Oil Skimmer Blog

7 Common Mistakes That Lead to the Wrong Oil Skimmer | Abanaki

Posted by Tom Hobson on Aug 31, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Selecting an oil skimmer can be a complex decision-making process. There are various factors you have to consider about your application when choosing the right skimmer. Here is a guide to help you avoid the 7 common mistakes that are made when purchasing an oil skimmer.

Under-Sizing Your Skimmer

UK-BridgewaterDcp_1668-300x199A common misconception is that you can buy a smaller skimmer based on
gallons-per-hour skimming capacity for a big job to save money. However,
purchasing a small or mini unit instead of an industrial sized skimmer can be an ineffective method of oil skimming. Oil skimmers should be selected by the size of the area that needs to be skimmed, not just by the amount of oil needing to be removed.

Improper Placement of Oil Skimmers

Planning is important! Before spending money on a concrete pad and mounting arrangements, check where the oil actually collects in your process. Oil skimmers should be located opposite from the inflow and the tail pulley should be submerged two inches below the surface of the liquid in order to be as effective as possible.

Paying for a Complicated Solution

Oil skimming usually beats ultra-filtration systems in many applications. More often than not, installing large, complicated systems to remedy oil problems will not provide ideal results. You can save costs by using a relatively inexpensive oil skimming system to handle the free-floating oil and then a smaller treatment system to handle the oil that has remained suspended in the wastewater.

Not Telling Your Consultant or Vendor Everything

Abanaki August 2020 BlogOil skimmer selection can be a very complex process. There are numerous factors that go into selecting the right oil skimmer for your particular application. If the oil skimmer vendor does not know what chemicals or heat you have in your application, the wrong oil skimmer and belt materials could be selected, and the job will not get done correctly.

Choosing the Wrong Oil Skimming Material

There are several things to consider when choosing a belt or tube material for your oil skimmer. Some plastics will not stand up to heat or strong chemicals. Certain metal belts will not skim coolants effectively. Smooth belts do no pick up floating emulsified oils. Specific plastic belts do not last in heated applications, while other types of plastic belts will.

Lack of Maintenance and Basic Care

clogged_skimmer_3An oil skimmer will only remove oil if it is properly maintained. There are basic maintenance tasks that should be done regularly to keep your oil skimmer up to snuff. Are the wipers contacting the belt smoothly? Is the belt riding away from the sides of the pulley? Are the troughs and wipers clear of debris?

Buying from an Unknown Vendor Based on Price

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Buying from small, unheard of oil skimmer manufacturers will probably result in no customer support when maintenance issues pop up and little to no knowledge of how to resolve those issues. Furthermore, parts will need to be replaced over time, units might have to be changed or upgraded, or different belt materials need to be used. Disreputable vendors typically do not have a selection of materials or parts to choose from.

To learn more about oil skimmers, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.abanaki.com



Have you ever looked at your coolant and wondered what type skimmer would work best in your machine sump? In this video, we talk about what oil skimmer works well in various coolant applications.

Topics: oil skimmers, belt skimmer, oil skimming, petroxtractor, belt oil skimmer, well oil skimmer

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