TR21 Can I put lubricant on my TR21 pumps?

My TR21 recovery pumps keep breaking down. Can I lubricate (white lithium grease) the bottom part of the pistons where they touch the axel? Do you guys ever soak the whole head in denatured alcohol?
Is it possible to make your recovery coils too cold? one of my coils don’t seem to be as active as the other one, I’m thinking it’s just the pump malfunctioning though.

I’m using a Terpenator MK4 closed loop system with two TR21 recovery pumps. I have two alcohol and dry ice baths containing the two recovery coils attached to the pumps. I’m doing a crude oil run using 70/30 butane/propane. 8 lb material column.

PSI reading on the collection pot is reading 55 PSI currently.

UPDATE: It appears the 55 PSI was causing the pumps to stop. They are running smoothly now that I’ve released the air pressure of the collection pot to below 30 psi via a release valve. It looks like I’m not going to recover as much solvent as I hoped, but at lease my pumps are running now. I guess I need to learn more about the ebb and flow of psi throughout the system.

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Thanks Mike! How can I get one of these booklets with directives?

if you’ve actually got “air” pressure you’re doing it wrong. very wrong.

so you misspoke… which happens, but I’m concerned that you don’t have a strong a handle on this material as you should.

because “air”!!

the manual isn’t all that helpful, and mentions nothing on lube.

this handy chart show how you can keep your recovery pot pressure to below 30PSI.

it also suggests that you were running your collection pot at 115f or so.
which seems to be too hot for what you got. (and will ruin your oil to boot).

re: coils, which side of your pump(s) are the coils on. what is the back pressure when you’re trying to start the pumps?

does anyone have an opinion on this kit?
“modified piston sleeve and piston head”


Yea I misspoke, I just meant pressure. My collection pot sits in a bath with a sous vide set at 102 F.

Coils are on the side of the pumps where the in and out ports face. there are 3ft hoses going from the pumps to the coils.

You’re also correct that I don’t have a strong handle on this material yet. My teacher pretty much just told me to learn everything from this forum. I trained for a few days with the last extract technician before he was fired, but there are a lot of nuances that I wouldn’t know about without experience.


That might have been the funniest shit i read all day

I need to add that to my resume. Consulting…Just go to Future4200 and learn. Thanks man!


wasn’t being mean. just noting what that slip indicated.

once you’ve been playing this game for a while you learn that “air” is to be avoided, and would never misspeak in that manner.

Tip of the day?
Understand lower the explosive limit of your solvent, and what that means.

I vented my 100lb “push” tank today because instead of sitting at 100PSI at rm temp, it was at 145PSI without liquid in it.

that handy chart I pointed at up thread

says that pressure doesn’t make any sense for a mixture Propane/Butane at room temp (unless the room is a lot warmer than usual).

So their must be something non-compressible in there. Best guess? Air!

Turns out someone left a recovery pump with a quick release on its intake sucking all night. so it sucked air into the holding tank.

unbolt it from the wall, wheel it out into the lot. vent it to the sky. go explain above to the responsible party…

this place is great and all, and has a way better signal to noise ratio than where some of us had to learn, but you really should have more training than that (this? :thinking:)

Explain to your “teacher” they need to spring for an on site visit from a consultant, and a class for you in vegas… you read it on future4200 so it must be true :joy::joy:


haha I know, it’s ridiculous.

Yes I’ve learned air is bad and I vacuum the system down as far as I can every time, but my system won’t vacuum down lower than -24 Hg. I bought a new two stage vacuum pump from harbor freight but I still can’t get it past -24 Hg. All the threads have teflon tape on them.

I usually turn on the sous vide before I start so the bath is at 102 F before I start- do you think that’s not a good idea?

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you’re not in Denver are you? (where pulling 24" Hg is just fine)
is this with, or without biomass in the column. biomass off-gasses.

Test with an empty machine. what happens if you pull a vac and leave it overnight? You really do want a rig that holds both vac & pressure before you start.

turning the heat on after getting all your solvent through your column and into the receiver will make your life easier imo. 102F should be fine.

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I should be more clear- I was trained on this MK4 system and did about 10 or less runs of shatter and crude with the previous technician. So I know how to operate this particuar system, but I don’t know the trouble shooting yet. Since then I’ve processed a few hundred pounds (crude/shatter) with minor complications along the way (pump maintenance, part replacements). Also it’s hard to identify which equipment needs repair/replacement- I don’t even know how old most of it is, but I also need to learn more of the science. But I’m 35, I’ve been in the cannabis space since 2011, I have a bachelor degree in design technology, so I feel I can be good at this with some more diligence. And I currently don’t have the cash for the class and don’t want to be a burden to my employer for fear of losing work. I really appreciate your help. I’m in the san fernando valley.

With biomass in the column. 8 lb material column capacity.

From what you’re saying, It definitely sounds like I’ve been turning on that sous vide too early, thanks!

ok, so no “at 10,000ft” excuse for the low vac.
24" even with biomass in sounds low (high?).
try again without biomass, and see how long it holds. days would be ideal.
consider blaming the gauge (get a second opinion). they do all tend to lie eventually.

consider broaching the class. perhaps not for hydrocarbons. open dialog with your employer is ideal. or maybe it’s why I’m unemployable :wink:


I’m glad you say that about the gauge. I feel the same way and I hope it’s that rather than something else.

Also my employer and the previous tech told me about the sound of the pump when it’s vacuumed all the way down and it definitely sounds like it’s vacuumed all the way down and I let about 15 minutes pass just to be sure, also because I don’t trust the gauge.

I’ll pull it to full vacuum tonight and see how it is tomorrow, thanks again


Well I might have an answer for this. Most of the gauges found on these extractors and the liquid ones in general are filled with a glycerine mix. The Freeze Point of Glycerine at its lowest point is -51F.

Ive noticed when having my tanks in denatured and dry ice my fucking gauges will begin to freeze over which prevents an accurate reading. I suggest you either getting an external gauge just for confidence purposes. Once you run one of these machines long enough you can tell by the sounds if something isnt going right.

I cant tell you the last time i really relied on a gauge closed looping.

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oh the cacophony that is my world…

gauges are important, but I have to agree, most of the feed back I get from my current hydrocarbon rig is aural.