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Plugged Bin Sump


Dirt_Floor_Poor
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Years ago when I was with a millwright outfit we had to empty a bin that the sumps were plugged on. Ended up cutting a hole and inserting an auger. We set up the unload auger with angle iron legs under the drive and had about 4 feet of flighting sticking out of the tube. Cut the hole and inserted the auger into the bin while turning it by hand with the drive pulley. I can't remember exactly but I think it was a 30' or 36' diameter bin and quite tall. We put marks on the tube so we knew how far into the bin it was, we got it in just to the center and began to unload. It took a fairly long time but worked and we got the bin empty enough to go inside. I think it took about 36 hrs to unload.

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1 hour ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Has anyone bolted one of those grain gates that they sell at farm stores to the side and cut a hole. Was reinforcement of the bin side necessary? Anybody think it might work?
image.jpeg.aebc5f85d5276dcd77c1c20d8d246ea2.jpeg

I don't have any first hand advice------never had any unloading problems on my smaller bins.   But---- I was always intrigued with the VacuVator.

Just thinking about the size of your bin (that is big).

Maybe cut holes and install gates at 2 different levels (6 holes rather than 3???)-------avoid pulling out a big cavity in bottom at of bin so to avoid a huge collapse of grain all at one time????

You could also add a bigger reinforcement plate behind the red side gate if you felt necessary.

Keep us posted------all interesting to a retired farmer and old and tired farmland appraiser who has found his as$ in similar traps before.🙄

Be careful!!! 

 Go to school-----get a plan and get started------won't be fun-------but its gotta be done.

 

DD

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no way to get ahold of auger with wrench and turn it manually to free it up by going back/forth?

im so sorry if this is a stupid answer or not even possible i dont know much about grain bins, all teh ones i ever worked around home were small and I had to sweep/scoop them out by hand or they had an auger that came out the bottom that was electric and we drove trucks/wagons under it to fill them - i know we had one of those plug once and we had to pull the electric motor off, take the 90 off  and hook a chain around the shaft and put tension on it and run it backwards/forwards to try to get it to come out ended up breaking it and then cutting hole in door like you are thinking and using that.  then we had to put in a whole new auger unit. I was just a kid working, following orders so didnt know much about it. 

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We have shoved some heavy plastic pipe the size of the grain vac hose in a hole cut in the man door. Started with plenty of pipe to reach the center of a 48’ bin but probably only was able to insert 18’ or so. Running the grain vac connected to this pipe while shoving it in the bin helps a lot. Like mentioned we didn’t reach the center but it was way better than unloading the majority of the bin from one side. 

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57 minutes ago, TomH said:

Years ago when I was with a millwright outfit we had to empty a bin that the sumps were plugged on. Ended up cutting a hole and inserting an auger. We set up the unload auger with angle iron legs under the drive and had about 4 feet of flighting sticking out of the tube. Cut the hole and inserted the auger into the bin while turning it by hand with the drive pulley. I can't remember exactly but I think it was a 30' or 36' diameter bin and quite tall. We put marks on the tube so we knew how far into the bin it was, we got it in just to the center and began to unload. It took a fairly long time but worked and we got the bin empty enough to go inside. I think it took about 36 hrs to unload.

Did you cut a hole in the door or in the side of the bin? What kind of auger did you use? Was it something that you had to fab? Did you patch the hole or replace sheet metal?

32 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

no way to get ahold of auger with wrench and turn it manually to free it up by going back/forth?

im so sorry if this is a stupid answer or not even possible i dont know much about grain bins, all teh ones i ever worked around home were small and I had to sweep/scoop them out by hand or they had an auger that came out the bottom that was electric and we drove trucks/wagons under it to fill them - i know we had one of those plug once and we had to pull the electric motor off, take the 90 off  and hook a chain around the shaft and put tension on it and run it backwards/forwards to try to get it to come out ended up breaking it and then cutting hole in door like you are thinking and using that.  then we had to put in a whole new auger unit. I was just a kid working, following orders so didnt know much about it. 

The auger will turn freely. It’s just that the corn can’t get down in the auger for whatever reason. (Trash, Clumps, Bridged Grain, who knows)

26 minutes ago, Cool1566 said:

We have shoved some heavy plastic pipe the size of the grain vac hose in a hole cut in the man door. Started with plenty of pipe to reach the center of a 48’ bin but probably only was able to insert 18’ or so. Running the grain vac connected to this pipe while shoving it in the bin helps a lot. Like mentioned we didn’t reach the center but it was way better than unloading the majority of the bin from one side. 

Did the grain vac work pretty good with that set up? It pulled it out fine?

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8 minutes ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Did you cut a hole in the door or in the side of the bin? What kind of auger did you use? Was it something that you had to fab? Did you patch the hole or replace sheet metal?

The auger will turn freely. It’s just that the corn can’t get down in the auger for whatever reason. (Trash, Clumps, Bridged Grain, who knows)

Did the grain vac work pretty good with that set up? It pulled it out fine?

how about air, can you pressurize the auger somehow and blow air up into the grain to move teh debris or it too heavy ? 

if it was a farmer i worked for as a kid they would have poke a hole in the door, i would been mr rebar for hours making sure it kept running out

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Rice is bad to stack up, bridge etc, especially hybrid rice.

People will sometimes weld pipe nipples  around the side of the bin. They drill holes through the center of the nipples then poke rebar or smaller pipe (with air flowing through it) through the nipples to loosen up the grain. A pipe cap can be screwed onto the nipples when done.

It's kinda like hot taping a natural gas line.

I've never done but it is done.

Do not get in the bin without a proper harness and line, like repelling!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Thx-Ace 

 

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4 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Has anyone bolted one of those grain gates that they sell at farm stores to the side and cut a hole. Was reinforcement of the bin side necessary? Anybody think it might work?
image.jpeg.aebc5f85d5276dcd77c1c20d8d246ea2.jpeg

We have one of those on almost every bin door on the bottom sheetwith no reinforcement. I have unloaded our 48 foot sukup bin twice from full through the door with no problems. If it has stiffeners it will be fine

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This thread caused me to Google "grain vacs"------I see they have expanded in offerings since my last exposure with any of them.

Don't know size/rating of last one I was familiar with------but ran off of PTO and would move alot of grain.

What size are some of you using??

******

Most caking/crusting takes place in the "center cone" of any size bin (where the fines, dust, and heavier particles tend to accumulate).  I did not have Stir-Alls.  On anything being held for long term storage------I always rotated the cone area from one bin to another ocassionally.

Held some Milo for near 4 yrs while in the gov't loan-----Gov't came with a program that paid the farmer storage and I kept rolling it forward.  Delivered with no dockage.

 

DD

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If you go in with harness, remember a harness will not save you it might allow someone else to save you but if it comes to the harness you will be helplessly hanging there and most of them will cut off your circulation. Make sure you have a harness and a helper on the outside.  Sounds like you are thinking this through so thought I’d add my two cents. Good luck

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10 hours ago, 1586 Jeff said:

Can you come up with enough pipe/hose to use the grain vacuum through the top center lid?  I have always dreamt of a grain vac, the closest thing that I have used is a shop vac!

Have 2 people present so that one can fetch help for the other if need be.

Some people have talked about using a large air compressor to break up the grain.

Beware of static buildup doing this. 

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10 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Has anyone bolted one of those grain gates that they sell at farm stores to the side and cut a hole. Was reinforcement of the bin side necessary? Anybody think it might work?
image.jpeg.aebc5f85d5276dcd77c1c20d8d246ea2.jpeg

They load trucks with sideloads all the time. Same basic gate with a chain to open and shut it. 
Those are all high enough that they won’t compromise the integrity of the bin though. Maybe if you used self tapping bolts and put one 180 degrees from the other? Self tapping bolts then cut out the opening? Don’t use a torch. The grain will smolder and flare up eventually. 

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2 hours ago, 856 Custom said:

Cut a hole in the side door

X2     big enough to screw/push an auger in as far as you can. find an old 6 inch top drive transport auger. take the top 25 ft of tube and 27 ft of screw. Drive it with a reel drive motor off 810 head from junkyard, reversible if needed. Maybe not leave 2 ft of screw exposed, maybe just 8 inches or so with a foot long rod crossways on end to "claw" at chunks. Threaded rod could be attached to screw .  Ya, ideas that might work, but also keeping men outside the bin. 

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Never had a bin that big but we have shoved a 6” auger in the bin through a hole in the door. Auger has to be running to do this  and I would think with a 48’ bin you would have to be at least 20’ in to avoid collapse. That is the issue with built in sweeps they don’t allow near the flow of material as an open sump. 
 

whatever you do please be careful people get aggravated and complacent and hurt. 

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I would try anything I could first to avoid cutting holes in the bin sheets.  I would think as others have said a hole in the door and work something in as far as you could to unload it this time. Be it an auger or a peice of tube larger than the grain vac with grain vac shoved in center (larger tube to get your air flow to end of grain vac) 

Aces idea of the pipe nipples and shoving rods in from the sides has merrit as well. Think I would try that before cutting a largeish hole in sheets.

Also if any one does go in have a safety harness on and tied off with a rope as well as someone outside to monitor. But this would also be far down my list to try.

My 2 cents. Hope you get it figured out.

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11 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Did you cut a hole in the door or in the side of the bin? What kind of auger did you use? Was it something that you had to fab? Did you patch the hole or replace sheet metal?

The auger will turn freely. It’s just that the corn can’t get down in the auger for whatever reason. (Trash, Clumps, Bridged Grain, who knows)

Did the grain vac work pretty good with that set up? It pulled it out fine?

Digging far into my memory...... This was about oh 1994,5 or so. I think we cut the door, but we may have cut the bin sheet. We had plenty of corrugated to replace the sheet or put a slide in or simply patch it.. Looking at the auger in the picture (Just a random pic I found) that is on the ground, second one in is essentially what we made. Regular 8 inch ( most likely) auger,  4 feet or so sticking out the tube end that is going in the bin then supporting the drive end on legs so it was level. Once running it emptied into a transport auger to a truck. As a side note the transport auger was run by a 806, a 1964 narrow front with  bald absolutely baby butt smooth rear tires. One of our crew made the suggestion that using a adaptor we could run the auger on the 1000 rpm shaft and empty the bin much faster. Myself and the foreman said, um no! The hardest part was getting the auger into the bin far enough, at first we just turned the drive pulley by hand and got it maybe 8 feet in. We hooked up the drive and jogged the motor and got it in further. We got the auger about halfway into the bin but we had close to half the grain out before we got it in that far. I really don't remember but possibly, just possibly we attached a short section of half pitch flighting to make it easier to wind the auger into the grain. Not sure on that but might help if it is too hard to turn.

 

 

fGrain_Bin_Augers_Fans_Grain_Transfer_Ite_5a1d170445b34.jpg
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When I used to work in soybean production we had a lot of on site storage.  We had problems from time to time with sumps getting plugged, usually from pods.  We had success sometimes with a long piece of conduit and would work from the inspection door at the top and use it to poke and get the product flowing again.  It took some time and was tricky to find the sump but did work often.  

14 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Has anyone bolted one of those grain gates that they sell at farm stores to the side and cut a hole. Was reinforcement of the bin side necessary? Anybody think it might work?
image.jpeg.aebc5f85d5276dcd77c1c20d8d246ea2.jpeg

We also used something similar to this that we had made by a local welding shop.  We would give these to contract growers to put on their bins.  They would normally be installed when the bin was empty and we then had a chute we could hang on the outside to gravity feed into a belt conveyor.  This was to get better seed quality than running through the auger.  At any rate we did have a bin with a plugged sump that we could not get flowing.  So we put one of these in the sheet beside the door and 1 180 degrees on the back of the bin.  We put silicone on the back side and then used self tapers to attach it to the bin sheet.  Then used an angle grinder and cutting wheel to cut the hole out of the bin sheet.  This was a 36' bin, I don't remember how many rings but quite tall.  So we ran a few loads out of one and then moved to the other to prevent putting to much stain on the bin.

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If you use proper  equipment you can stay in a rappelling harness for a long time. With climbers you can pull yourself up the rope. Always have a spotter. Never rappel alone. Get training for you and your spotter first.  

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abseiling

After you get done you can come down here to Arkansas and we can jump off cliffs together.

Thx-Ace 

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Since you said all the sumps are empty, it sounds like it is bridged over across the bin. Should be easy enough to figure out by looking through the roof access door(s). It hasn't been mentioned, but have you considered a concrete vibrator. Fasten to some PVC or similar and come at it from the top. If it is bridged, that should shake it loose and avoid cutting holes. Though for future I would install an access slide in the door once you get it empty. Cheap insurance for next time.

Just my 2 cents.

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