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Agitation holes.

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Author Topic: Agitation holes.  (Read 8058 times)

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Offline P.L.

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Agitation holes.
« on: Tue April 16, 2013, 11:54:52 PM »
I spray all 70/30 in my tm-60 and have had my fair share of glogs. I have made many changes which I feel prevent many of the problems I have. Today I mixed a tank and as I was adding the fourth 50lb bale the three holes in the jet tube clogged and the machine stopped mixing. I was able to still spray the tamed load because the sump never clogged and I was just spraying mulch and tack. I know it's been addressed before but I feel if the holes were larger in the jet tube many of these clogs could be prevented.  I was wondering how much testing has been done with the size of holes to say that drilling them out larger would affect the machines performance. 
Easy Lawn TM-60

Offline Jeff Clouser

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #1 on: Wed April 17, 2013, 05:18:35 PM »
Hello Steve,

I'm sorry to hear that you've had some issues running 70/30 in your machine.  Easy Lawn/Epic Jet Agitation HydroSeeding units operate as a system.  What I mean is that the pump, motor, agitation system and discharge hose are optimized to get the best performance possible.  The hole size in the agitation tube is sized so that you have sufficient mixing while spraying with no need to throttle your agitation with a ball valve.  This ensures that the slurry is consistently mixed from start to finish.  If you enlarge the holes in the agitation system, you run the risk of reducing output at the end of the hose.  Older Easy Lawn machines had 1/2" holes in the agitation tube.  Currently, we have 5/8" holes, but there is one less hole in the tube to make up for the larger hole size.  Your machine has a smaller engine with a smaller impeller.  We typically would recommend a machine with more performance if we know that it will be used with wood/paper blend.  You and I talked about upgrading your engine and pump back in 2010.  I think that would provide the additional pressure and flow you are missing in your agitation system.  It is also possible that your impeller and volute are worn and the pump isn't performing as it should.  The other variable is the mulch.  Typically, Profile wood mulch and paper/wood blend are more difficult to spray in a jet agitation machine due to the longer fiber length.  We have had great luck with Central Fiber's paper/wood blend.  If you are using Profile mulch and trying to mix 200 lbs per tank, you are asking for trouble with the pump/motor combination that you have.  Either change the type of mulch, cut down on the quantity of mulch per tank, or upgrade to the higher performance pump and motor.  If you aren't worried about spray performance, you can try increasing the hole size in the agitation tube in very small increments.  You could also weld closed the middle hole and enlarge the other two holes.  Give me a call if you'd like to discuss this further.

Thanks,
Jeff
Jeff Clouser
Sales and Marketing Manager
Amazon Steel Construction
jclouser@amazonsteelconstruction.com

Offline P.L.

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #2 on: Wed April 17, 2013, 09:56:47 PM »
Jeff thank you for the input. I actually did a pump and engine upgrade two years ago and now run the 22hp Subaru.  The upgrade made a drastic difference. I am curently and have been spraying central fiber for the past few years and have had some clogging issues but usually things go fairly smooth. This year I sprayed the first few tanks with mulch that I got last year with no problems. The last batch I got had long strands of wood, plastic and rubber. In the middle of adding the  fourth bale all three agitation hole clogged up tight.  The batch was mixed pretty good already and I was able to spray the tank with no problems.   I already drilled the 3 hole to 5/8. I was wondering if epic ever tried drilling the holes to 3/4 or 1". I understand the the mixing and spraying go hand and hand but it seems like there is enough power to handle the large holes. I'm always trying to improve upon the machine to make it performed better but don't feel like drilling the hole larger and the regretting it.,
Easy Lawn TM-60

Offline TerrawoRx Services

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #3 on: Wed April 17, 2013, 10:37:50 PM »
Steve,

I would seriously listen to what Jeff has said about the holes. I would not increase the sizes whatsoever and would cut back the amount of mulch you are using. I use the Central Fiber Wood Blend and dont have clogging issues and my machines have 13.5 HP (350), 18 HP (600), and 25 HP (900) and cant recall the last time I had a clogging issue. I suggest cutting back to 3.5 bales of mulch. I have great success in a much more severe climate then yours so dont be afraid if you cut it back. You can also look at doing some cap runs on top. I usually do that with each new tank so that I have a nice overlap and cap. This helps give me some more protection of which isnt going to be negatively effected by cutting back by a half bale. Jeff is the MAN and knows these machines better then anyone so his advice is vital for your success. Just remember every time you cut that hole bigger, you can never make it smaller again!

I agree with Jeff that you may want to check your impeller. I have one unit that isnt giving me the mix and pressure I like but I already know it is due to chips on the tips of the impeller. Id definitely check there.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Erik Bernt Burr - Principal
TerrawoRx Services
Organic Hydroseeding, Feeding, Lawn Repair, Erosion Control, Pasture
info@terraworxservices.com
www.terraworxservices.com
Easy Lawn Machines

Offline Jeff Clouser

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #4 on: Wed April 17, 2013, 10:50:22 PM »
Steve,

I totally forgot that you had upgraded your pump and engine...sorry about that.  If you are dealing with a batch of mulch that has long strands of wood, plastic, and rubber in it, my first recommendation would be to address that with your mulch supplier. It's been a while, but we did test different hole sizes and we determined that 5/8" holes provided the best mixing velocity and pressure while maintaining superior spray performance.  Enlarging the holes will increase volume but decrease pressure in the agitation system.  You might find that your mulch capacity and spray performance will decrease if you increase the hole size too much.  Honestly though, I think working with your mulch supplier would be he best course of action.

Thanks,
Jeff
Jeff Clouser
Sales and Marketing Manager
Amazon Steel Construction
jclouser@amazonsteelconstruction.com

Offline P.L.

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #5 on: Wed April 17, 2013, 11:01:02 PM »
I did contact the supplier, who then contacted central fiber. They said that they had not heard anything about bad mulch, but would refund my money on the mulch that I have. I defiantly trust Jeff's advice that's why I put the post up in the first place.  And thank you for the input Eric. When I sprayed today I actually used 3.5 bales instead of 4, got good coverage and had no issues. It does seem like the clogging usually happens between 3.5 and 4 bales. I am not drilling any holes larger any time soon, I really just wanted to see if any one had and what type of results they had.
Easy Lawn TM-60

Offline Jeff Clouser

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #6 on: Thu April 18, 2013, 09:41:49 AM »
Steve,

I'm happy to hear that 3.5 bales worked out better for you.  Thanks for the tip Erik.  175 pounds of 70/30 is a more reasonable amount of mulch for a machine with a 550 gallon working capacity.  Glad to hear that Central Fiber took care of you.

Thanks,
Jeff
Jeff Clouser
Sales and Marketing Manager
Amazon Steel Construction
jclouser@amazonsteelconstruction.com

Offline TerrawoRx Services

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #7 on: Thu April 18, 2013, 06:24:47 PM »
Steve,

Glad to hear that the rate I suggested worked. Central Fiber is a great product but make sure you buy out of Canton and not from their Tyler, TX as the trash issues have been known to come from there. They are a great company and I am glad they were willing to work with you.

If you need any further advice please feel free to contact me at anytime. I think you still have my number.

Jeff, Im always glad to help... your very welcome!

Best...

~Erik
Erik Bernt Burr - Principal
TerrawoRx Services
Organic Hydroseeding, Feeding, Lawn Repair, Erosion Control, Pasture
info@terraworxservices.com
www.terraworxservices.com
Easy Lawn Machines

Offline P.L.

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #8 on: Thu April 18, 2013, 07:56:25 PM »
Sprayed again today 3.5 bales in 450 gallons of water with no issues. There was some plastic and trash in the mix but it only clogged the spray nozzle. It's amazing how a half a bale makes so much difference. Thanks again for the help!
Easy Lawn TM-60

Offline landscaper1009

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #9 on: Thu April 18, 2013, 08:10:41 PM »
Regarding your mulch, many of the manufacturers allow the wood/cellulose percentages to fluctuate based upon the cost of cellulose (paper).  At one point in the last lear or so, the blended product from Profile was running almost 90% wood / 10% cellulose. 
 
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Offline hydroservice

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #10 on: Sat April 20, 2013, 04:39:19 PM »
I think in profiles spec it says up to 30% paper. I have seen enviroblend be different from one trailer load to the next.
Erosion Control Equipment & Products Since 1947
                     Pittsfield, Maine
                        FINN T-330

Offline P.L.

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Re: Agitation holes.
« Reply #11 on: Tue May 07, 2013, 10:04:52 PM »
Update.  Met with the rep from central fiber today. I guess I was not the only one with mulch issues, it was at least one whole batch. He said the quality control guy on one shift was forging the numbers rather than actually doing his job. The guy was fired and central fiber got rid of all of the mulch from his shift and is refunding the money to anyone who got bad mulch. It says a lot about them as a company and my local supplier that they would take the time to come and meet in person to resolve an issue, that's extremely uncommon these days. Hats off the central fiber and thanks to every one who replied with helpful suggestions. 
Easy Lawn TM-60

 

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