Vacuum Pump Maintenance

Regularly serviced oil and filters are of primary importance.

Failure to change oil filters on vacuum pumps that utilize them will result in clogged internal oil passages. The oil filter is there to remove contaminants generated by the internal components of the pump itself as well as contaminants ingested from the vacuum stream. Some manufacturers use a vane material that sheds particulates as they wear.

The internal filters (demisters) become clogged fairly quickly depending on the application. Clogged demisters cause the pump to lose efficiency. An indication of clogged demisters is the pump will begin to “smoke”. Actually the pump is discharging the oil in aerosol form.

Mechanical shear causes reduced oil lubricity which causes bearing surfaces to come into contact resulting in catastrophic failure.

The most efficient method of avoiding these issues is a scheduled maintenance program.

Thus assuring efficient filtration and effective lubrication as well as the cleanliness of the unit. Minor oil leaks will be detected and repaired as well.

A dry or oil-less rotary vane pump will experience vane wear at a rapid pace. Each maintenance cycle must include a vane measurement. Upon reaching the minimum vane height, vane replacement is a necessity. Failure will result in vane breakage and/or a corduroy wear pattern in the bore or barrel of the stater. This will require either machining of the bore or replacement of the barrel.

The gas balance valve (if used) must also be inspected during each maintenance cycle. Replacement is required if there is any suspicion of weakness in the spring or if there is any discoloration. Any damage to the sealing or seating areas or surfaces mandate replacement.

Removal and inspection of all valves must take place annually. Any damage dictates replacement.

Location of the pump or system is critical. Access to the maintenance areas of the pump or system must be assured.