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FAQ

Payment and Shipping

What are your payment terms?

You can pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express). We offer Net 30 terms to customers with approved credit. If you wish to apply for credit please contact us and we’ll send you an application.

What shipping methods do you offer?

We can ship your order via UPS Ground, UPS 3-Day, UPS Second Day, or UPS Next Day service. We can also ship your order freight collect using your UPS, FedEx or DHL account. Please choose the “Freight Collect” from the shipping method box and remember to enter your account information in the “Special Instructions” box at checkout.

Technical Support

Why is my vacuum pump smoking?

It is normal for the pump to “smoke” when pumping. Oil-sealed vacuum pumps exhaust a mist of oil when they are pumping. If the pump is smoking and you think it shouldn’t be, there must be a leak somewhere. The leak might be in your system or in your pump. Check the gas ballast valve on the pump to be sure it is closed. Try removing the pump from your system and stopper it so it is pumping “dead-headed”. If it still smokes, the problem is in your pump and it probably needs repair.

Is there any way to stop the smoke from my pump?

You should use a mist eliminator on the exhaust of your pump to trap the oil vapor before it enters the air. These oil vapors are unhealthy and if you are pumping hazardous gases, can be very dangerous. Mist eliminators are coalescing filters that are available in many different sizes and configurations depending upon your needs.

What type of oil should I use?

For most applications the general purpose #19 oil will suffice. If your application exposes the pump to water vapor, corrosive or reactive gases please contact us for a recommendation. If you are pumping oxygen an inert pumping fluid such as Fomblin or Krytox is required. These inert fluids require special pump preparation, please contact us for details.

What type of repair kit do I need?

If the pump is working well (pulling a good vacuum) but is leaking oil, use a Seal Kit or Clean and Overhaul Kit. If the pump is working well but is leaking and it has been exposed to water vapor, use a CV Repair Kit. If the pump is not pulling a good vacuum, use a Major Repair Kit with Vanes.

How difficult is it to rebuild a pump? Do you have instructions?

Most pumps can be repaired by someone with good mechanical aptitude and experience. However, there are some pumps that require special tools and techniques for proper repair. Unfortunately we don’t have detailed instructions for each pump but we do offer free technical support for our customers. Exploded diagrams are available for most pumps.

Do you have a minimum order? Can I buy just one part?

We have no minimum order, and most of our parts are sold separately as well as within the kits. Some parts must be purchased in sets (i.e., pairs) to ensure proper pump operation.

What pump do I have?

If you need help identifying your pump you can call us or email a picture of the pump and we’ll be glad to help.

How often should I change the oil in my pump?

It depends upon what the pump is pumping and how often it is used. If you are merely pumping air from a clean chamber a few times a day you may be able to change the oil every six months. For applications that expose the pump to a high concentration of water vapor such as freeze drying or lyphilization, you will need to change the oil more frequently. If you are pumping corrosive or reactive gases you need to be much more diligent about oil changes. For the more expensive pump fluids, you may want to consider the addition of an external oil filtration system to extend the life of your oil.

How often should I change my exhaust filter?

The amount of oil vapor absorbed by the exhaust filter is directly related to the amount of air or gas that has been pumped. If the pump performance seems to be slow, check the exhaust filter for saturation. A saturated filter will weigh more than a new one, and there may be oil in the filter housing.

Do you have schematic diagrams or exploded diagrams of the pumps?

We have diagrams available for most pumps. You can check the product page for a downloadable diagram file, or call or email us and we’ll send one to you via fax or email.

What is included in the kit?

Each kit has a list of contents attached in an Adobe PDF file. You will need the free Adobe Reader to view them.

What is the difference between Buna and Viton?

Buna-N is a common trade name for nitrile rubber, while Viton is a trade name for Fluorocarbon rubber. Viton has better chemical and temperature resistance than Buna, but Buna is usually less expensive. The exception is applications involving ammonia gas, where Buna has superior resistance to attack. Our advice is to choose the Viton for most applications.

What can I use to clean my pump?

There are many solvents that can be effective in removing tough deposits in a pump. Most of them are not safe to use without special personal protection. We recommend an industrial strength soap and lots of elbow grease. Sandpaper or emery cloth can be used sparingly. NEVER hone the pump cylinder – it will destroy the sealing area and the pump will be rendered useless.

Is there a break-in period?

We recommend running the pump for 24 hours after a rebuild, just to be sure there are no problems before putting back into use. It’s a good idea to change the oil after this run-in period as there may be contaminants from the cleaning process in it.

Can I re-use my old parts?

In some cases it is possible to re-use some of the parts. For example, in a pump that uses cast iron vanes replacement of the vanes with every rebuild is usually not necessary. Other mechanical parts such as pins, clips, screws, etc. can be re-used. It is best to replace all springs and valves whenever you repair a pump. To avoid leaks, don’t re-use the rubber seals and o-rings.

What is flushing fluid?

Flushing fluid is a light oil that can be used to help flush contaminants out of the pump between oil changes. The general procedure is to drain the old oil, then refill the pump with flushing fluid. Run the pump for at least 10 minutes with the flushing fluid, then drain again. Finally, refill the pump with fresh oil before installing.

How do I install new bushings in my pump?

Installing new bushings is not a simple task. The old bushings should be removed carefully with a press. The new bushings should be pressed into the plate in a similar fashion. When the new bushing is pressed in to the plate the hole in the bushing will be squeezed smaller. Therefore, a new bushing must be reamed to size after pressing. In addition, it is highly recommended that all bushing be replaced at the same time. After pressing, the plates should be stacked and pinned together and then line bored to be sure the holes are in perfect alignment. If you do not have the proper equipment, we suggest contacting a local machine shop to help.

What does the gas ballast control do?

The gas ballast valve controls the amount of air injected between the first and second stage of the pump. This is useful for driving condensable vapors (usually water vapor) out of the pump. For applications where a large amount of vapor is being pumped such as freeze drying or liphilization, running the pump with the gas ballast open for an hour every day will help keep the pump free of water and extend oil change intervals.

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