What do I do if my gear pump is consuming an excessive amount of white oil?

The compression nut is a hexagonal nut behind the pump head, after the stuffing box. This compression nut provides the compression on the packing material to make a tight seal between the rotor and the gear box of the pump. If this is not properly tightened, either product can leak out on the feed pump, air can leak in on the residue or distillate pumps, or white oil can be consumed at an excessive rate. Proper tightening of the compression nut will ensure a tight seal, but take care to not overtighten the compression nut, as this can compromise the packing material.

My Huber K6 is not maintaining temperature during operation. What can I do to make sure my Huber is operating properly?

The Huber K6 is capable of both heating and cooling. The unit is composed of two halves, a lower cooling bath and an upper heating element with a recirculation pump and controller.

There is a data cable that connects the two halves, enabling the controller to control both halves. Ensure this data cable is snugly secured.

Finally, there is a three-position switch on the lower unit that must be in the “II” position (the upper position) in order for the bottom unit to be controlled by the controller.

How can I reach 90%+ total cannabinoid content?

Optimal distillation results begin with proper extraction and preparation of the material. Ensuring the feedstock is completely free of lipids, and larger molecular weight contaminants such as chlorophyll are paramount, as well as completely decarboxylating and devolatilizing the material prior to first pass distillation.

When troubleshooting, it may be helpful to perform an additional “first pass” to ensure you are completely removing all of the terpenes and lower molecular weight compounds during first-pass distillation, before proceeding to the second pass.

Finally, verify that the system is relatively clean and that the vacuum system is reaching the vacuum depths specified in the SOPs.

Why is ice forming on the inside of my cold trap, and how do I fix this issue?

In the event the system is open to the atmosphere while either the cold trap is cold or a temporary leak occurred, water vapor from the air around the machine can condense on the cold trap, forming ice. When a vacuum is applied, this ice will slowly sublimate (or turn into vapor) causing the vacuum to not go below the mid-to-low negative 1’s (between 1 mbar and 0.1 mbar).  

This can easily be fixed by simply leaving the vacuum pump on with the gas ballast open. In addition, you can accelerate this process by changing the temperature of the setpoint of the cold trap chiller to 0 degrees C, and then changing the temperature back down to the minimum setting once it reaches 0 degrees.  

The elevated temperature will supply the thermal energy necessary for the sublimation of the water and will reduce the time for the ice to disappear. 

 More information can be found in SOP – Vacuum Troubleshooting

If you need additional assistance, please call technical support at +1 (206) 452-1130. 

Why did the feed side of the gear pump seize (or stop) while the feed tank is full of cannabis oil?

If the feed tank seizes (or stops) while the feed tank is full of oil, sometimes this can be remedied by: 

  1. setting the feed temperature to 130 degrees C for 30 minutes 
  2. then re-engage the pump 

If you have followed the above steps and this does not fix your problem, you may then try the following steps: 

  1. remove the perforated shroud covering the gear (coupling the motor to the gear pump) 
  2. rotate the gear by hand 
  3. and then reengage the pump 

If your problem still persists, then try the following:  

  1. turn the feed system off 
  2. wait for the product to cool completely 
  3. then follow SOP-Gear Pump Clean 

More information can be found in SOP – Gear Pump Clean

If you need additional assistance, please call technical support at +1 (206) 452-1130. 

Why is heat (thermal) transfer fluid leaking from the connection, and how do I fix this issue?

Thermal transfer fluid can occasionally leak from a fitting that has become loosened over time. 

*Please note: Due to the risk of breakage of any metal-to-glass hose connections, it is recommended that you call customer support BEFORE attempting to fix the leak. (important!)

For simple metal-to-metal hose connections, utilize two wrenches to tighten the fitting – one on the hose, and the other on the other component that remains stationary and acts as a backing to prevent applying torque to the rest of the system.  

For more detailed information or one-on-one assistance, reach out to technical support at +1 (206) 452-1130. 

How do I fix a clogged check valve?

Check valves can become clogged by physical debris in the product and require periodic cleaning in order to ensure proper operation. A dirty check valve can cause an intermittent feed rate of product into the evaporator, manifesting as a sinusoidal swing in vacuum pressure during the first pass. This can cause irregularities in system performance, so periodic preventative cleaning is highly recommended.  

The check valve can be easily removed, disassembled, and soaked in a suitable solvent such as ethanol for proper cleaning.  

Best practices for preventing the accumulation of debris within the product include:  

  • use of proper extraction temperatures 
  • maintaining proper cleanliness in the lab 
  • keeping containers of extract covered 
  • pouring crude into the feed tank through a fine wire sieve 
  • ensuring proper heat transfer and mixing during the decarboxylation and devolatilization process 

More information can be found in SOP – Check Valve Clean

If you need additional assistance, please call technical support at +1 (206) 452-1130.

Why is my vacuum pump making a loud or an abnormal noise?

The oil-lubricated dual-stage rotary vane roughing pump (D16B) requires a change of vacuum pump oil every 80-100 operating hours.

Improper extraction or preparation of the oil can cause excessively rapid fouling in the pump.

Ensure all extraction and pre-processing best practices are being followed (important).

After extreme use or a lack of sufficient oil changes, the vacuum pump can sometimes become damaged, which will require either replacement or will need to be disassembled and rebuilt with consumable parts replaced.

It is generally recommended that a replacement pump is ordered, as the rebuilding process is lengthy, and it can be difficult to obtain good results.

More information can be found in SOP – Vacuum Troubleshooting.

Please reach out to technical support or sales department at +1 (206) 452-1130 for one-on-one assistance or quoting.

Why is my Huber showing the code of “variable speed fault?”

When shutting down Huber heaters and chillers, it is important that the unit’s power switch not be turned off until the unit is fully shut down, or else the valve on the outlet of the unit may become stuck halfway in its throw, somewhere between open and closed.  

To properly shut down a Huber: 

  1. press the stop button in the bottom right of the home screen for the pump icon to become stationary 
  2. the RPM readout below it will read “PUMP” (This means the pump is fully disengaged, the valve has closed) 
  3. power to the unit may now be turned off 

To fix this issue, you may need to re-flash the Pilot One on the Huber unit. 

If you need additional assistance, please call technical support at +1 (206) 452-1130.