Be sure to flush!

flushing kitWe all hope that our expensive equipment will last for a long time without breakdowns! Unfortunately, this rarely unintentionally happens! Careful maintenance is the only way to keep your vacuum pump running smoothly for the long haul. The flushing procedure is one of the maintenance items that needs your careful attention! Rotary vane vacuum pumps should last for many years if they are flushed out periodically. The flushing activity is a relatively simple procedure that cleans the inside of the pump allowing the vanes to move smoothly.

When do these pumps need to be flushed? It is recommended that you flush your pump weekly to keep debris from building up inside the pump. It is always better to flush it more often than not often enough. Any time solids or liquids are allowed to enter the pump it should be flushed immediately. General maintenance flushing should happen according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Consult your operator’s manual for your specific pump.

The flushing procedure generally involves running a small amount of flushing fluid through the pump at operating speeds. Different pump manufacturer’s recommend different flushing fluids, which may be straight diesel fuel or a mixture of diesel and pump oil. Consult your owner’s manual for specifics on the flushing procedure for your pump make and model. There may also be videos or instructional literature on the pump manufacturer’s website.

To flush the pump, first, put it into vacuum and create 10-15 inches of vacuum. Next, open the flushing kit valve and run 7 ounces of flushing fluid through the pump. After adding the flushing fluid, close the fluid valve and let the fluid circulate through the pump for several minutes. After the fluid circulates through the pump, shut down the system and drain the secondary scrubber. Check the pump manufacturer’s manual for complete flushing instructions.

Some tank manufacturer’s will install a flushing and oil kit close by your pump. You should check daily to be sure that the pump is using some oil. Refill the oil reservoir as needed.

Simple attention to your pump will pay off significantly in the long run. The flushing kit and oil reservoir should be noted and maintained as part of a regular truck maintenance program. This equipment is built to last, but will require attention and tlc along the way. Happy flushing!


Kent Engle -Pik Rite, Inc.


Pik Rite manufactures and services commercial vacuum tanks, hoist units, roll-offs, slide-ins, portable toilet service units and tank trailers ranging in size from 300 to 6,500 gallons. Our 15-year steel tank warranty sets us apart from the competition. Tanks are available in steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Kent is the marketing coordinator at Pik Rite, Inc. Follow our blog posts at Call 800-326-9763 for any service and maintenance needs or to get a quote on a new tank!