Dabtown’s Distillate Hack #2: Changing Vacuum Pump Oil

by Paul on January 8, 2019

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20-22 October 2021

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20-21 November 2021

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Vacuum pump oil contamination can prevent a distillation system from reaching low vacuums (0.01 mmHg) ideal for THC and CBD distillations.  Sometimes terpenes can sneak past the cold trap and spoil the vacuum pump oil. A little bit of contamination can cause a lot of havoc in a vacuum pump.

Vacuum Pump and Cold Trap

Here are a few tips from Dabtown to get the most out of a vacuum pump oil change.

Tip #1:

Let the vacuum pump run until the pump oil is good and hot.  Hot pump oil drains more completely due to its lower viscosity.  Less contaminated residue is left behind in the vacuum pump.

Tip #2:

Tilt the back end of the vacuum pump up as the oil is drained.  The more tilt, the more residual oil will drain.  Don’t be afraid to let it drain for a few minutes or longer.

Draining Vacuum Pump

Tip #3:

After draining the pump oil replace the drain plug,  Add a little bit of new oil and toggle the power switch a few times (briefly).  This will rinse the inside of the vacuum pump with the new oil.  Drain the oil and repeat 2 more times.  The rinsing will help remove any residual contamination.

Keeping your vacuum pump oil clean will help you get the most performance out of your vacuum pump. Negligence can lead to the need for vacuum repairs!

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