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$15 electric vacuum pump for anyone!

I’ve been pumping on and off for a while with a manual pump, harbor freight with gauge. I haven’t really stuck with it but thought an electric pump would be much more convenient.

I think to start I’d just like a setup that pumps ~4-6 vacuum without the need for any valves. I tend to stay at 5. Would I be better off with the whisper 40, or 60(I think actually 40-60 now)?

I’d consider the 12v alternative sparkyx described but am looking for a quiet solution. Doing stealth pe and I think the sound of an electric razor going off for 10 minutes at a time might be suspicious.

In case I need to lower vacuum or decide I’d rather be around 3, where is the best place to get the valves now? I use amazon and ebay the most and am located in the US.

Kind of frustrating when no one responds when you are looking for answers. Going to go with the whisper 60, more options. Not much more money.

BlackFuryy - don’t know where you are shopping for vacuum pumps - since you are in the USA, I suggest Walmart or Petsmart. I suggest you buy the most your budget will allow - because you can always bleed off unwanted suction with a pump that provides more volume and/or more vacuum. You will have to convert the aquarium pump to vacuum - see posts earlier in this thread. As for valves, I like the quarter-turn irrigation valves available at Home Depot. Another alternative is to use a needle valve with an adapter for tubing. Please post your questions and I will try to pay attention to this thread to offer assistance.

Thanks mo1258, I appreciate the response. I shouldn’t have complained about the lack of response. Went with the whisper 60 from amazon for 14.99 and free shipping at the time, appeared to be much more at petsmart. Also ordered 10 ft silicone aquarium line for 3.68 and extra t-connectors in case I need them. Will most likely get the irrigation valves you specified as I couldn’t find much online. Hopefully won’t have any problem converting.

I am in the process of converting a cheap $7 Walmart Aqua Culture aquarium aeration pump into a vacuum one by drilling a hole in the case and adding a brass hose barb I got from Home Depot. Still not pulling vacuum though even though this diy site with pics said it would pull 5 mmHg’s max with all leakage points sealed. Anyone have any luck converting this type of pump?

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PE'ing since 11/1/13. It's never too late to begin!



Originally Posted by lowtower
I am in the process of converting a cheap $7 Walmart Aqua Culture aquarium aeration pump into a vacuum one by drilling a hole in the case and adding a brass hose barb I got from Home Depot. Still not pulling vacuum though even though this diy site with pics said it would pull 5 mmHg’s max with all leakage points sealed. Anyone have any luck converting this type of pump?

Doing a good search of the pump I found a couple guides on how to switch the aqua culture pump to vacuum but I didn’t see any mention of using a 1/4” brass barb and blocking off ports. Why wouldn’t you use a t fitting and use the ports attached to the pumps. Also which model size of the pump are you using?

With the whisper 60 the conversion was very easy, opened it up, swapped the pumps and tested it. The hardest part for me was slipping the silicone aquarium tubing I bought over the quick disconnect fitting on my tube. Even heating it up with hot water and using lube on the fitting it was difficult. Testing the vacuum with the harbor freight pump it showed a little over 4 on one side and about 5 on the other, sometime .5 less. I tried using the t connector to run both pumps into the harbor freight pump but this showed slightly less vacuum than the single higher vacuum pump. According to some of the posts here I thought it might increase the total vacuum but it didn’t for me. I will probably pull the lower vacuum pump as there is no point in having it running if it won’t increase total vacuum, I would assume it would reach vacuum level faster with both pumps but I don’t want this.

It was very nice not to have to use the manual pump, I really like it. It seemed like I was getting more expansion with the harbor freight pump at the same levels though, which doesn’t make sense.

Originally Posted by lowtower
I am in the process of converting a cheap $7 Walmart Aqua Culture aquarium aeration pump into a vacuum one by drilling a hole in the case and adding a brass hose barb I got from Home Depot. Still not pulling vacuum though even though this diy site with pics said it would pull 5 mmHg’s max with all leakage points sealed. Anyone have any luck converting this type of pump?

I do not have any experience with that particular model but I have worked with a few other air pumps for aquariums. These pumps are usually diaphragm pumps that draw air in through a vent somewhere in the case and push the air out the orifice that fits tubing. Our strategy is to reverse parts inside the head of the pump to change the direction of air flow - thus sucking in air through the orifice and venting it out of the case.

LowTower - I suspect the reason your approach did not work is that you did not seal up the other vent(s) in the case. These cases (enclosures) generally have lots of gaps that leak air - so while there may be a main vent, sometimes with a little filter, there are also areas, such as the seams where the case comes together, where air can enter the pump. For the original purpose, blowing air into the aquarium, all these leaks are not a problem and in fact, help make it work better. I suggest you take apart your pump and discover how it works. You might be able to still convert the pump to suction even though you drilled holes, etc.

BlackFuryy - the dual head pump inside the Whisper pump tops out at about 5” Hg - that’s just a limitation of the design. Connecting both outlets together with a “T” fitting will only move more air. In other words, you will reach the max 5” Hg faster but not go higher than about 5” Hg.

For folks who would like to experiment further, I recommend you try the 12VDC pumps commonly available along with a 12VDC power supply. Online auction sites (ebay) as well as hobby sites (sparkfun) have everything you need to make a small vacuum pump system. These pumps do not require any conversion to vacuum - they have separate ports for air in and out. Then you might consider controlling the pump with simple timers, relays or switches. It is possible to have the pump turn off at a set vacuum level with much more expensive pressure switches - that’s what I am working on now.

Best Wishes!

Tetra Whisper 30-60 gallon

Just a bump in this thread. Sorry if there are repeats in here.

1. I’ve been pumping on and off for years but I must say these Aquarium pumps are the only way to go for this price point.
This pump provides outstanding consistency in vacuum, is hands free and vibrates the tube for better blood flow.

2. I bought the Tetra Whisper 30-60 gallon pump from Walmart for around $21.00

After testing the pump and making the required changes from vacuum to compressor mode, I noticed that the pump generated the same max 5Hg with both compressors or just 1. So I removed one of them, so now I have extra parts and the pump
is a little quieter as well.

” I race turbo cars for a hobby so I had some really accurate gauges for testing. ”

Last step was to tee off the ( 1 ) vacuum port that I’m using , with one of little adjustable valves that comes with the pump and now I can dial consistent vacuum from 1-5Hg.
Basically instead of regulating pressure the valve now acts as a regulated vacuum leak. Works great.

No need to buy any thing else with this pump with the exception of any extra tubing you might need.

Hope this helps

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Pumper for a while got to the square dick 7X7 , hanging now 7-2010

Is the tubing you used to connect the pump to the cylinder the standard fishing pump tubing too?

I found the pump, the gauge, and the cylinder. But it appears to me that they all take a different size tube.

BPEL Start: 5 15/16". BPEL Current: 7 1/4". Short Term BPEL Goal: 7 1/2". Long Term BPEL 8"

BEELIT Start: 6", BPELIT Current: 6.1/4"

EG Start: 5". EG Current: 5 1/8". Short Term EG Goal: 5.25". Long Term EG: 6

I just converted the Whisper 40-60 last night after I received it from amazon (17 dollars w/ Prime Shipping) along with 25 feet of aquarium tubing (overkill but it was also 5 dollars on Amazon with Prime Shipping). I found an easy way to remove the pumps from the housing was to simply remove the rubber gasket that surrounds them and lift up by the inside of the plastic. Once the plastic piece is out you can flip it and reapply the rubber gasket and slide it back in. As far as connecting the tubing to my cylinder, i just slid the aquarium tubing inside my cylinders tubing as was mentioned earlier in this thread and i didn’t lose any vacuum through and air leak. This pump pulls exactly 6 psi (on both sides) according to my harbor freight/LAPumps gauge, which means I need to reduce the vacuum a few psi. For the time being, I just poked a small hole into one piece of my vacuum tubing to introduce air into the the system. This brought the psi down to around 5 which is still a little more than I desire. However this technique isn’t exact as the hole in the tubing can bend open or closed, thus increasing or decreasing the vacuum. I’ll need to make the journey to pick up some irrigation supplies to have a more controlled vacuum leak to reach my desired psi.

However, this set up really takes ALL of the bad qualities out of pumping. Its really easy to get a seal; I have significantly more hair than I’ve had previously while pumping and it still sucks down no problem. You really can just “set it and forget it” and watch TV or read the paper or something until your session is over. I would highly recommend this conversion!

BPEL - 5 5/8" --- Goal 6"

MSEG - 4.5 " ---- Goal 4.75 "

I feel like an Idiot, but I just reread Sparkyx’s post about using the gate valve that comes with the pump as a regulator and he is indeed a genius! Works like a charm — easily and reliably adjustable!

BPEL - 5 5/8" --- Goal 6"

MSEG - 4.5 " ---- Goal 4.75 "

I got a Whisper 10-30

First I figured an easy way to get the diaphragm out by snaking a shoe lace behind it and pulling it out. I used a tweezers to reach back and get the shoe lace.

I switched the valves around and reassembled. I got zero vacuum. I took it apart again and I noticed the smallest o-ring had fallen out, so I put it back and reassembled again. This time I got 2hg of vacuum, but that isn’t enough, so I would advise anyone to get the 30-60 gallon. Use a piece of string to pull the diaphragm ( I would love to use that word in a Scrabble game) out, and if you don’t get a vacuum, check to make sure an o-ring hasn’t slipped out when you reassembled it.

First of all thanks to the original poster for putting this out there and everyone for talking about your experiences.

I know I’m posting to an old thread but I thought I’d add to it because I learned quite a bit and I’d like to share what my setup currently looks like.

First the list of parts I used:

Qty (1) Tetra 77854 Whisper Air Pump, 60 Gallon ( for $15)
Qty (1) Mityvac MVA6910 Fluid Reservoir Kit, 4 oz. ( for $11)
Qty (3) Eaton Weatherhead 3325X4 Brass CA360 Fitting, Hex Nipple, 1/4” NPT Male, 1.38 inches Length ( for $1.40 ea.)
Qty (3) Watts Brass Pipe LFA-730 Tees ( for $7.25 ea.)
Qty (1) Control Devices VR Series Brass Vacuum Relief Valve, 0-30” Hg Vacuum Range, 1/4” Male NPT ( for $7.50)
Qty (1) Dixon Valve GL105 Vacuum Gauge, 1/4” Lower Mount, 2” Face, 30” Hg ( for $11)
Qty (1) Watts Brass Hose Barb LFA-197 1/4” ID x 1/4” FIP (Home Depot for a couple bucks.)
Qty (2) Watts Brass Hose Barb LFA-85 1/8” ID x 1/4” MIP (Home Depot for a couple bucks each.)
And some appropriately sized vinyl tubing for each end: .170” ID for the pump side and .250” ID for the end that leads to the fluid reservoir and tube.

Its a pretty straight forward assembly. I put the vacuum regulator between the gauge and pump to control the suction.
Its not in the pictures but I put the fluid reservoir not too far from the tube end of the assembly so as to ensure not getting any water into the pump. (I full package water pump.)
That vacuum relief valve is pretty nice, you can adjust it down quite a bit depending on your comfort level. Having the gauge right there is nice, no disconnecting the line and attaching your hand pump to check the vacuum level.

For now the hoses are just pushed onto the barbs and if I need to take them off it requires cutting them, so I will order some Air/Water Quick-Disconnect Fittings from McMaster-Carr and that will make the system much more easy to take apart when needed. I also plan on acquiring a small/medium chest to make into a permanent housing for the pump and tubes, that way all I have to do is open the lid, select which tube I want to use and plug the pump in. When I’m done just unplug and unhook the tube and close the lid. I can keep it near the bed, or next to the sofa in the living room and no guests would be the wiser.


So again, thanks to everyone that has shared in the past and I hope this info helps someone out in the future.

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Electric vacuum pump pulsing

Hi I have pumped for years. I have tried t think of a away to make the electric vacuum pulse- maybe 30 - 60 times a minute. I want to do this because my skin simply will not tolerate high (5 inches) vacuum for long (7 minutes) periods. I am hoping the pulsing of the vacuum will enable me to use higher vacuum and be a stimulus so I do not have to work at being hard over nothing lol- any thoughts? And any thoughts on what to use to make my skin a little tougher?

Hi, pals!
I am newbie at pumping and I’m looking forward to buy my first pump. So I would be very grateful for any help or suggestion.
Actually, I’ve been searching a lot around the net and found appropriate for me. Do toy guys know anything about it?



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