Vacuum Pumps: Considerations for Purchase and Servicing

By Lab Manager

Vacuum pumps are an essential piece of equipment and are used in a wide variety of processes in most laboratories. Over the past 25 years, vendors have made significant innovative improvements to vacuum pumps, with important developments in high vacuum technology, corrosion resistance, vacuum control, and improvements in the efficiency and ecological impact of vacuum pumps.

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Top 5 Signs That You Should Service or Replace Your Diaphragm Vacuum Pump

Loud—Increased operating noise level can indicate problems with wearing parts.
Hot—Elevated operating temperatures can lead to premature failures and unexpected downtime.
Low vacuum—Low or no vacuum performance, slower processing times.
Does not start—Blown fuses may indicate an incompatible electrical source or damaged components.
Contamination/fouling—Contaminants can collect within the pump and impede performance.

Top 6 Questions That You Should Ask When Buying a Lab Vacuum Pump

What will you be using the vacuum for? Filtration needs modest vacuum. Evaporation requires deeper vacuum. Molecular distillation requires even more. Match the pump to the use.
Can you use a dry (oil-free) vacuum pump? Oil-free vacuum pumps can support most lab applications. For the service advantages, choose a dry pump where possible.
What is the pumping capacity at the intended vacuum level? Actual pumping speed declines from the nominal speed as depth of vacuum increases. The rate of decline differs among pumps.
Do you work with corrosive media? Standard duty pumps have lower purchase costs, but corrosion-resistant pumps will have lower lifetime costs if working with corrosives.
Should you invest in vacuum control? Electronics can improve reproducibility, protect samples and shorten process times when specific vacuum conditions need to be maintained.
What is the lifetime cost of operation? Include purchase cost, service intervals, servicing cost, pump protection (e.g., filters, cold traps), and staff time for operation.

Recently Released Vacuum Pumps

Model SC950 Vacuum Pump System

  • Features a high 50 l/min pumping capacity and a deep 1.5 Torr end vacuum
  • Enables a shorter processing time with a wide range of solvents
  • User-friendly wireless remote control enables the system to be operated within a fume hood with the sash closed for added safety benefits and energy savings

KNF Neuberger, Inc.


  • Integrated with the essential accessories for basic rotary evaporation and other common laboratory tasks
  • Features the MZ2C NT chemistry-design oil-free pump with a 5 Torr ultimate vacuum, and 38 liter per minute free air capacity
  • Flow control knob helps match pumping speed to vapor flow to quietly help prevent bumping and foaming


WelchNet Titan Oil-Free Vacuum System

  • A microprocessor controlled system of high capacity PTFE diaphragm vacuum pumps for multi-user laboratory installations
  • Pumps work individually or in tandem as the laboratory vacuum demand requires, holding vacuum level even if an individual pump needs maintenance
  • Chemical-resistant, energy efficient system includes intelligent vacuum control and green technology and is low maintenance


HiPace™ 300 Plus Turbopumps

  • Available with pumping speeds up to 260 liters per second (300 Plus) or 685 liters per second (700 Plus) for N2
  • Feature reduced and improved vibration spectrum and reduced magnetic stray field
  • Suited for analytical applications such as electron microscopy and high-end mass spectrometry
  • Improved rotor design gives both high pumping speeds and very good compression for light gases

Pfeiffer Vacuum

Vacuum Pumps Manufacturers

Agilent Vacuum



Cole Parmer


KNF Neuberger, Inc.


Myers Vacuum

New Star Environmental


Pfeiffer Vacuum

Precision Scientific



Vacuum Research



Categories: Lab Products

Published In

2013/2014 Product Resource Guide Magazine Issue Cover
2013/2014 Product Resource Guide

Published: August 9, 2013

Cover Story