Solving the Problems Customers Experience with Traditional Belt Skimmers


better-belt-skimmer Recognizing the limitations of belt skimmers and other oil removal methods, 50 years ago we invented the “better belt skimmer”, the Brill® tube type oil skimmer.

Choosing Which Belt Skimmers are Best: Traditional vs Better Belt Skimmer

Using the right type of oil skimmer can be just as important as deciding to skim oil in the first place. Whether your business is considering a new skimming solution or has traditional belt skimmers in operation already, it’s important to be mindful of common challenges that our customers have faced before they upgraded to Brill® tube type oil skimmers.

5 Common Complaints with the Traditional Belt Oil Skimmers

We’ve listed and described five of the most common complaints that we have heard from customers about traditional belt skimmers. If any of the following issues sound familiar, Oil Skimmers, Inc.’s oil skimmer with the Free-Floating Collector Tube™ is the better belt skimmer for you.

1. “The oil skimmer belt is not picking up enough oil.

With traditional belt oil skimmers, oil pickup can be affected when there is floating debris in the wastewater. Since the belt only operates on a small section of the tank or pit, debris can build up and form a dam of sorts, preventing oil from reaching the belt. This adversely affects the skimmer’s efficiency, leading to poor oil removal. 

2. “The belt mixes the oil and water.”

Due to the design of common belt skimmers, oil adheres to the belt on the downstroke. This means the oil is carried back into the water, disturbing the separation and causing it to emulsify. Some oil remains on the belt to be removed, but this is comparable to taking one step forward and two steps back. 

3. “The wiper isn’t removing oil from the belt.”

In order for oil to be wiped clean from the belt as it passes through the skimmer, the wiper must maintain even, consistent contact and pressure across the span of the belt. Debris and solids in the oil often cause the wiper to wear unevenly, causing it to lose consistent contact with the belt. In this case, the wiper cannot clean the belt effectively and oil removal will be spotty. 

4. “It only collects oil in the corner where it’s mounted.”

Since a belt skimmer follows a fixed path and enters the water only in the spot where it is installed, the belt comes in contact with just a small percentage of the oil that covers the entire surface area. Also, if the belt skimmer is not running smoothly, its motion can cause some turbulence in the water that actually moves the oil away from it. A belt skimmer is not likely to remove oil from the rest of the tank without some manual effort to move the oil towards the belt. 

5. “The submerged pulley requires a lot of maintenance.”

Conventional belt skimmers feature a pulley located under the water to help keep the belt taut. This requires anyone working on the skimmer to reach into the water to retrieve the pulley. Debris and solids can become trapped in the pulley mechanism, and the belt can come off track, requiring maintenance. To service the pulley, the technician must reach into the water, or the tank may need to be drained, which incurs additional downtime and expenses.

Consider the “Better Belt Skimmer” Instead of the Traditional Skimmer Belt

A Brill® tube-type oil skimmer addresses all of the concerns customers experience with common belt skimmers and other types of oil skimmers. Let’s address each challenge presented above:

1. “It’s not picking up enough oil.”

Brill® tube type skimmers are designed to operate efficiently in the presence of floating debris as the Free-Floating Collector Tube snakes its way around it, continuously removing the oil.

2. “The belt mixes the oil and water.”

The collector tube floats on the surface, so no oil is taken back down, below the water. This eliminates the concern of re-emulsification. 

3. “The wiper isn’t removing oil from the belt.”

With a Brill tube skimmer, the oil-coated collector tube travels into the skimmer and passes through a series of durable, ceramic scrapers, positioned to maintain consistent, even contact with the tube for complete oil removal from the entire circumference.

4. “It only collects oil in the corner where it’s mounted.”

The Free-Floating Collector Tube can reach the entire surface of the water or coolant. The smooth, continuous operation of the tube creates a current that draws oil to it from the corners and edges of the application.  

5. “The submerged pulley requires a lot of maintenance.”

The Brill tube skimmer with the Free-Floating Collector Tube features no submerged elements. The tube operates only on the surface of the water, so it is effective, reliable and easy to maintain.

Contact Oil Skimmers, Inc.

For an economical, reliable and efficient oil skimming solution, contact Oil Skimmers, Inc. today to determine the best oil removal solution your application.

Topics: belt skimmer better belt skimmer tube skimmer

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