For those of you who haven’t been reading along so far- we’re on part three of a four-part series about repairing vacuum pump leaks. For a quick refresher. In our first blog, we discussed what a vacuum pump leak actually is, and in our last blog, we focused on how to detect leaks in your vacuum pumps. We discussed basic methods and tools used to detect leaks, and where you can find that equipment.
Alright, the inspection process has been completed and you have discovered the problem area on your pump to thank for that leak. Next step is to execute the repair. Because there are so many factors that can contribute to a leak we must identify the severity and size of the leak before choosing the method of repair. If you are lucky, some leak repairs can be very simple and save you from having to worry about purchasing costly products. If luck happens not to be on your side in this case, then you may be looking at a more complex fix, but that’s why Precision Pete is here to help! Some pumps may need to be sent in to a professional mechanic for a rebuild or part replacements. Of course there are also some of you that will be experienced or comfortable enough to work on the vacuum pump yourself.
Today’s blog will be covering:
- Proper Steps & Procedures.
- Most common tools needed when assembling/disassembling.
- Repair Kits & Contents.
Proper Steps & Procedures
Before starting any repair, there are a few steps we want to complete to ensure safety and maintenance success. First, isolate the pump and any other components from the vacuum system and the power source. This will prevent the machine from being accidentally activated while you are working on it. Secondly, we want to give the pump time to cool so that it is safe for skin contact. After disconnecting the system from the power source, allow a few minutes for the capacitors to discharge. During the initial leak detection you should have already checked for loose fittings and connections on the vacuum pump. Some leaks can be simply fixed by retightening loose fittings and connections, or reassembling or replacing that part of your system. More serious leaks may require you to reposition or replace a weld on the system. In this case, your pump may need to be disassembled.
Most common tools needed when assembling/disassembling.
Most vacuum pump systems will require common tools for maintenance. These tools include hex keys, an open-ended wrench, Phillips screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, or a socket wrench. If you are the type to personally tackle this kind of project there are resources online where you can find downloadable diagrams and manuals for most vacuum pump brands. It is nice to have a list of parts for the pump you will be working on. If you feel like the leak in your system is too severe to fix yourself it is best to consult a mechanic experienced in pump rebuilds. Our website offers real-time customer support chat for any questions you may have during your repair. In addition to that, our site also has free downloadable pump schematics for a variety of pump brands. One of the most important things to remember when disassembling your vacuum pump is to lay out each part in the order you took it off. This will help eliminate confusion when reassembling by reattaching each part in reverse order of the disassembly.
When a leak is found, there are temporary sealants that can be used to patch the problem area. Any vacuum seal putty or wax will work. Common brands include Glyptal red alkyd lacquer, Permatex sealants, Kinseal vacuum sealant, and Torr Seal. Just for good measure, I’d like to reiterate that these are only temporary fixes. Eventually, gas pressures will reopen the leak and you will be back at square one. Sealants are best used during the leak detection process by allowing you to seal one leak and continue further leak inspection on the rest of the system.
Repair Kits & Contents.
Precision Plus has a variety of major and minor vacuum pump repair kits available for all major brands. We maintain a state-of-the-art inspection and testing facility where all parts are checked for proper performance and fit. Every part that we manufacture must pass a rigid and thorough inspection process. We specialize in assembling the appropriate components into repair kits in order to make the repair and rebuild process efficient and cost effective by conveniently including everything you need in one comprehensive kit. Minor Repair kits include o’rings, seals, gaskets and other components required for light pump maintenance. Major kits typically include all of the components within the minor repair kits along with items such as vanes, shaft seals, valves, bearings and other components needed for extensive pump overhaul.
The last step, which will help guarantee full operations, is to perform an additional leak test after the repair. This will make sure that no leaks popped up during the repair or in surrounding areas that you may have passed over. It will also confirm that pump parts were reassembled correctly.
Stay tuned to our blogs for updates and information on how Precision Plus is creating even more ways to provide for our clients. We are currently in the process of developing a department for vacuum pump repairs and rebuilds. This will offer a place for clients to send damaged pumps for complete analysis, inspections, and repairs by professionals dedicated to the job. Next time we’ll discuss proper pump maintenance to prevent leaks and other damages to your system. Once again we thank you for choosing Precision Plus!
This is Pete signing out!