A traditional way to produce vacuum in labs is the water-jet aspirator. A simple device, it attaches to the sink faucet and produces vacuum using Venturi effect principles when the cold water rushes through. Certainly, a principal appeal of water-jet aspirators is that they are inexpensive to buy, and are available anywhere there is cold water supply with sufficient pressure to produce vacuum.
So why not use water aspirators to create vacuum? The biggest concern is water use. Each aspirator requires water rushing through at close to 2 gallons per minute (GPM) to produce vacuum. If used just two hours a day, the aspirator will waste 50,000 gallons of water per year.
The aspirator also draws waste solvent vapors from applications as it creates the vacuum, so the water is not only wasted, but also contaminated. The outlay for water supply and treatment costs would, in many cases, pay for an oil-free vacuum pump in just a year or two, with water and cost savings for many years thereafter.
Vacuum from water aspirators also varies seasonally, as water temperatures change. The replacement vacuum pump – or the installation of a local vacuum network to support several vacuum operations in a lab with one pump – overcomes this variable.
A dry pump eliminates the risk of flooding in labs if a sink drain gets blocked while the aspirator is operating, as well as the risk of sucking water into a vacuum application when the water is turned off. Finally, for buildings seeking (or holding) LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), this once-through use of water violates the LEED standards.
At VACUUBRAND®, we are experts in vacuum for science. To learn more about our laboratory and OEM vacuum pumps, please visit our website. If you’d like details about our modular, energy-saving alternative to central vacuum systems for labs, our technology microsite offers an overview. Or simply contact us today about your lab vacuum needs.