Why (And How) to Change Your Vacuum Pump Oil

Vacuum pump oil is the versatile ingredient inside the pump that lubricates the pumping apparatus while also collecting moisture and contaminants from evacuated systems.

Simply put, it’s what keeps the pump, well…pumping.

Why (And How) to Change Your Vacuum Pump Oil Because vacuum pumps don’t have filters, the oil inside becomes saturated with contaminants, which reduces the pump’s efficiency. Once oil is saturated it can’t absorb any more system moisture. If the oil becomes contaminated, it eventually turns into a sludge, which greatly reduces the pump’s efficiency. Oil that is both contaminated and saturated doesn’t lubricate well and can quickly wear out the pumping apparatus.

Replacing a vacuum pump’s oil is critical to ensuring that your pump will keep running smoothly.

Here are few tips to keep in mind for your next pump oil change:

1. Start by draining the existing oil in the pump while it’s hot. It’s important to make sure that the pump is hot because as the pump cools, it causes the moisture and contaminants within the oil to separate. If this happens, the contaminants will cling to the walls as the oil drains, causing the contaminants to mix with the new oil as the pump is refilled.

2. When draining the oil, make sure there isn’t any oil trapped anywhere inside the machine. Let the pump sit for a few minutes to make sure all the oil is out. And then dispose of the contaminated oil properly.

3. After the oil has been drained, open the intake to the atmosphere and run the pump for 5-10 seconds and then shut the pump off.

4. Finally, add new oil. When choosing oil, keep in mind that not everything is created equal. YELLOW JACKET® vacuum pump oil is a mineral-based oil specially formulated and refined for low vapor pressure and works regardless of the type of oil used in the system.

Follow these steps for proper vacuum pump maintenance and you will receive a continuous return on your pump investment for years to come.