The Vital Role of Vacuum Pump Oil in Maintaining Peak Performance

The heart of any vacuum tank system is the vacuum pump. These hardworking machines are essential for countless industrial and commercial applications, providing the power needed to create a vacuum in various processes. However, ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your vacuum pump goes beyond regular maintenance — it requires the right vacuum pump oil. In this article, we'll explore the importance of using the correct oil in the right amounts to keep your vacuum pump running smoothly and efficiently.

Understanding Vacuum Pump Oil

Vacuum pumps come in various designs and configurations, and the oiling system can vary accordingly. Some vacuum pumps have a separate oil reservoir, while others are self-contained, with oil continuously circulating within the system. Regardless of the design, the key is to maintain the proper oil level to ensure optimal performance.


The primary purpose of vacuum pump oil is to lubricate the internal components, especially the vanes or blades within the pump. These vanes move in and out of their chambers as the pump operates, creating the necessary vacuum pressure. Proper lubrication is vital because it reduces friction, allowing the vanes to move more freely. This, in turn, helps in achieving a better seal and ensuring the vacuum pump operates at maximum efficiency.
Vacuum pump oil is specially designed to provide lubrication to these components, reducing friction and wear. Using the wrong type of oil or low-quality oil can lead to premature pump failure or reduced performance.

Seal Integrity

The oil in a vacuum pump also serves as a sealant to prevent air and other gases from leaking into the pump. Vacuum pump oil is uniquely formulated to provide an effective seal, maintaining the vacuum and preventing contamination of the pumped gases.

Chemical Stability

Vacuum pumps may come into contact with a variety of gases, including corrosive or reactive ones. Vacuum pump oil is chemically stable and resistant to breakdown or degradation when exposed to these gases. Using the wrong oil may result in chemical reactions that can damage the pump or contaminate the pumped gases.

Vapor Pressure

Vacuum pump oils have low vapor pressures, which means they are less likely to evaporate and lose their effectiveness under the vacuum conditions. Regular oils might vaporize quickly in a vacuum, reducing the oil's ability to lubricate and seal the pump.


Vacuum pump oils are refined and filtered to minimize impurities. Contaminants in regular oil can clog the pump, damage internal components, or degrade the vacuum quality.

Temperature Stability

Vacuum pumps can generate heat during operation. Vacuum pump oil is designed to withstand the temperature fluctuations and maintain its properties over a wide temperature range. Using an oil not suitable for the temperature conditions of your pump can result in oil breakdown, leading to pump inefficiency or damage.

Maintenance and Longevity

Like all mechanical systems, vacuum pumps have a limited lifespan. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can significantly extend their operational life. Here are some essential steps to ensure your vacuum pump remains in good working condition:

Regular Inspections

Regularly check your vacuum pump for any signs of wear, damage, or oil level fluctuations. Address any issues promptly to avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Maintenance Logs

Keep detailed maintenance records to track the pump's performance, oil changes, and any necessary repairs. This information will help you anticipate maintenance needs and ensure the pump remains operational.

Spare Parts Inventory

Maintain a stock of spare parts commonly needed for your specific vacuum pump model. Having these parts on hand can minimize downtime and ensure the pump continues to function when you need it most.


Your vacuum pump is a critical component of your business, and its performance directly impacts your operations. By using the right vacuum pump oil and maintaining the correct oil level, you can enhance the lifespan of your pump, ensure optimal performance, and prevent unexpected breakdowns. Regular maintenance and diligent record-keeping will help you keep your vacuum pump in peak condition, ready to meet the demands of your fieldwork. So, don't overlook the importance of proper oiling — it's the lifeblood of your vacuum pump.

Looking for the right oil? Varco is fully stocked on ISO 32, ISO 68, ISO 100, and ISO 150 vacuum pump oil. Check out our full line of oils, oil tanks, and oil scent additive here.

Vacuum Pump Oil Pump Manufacturer
ISO 32 Masport (Winter)
ISO 68 Battioni, NVE, Masport (Summer)
ISO 100 Moro, Masport (Summer)
ISO 150 Jurop, Fruitland, NVE