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Maintaining your Vacuum Pump

on April 09, 2017

In this post you will learn about the routine maintenance of your vacuum pump. The primary task for preserving the integrity of your vacuum pump will be the regular oil changes these small machines require. Doing so is simple, and should take less than 10 minutes, but will greatly increase the lifespan of your equipment.

Javac CAL 45 Vacuum Pump


After Each Use

After each use of your vacuum pump, wipe with clean soft cloth to remove excess dirt and oil.  If build up becomes excessive, use a mild degreaser to clean the exterior of the pump.


Changing the Oil

Changing the vacuum pump oil is very important, as oil is at all times a lubricant, a coolant, and a sealant for your vacuum pump. Regular oil maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure your pump’s long and productive life.

Fieldpiece VPX7 Vacuum Pump



When Should I Change the Oil?

There are tools available to tell when your oil needs changing.  If you manage a large fleet of pumps, consider investing in a micron gauge, which will allow you to tell at a glance whether the oil in a vacuum pump requires changing. The other quick and easy way to know if it’s time to change the oil is visually. Pour out a few ounces of oil into a plastic cup, and compare the output to brand new oil. Good oil will be clear enough to see through. Oil that should be changed will be cloudy or will contain black flecks.


Changing the Oil on a Vacuum Pump

Safety is important, be sure to wear gloves when changing the oil.

Tools for the Job:

  • A container to catch and dispose of the old oil. A large cup works fine.
  • The new oil. Use oil specifically intended for vacuum pumps.
  • A wrench or pliers for removing the oil drain. This can sometimes be done by hand, however.

Step by Step:

  • Open the oil cap on the top of the unit, and run the vacuum pump for 10-15 seconds. Circulating the old oil briefly will warm it up, which lowers the viscosity and makes it easier to drain. Oil that has been sitting dormant in the machine may fail to drain completely, unless it is warmed this way.
  • Hold your disposal cup beneath the oil drain at the bottom of the unit, and open drain plug to start the flow of old oil. Wait patiently for all old oil to run into your cup, since mixing any remaining old oil with new oil will not serve the unit well.
  • Replace the drain plug once oil has stopped flowing, and tighten it well. Do not overtighten.
  • Refill the unit with high quality vacuum pump oil.
  • Most vacuum pumps will have an oil level window on the front of the unit that will tell you how much oil to fill. Look for the words “oil level” on either side of a small window. The horizontal line is where you want the clear oil to reach. Do not overfill the unit.
  • In case you do overfill the vacuum pump, use the drain plug at the bottom to release small amounts of oil into your disposal cup.
  • Once you’re done, replace the oil cap.
  • Wipe down the exterior of the unit of any excess oil or grime.
  • Finish by circulating the new oil. Run the vacuum pump for another 10-15 seconds.


It’s important never to run a vacuum pump without any oil, as this will damage the unit. Always ensure you have replaced the oil in the system before restarting the pump.

In this post you have learned how to perform basic maintenance on your vacuum pump. By servicing these machines regularly, you can vastly increase the lifespan and performance of your fleet.

Its recommended to be checking the oil on your vacuum pumps after each significant job. Others say, routine maintenance of your vacuum pumps is worthwhile on a monthly basis. Start by scheduling an oil check on your vacuum pumps, and keep track of how quickly the oil becomes cloudy and deteriorates. For the best performance, try to keep the oil in your vacuum pumps new and pure, even if it means decreasing the time between servicing.  Essentially, change the oil as often as possible to ensure your machine can pull a deep vacuum.