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How Easy Oil Changes for All Rotary Vane and Hybrid Vacuum Pumps Work

Problem: Rotary vane, or oil-based, vacuum pumps, are a common piece of equipment found in most
labs. A vacuum pump is an accessory used with equipment such as freeze dryers, vacuum concentrators, glove boxes, and vacuum ovens. Just as in your car, the oil in a rotary vane pump needs to be changed periodically in order to run at its optimum. The ramifications of not doing regular oil changes is poor vacuum and seizing up the pump’s internal components, which can destroy an expensive pump.

by Labconco
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Labconco PrimeMate Oil Change System shown with vacuum pump.Labconco

Oil changes can be time consuming and can take a pump out of circulation for hours or days at a time. This causes bottlenecks in the lab, which means loss of research time and productivity. And let’s talk about the mess—when the drain port is removed, oil flows out of the pump by gravity and onto the floor if a container has not been put into place to catch it; which means solvent cleanup duty is required to prevent any injury from slipping and falling.

Time between oil changes varies from “What’s an oil change?” to an SOP of changing oil once a month or after each use. Typically when the oil in the vacuum pump site glass looks dirty, it’s time for an oil change. This is dependent upon the application and the solvents and processes being used.

Solution: With a product like Labconco’s new PrimeMate™ Oil Change System, messy oil changes are a thing of the past. In as little as 13 minutes, the system drains dirty oil from the pump and refills it with clean oil. The pump never leaves the lab or is disconnected from the equipment. Waste oil is held in a closed 1-gallon container for proper disposal dependent on state and company regulations. After setting up such a system, oil changes can be done with two flips of a switch. No oil dripping onto your hands or the floor.

To prepare the pump for an oil change, remove the drain port from the vacuum pump and install the coupler included with the PrimeMate. If multiple pumps will be in the oil change rotation, accessory couplers are available. Once the coupler is installed, there is no need to remove it. Using the quick disconnect fitting, snap the system’s hose to the coupler and the pump oil is ready to be changed. Toggle the switch to drain. A peristaltic pump built into the PrimeMate starts draining the oil into a 1-gallon waste container. Once the pump is empty, flip the toggle to fill. Clean oil is pumped back into the pump. When the pump is full, toggle the switch to “off ” and the oil change is complete. Disconnect the hose from the system and the pump is ready for the next run.

An accessory battery pack and cart allow the PrimeMate to be used on pumps in multiple locations on one change. The battery pack can run up to eight hours on a full charge and up to 32 oil changes can be done on one charge.

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