Oil changes are a vital part of maintaining your freeze drying setup. If you're new to lyophilization, here's a guide to get you started with replenishing your vacuum pump's oil while the freeze dryer is running so you don't lose a moment of productivity.
- x1 gallon of Inland-19 Vacuum Pump Oil
- Manual fluid evacuator
- Plastic funnel
- (Optional) Bottle pump dispenser
Locate the vacuum controls on your freeze dryer's console. There should be a button to toggle the vacuum off. Pressing that button will separate the freeze dryer's chamber from the vacuum pump by closing a solenoid valve, and then it will shut down the pump itself.
When you open the draining valve, you'll see oil flow into the hose.
Remove the cap from the vacuum pump's refill reservoir and set the plastic funnel (or the end of the bottle pump dispenser's tube, as seen in the video below) in the lip of the reservoir. Locate the liquid level window on the front of the vacuum pump and monitor it while pouring/pumping in fresh oil. Stop adding oil once it's at the proper level, which will be designated by two horizontal lines on the window. Recap the refill reservoir once finished.
If your facility doesn't have a method for disposing of used oil, you can simply take the fluid evacuator containing the oil to your local auto repair shop and ask the staff to dump it in their barrel for you. Oftentimes this is free, but you may have to pay a small fee.