Lesson 236 - Coalescer Intake Attachments

Coalescer intake attachments

are always used in conjunction with some type of pump to create surface suction. They are not stand-alone entities like mechanical skimmers that can actively skim fluid surfaces all by themselves.

Function of an Intake Attachment

In most cases, intake attachments are used with coalescing systems, drawing off the surface layer for further treatment. They can also be used with a pump and hose alone to transfer the surface layer as needed, such as in the Zebra Fluid Transfer Kit for tanks with baffled sections as explained in Topic 230.

Since a pump is used for suction, they are able to easily draw in whatever has accumulated on the surface of the fluid. This can be a tramp oil layer, a biofilm layer, sludge, or even a split emulsion layer. Since metalworking applications create chips, they will also draw in particles that are small or light enough to float or remain in suspension.

Selecting an Intake Attachment

What Fits?

As with mechanical skimmers, the first consideration in selecting an appropriate intake attachment is what physically fits into the tank. Hammerhead is the leader of the pack in this regard, fitting into areas with tight access.

Have Chips?

Next, consider the contaminants being drawn. As mentioned in Topic 235, chips can be an issue, particularly for small centrifugal pumps. Whenever possible, select an intake attachment that has a chip screen to protect the pump as well as decrease the likelihood of hoses getting blocked by this debris. Recept, Sumpster, and Floating Sumpster all are equipped with chip screens.

Note that it is also possible for a non-screened attachment, such as the Hammerhead, to be surrounded with a custom-cut piece of screening, placed a few inches from the intake opening, to help reduce accumulation of chips inside the equipment.

What’s the Flux?

Similar to mechanical skimmer reach is fluid fluctuation, or flux. If the intake attachment can not float on the surface, it is considered stationary and will handle less fluid fluctuation.


, and

all float on the surface.

What’s the Surface Area?

Most of Zebra’s intake attachments are designed for use on an individual sump, where there is generally a fairly small surface area. However, we also offer a solution for larger sumps or central tanks, as well as underground sumps that generally have larger surfaces. Floating Sumpster fits the bill for these applications.


Zebra offers various intake attachments, each designed to handle certain conditions. If your first suggestion doesn’t work perfectly, try another! We hope that customers will find that we have designed a broad enough range of intake attachments to serve every need. And Zebra’s intake attachments can even be used on other manufacturers’ skimmers!