Frequently Asked Questions, User Tips, Suggestions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Guzzler be used to pump waste water from a boat holding tank?
Pumping waste from boat holding tanks (or any other sanitation tanks) is a perfect job for a Guzzler. Guzzlers are in widespread use for pumping in sanitation applications on boats, trains, lavatory service carts and portable sanitation systems.
Can the 400 pump be used to pump gasoline?
Although the pump materials are non-reactive to gasoline and many fuels, we do not recommend that our pumps be used for transferring fuels of any kind.
What is the best valve to use in my Guzzler Kayak bilge pump?
Bilge water in a kayak is a little cleaner that bilge water in other boats, but it can still have alot of sediment in it. We recommend the Duckbill Valve for use in kayak Guzzler foot pumps. It does the best job of passing water with some material in it, and is the least likely to be obstructed as a result of material lodging in the area around the valve.
Why do you recommend a lightweight spring for kayak pumps?
The reason is simply that it is easier to operate the lightweight spring pump from a sitting position. Our standard strength spring takes about 35 lbs/in of deflection, whereas the lightweight spring takes only 20 lbs/in of deflection. The standard weight spring is perfectly fine to operate from a standing position where a person’s full weight is available to compress the spring. When you are sitting in a kayak, though, you are using leg strength alone to compress the spring, and that is a lot easier to do with the lightweight spring. The kayak pump does not need much spring strength to fill the pump since there is at most about a foot of pump lift involved in drawing water up to the pump from the bottom of the kayak.
Are Guzzler motorized pumps submersible?
No, although the motors used in a number of the Guzzler pumps are available with water-resistant enclosure, they are not waterproof and should not be submerged.
Can I run Guzzler motorized pumps 24/7?
Guzzler pumps use continuous duty motors. However, the elastomers (i.e., diaphragms and valves) in a Guzzler pump will tend to fatigue and wear out over time.

Under factory testing, our diaphragms last on the order of 1 million cycles. While this may seem like a lot of cycles, keep in mind that a pump running 24/7 at 72 rpm will reach one million cycles in a little over 10 days!

Under operating conditions in which the pump is generating significant positive or negative pressure (i.e., vacuum), diaphragm life may be shortened. Additionally, the choice of diaphragm material will affect diaphragm lifetime. The standard diaphragm we recommend for many applications is Buna-Nitrile, which has much better mechanical properties (e.g. tear resistance) than, say, silicone (our white diaphragm). (Additionally, the Buna-Nitrile in our diaphragm is an FDA-approved material.) You should inspect your Guzzler on a regular basis to look for signs of wear and tear on your pump diaphragm and its components.

How do I use a check valve to increase pump lift?
A check valve makes it easier for you to use the Guzzler pump to prime for pump lifts in excess of 12 feet. If you had a see-through inlet line, as you begin to pump you would see that the Guzzler draws fluid up the inlet line toward the pump as you execute the suction stroke of the pump. However, as you perform the exhaust stroke, the fluid would tend to fall backward a bit, and then be drawn up further with the next suction stroke. As you are priming at greater distances, this fallback effect on the water column becomes more pronounced. To offset it, install a check valve at the bottom of the inlet line. Also called “foot valves” because they are typically placed at the foot of in the inlet line, check valves serve as a “one-way”valve to permit water to be drawn up to the pump, but to help prevent it from flowing backward either when the pump is performing its exhaust stroke or when it is not operating. In this way, the check valve helps to maintain the height of the water column in the inlet line, thus maintaining the pump’s “prime”. We recommend that you use a check anytime the pump lift (i.e., the vertical distance from the fluid source to the inlet of the pump) exceeds 12 feet.
If it’s not a good idea to let the pump run 24/7, how do I automatically control it?
Running a motorized Guzzler pump 24/7 will simply mean that you will have to replace the diaphragm very frequently. A better way to prolong pump operation is to activate the pump with a float switch so that it turns on when the fluid to be pumped exceeds a certain level, and turns off when it drops below a desired height.
Is it better to mount the pump horizontally or vertically?
The horizontal-handle pumps and the vertical-handle pumps are completely equivalent in functionality. Which you choose for your installation is entirely a matter of which style of pumping action (“back-and-forth” for the vertical handle and “up-and-down” for the horizontal handle) is convenient for your use. Additionally, if you equip your pump with duckbill valves, you can mount your pump vertically, which changes the sense of handle action as well.
What should I check if the pump stops working?
If your pump stops working, the first thing to check is whether there is a hole or tear in the diaphragm. If so, the diaphragm needs replacement. If there is no problem with the diaphragm, then check to see if the pump is able to create a vacuum to draw fluid up to it. Disconnect the inlet line and, with your hand directly covering the inlet flange, pull the handle up (or turn the motor on). You should feel a suction on your hand. If not, then remove the outlet flange (opposite the inlet), to inspect that the valve is operating properly and not obstructed by any material. Depending on the type of valve, material in the fluid that enters the pump may become lodged in the valve and prevent it from closing to make a tight seal against the flange. If this happens, then the pump will be unable to create a suction on the inlet side. After checking the inlet suction, disconnect the outlet hose and, with your hand covering the outlet flange, press down on the handle (or turn the motor on). You should feel exhaust pressure against your hand. If not, then make a similar inspection of the inlet valve.

If there is no material lodged in either valve, the valves may simply be old and no longer seating properly. If your pump is a “400” series pump equipped with flapper valves, a simple trick is to turn each valve around. Sometimes flapper valves can warp as they age and simply flipping the valve to change the side that seals against the flange allows the valve to operate properly again. (Note that you cannot do this trick with “500” flapper valves since they have a specific side that needs to face against the sealing flange.) If the pump is operating properly when disconnected from your hoses (i.e., if you feel the appropriate suction and exhaust pressure), then a next step is to check your inlet and outlet lines for any obstruction.
What size pump should I use if my boat is 25 feet or less?
For boats under 25 feet, the Guzzler “400” series pumps should be fine for typical bilge applications.
Where does a check valve go in the inlet line?
Check valves are also called “foot valves”, because they typically are placed at the foot of in the inlet line. There they serve as a “one-way” valve to permit water to be drawn up to the pump, but to help prevent it from flowing backward either when the pump is performing its exhaust stroke or when it is not operating. In this way, the check valve helps to maintain the height of the water column in the inlet line, thus maintaining the pump’s “prime”. We recommend that you use a check anytime the pump lift (i.e., the vertical distance from the fluid source to the inlet of the pump) exceeds 12 feet.
The 115 VAC motor on my Guzzler pump runs too hot to touch. Is that normal?
It is normal for the 115 VAC motors on the Guzzler GE and G2 motorized pumps to become too hot to touch when running. However, the surface temperature of these motors should not exceed 212°F (100°C). The pumps should always have adequate airflow around them so that the motors do not overheat. The 115 VAC motors are equipped with a thermal switch that will shut the motor off if its temperature exceeds a preset threshold. If that happens, correct the conditions that led to overheating. The motor will restart once it cools.
What is the highest temperature that the pump will sustain?
This depends very much on the component materials that you’ve selected when you configured your pump. The white Delrin plastic of our "N" pumps is rated for a maximum temperature of 220° Fahrenheit, while the gray Acetal plastic of our "D" pumps has a maximum service temperature of 212° Fahrenheit. Aluminum and bronze pump bodies can sustain much higher temperatures. Don’t forget to choose an elastomer for the diaphragm and valves whose temperature rating meets your requirements. Helpful information is provided in the tooltips for diaphragm and valve choices on the pump configuration web page of this site.
What is the lowest temperature at which the pump will continue to work?
The lowest temperature is generally the freezing point of the liquid you are pumping. Remember that adding salt to water depresses its freezing point, allowing you to pump at temperatures below 32°F.
What is the maximum pressure the pump will sustain?
Most of our pumps are designed to generate pressures of up to 20 psi. We have recently introduced a new member of our pump product family that can generate much higher pressures, up to 50 psi. Check out the Guzzler 460 on the ProductHandPump page.
How much vacuum can a Guzzler pump produce?
When used for creating vacuum on maple sap collection lines, Bosworth Guzzler pumps can generate 22 in of Hg vacuum, depending on how tight your maple sap collection lines are. However, both our single and double diaphragm pumps are ’low-cfm’ pumps, so even small leaks can reduce the vacuum you are able to achieve.

The amount of vacuum a Guzzler can generate depends in part on the type of valves used in the pump. Umbrella valves produce the best vacuum, followed by duckbill valves. Additionally, the valves seal better when wet, and that can add another 1 in of Hg to your vacuum. The maximum vacuum attainable is also affected by atmospheric conditions. Some users have reported achieving vacuums as high as 27 in of Hg.

What is the best valve to use when using a motorized Guzzler pump to create a vacuum?
The best valve for vacuum use is the umbrella valve. It typically gives another inch or so of mercury better vacuum than the duckbill valve, which is the next best valve to use. However, if the pump is also transferring a liquid, then the liquid should be relatively free of any materials in suspension. In the ’400’ series pumps, the umbrella valve openings through which fluid passes are as small as 1/8 inch in diameter and may become blocked if the fluid contains material. Umbrella valves in the ’500’ series pumps have a 3/16 inch diameter pore, and can tolerate slightly larger materials in suspension. We recommend the duckbill valve for vacuum applications where the pump is also transferring dirty fluid. Some maple sap farmers equip begin the sap season using duckbill valves, and then switch to umbrella valves once the sap is running clear.
What is the highest vacuum a motorized Guzzler pump can produce in a maple sap application?
The amount of vacuum a Guzzler can generate depends on the choice of valves that the pump is equipped with, along with the characteristics of the selected motor. Of the three available valve types, umbrella valves are the best for vacuum service, followed closely duckbill valves. For the best vacuum, select a motor whose speed is on the range of 60-90 rpm, and with the highest available torque in that range. When used for creating vacuum on maple sap collection lines, our pumps can generate 22 in of Hg vacuum, depending on how "tight" your maple sap collection lines are. The valves seal better when wet, so that can add another 1 in of Hg to your vacuum. The maximum vacuum attainable is also affected by atmospheric conditions. Some users have reported achieving vacuums as high as 27 in of Hg.
Are there 12 VDC versions of your Guzzler pumps? How long will they run between battery charges?
Yes, the GE-0403N and GE-0503N single diaphragm pumps are powered by 12 VDC, 1/6 HP, permanent magnet motors. Additionally, this year we introduced the G2-0503N, a version of our double-diaphragm pump powered by the same 12 VDC motor. When powered by two (2) 60 amp-hour, 12 VDC deep-cycle rechargeable batteries, the G2 pumps can deliver 10-12 hours of operation before requiring battery recharge; the single diaphragm GE-0403 and GE-0503 12 VDC pumps can run 18-20 hours.
Are there ways to install a Guzzler that increase the vacuum it produces?
Guzzler pump valves seal better when they are wet. Consequently, some users install a line that allows a small amount of collected sap to feed back into the pump, so that the valves always remain wet, even when there is no "new" sap flowing into the pump.

Additionally, some have found that introducing a small upside-down "U"-shaped bend in the line between the pump outlet and the sap collection tank increases the vacuum. This small upward bend (bending up only an inch or two) ensures that there is always a wall of sap at the outlet valve. When the outlet valve is transitioning from open to closed, this prevents air from being sucked back into the pump, thus reducing the vacuum. Introducing this "reverse-trap" into the outlet line can sometimes increase pump vacuum by 1 inch of Hg.

Can a Guzzler run dry?
Yes. Guzzler pumps can pump air as well as fluids, so a Guzzler pump can continue to operate when there is no fluid to pump. This is why the pump can be used to establish and maintain a vacuum.
Can I use a Guzzler to both create vacuum as well as "push" sap to a higher delivery point above the pump’s outlet?
In principle, Guzzler’s can be used to create both negative (vacuum-producing) pressure on the inlet side and positive (so-called pump "head") pressure on the outlet side. However, this greatly increases the mechanical forces on the diaphragm, thus shortening diaphragm lifetime. We recommend that head pressures be kept to a minimum for maple sap applications, in order to prolong diaphragm lifetime under conditions of creating and maintaining vacuum.
Do your G2 Double Diaphragm Pumps produce a higher vacuum than the single diaphragm pumps?
Both our double and single diaphragm pumps produce the same amount of vacuum. The double diaphragm pumps have twice the capacity of single diaphragm pumps, which means that they can transfer fluid or air at twice the rate of single diaphragm pumps. If the single diaphragm pumps are rated at 10 gallons per minute, the double diaphragm pumps can transfer fluid at 20 gallons per minute. In terms of vacuum service, the double diaphragm pump has twice the cfm (cubic feet of air per minute) rating as the single diaphragm pump. Our single diaphragm pumps can be used on sugarbushes with up to 400 taps, while the double diaphragm pumps can support vacuum production on up to 800 taps.
Does a Guzzler pump need a separator (extractor)?
No. Because they are self-priming pumps, Guzzler pumps can both establish a vacuum and transfer fluid. No separator is required.
How long a mainline can a Guzzler support?
Users have reported success with Guzzlers on mainlines as long as 2600 feet. The most important factor is to have good grade on the line so that the pump’s vacuum is applied at the tree taps, as opposed to expending vacuum lifting sap up to the pump against a negative grade. The longer the main line, the more air that the pump will need to evacuate from the system when first starting up. This simply means that it will take a while longer for the pump to reach a good vacuum. As long as the lines are tight, having longer lines will not compromise the amount of vacuum that the pump will produce.
How long do Guzzler diaphragms last?
This is a difficult question to answer precisely because operating conditions can significantly impact diaphragm lifetime, and operating conditions vary drastically from installation to installation. When we test diaphragms at the factory, we achieve lifetimes on the order of 1 million cycles. These tests are conducted for the pump pulling 22 in Hg vacuum and transferring water. Pulling a higher vacuum will result in greater mechanical forces on the diaphragm, which will tend to shorten diaphragm lifetime. Pumping ice chunks through a Guzzler can abrasively score the surface of a diaphragm, thus shortening diaphragm lifetime. Users who operate their pumps in a way that not only creates a vacuum but also requires the pump to generate head pressure to push the sap to a collection point above the pump probably see the shortest diaphragm lifetimes, as the additional head pressure causes the diaphragm to flex in both directions during a pumping cycle. Finally, if the pump is operated 24/7, it will reach a million cycles after only 10 days.

Anecdotally, users report the full range of experiences, from those who say that their diaphragms are lasting not much more than a week, to those who report that they change them once in a season. We recommend always having a spare diaphragm available, and all our motorized pumps ship with a spare diaphragm.

How many taps can a Guzzler pump support?
Our single diaphragm pumps (GE-0401, GE-0403, GE-0501 and GE-0503) can be used to produce vacuum on up to 400 taps. Our double diaphragm pumps (G2-0501 and G2-0503), with double the capacity, can create vacuum on up to 800 taps. >.

Both our single and double diaphragm pumps fall in the category of "low-cfm" pumps, so even small leaks can reduce the vacuum you are able to achieve. With tight lines, both the single and double diaphragm pumps can produce on the order of <22 in of Hg vacuum.

I have very little vacuum in my lines. How can I tell if the pump is working properly?
We recommend having a shut-off valve near the inlet to the pump and installing a vacuum gauge between the inlet and the shut-off valve. If the vacuum on your sap line drops, the first thing to do is slowly close the shut-off valve. If the vacuum gauge near the pump climbs back to 20-22 in of Hg, then the pump is working fine and the problem is caused by a leak somewhere in your lines or taps.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a gauge installed at the pump, turn the pump off and disconnect the pump from your line. Turn the pump on and place your hand over the inlet line. If you feel a strong suction, your pump is working properly. If not, then the problem is with the pump and you need to examine the pump to determine the cause.

My pump is not producing any vacuum. How do I determine what’s wrong?
If your pump stops working, first check to see if there is a hole or tear in the diaphragm. If so, replace the diaphragm.

If the diaphragm is intact, then the problem is most likely a result of valve malfunction. Each Guzzle has two valves. The inlet valve is attached to the pump between the inlet port and the pump body inlet flange; the outlet valve sits between the outlet port and the outlet body flange. Check the valves one at a time. First, remove the inlet port from the body of the pump (attached with 4 screws for ’400 series pumps; 6 screws for ’500 series pumps.) Inspect the valve to ensure that it is not torn and that there is no foreign material lodged in the valve that prevents it from opening or closing properly. Clean the valve of any such material. A torn or damaged valve must be replaced. Reinstall the valve and the inlet port and repeat this procedure for the outlet valve of the pump. (Consult your Operator’s Manual for images showing how the valves should look and how they should be installed.)

If there is no material lodged in either valve, the valves may simply be old and no longer seating properly. You can purchase replacement diaphragms and valves - as well as any other parts needed for your pump - directly from our website.

What are the limitations of using a Guzzler?
Guzzler’s are "low-cfm" pumps. As opposed to more expensive pumps that can deliver 20 cubic feet of air per minute, Guzzler pumps move on the order of 1 cubic foot of air per minute. Consequently, even very small leaks in maple sap collection lines can admit air into the tap lines at a faster rate than Guzzler’s can remove it, resulting in a loss of vacuum. Guzzler pumps require tight lines.

Guzzler pumps can be damaged by ice. Users should take care to prevent ice from entering or forming within the pump. There are a variety of ways of doing this. (See Will ice damage my Guzzler pump?)

Finally, users should expect to periodically replace diaphragms and/or valves in the pumps. These elastomers are the "consumables" in the pump. We recommend always having a spare diaphragm and valve set on hand.

What is the best valve to use when using a motorized Guzzler pump to create a vacuum?
The best valve for vacuum use is the umbrella valve. It typically gives another inch or so of mercury better vacuum than the duckbill valve, which is the next best valve to use.

However, if the pump is also transferring a liquid, then the liquid should be relatively free of any materials in suspension. In the ’400 series pumps, the umbrella valve openings through which fluid passes are as small as 3/16 inch in diameter and may become blocked if the fluid contains material. As a result, some maple sap farmers begin the sap season using duckbill valves in their ’400 pump, which do a much better job of passing fluid that contains materials, and then switch to umbrella valves once the sap is running clear.

Umbrella valves in the ’500 series pumps have a 3/8 inch diameter pore, and can tolerate larger materials in suspension, so there is less of a need to begin with ’500 series duckbill valves and then switch to the umbrellas.

What kind of a generator can I use for powering your 115 VAC GE or G2 pumps?
The 115 motors used by our GE and G2 pumps are very efficient 1/8 HP motors that draw 1.6 amps at full load. Full load occurs only at startup. Most of the running time of the pump, the motors draw about 1 amp, which means that the run-time load of a GE or G2 pump is close to 120 watts, the equivalent of powering 2 60-watt light bulbs.

Nonetheless, because of the peak load that needs to be supported to get the pump started - especially under cold weather conditions - we recommend using a 1,000 watt generator that can reliably deliver 115 VAC power. With most such generators, you can expect a gallon of gas to operate your GE or G2 pump for 10-14 hours.

Will ice damage my Guzzler pump?
Yes, if ice forms inside your Guzzler pump, it can crack the plastic pump body or pump flanges. In particular, if you start your Guzzler when the pump body contains frozen sap, the motor will drive the ice through the bottom of the plastic pump body.

Some users disconnect their Guzzler from their sap line at the end of the day and drain it to be sure it is not full of sap that might freeze and damage components. To drain it, run the pump for several seconds while disconnected from your line so that it can pump out any residual sap. Then turn the pump off and tip it to drain any remaining sap left in the pump.

Other users keep their Guzzler in a "doghouse" structure that is heated by a light bulb. This can keep any ice from forming overnight in the pump. (Just be sure that the doghouse does admit some airflow around the pump, as ventilation is necessary to keep the motor from overheating.)

Finally, some users include a wire-mesh type of screen in their mainline just before it connects to the Guzzler, to keep ice in the line from being sucked into the pump.

Of course, if ice does damage your pump, you can order replacement parts for any damaged Guzzler components.

What is the viscosity rating for Guzzler pumps?
Guzzler diaphragm pumps have been used to transfer fluids with viscosity ratings up to 70,000 cps. As a reference, see the chart in Product Instructions for the viscosities of some familiar fluids.
Can I submit my product registration & warranty card online?
Yes, you can register your product online by going to Product Registration. Alternatively, you can complete your warranty card and mail it to The Bosworth Company, 930 Waterman Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914 attn. Customer Service Dept.

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