Is you Milking Machine Flooding ?

The milking machine is the most important piece of equipment on the dairy farm. It is used more often and more hours per year than any other piece of equipment, including the farm tractor.

When milk completely fills any tube or line between the teat end and the vacuum pump, the system is said to be flooded. Placing a solid column of milk in the air column slows its movement. If air is being admitted to the system behind the column of milk, the vacuum level will lower. Some researchers feel that flooding alone is detrimental and vacuum fluctuation is secondary in causing new udder infections. Their opinion is based on the possibility of milk from an infected quarter mixing in the flooded claw and then contaminating the teat end of an uninfected quarter. This is a possibility. One study showed that impact forces on a teat end do occur when the liner opens.

The Following is a list of factors involved in flooding.

Fast milking cows.

Liner tail piece of inadequate capacity.

Small Claws and wide ratios.

Elevating milk with milking vacuum.

Milk line too small for number of milkers.

Inadequate milk line slope.


In line milk filters.

Elbows in milk line.

Improperly placed milk inlets.

A 300 ml capacity claw piece enables a cluster to handle the fastest milking cows with no danger of flooding whether on 4 x 1 or 2 x 2 pulsation, the 19mm milk nipple allows maximum flow of milk and vacuum through the milk tube.

Most short milk tubes are now 8mm plus

Most direct to lines are 75mm, there is a maximum number of units on a straight and looped line.

Milk lines should have a continuous and even fall towards the receiver jar, with a minimum of 10 mm (1 cm) of drop for every metre of pipe.  This translates into a minimum decline of 0.5%.

The more milkers in the parlour the more chance of slugging increase the fall.

The Above Graph shows a brand new parlour with slugging in the milk line due to a sharp bend , this value only just complies .

The flow of milk inside the milk line should be at a level of less than 50%, i.e. there should be more air above the level of milk than milk below.  This is called ‚Äústratified flow

The milking cluster requires air vents so that the milk lines do not become flooded.  The air vents are located either in or near the claw or in the liner. 

Checking your pulsation ratio to ensure quick gentle milking

Lifting milk can increase the length of the milk vacuum slug and reduce the vacuum level.

There should be no risers on the milk line

Having sharp bends will affect the movement of airflow milk flow and can cause flooding.

The Milking Machine does not give the cows mastitis it can spread pathogens or damage the teat skin .

I am still testing poorly installed milking equipment, why no fit it correctly? “