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Inexpensive, easy to build, peristaltic pump

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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!
Learn more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peristaltic_pump

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:
Test1:

Test 2
A 'tour' of the pump

 
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Filipb871 month 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)  Filipb871 month 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.
soulhunter02 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 H5 months 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

Strider30196 months ago

Step 4, you are refering to a jam nut?

jack ruby (author)  Strider30196 months ago

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

Strider30196 months ago

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

thomas96666 months 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_master6 months 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 brinkerhoff6 months 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.

jjavorsky6 months 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

boston75136 months 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

cyberdove6 months ago

Elegantly simple.

Tanzer266 months 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.
grt576 months ago

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

jack ruby (author)  grt576 months 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)  grt576 months 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.
cody10006 months 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)  cody10006 months 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 cody10006 months 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.

wdsims63 cody10006 months ago

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.

veeguy wdsims636 months ago

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 (www.isco.com) sampler was about the same size as yours and used silicon tubing 1/2" ID by 5/8" OD. as its working tubing.

SSimon6 months 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

ChrisMentrek6 months ago

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

PumpAnatomy2.png
jack ruby (author)  ChrisMentrek6 months ago
That's it, Chris!
etywoniak6 months ago

I am so going to build that in a tiny scale for my tea machine, thanks a lot for the idea!

ChrisMentrek6 months ago

Howdy, Jack:

This is a great idea! I have a quick question about the construction process:

Could you clarify exactly what kind of hardware is between the wooden hub and the base of the pan? (The orange region in the attached sketch.)

I feel that if I tried to build this myself, I'd end up with a block of wood that's tightly bolted to the base of the pan. How do I ensure that the bolt "axle" spins free of the base of the pan?

Thanks for the advice!

PumpAnatomy.png
jack ruby (author)  ChrisMentrek6 months ago
Hey Chris, hopefully this clarifies. From top (where top = bolt head which gets spun by the drill) to bottom the order is:
Bolt
Tnut
Block of wood
Tnut
Big washer
Small washer
Bottom of springform pan
Big washer
Small washer
Nut 1
Nut2

Nut 1 is made snug, then but 2 is spun down to nut 1, after that nut 1 gets backed off a bit so that it's tight against nut2 but loose against the washers. It's this play between nut 1 and the washers that allows everything to turn .

Thanks, Jack -- that helped a lot! (If I've got things right in the attached sketch, that is.)

I'm
going to suggest your pump design to some school-age inventors who need
to find a way to pump water from a rain barrel to the school garden.
Thanks for posting this project!

rycollier6 months ago

This version of the pump seems to work pretty well. You could make a HERMS system pretty easy by controlling a pump motor with your Ardrino temperature controller. You would just add a copper coil sitting in very hot water to the line. That might be easier that messing with a pilot light. Gives me ideas. Thanks for sharing!

cody10006 months ago

excellent. i am going to try it. (it will be springtime) before i do it though.

veeguy6 months ago

Great instructable! This may be the most practical type of pump for people to build. The nice thing about a peristaltic pump is they are *totally* scaleable. You can hand turn one with 1/16" tubing at 1/4 revolution per day to deliver maybe 1/10 ml of fluid, or build one of 4" tubing turned at 200 RPM to pump 400 gallons of viscous fluid per minute. They will pump anything from gasoline to toothpaste in viscosity and the process fluid is totally isolated from the atmosphere. (until the tubing wears out!)

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