4 Uses for a Des-Case Drum Topper

Although drum toppers were originally designed for system decontamination, they also have a number of other applications providing a versatile solution to aid you in your journey toward lubrication best practices.

Offline Filtration

Portable filtration units are ideal tools to remediate contaminated systems, flush new equipment during commissioning, or periodically decontaminate systems that have inadequate on-board filtration to meet target cleanliness levels.

Tips for Offline Filtration:
  • It is highly recommended to equip all reservoirs with appropriate quick connect fittings to facilitate filtration activities. Our adapter kits are designed to make such modifications safe and effective.
  • When possible, make sure suction and return locations are on opposite ends of the reservoir to maximize circulation and efficiency.
  • The system must be connected with the reservoir sump being filtered and not the pressure line.
  • Select filtration units with the appropriate flow rate for a given system.
  • When filtering an operating system, the flow rate should not exceed 10 percent of the sump volume per minute.
  • For permanent offline filtration, the flow rate should be enough to circulate the entire sump volume in one hour or less.
  • When filtering systems that are not operating, the flow rate should be as high as is reasonable to maximize agitation in the reservoir.
  • If more than one lubricant type is to be filtered with the same unit, make sure to effectively flush the system of old oil before switching product types. It is typically more cost effective to procure different units for different oil types.
  • Remember to wipe fittings and use dust covers to prevent contamination.
Fluid Transfers

Drum toppers provide a good way to cleanly dispense and transfer new oil to machinery or other transfer containers. In addition to providing a suitable level of cleanliness for new oil applications, it is also a safe, efficient, and pleasant way to transfer new oil. If a reservoir is appropriately equipped, oil additions or oil changes may be performed without ever exposing the sump to atmospheric contamination.

Tips for Fluid Transfers:
  • It is highly recommended to fit all reservoirs with appropriate quick connect fittings to facilitate fluid transfer activities. Our adapter kits are designed to make such modifications safe and effective.
  • If oil is to be dispensed to top up containers via gravity fed spigots, use the drum topper to pre-filter the oil before the container is placed for dispensing. Also, make sure to add an appropriate breather to the vent port.
  • It is recommended to dedicate filtration units to particular oil types to avoid cross-contamination and eliminate labor-intensive flushing activities.
  • When using the drum topper to drain used oil, bypass the filter element to avoid unnecessary saturation of the element. This can be done using the manual bypass. It is also important to flush the used oil from the system with new oil (approximately 3 to 5 times the system volume should effectively remove a sufficient quantity of old oil).
  • Remember to wipe fittings and use dust covers to prevent contamination during fluid transfers.
System Flushing

Drum toppers can be effective tools for flushing systems in situations where only mechanical separation is required. A new hydraulic system or one that has had components such a pumps, motors, or piping replaced is an excellent candidate for flushing. The amount of particle contamination that can be built into a system or added during repair activities can be significant.

Hydraulic valve failures upon start-up are common when proper flushing procedures are not followed. Although hydraulics, as a machine category, are very sensitive to contamination and require initial flushing, you should not overlook other lubricated machines, such as pumps and gearboxes. Any sealed, lubricated component should be flushed before or shortly after start-up. In fact, offline filtration can be much more effective at eliminating run-in debris than changing the oil at the first scheduled interval.

Tips for System Flushing:
  • Maximum flow rates do not really apply here. The more turbulence in the fluid the better.
  • Although drum toppers are not typically capable of circulating oil through the piping in hydraulic or lube oil systems, they can be effectively utilized at the reservoir while using system pumps to circulate oil through piping.
  • When flushing new hydraulic systems, it is recommended to isolate valves and other sensitive components with jumpers.
  • When flushing a new or repaired system it is helpful to use the minimum allowable oil viscosity to maximize turbulence.
Collecting Oil Samples

While using drum toppers to obtain oil samples is not the most efficient method, it can be the only method in some cases. A good example is a cooling tower fan gearbox where the oil fill and drain ports are piped outside the fan housing.

For this type of application, circulating the oil with the drum topper and taking the sample from the built-in valves is ideal. When customized with sample valves, Des-Case drum toppers are accessorized with two valves: one upstream of the filters and one after the filters.

To obtain a representative oil sample for analysis, begin by circulating the oil with the filters in bypass and then collect the sample upstream of the filters.

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