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Vacuum Pumps

StonePorkchopStonePorkchop Member Posts: 6
Hi all,

Just starting to go out in the field without an escort, and had some questions about which vacuum pump to buy. I work on residential and light commercial. So here are my three questions.

1.) What size pump should I be looking at (CFM's) ?

2.) Rotary vane style pumps Yay or Nay?

3.) Recommended pumps? I obviously want to get the lowest price possible, but I don't want to waste money on a "great deal" and hate the pump.

I thank you all in advance for your input.

Comments

  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,284
    edited November 2016
    I use a Robinair 15600. Its a 2 stage 6 CFM pump that can pull a 15 micron vacuum (allegedly).

    I would recommend similar or better. If I had the money I probably would've bought a decent Yellowjacket one, something like model 93560. You'll find the Robinair 15600 is much cheaper though and it is a pretty good pump.

    Don't forget a good quality micron gauge! You're blind if you try using your low side manifold gauge, it's useless. I use a Yellowjacket 69086 micron gauge but there are plenty of options. The most important thing is to connect it as close to the unit you're vacuuming as possible, and try to keep it oriented in a way that will keep oil out of the sensor. Also, cleaning the sensor may be necessary from time to time depending on how you use it. Once oil gets in the sensor it needs to be cleaned.





    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    StonePorkchop
  • StonePorkchopStonePorkchop Member Posts: 6
    I was actually looking at the Robinair 15500
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,284

    I was actually looking at the Robinair 15500

    It'll work for now, but may not last if you use it a lot.
    Also remember, many guys leave these pumps running nonstop for hours and hours.

    If you need something to get the job done for now, it'll work. Just remember to keep the oil clean.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • StonePorkchopStonePorkchop Member Posts: 6
    edited November 2016
    I won't be using it a whole lot. I'm on the maintenance end, not install. So I would only be using it for coil replacements. Generally I've seen guys able to pull a 500 micron vac in an hour or less (not specifically with the 15500).
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,284

    I won't be using it a whole lot. I'm on the maintenance end, not install. So I would only be using it for coil replacements. Generally I've seen guys able to pull a 500 micron vac in an hour or less (not specifically with the 15500).

    Do you have a way to recover refrigerant if need be?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • StonePorkchopStonePorkchop Member Posts: 6
    Yes, I have a recovery machine.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,340
    You don't need more than 3 cfm. The restriction to fast evacuation is the hoses, not the pump. Putting a big pump on with small hoses doesn't do anything as far as evac. performance
    Steve Minnichnewagedawn
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,284

    You don't need more than 3 cfm. The restriction to fast evacuation is the hoses, not the pump. Putting a big pump on with small hoses doesn't do anything as far as evac. performance

    I have a YJ Brute II manifold with a 3/8" vacuum line.

    I didn't think of that when I responded, good point @EBEBRATT-Ed
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,570
    I'll second (third?) the hose sizes comment. With a four valve manifold & a 3/8" vacuume hose I pulled a refrigerated warehouse system (~145 lbs of 407a IIRC) down to under 500 microns in just a few hours. I was astonished.

    That was with a J B vac, brand new Imperial manifold, and a Yellow Jacket vacuume gauge

  • TechmanTechman Member Posts: 2,144
    You are just starting to go out on your own? And you supply reclaim drums,reclaim pump,vac pump,micron gauge,evac manifold? I like you! Come work for me!!! What else do you supply?LOL!
  • StonePorkchopStonePorkchop Member Posts: 6
    Sorry. Let me clarify. The company I work for, is finally sending me out on my own. I have to buy my own gauges and vacuum pump. They provide the rest. Now, back to the topic.
  • ktully1973ktully1973 Member Posts: 12
    I am considering buying a vacuum pump and appreciate the post. What pump did you end up buying?
  • StonePorkchopStonePorkchop Member Posts: 6
    The Robinair 15800 8cfm 2 stage.
  • rwhtgrwhtg Member Posts: 34
    look up HVAC school on podcast app or there is an "Evacuation 101" podcast...its gold
    Skilled labor isn’t cheap, cheap labor isn’t skilled.
  • newagedawnnewagedawn Member Posts: 566
    edited June 2017
    ya, i have a harbor frieght 3 cfm pump and i do residentail, light commercial and refrigeration and that little pump has been running strong for 4 yrs now, altho i change the oil regular, after 4 to 6 vacuum pulls, that pump is the best and price wise try and beat it
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,284
    edited June 2017

    ya, i have a harbor frieght 3 cfm pump and i do residentail, light commercial and refrigeration and that little pump has been running strong for 4 yrs now, altho i change the oil regular, after 4 to 6 vacuum pulls, that pump is the best and price wise try and beat it

    Most if not all manufacturers say to change the oil after every pull.
    I personally do, but I don't do a lot of them.

    A lot of guys seem to only change it when and if the pump falls over in the van and it all leaks out.


    That Harbor Freight pump can pull down to 250 microns in a reasonable amount of time on the typical residential system?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • jumperjumper Member Posts: 1,513
    Do you guys reclaim your oil?
  • DreriliDrerili Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2018
    I know it's an old thread, but maybe it will be a timely resurrection for someone.

    There are many good brands of vacuum pumps available that will provide years of trouble free service. I would invest in one that is at least 2 stage and has a gas ballast at the bare minimum. The gas ballast will help reduce the amount of oil changes required and can even be used to 'clear up' non condensables in the oil while ballasting the pump with it blanked off for several hours. The two pumps I use are a JB platinum 7cfm for residential work and small commercial units and a YJ 11cfm superevac for large commercial systems and chillers.

    Keep in mind that the vacuum pump will only perform well if you are using the proper accessories to connect to the system. Make sure you invest in large diameter vacuum rated hoses and core tools like the ones Appion makes, or you can even go wild and invest in large diameter CSST hoses which have a permeation rate of zero. Add a bluvac micron gauge and you will always be certain that the system is dry and tight when you complete your evacuation.

    All the best: https://diceus.com/enterprise-software-vs-erp/
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