Which Freeze Dryer Vacuum Pump Works For You

Which Freeze Dryer Vacuum Pump Works For You

When we first started carrying Harvest Right Freeze Dryers three year ago, we were confused by all the different vacuum pumps that are available for them.  Over the years, they've simplified things a bit.  At the time I'm writing this article, Harvest Right is offering two pump models when you order a new home freeze dryer.  They are the Premier Oil Vacuum Pump and the Oil Free Vacuum Pump

However, if you purchased your home freeze dryer years ago and have a Standard Oil Vacuum Pump, you can still purchase one when your old one reaches the end of life.  You can also purchase refurbished Premier Oil Vacuum Pumps when available.  The Oil Free Vacuum pump can be rebuilt when it reaches the end of its service life, which save you a lot of money compared with buying a new one.

Here is a side by side comparison chart to give you an overview of the vacuum pumps a home freeze dryer can use.

Model

Standard Oil Vacuum Pump
Premier Oil Vacuum Pump
Oil Free Vacuum Pump
Low Profile Oil Free Vacuum Pump

Available

Yes, for pre-existing freeze dryer customers only.

Yes, ships standard with all Freeze Dryers. 

Available as a replacement or upgrade for existing customers.

Yes, an upgrade available at time of purchase of a freeze dryer, or as a later upgrade.

Current customers with an older model freeze dryer will need an adapter for the oil free vacuum pump. Harvest Right will provide the adapter free of charge. To verify which adapter you may need, call 800-700-5508.

No - no longer offered

Cost

$ $$$ $$$$$ $$$$$

Needs Oil Change

Yes Yes No No

Oil Change Frequency

Oil drained and filtered every 4-5 batches.

Oil should be filtered, re-used, then topped up to half way up the sight glass.

Change the oil every 20-25 batches. 

Oil should be filtered, re-used, then topped up to half way up the sight glass.

Oil changes not required Oil changes not required

Gas Ballast

It should be kept closed. It should be open at all times. n/a n/a

Noise Level

64 decibels 52 decibels
(about the same as a refrigerator)
62 decibels, then quieter once low-pressure is reached. 62 decibels

Maintenance

Call Harvest Right to troubleshoot when you receive vacuum errors.
Call Harvest Right to troubleshoot when you receive vacuum errors.
Replace the scroll seal when you cannot achieve as deep of a vacuum. Replace the scroll seal when you cannot achieve as deep of a vacuum.

Weight

35 lbs 32 lbs 53 lbs 18 lbs

Dimensions

16″ L x 5-3/4" W x 10 1/2" H 16.3″ x 6" x 12.1" 22 1/4" L x 13 1/2" W x 15 1/4" H 16" L x 6" W x 8.5" H

Power Use

218 Watts 187 Watts

Oil to Use

Robinair Premium High Vacuum Pump Oil, JB Industries Black Gold Vacuum Pump Oil, Harvest Right Vacuum Pump Oil, Dairyland Vacuum Pump Oil
Robinair Premium High Vacuum Pump Oil, JB Industries Black Gold Vacuum Pump Oil, (Do not use Dairyland Vacuum Pump Oil or Harvest Right Vacuum Pump oil - both contain detergents and will not work in this pump) n/a n/a

Pump Warranty

1 year
1 year
1 year
1 year

Can be Rebuilt

No No, but a refurbished unit MAY be available from Harvest Right.  Call for availability and price. Yes - contact Harvest Right for details.  Customer pays shipping both ways, and $375 (as of 9/14/22). No

A best practice that you should do at the end of each batch:  Plug the pump into a wall outlet.  Open the Freeze Dryer door and run the pump to free air for 3-4 minutes. This will push any water/particulates out of the pump.  If you do this it will keep the pump very clean. 

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