Introduction

Contaminants are detrimental to the safety, yield, reliability and sustainability of your vacuum pump system, which makes it critical to commit to an ongoing system maintenance plan. As each vacuum pump is different and depends on the application it’s used for, your maintenance plan will be unique to the system it’s intended for. High and extremely-high vacuum pumps such as turbomolecular or ion getter pumps will require completely different maintenance treatments to their rough and medium pump counterparts. That said, there are two maintenance mainstays that apply across the board:

  • Higher temperatures can hinder your pump's ability to pull its full vacuum, so make sure to keep it cool. If the pump is enclosed, use fan cooling; if not, fresh air will suffice. But never pump vapours while pump is still cold.
  • As vacuum pumps require lubrication for optimal performance and protection, commit to regular oil inspections and changes.

The below checklist will expand on the specific components and areas of a vacuum pump that should be checked and maintained regularly. For supplementary information on effective maintenance and safety plans, read our Ultimate Guide to Vacuum System Maintenance & Safety.

Please fill out the form for information that’s specific to your pump and one of our consultants will be in touch shortly.

 

hydrocarbon oil condition

 

Oil Sealed Rotary Vane Pump

  • Check pump oil level
  • Check for oil leaks in front shaft seal:
  • Check for oil leaks between oil casing and coupling housing
  • Check oil and exhaust filters
  • Record oil type
  • Compare oil filter temperature to pump casing temperature
  • Check oil Condition (chart is for hydrocarbon only) oil change is required when oil is a dark tea colour (#4 - see image above)
  • Check motor coupling for running noises
  • Check motor fan cowl and cooling fans
  • Check the oil filter for any leaks
  • Check pump for level mounting
  • Check exhaust filters
  • Check gas ballst function/clean gas ballast filter
  • Clean dirt trap
  • Check function of anti-suck back valve
  • Check pump temperature at sight glass area
  • Visually inspect all flat gaskets on drain/fill plugs
  • Check float valve (if applicable)
  • Check drive belts for wear, tension
  • Check cooling water (if applicable)
  • Check heat exchanger/pump for water leaks (if applicable)
  • Check temperature reading at thermal valve
  • Check radiator cleanliness/airflow
  • Visually check and record cleanliness of area where pump is used

For more tips about working with Rotary Vane Pumps, read our blog here.

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Dry Vacuum Pumps

  • Check pump oil level - top pump, gear side
  • Check pump oil level - top pump, motor side
  • Check oil level - lower pump, gear side
  • Check oil level - lower pump, motor side
  • Check for oil leaks
  • Record oil type
  • Check oil Condition (chart is for hydrocarbon only) oil change is required when oil is a dark tea colour (#4 - see image above)
  • Check for abnormal operating noise
  • Check filter in the cooling water pressure reducer
  • Check purge gas hoses
  • Check/replace filter cartridge in purge gas pressure reducer
  • Check/clean gas ballast filter
  • Check water hoses
  • Check water flowrate (flow specified in manual)
  • Visually check flat gasket on drain/fill plugs for damage
  • Check for faults/alarms/temperature at the Frequency Converter (where applicable)
  • Visually check and record cleanliness of area where used

 

Dry Compressing Fore Pumps

  • Check oil Condition (chart is for hydrocarbon only) oil change is required when oil is a dark tea colour (#4 - see image above)
  • Check pump oil level
  • Check the oil filter for any leaks
  • Record oil type
  • Check coolant level in the expansion valve
  • Check for un-ordinary running noises
  • Check N2 flow regulator (when applicable)
  • Check N2 pressure regulator (when applicable)
  • Check/clean gas ballast filter:
  • Check cooling water piping:
  • Check water hoses:
  • Check water flowrate (flow specified in manual)
  • Check pump temperature at sight glass area
  • Check for faults/alarms/temperature at the Frequency Converter (where applicable)
  • Visually check and record cleanliness of area where used

Find out more about how dry vacuum pumps are used in the food industry in our blog.

 

Roots Pumps

  • Check pump oil level (Gear, side, all)
  • Oil level (Motor side)
  • Check oil Condition (chart is for hydrocarbon only) oil change is required when oil is a dark tea colour (#4 - see image above)
  • Check coupling for running noises
  • Clean motor fan cowl and cooling fins
  • Check the oil level in the shaft sealing ring housing oil cup
  • Check for oil leakage in shaft seal housing
  • Review and clean pumping chamber if possible
  • Review and clean bypass valve if possible
  • Check the water flow
  • Check pump temperature at sight glass area
  • Check all flat gaskets on drain/fill plugs and perform damage inspection
  • Record Frequency Converter data (where applicable)

Click here to learn more about the working principle of multistage roots pumps.

 

Screw Pumps

  • Check pump oil level
  • Check the oil filter for any leaks
  • Record oil type
  • Check oil Condition (chart is for hydrocarbon only) oil change is required when oil is a dark tea colour (#4 - see image above)
  • Inspect weep hole filter (replace if needed)
  • Inspect oil overflow reservoir (drain and document)
  • Check for un-ordinary running noises
  • Record vibration level
  • Record operating hours
  • Check cooler for any accumulated dirt
  • Check/clean gas ballast filter
  • Check silencer for any condensation
  • Check/clean dust filter in intake line
  • Check water filter (water cooled pumps only)
  • Check water hoses
  • Check water flowrate (flow specified in manual)
  • Check for faults/alarms/temperature on elctronic monitor like SP Guard
  • Visually check and record cleanliness of area where used

Find out more about screw pumps by reading this blog.

 

Turbomolecular Pumps

  • Check cooling fan for dirt and operation
  • Check for any water leaks (when applicable)
  • Check water flowrate (flow specified in manual)
  • Check water temperature for correct range
  • Check for un-ordinary running noises
  • Check internal motor temperature
  • Check internal bearings temperature
  • Check motor current
  • Check vibration level of pump using e.g. Schenck Vibrotest Equipment
  • Change lower bearing (where possible, use service kit of manufacturer)
  • Check main fuse if controller will not come on (converters)
  • Check and record any error codes on the converter, if possible read errors via software.

Want to find out more about the working principles and applications of turbomolecular pumps? Read our blog here.

 

Scroll Pumps

  • Check inlet for cleanliness/contamination
  • Remove fan cover, check pump for rotation/roughness
  • Check/clean gas ballast filter
  • Check pump temperature at pin crank (< 55˚C)
  • Visually check and record cleanliness of area where used

If you want to find out more about the working principles of scroll pumps, click here.

 

Pump Maintenance Enquiry

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