Written by Douglas Mothersell, Senior Member of Twisted Willow Fabrication, LLC.
In our last blog, we introduced Twisted Willow Fabrication’s new product line designed to help the commercial cleaning contractor using mid-sized truck or trailer mounted vacuum units clean large areas. There are four vacuum tools that we would like to individually introduce in three blogs, starting with a tool we call the Collector Pod.
The Collector Pod is the tool that started the development of our product line. When I first started looking at mid-sized commercial vacuum equipment the first thing I noticed was the lack of tools to support these machines. Cleaning contractors are sometimes forced to get very creative when they take on certain jobs or tackle large areas. Some of these jobs can take a long time. In some cases one member of a crew is waiting for another member to finish a task before they move on. If time is money, cleaning contractors must be efficient to competitively quote a job and be profitable. Doing the job faster and better was the target when designing the Collector Pod.
Many times the contractor cleans areas that are not easily accessed by their equipment, not to mention the crew. They are often large areas. They usually don’t have a lot of time to do the job. These areas include buildings and basements that have been flooded. Water and debris have to be removed quickly so the process of drying can begin. Another example is the cleaning of water municipality storage tanks. They are critical to a public water system and cannot be out of service for long. This is what our equipment was tested on. These examples have the same issues for the cleaning contractor. They can’t get their equipment close to these enclosed areas so they are forced to run water and vacuum hose to the area being cleaned. As you can imagine, there’s only so much hose, and it’s expensive. Sometimes the entry area for this hose and crew is very limited and ingress and egress can be a safety issue.
The Collector Pod Solution
Our Collector Pod solves all of these problems. A crew using our Collector Pod will need only one vacuum hose from their vacuum source entering their work area. Switching to several more workable two or three inch diameter hoses at the Collector Pod will keep your crew more productive. The Collector Pod is most effective when placed in the middle of an area being cleaned. Smaller, more maneuverable hand tools connected to the Collector Pod by the smaller and lighter vacuum hose will allow a crew to perform up to four simultaneous operations at once, more efficiently and with less fatigue.
If that’s where the design of the Collector Pod stopped, it might be called a square manifold. If the Collector Pod is to be thought of as a manifold, it should be thought of as an advanced manifold. All four sides have a two inch female NPT (National Pipe Thread) suction inlet centered at the top, making it a balanced unit. Inside the body, directly in the center and aimed at each inlet, there is a deflector that breaks up the incoming water column and debris into smaller particles. Since the Collector Pod has more volume than the hoses, it is almost never full of fluid and debris. This leaves air inside the unit to mix with the deflected (disrupted) incoming “product”. The moving air and product mix then move to the main suction hose in the bottom of the Pod where it efficiently travels to the vacuum unit’s storage tank. In the top of the Collector Pod there is a one inch female NPT fitting. This port is for introducing air or an air/water mixture to the pod’s outlet through a center duct. Adding air is particularly useful when moving a water column vertically in the main suction hose. Air helps shorten the water column into shorter columns, making for an easier lift. A water or air/water mix may also be useful when moving a thick product, like gooey mud, to the vacuum unit’s storage tank (see footnote 1). The bottom of the Collector Pod chamber is sloped towards the outlet, making it self-cleaning at the end of a job while doing the regular cleanup. The Collector Pod comes standard with 4 two inch female NPT inlet ports and 1 four inch female NPT outlet port. It is made entirely of aluminum. It is lightweight and care free. It is designed and manufactured by Twisted Willow Fabrication. As usual, the Collector Pod is customizable to your needs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your specific needs.
Information and Specs
The Collector Pod weighs in at 19 pounds. The body is 10 inches square and it stands 14 inches tall. The baseplate is 16 inches square.
The Collector Pod will be for sale on this site in March for $439.00 (without shipping). There are discounts for multiple tool purchases. Contact us if you need one before that time.
(1) Do not connect the Collector Pod directly to a house or building plumbing system. An intermediate tank or vacuum break will be needed. Contact us for more information.
(2) Some photos are shown with optional Cam and Groove fittings and top ball valve.
(3) The Collector Pod has been tested up to 15inHg of vacuum. It is not rated for positive pressure and is not intended for use in a positive pressure application.
(4) Shipping costs are actual costs. We do not tag on extra charges.