Filbert Pump Maintenance
and Repair Instructions
Pump Base Repair Instructions.
repair is easy, but please read the instructions
before attempting the repair. I know this advice is contrary to
all good judgement, commopn sense, and human instinct. However,
if you don't want to make a mess of something, read the instructions
first. The instructions are purposly made short for those of us,
myself included, who know everything, and wouldn't admit it even
if we didn't, but we do. Alright, at least read the next line...
Caution: The tube is lubricated
with silicone grease. To keep the tube clean, leave the bag on the
tube until you are ready to insert the piston.
Replacing the pump tube and base:
1. Remove the three screws under the handle and remove
the top half of the pump from the large tube. Put the screws in
a safe place because you will re-install them shortly.
2. With a tissue, wipe off the loose dirt and grime
from the piston assembly. The piston assembly does not have to be
spotless but do remove the big chunks of caked dust. If you remove
the rubber seal be sure to replace it in the same orientation, which
is with the open side toward the bottom of the pump.DO NOT
WASH THE SEAL WITH SOAP AND WATER, it will remove the silicone
lubricant and adversely affect the operation of your pump. Simply
use a tissue or paper towel to wipe off the excess crud.
3. Insert the piston in the new tube:
Look at the picture and note the location of the large
When you put the piston in the new tube insert the
piston at an angle and push it in as far as it will go while keeping
it at an angle. The orientation of the piston relative to the large
hole is important, and will prevent the piston lip from turning
over when the piston is straightened.
When the piston cannot be pushed in any farther tip
the piston while pulling it out ever so slightly. When the tube
is straight pull it out just a little bit more, but not past the
large hole, to make sure the piston lip is not turned over.
Next push the piston in the tube about 6 inches and
pull it out about 4 inches. This will further serve to straighten
the piston lip in the event is turned over.
Now, you can push the piston in all the way, align
the four holes in the large tube and re-install the screws. Do not
make the screws too tight otherwise, the threads will pull out of
Your pump should now be ready to inflate those balloons.
If you have, any questions give us a call at 518-765-4585.
If the screw holes do not line up,
fear not, the repair is now more complicated, but still simple.
The reason the screw holes do not line up is that some of the first
pumps of the new design, yours is one of them, had the screw holes
drilled by eye. This is because the jig to drill all holes the same
was not completed at the time your pump was built. In fact, you
do not need any screws at all to use the pump with the new base,
the handle will not come off in use. It might come off when you
carry it, although that is not very likely, but it will not come
off in use, so if you are short of time you can put the new base
on your pump and do your gigs with confidence. If you do not get
this repair completed before your next gig put the pump together
with the new base, line up the big holes, and do your gigs, then
finish the repair in your leisure time.
Here is how to solve the problem.
Gather your tools. You will need a drill, a 5/32 drill bit and an
11/64 drill bit, and you will need a Phillips screw driver, a #2
Phillips fits the screws best.
First put the new base on the pump and push the piston part way
in and stop. Now take three or four paper towels and stuff them
into the pump around the push rod. This will keep plastic chips
out of the pump when you drill the new holes.
Now put the handle on the large tube and line up the large holes
in the tube and the handle. Next find the screw hole that is the
closest to being in line and line those holes up. Now look to see
how much of the large hole is covered. As long as at least half
of the large hole is open the pump will function properly with no
noticeable difference because it was designed with the breather
hole larger than necessary just in case it became covered or partially
plugged. In fact, the pump will operate with the breather hole completely
plugged, and the only noticeable effect will be that it will be
slightly more difficult to lift the piston.
The next thing to do is to put a screw in to anchor the tube and
handle together so they won't move.
At each of the other two screw holes in the handle, and using each
of those holes to guide the drill, drill a hole in the tube with
the 5/32 drill. Now there should be three hole in the tube that
line up with each of the screw holes in the handle. With a pencil
put an X mark on the tube under each of the holes you just drilled
and an "O" mark under the hole with the screw in place.
Three holes, three marks.
Next, remove the screw from the handle and remove the handle, but
do not pull the piston out just yet.
Next, drill each of the holes with an "X" below them using
the 11/64 drill. This will make these holes slightly larger.
Now take a screw and screw it in each of the holes with an "X"
beneath it. You will have to push as you turn the screw to get it
started. Push as you turn the screw until the screw comes through
to the inside of the tube. Then remove the screws from the tube
and, while laying the pump on its side, remove the piston. The paper
towels should pull all of the plastic chips from the tube as the
piston is removed. Inspect the inside of the tube and remove any
chips that slipped past the towels and the piston.
Notice if there are any burrs on the inside of the tube at the holes
you drilled. Remove these burrs with a knife held flat against the
tube inside wall, and remove any remaining chips from the inside
of the tube.
Now, put the piston in the tube about half way and move it up and
down a few times to be sure the piston lip is not turned over on
itself, then put the piston all the way in. Now line up the screw
holes in the handle with the three marks on the tube, making sure
the large holes line up as they did when you drilled the holes.
You should now have the three screw holes in the handle lined up
with three screw holes in the tube. Put in the three screws, snug
but not tight, because you are working with plastic and too tight
strips the threads from plastic, and you are finished.
Wasn't that easy? If you have any problems give us a call, 518-765-4585.
Top Cap Replacement Instructions
Remove the old top cap from the top disk. This can be accomplished by inserting the edge of a table knife, or thin screw driver blade, in the crack that is in the cap. Once the knife edge, or screw driver blade, is in the crack move the knife, or screw driver, from side to side which should open the crack and loosen the cap from the the top disk. Once the cap is removed you will see remnants of glue on the mating surface of the top disk. So that the new top cap fits properly it will be necessary to remove as much of this glue as possible, without removing the mating surface. In reality it will be necessary to remove a slight bit of the mating surface, but remove as little as possible. If too much of the mating surface is removed the top cap will be too loose and will tend to come off when inflating balloons. We suggest using the flat edge of a knife and scrape the glue away from the mating surface of the top disk. Remove the big pieces of glue. The thin film that remains will most likely not interfere with the fit of the top cap.
Once the mating surface of the top disk is cleaned, remove all dust and pieces of plastic from the top disk. Place the valve disk on top of the top disk, with beveled side down, and place the top cap over the valve disk. Using the heals of both hands, one on each side of the nozzle, push down on the top cap until it seats against the top disk. This is a tight fit and requires considerable force to properly seat the top cap.
Once the top cap is in place it should stay put. If it comes off again, or if the fit is too loose, a narrow piece of paper wrapped around the mating surface of the top disk will make the fit much tighter. It may be necessary to experiment with different amounts of paper to determine the correct amount needed to keep the top disk in place. It won't take much, so start with a little bit and work up to a tight fit.
Remove the nozzle from the old cap by first wrapping it with a piece of leather, an old belt or leather glove, and then gripping the leather covered nozzle with a pair of pliers and rotate the nozzle counterclockwise to unscrew it from the old cap. The leather will protect the nozzle from getting scratched by the jaws of the pliers.
When putting the nozzle in the new cap, screw it in until it stops. Then, wrap it with a balloon and tighten it by hand as tight as you can get it. That should keep it from getting loose when using the pump.
If you have any problems please give us a call at +1 518-765-4585.
Lubricating the Filbert Pump
The squeak you may hear when you inflate a balloon with your pump
comes from the pushrod moving through the hole in the handle. Put
a small amount of Filbert Pump Grease on a paper towel and, with
the pushrod pulled all the way up, smear it on the pushrod. A thin
film is all that is needed to stop the squeak.
As a Rule of Thumb, unless you inflate more than 4000 balloons a
month your new pump should not need any additional lubrication for
about a year. This is one of those “Rules of Thumb”
things and many things effect the outcome of a Rule of Thumb.
As the piston moves up and down inside the pump the inside of the
tube dusts off and the piston seal collects that dust. When the
piston gets too dusty it starts to leak. This is a very gradual
thing and not a real problem.
The ruler by which you measure the performance of a Filbert Pump
is the Qualatex 260. If it still inflates a Q260 in one stroke than
you do not need any additional lubrication.
If it is determined that you do need to lubricate you Filbert Pump
here is what to do:
Remove the three screws under the handle. Remove the handle from
the large tube and remove the pushrod from the pump.
Next, remove the rubber seal from the piston and clean both the
seal and the piston. If you push on the seal with two fingers, the
opposite edge of the seal will move away from the piston and you
will be able to grab it with your fingers and stretch it over the
edge of the piston. When doing this note the orientation of the
seal relative to the piston. The seal has an open side and a closed
side. The open side faces away from the nozzle. DO NOT use tools
to grab or stretch the rubber seal, and be careful not to bend the
edged of the piston. If you do bend the edges of the piston simply
bend them back so that they are flat and parallel with each other.
Using a paper towel, remove all the old grease, crud, dust, food,
and bits of balloons from the seal and from the piston. Once the
seal is removed from the piston you will see some grease around
the center hub of the piston. If you do not have any new grease
save a little of this old grease to lubricate the piston once everything
is clean. DO NOT WASH the seal, just wipe it clean with a paper
towel. Do a good job of cleaning the piston and seal. This will
directly effect the performance of your pump.
Once the seal is clean stretch it just a bit and bend the thin
outer edge of the seal away from center. This will refresh it a
bit and give it a better fit in the tube.
With a paper towel or rag on the end of a stick, clean the bottom
of the large tube, making sure to remove whatever crud might be
at the bottom of the tube.
Now put a little grease on a paper towel and rub the grease on the
inside of the large tube. If your hand is small enough to reach
inside the tube use your hand, otherwise use a stick to rub the
grease on the inside of the large tube. A thin film of grease is
all that is needed, so use the grease sparingly. If you do not have
any new grease you can skip this step.
Now that you have grease on your fingers, apply a thin film of grease
on the edges and flat side of the seal. Use the saved old grease
from the center of the piston if you do not have any new grease.
A thin film is all that is needed, so use the grease sparingly.
Now, stretch the seal over the piston with the open side facing
away from the nozzle. Once on the piston the seal should be loose
and move freely on the piston.
Put the piston back in the large tube by tipping it at an angle
and putting one edge of the piston in the tube. Then straighten
the pushrod and the other edge of the piston will tip into the tube.
Be careful that the lip of the piston seal does not get folded over,
as this will cause it to leak and bind in the tube. You should now
be able to push the piston to the bottom of the tube.
Now place the handle over the end of the large tube and align the
large holes in the handle and large tube. The three small screw
holes should now be aligned. When replacing the screws only tighten
them until they are just a little snug, any tighter will cause the
plastic threads to strip. Be careful!
Your Filbert Pump should now be ready for another years worth of
If you have any problems with this maintenance give us a call at
518-765-4585, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and we will sympathize with you.
First, read the complete instructions before beginning
the repair. I know this is against all natural instincts, but grit
your teeth and do it anyway.
The repair should be made while the pump is resting
on its side. This will keep the glue from dripping on the pump handle
or running down the pushrod and permanently gluing the pushrod to
What you will need to make the repair:
You will need some means of cutting the pushrod. I
recommend a hacksaw with a 24-tooth blade.
You will need a small can of PVC cement marked REGULAR
CLEAR. We use Oatey brand available in Home Depot, Lowes, or most
hardware stores, but any brand will work.
You will need some paper towels and a tissue. You
will need a thin pole or coat hanger.
Put some newspaper on your work surface and be careful
with the glue. It will permanently damage most plastic surfaces.
Now to the repair:
First remove the three screws located under the handle.
Put the screws in a safe place, as they will be used again.
Remove the handle and pushrod assembly from the pump
base assembly, and set the base assembly out of the way.
Make a pencil mark on the pushrod at a point 3/4 inches,
19 mm, from the bottom of the top assembly.
Cut the pushrod at the pencil mark. Make the cut as
square as possible. This is not critical but the squarer the better.
Remove the broken handle and set it aside.
Next, remove all the plastic chips from the cut ends
of the pushrod with a knife or similar sharp instrument. Blow out
the plastic chips from the top assembly.
Take a tissue and stuff it in the piston end of the
pushrod. Using a long thin pole or straightened coat hanger, push
the tissue until it exits the pushrod at the cut end. This will
remove all of the plastic chips from the pushrod.
Now is the time to clean the piston and piston seal,
following the instructions included with the provided grease.
For the next two steps you will need the new handle,
the top assembly, the provided coupling, and the pushrod,
Place the new handle on the pushrod and slide it to
the piston. Be sure the handle is facing in the proper direction
on the pushrod. The top of the handle should face away from the
NOTE, You must do the next two steps quickly as the
PVC Cement dries very fast. When applying the cement, the cement
thickness should be more than a thin film but not so much that it
runs or drips.
Apply a small amount of PVC Cement around the inside
of one end of the provided coupling, and, with a twisting motion,
immediately push the glued end of the coupling over the short piece
of pushrod extending from the bottom of the top assembly. The coupling
should touch the end of the top assembly.
Is the handle in the proper position on the pushrod?
The top of the handle should face away from the piston.
In a similar fashion, apply a small amount of PVC
Cement around the inside of the other end of the coupling, now attached
to the top assembly, and, with a twisting motion, immediately push
the coupling over the end of the pushrod. Push the coupling as far
on the pushrod as it will go, about 1 inch, 25.4 mm.
While the glue is drying, clean the pump tube and
be sure to remove the bits and pieces of stuff from the bottom of
the tube. Apply a small amount of the provided grease to a paper
towel or cloth and wipe the inside of the tube with the grease.
Use the grease sparingly, as a little bit goes a long way.
Put the piston in the cleaned large tube by inserting
one edge of the piston in the tube at an angle while holding the
pushrod at an angle to the large tube. Straighten the pushrod such
that the piston tips into the tube until the pushrod is in line
with the tube. This will prevent the piston seal from jamming in
Allow the glue to dry for an hour or two and your
pump repair will be complete.
If you have any questions or problems contact me via
email at email@example.com, or by telephone at +1-518-765-4585
and I will try to help.
Last Update 6-4-2015