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Where is it used

Looking for some more information on how to operate and maintain the Pitvaq? Look no further! Here, you can find links to all of the training materials we have developed over the years. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us.


We've produced 18 training videos on different aspects of operating and maintaining the Pitvaq machine. See more details below or view the entire playlist here.
Please also download our photographic guide to accompany you as you watch the videos.

Module 1 - Introducing the

In this video, we introduce you to the Pitvaq: A completely portable vacuum pumping system, that two or three people can take anywhere.

Module 2 - Introducing the

In this video, we introduce you to the Rato 7HP petrol engine, the power plant of our Pitvaq pit emptying machine.

Module 3 - Introducing the Vacuum Pump

In this video, we introduce the vacuum pump, which is the heart of the Pitvaq. The pump we use is the VP18M, made by a company called DeLaval.

Module 4 - Introducing the Moisture Trap

This video introduces you to the moisture trap, which protects the vacuum pump from droplets of moisture coming up the air line.

Module 5 - Introducing the Ball Float Valve

In this video, we introduce the ball float valve, which is inside the vacuum tank and is the first (and most important) line of defence against liquid getting inside the vacuum pump

Module 6 - How to check and top up engine oil

To keep your engine running properly, you should check that it always has enough oil. This video will show you how to do this daily.

Module 7 - How to fill and check fuel

Here, we will show you how to check and top up your fuel using regular unleaded fuel.

Module 8 - How to start the engine

Here we will show you how to start the engine. We cover a few basic things you need to remember and also talk about things that might make it hard to start the engine.

Module 9 - How to stop the engine

Stopping the engine follows pretty much the reverse process of starting the engine.

Module 10 - How to care for your vacuum pump

Let's take a look inside the vacuum pump and talk about how to take care of it so it runs for a long time.

Module 11 - Topping up the
vacuum oil

Here we talk about how to top up the vacuum oil so that the pump continues to run smoothly. To top up the oil, you'll need a hydraulic oil Grade 68 Viscosity.

Module 12 - Operating the vacuum tank valves

In this video, we will show you how to operate the two valves on the vacuum tank. The valve at the top is a ball valve which closes the tank off to the atmosphere when pumping starts. The discharge valve at the bottom of the tank allows you to empty the tank once it is full.

Module 13 - Troubleshooting the vacuum pump

Here, we'll troubleshoot a few issues you might face with your vacuum pump. If the pump is left sitting for a while, some moisture can build up in it, causing rust on the vacuum vanes. This can keep the vanes from moving smoothly, stopping the Pitvaq from forming a vacuum or causing the pump to overheat.

Module 14 - Troubleshooting vacuum problems

This video will show you how to find the root of problems forming a vacuum. If your engine is revving properly but your vacuum is low, there are a few steps you can take to identify the problem.

Module 15 - Engine

Your petrol engine is actually going to be your fastest wearing, highest maintenance aspect of this machine. Your key things are the oil, air filter, and the spark plug. In this video, we'll show you how to maintain the engine.

This video will show you how to deal with trash that is so common when emptying pit latrines. The Pitvaq can handle quite a lot of trash. Anything that fits through the end of the hose will go into the tank with no problems. For larger items and when there is a lot of trash, the PITVAQ comes with a trash screen to keep the trash away.

Module 16 - Dealing with trash
Module 17 - Sludge disposal

Here, we'll discuss some options for safe and efficient handling of sludge removed from pit latrines by the Pitvaq.

Module 18 - Workers' health

In this video, we talk about keeping workers healthy and safe when they use the Pitvaq.

Oh, Shit! Health & safety management programme for pit emptying

This series of videos covers a wide range of aspects related to protecting health and safety of pit emptiers and the public during pit emptying. Share these videos with your pit emptying teams to help them understand the risks of pit emptying and different ways to avoid those risks.

Workers' Health Training

Here, we'll discuss some options for safe and efficient handling of sludge removed from pit latrines by the Pitvaq.

Pour Flush: A new paradigm in
basic sanitation

This video provides details on the development of a pour flush toilet for the South African context. The work was funded by the Water Research Commission and carried out by Partners in Development.