Billabong Water Rams

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It is essential to have a fall or head of water to produce the power to operate the ram. Therefore, the drive or intake pipe must be set at a suitable angle and sufficiently long to produce the desired power.

The water falls from the source of supply down the drive pipe and runs to waste through the impetus valve until the increasing velocity is sufficient to lift this impetus valve and close it. The moving column of water is then directed upwards through the air chamber valve and compresses the air in the dome until its pressure is equal to that of the water in the drive pipe.

The air chamber valve then closes and the expansion of the air in the chamber forces the water up the delivery pipe. Simultaneously, with this operation, the impetus valve is released and the water flows to waste again until the increasing velocity is sufficient to close it as before; the process continues so long as the water supply is maintained and the pipes are clear. It is evident that the air chamber must be air-tight and that proper relations must exist between the drive and the discharge pipe so that the water column weight and velocity of the water in the drive pipe may be sufficient to generate power to perform the work required. Too great a fall will cause excessive wear on the impetus valve. Generally speaking, a ram should not be used to lift water over 200 feet (61m) vertically. A gate valve is recommended on both the drive and the discharge pipe to avoid the necessity of emptying them when cleaning or making repairs.

The hydraulic ram is most efficient when the volume of the air chamber is equal to the volume of the discharge pipe. Therefore, the larger size rams are best suited for long discharge pipes when there is enough water to operate them.

A solid concrete block is essential to withstand the vibration caused by the movement of the impetus valve. The ram at all times must be below the source of supply (see Diagram No. 1 below).

Use the correct size pipe specified in our Hydraulic Ram Performance Data relevant to the size ram being installed. Avoid any bends or curves in the drive pipe. Metal or rigid P.V.C. pipe is recommended. This line must be direct from the source of supply to the ram. Under no circumstances must the velocity of the water flowing down this pipe be restricted. The length of drive pipe must be at least three-quarters the height of the elevation of the delivery pipe (refer Hydraulic Ram Performance Data Table below). A good quality strainer is essential on the end of the drive pipe at the source of supply, eliminating any possible risk of foreign matter entering the ram.

The delivery pipe should be installed in a manner similar to the delivery pipe from a pump. Should this pipe be over 1,000 feet (307m) long, use a larger size pipe than that shown in the Performance Data. It is advisable to fit the Snifting Plug (supplied with each ram) in the drive pipe as close to the ram as possible to prevent the air dome becoming water-logged and to maintain a constant air volume in the dome (refer to Diagram No. 1, at start of Installation Instructions, for method of installation).

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After the installation has been completed, set the impetus valve to longest stroke then adjust to suit the local conditions. The stroke of the valve is regulated by the Adjusting Nut. Loosen the Adjusting Nut Lock Nut and by either screwing the Adjusting Nut up or down, the length of stroke is altered. Also the impetus valve is designed so that provision is made on the stem by means of two flanged nuts. These flanged nuts can accommodate lead washers used as counter-weights to compensate for the varying conditions encountered in the installation process. For example, head height and drive height vary in each and every installation. As the valve compensation cannot be pre-set at the factory, this is left to the person responsible for the installation of the hydraulic ram. With the addition of these lead washers, the valve is then balanced to operate at maximum efficiency under its existing operating conditions.
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Any hydraulic ram working almost to its maximum capacity should be balanced by the above method to prevent any undue knocking which, at all times is injurious to the valve.
To put the ram in motion, it is necessary to hold the impetus valve down for a few seconds, allowing the water to run to waste; then allow the valve to rise, shutting off the flow of water. Possibly, it will be necessary to repeat this operation several times before the ram will take over automatically.


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