Documentation:Vacuum Filtration System

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VacTorr 25 Pump and Filtration System

Figure 1. Vacuum pump for vacuum filtration unit.

Inspect the vacuum pump prior to every use to ensure there are no signs of wear and the oil is in good condition and at the proper level.

  1. Inspect Equipment:
    1. Check that the tubing is in good condition, not dirty, and there are no leaks along the manifold.
    2. Check that all the screws in the vacuum pump are screwed in tightly and that there are no leaks.
    3. The oil should be a light syrup colour, if the oil is a darker amber colour, it is time for a change. The oil level should be at the ¾ full level, check the sight glass on the side of the pump. If the oil level is low, but the colour is good, you can add more oil. If the oil level is low and amber in colour, change the oil immediately.
  2. Changing the oil:
    1. Gather the oil, disposal container, funnel, and pliers.
    2. Raise the vacuum pump so that there is some clearance below the oil reservoir. Place the disposal container underneath the output port for the oil. Unscrew the output port screw (Figure 1). Then unscrew the input port for the oil. This will release the vacuum created inside the chamber and release more oil.
    3. Tilt the vacuum pump to make sure all of the used oil has been emptied from the chamber, then put the screw back into the output port.
    4. Insert the funnel into the input port and fill the pump with new vacuum pump oil until it is ¾ full. Depending on how much oil is still in the pump, this amount can vary. Add 300ml of oil, place the screw back in lightly, and turn the pump on for about 20 seconds. Check the sight glass to see what the level is and add more oil accordingly. A light gurgling sound is normal, while a loud gurgling noise may indicate low oil levels another issue with the machine.
    5. After you have reached ¾ full, screw back in the input port screw tightly, and you are ready to operate the pump.
Figure 2. Gas valve in the off position.

System Operation

  1. Ensure oil condition (light gold colour) and levels (3/4 full) are optimal.
  2. Prepare samples, vacuum (Buchner) flasks, funnels, tubes, and filters. Ensure one of the valves is not in the off position position at 90⁰ (Figure 2), to prevent vacuum buildup, which could damage the pump.
  3. Ensure the vacuum pump is plugged in (in the cabinet under the sink), and turn on the pump using the switch on the counter (Figure 3). You will hear a light gurgling noise.
  4. Turn the valve handle to the on position (180⁰ or parallel), and use the pump according to your established protocol.
  5. Ensure to tilt your filter funnels away from the vacuum (Buchner) flask opening,
  6. When finished with the pump, turn off the switch and inspect the pump for any leaks or signs of wear.

Additional Information and References

Figure 3. Vacuum pump power switch located on the counter.
  1. IF there are any issues with the pump, turn off immediately and call the APBI Technician (1-604-816-5641 or email [[1]]).
  2. For troubleshooting, I could not find the exact manual for this make and model (VacTorr 25), but a similar one can be found at: https://www.capvac.com/files/downloads/amEagPdf/precision/diagrams/Fixed/PRECISION_S35.pdf