Vacuum Pumps

This fact sheet talks about four main types of vacuum pumps (rotary vane vacuum pumps, diaphragm vacuum pumps, combination/hybrid vacuum pumps, and scroll vacuum pumps) that are used in low to medium vacuum applications, tips for minimizing the hazards when operating in the lab, when and how to use cold traps, and recommendations for using vacuum pumps with highly hazardous chemicals.

  • Use vacuum pumps with vacuum capacity appropriate to the application.  Rotary vane and diaphragm pumps are used for most wet applications.  Do not use aspirators.
  • Ensure apparatus is rated for vacuum level.
  • Always use a trap when using solvents or other volatile materials.
  • Follow all manufacturer’s guidance for maintenance, including oil changes, and operation.