Country of Origin: United States
I have a Robinair #15600 6cfm vacuum pump that I bought new about five years ago. I have changed the oil in it after every use but was wondering what everyone else does on vacuum pump oil changes. The owner's manual suggests to change it after every use but I was wondering if that is really needed. Most of the time, the oil in the site glass still looks new after I use the machine. I just bought another gallon jug of Robinair pump oil and the stuff was not cheap. I usually only use the pump maybe twice a year. Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting good oil.
So what do you guys do or suggest. Thanks.
My Mastercool pump recommended no later than six month intervals if I recall correctly.
We use much bigger oil pumps where I work, and we typically don't change the oil until the pump won't pull a decent vacuum because there's too much water in the oil. That's not right, but it is the way it is.
My current plan is to always make sure my pump gets hot enough to boil off any water before putting it away. After that, a new bottle of oil will be on standby for the next time the pump is used. If the pump does not pull down to my liking, the oil will be changed.
Wow, every six months. Mine says after every use but I'm thinking that is too much. There have been a few times that the oil was a little murky after use and I could see changing it then, but most of the time, the oil looks just like I put it in. I may go every other time depending on what other feedback I get here. Thanks.
every time is best.If you used a micron guage, you'd see the difference.
I don't have a micron gauge so maybe I will stick with changes after every use. The vacuum pump oil I just bought was almost $25 for a gallon jug. This seemed a lot higher than the last gallon jug I bought. I guess it's cheap insurance though. Thanks.
I agree w/Dougflas. A factory Res/Com HVAC field support tech. that lives in my neighborhood schooled me on pulling a vacuum during my project. Change the oil each session, and dispose of the used oil after the session is done. Flush w/clean oil if necessary. Oil is considered a disposable commodity. A micron gauge is a must to verify this. I'm a believer after his help and seeing the results. HTH.
Thanks for the info. I will continue to change after every use.
Our Robinair junk prompts me to change it's oil every 10 hrs.
What problems have you had with the Robinair vacuum pumps?
So does that mean if your pump has been sitting for more than one month with clean new oil in it, that it is considered contaminated.?
My pump sits for many months and sometimes over a year before it's used. It sat for about a year this last time between uses. Interesting information. Thanks.
Thanks guys, I didn't even think of that option. That probably would be the best thing to do. I have never done that so I probably have done some damage to the pump even though the oil still does look new when I go to use it.
If you are not going to use the vacuum pump for a while, I would suggest storing it with oil in it. This would prevent surface rust. When you are about to use it, change the oil. Just my opinion.
That is a good idea also. I have always kept oil in it up to this point and have not had any problems. I guess there is a good argument for both ways.
Here isa he best of both worlds. When you are done with a job, leave the oil in the pump. When you use it again, pull a vacuum with the previous used oil for a few minutes to heat the pump and oil up. then change the oil. Repeat this for the next usage. I have been using this method for automotive and HVAC. i don't have vacuum problems and I use a micron gauge to verify.
That does sound like a good compromise and is what I will do since I have not changed out the fluid yet.
When I had a business repairing and servicing Robinair rec/recharge machines, they would throw a message every 10 hours of vac time. I had 600 customers, and would visit most machines every year. Nearly all would be showing the message. I would bet a years salary that no-one would change the oil in between the annual service. In the beginning I would leave the fresh oil left over from the change with the customer, so he could use it for the next change. It would never get used. In fact, some of the stupid dealerships actually used it for refrigeration oil, as they didn't know the difference. As a result, I stopped leaving it behind. I would see from their invoice history that they never purchased vac oil in between the annual services.
Many pumps would be runnning virtually dry, as they would often try vacuuming a system with a huge hole in it, and all the oil would vent as mist through the pump exhaust. But part of the service was to accurately measure the vacuum level achieved, and in the 6 years I had the business I only ever replaced 4 or 5 pumps. And 1 or 2 of those was an electrical fault.
So despite the pumps getting an absolute hammering by operatives that didn't give a stuff, used many times a day, and with no oil changes or top-ups, those pumps were seeing many hundreds of hours between oil changes without failure, and with very little degredation of performance. Certainly not enough to stop the vacuum level getting below the threshold necessay to boil off the moisture.
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