UP 2 feet and ACROSS 40 feet? or would i need a larger version of this one?

jack ruby (author)  cody10001 year ago
It may be easier to pump up 3 feet and down 1 across 40, if you catch my drift. Going up. 4 feet doesn't seem much of a problem. That's about the limit of what I can test at the moment, since I only have 5ft of hose :)
tovey cody10001 year ago

If you went up 4 feet and then declined the 40 feet, gravity would assist in moving the water and the pump would have to do less work.

Horizontal distance usually doesn't affect a pump as much as vertical distance (known as the pump head). So, if you could pump it vertically 4 feet or so, you will be fine. The only problem with pumping it through 40 feet of hose is the resistance offered by the hose, but you can reduce that with a larger hose diameter. So, connect this output to a larger diameter hose (say 1" or so) and that will provide less resistance to pumping it that distance.

I don't think he will have any problem at all with a 4' head. Peristaltic pumps are used extensively in wastewater samplers. I had one pump station where I had to draw a sample up 24 feet with a small sampler pump and it worked fine for months at a time until I needed to replace the working section of tubing. The pump in question, on a ISCO GLS sampler ( sampler was about the same size as yours and used silicon tubing 1/2" ID by 5/8" OD. as its working tubing.

SSimon1 year ago

Very nice work. I built a similar peristaltic pump about 35 years ago using a wooden rolling pin cut into three equal sections, and a bicycle inner tube hose clamped to garden hose barbed ends. The case was a chopped off five gallon paint bucket (steel, straight sides). I refiited the lid after reinforcing it with 12 mm plywood, and set it up with a hand crank. Worked great, and would easily pull a 3 meter head of water out of the Hlotse river in Lesotho, where we used it. All that was required was a group of adolescent boys who wanted to make a bit of money, as it would wear you out cranking it.

Also, finding the center of your rotor block is a trivia step on a square rotor - just draw two diagonals from opposing corners. The center is the intersection. On a three roller triangular rotor, just cut it carefully as a 60/60/60 equilateral triangle, then use a tri-squate against each flat face to draw a vertical line bisecting the face with the straight edge on the points. Again, the intersection is your center.l

(Whoops -- here's the second attempt at a sketch of my question. Is this right?)

jack ruby (author)  ChrisMentrek1 year ago
That's it, Chris!
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