6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Vacuum Pump

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a lab vacuum pump

1. What will you be using the vacuum for? Filtration needs modest vacuum. Evaporation requires deeper vacuum. Molecular distillation requires even more. Match the pump to the use.

2. Can you use a dry (oil-free) vacuum pump? Oil-free vacuum pumps can support most lab applications. For the service advantages, choose a dry pump where possible.

3. What is the pumping capacity at the intended vacuum level? Actual pumping speed declines from the nominal speed as depth of vacuum increases. The rate of decline differs among pumps.

4. Do you work with corrosive media? Standard duty pumps have lower purchase costs, but corrosion-resistant pumps will have lower lifetime costs if working with corrosives.

5. Should you invest in vacuum control? Electronics can improve reproducibility, protect samples and shorten process times when specific vacuum conditions need to be maintained.

6. What is the lifetime cost of operation? Include purchase cost, service intervals, servicing cost, pump protection (e.g., filters, cold traps), and staff time for operation.

Types of vacuum pumps our readers are using in their labs:

Rotary vane pump 16%
Dry diaphragm vacuum pump 37%
Water or air aspirator 36%
Deep vacuum pump 28%
Filtration pump 26%
Turbo Pump 2%
Other 3%

Vacuum pumps are suited for a wide variety of laboratory applications. Below are some of the applications the respondents use their vacuum pumps for in their labs:

Vacuum or pressure filtration 48%
Dry diaphragm vacuum pump 29%
Degassing 29%
Mass spectrometry 28%
Rotary evaporator 26%
Freeze drying 18%
Gel dryer 10%
Liquid aspiration 3%
Other 5%

The top 10 factors/features for our readers when they are buying a vacuum pump:

Most Important/Important Not Important Don’t Know
Durability/performance 96% 3% 1%
Price 92% 4% 4%
Ease of Use 91% 7% 2%
Leak-tightness 89% 8% 3%
Pump speed 85% 9% 6%
Warranties 85% 12% 3%
Safety and health features 82% 12% 6%
Low maintenance costs 81% 14% 5%
Availability of supplies
and accessories
80% 16% 4%
Noise level—quiet 80% 17% 3%

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