Cricket Vacuum Charging Apparatus

I’ve always disliked the MityVac hand pump, but it was all we could find at the time. Before that we used a very expensive siphon pump that we sourced from a steam fitter catalog. About a year ago, Eldon told me about a garden variety siphon mixer that he had used to evacuate his system. I bought one and have been experimenting with it. I consistently get vacuums at 29″ in just a few minutes using this pump and city water pressure.

The Hozon Brass Siphon Mixer is idea for this use if you make a few modifications. I used compression fittings to attach the rigid plastic hose for an airtight seal. I also used a large throat ball valve to increase flow at siphon. The 3′ of garden hose at the end increases the vacuum by a few inches by not letting air back into the pump. On a tall roof, I used a long garden hose as a secondary siphon to pull the water back down to ground level thereby increasing the relative pressure at the siphon mixer.

The Hozon Siphon MIxer is available at

This is so much easier than the hand pump. Drawing down my empty two Cricket system to 29″HG took only 10 minutes. After filling the system with water to the correct level it took only 1 minute to draw the cold system down to the point that the collectors started pumping.

Here’s a closer look at the siphon mixer in my apparatus. 

One thought on “Cricket Vacuum Charging Apparatus

  1. Hey, Bob… Good article on the garden variety vac-pump. Mine still works perfectly. ** I thought this morning I would have to use it on the roof: my hand pump failed utterly. It took only a small phillips-head screwdriver to disassemble the hand pump and find the problem: a spider egg-sac stuck in the diaphragm. Full clean-up. Re-assembling was more challenge. The pump spring is so strong that, after assembling everything else, I had to mount the pump in the vise, pull the plunger back with pliers, and hold it back with a second plier while I re-assembled the handle. It worked, and what’s more important, the hand pump then worked perfectly!! And my Cricket is healthy. I do get ∆T of 80°F, due, I think, to my QuadRod heat exchanger. Thanks for your posts…. Eldon

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