Paying attention to the health of your vacuum pump can extend the run-time between rebuilds and save you from catastrophic failure. Here are some tips for things to look out for that may indicate the performance of your pump is declining:
Tip #1-Turbo Pumps:
Is there a change in sound or vibration coming from your turbo pump? A change in noise or vibration in your turbo pump could indicate that the bearings are failing. Continuing to run your turbo pump with a noise can set you up for a catastrophic failure- a hard crash which destroys the stator and rotor blades. The photo on the left shows a catastrophic failure of a Leybold TMP-1000C.
Oil Sealed Rotary Vane Pumps:
What does your oil look like? Is it dark brown or black? Running your vane pump without frequent oil-changes can create a build-up of process and tarred oil, which will seize up the pumping mechanisms and destroy your vane pump. The middle photo shows a seized up Leybold D-25B with solidified oil.
Dry Scroll Pumps:
Is there a change in sound or vibration coming from your scroll pump? A change in noise or vibration in your scroll pump could indicate that the bearings are failing or that the tip seals need replacement. Continuing to run your scroll pump with bad bearings or bad tip seals can cause the main scroll plates to rub against each-other which destroys your scroll pump. The photo on the right shows an Anest Iwata ISP-500 with destroyed scroll plates.