A comprehensive and well managed oil sampling process will provide the correct samples of lubricants to analyze while taking a bad sample can have disastrous consequences. Using the wrong tools, taking oil samples from the wrong parts of the lubrication system or from fewer sampling points than necessary, taking the samples improperly, or handling the samples incorrectly, will yield a sample that does not truthfully reflect the condition of the system. This will cause the oil analysis to return incomplete, or incorrect results. Relying on the oil analysis results could provide either a false sense of security or cause you to intervene where no problem actually exists. Either can cause unnecessary waste (changing oil unnecessarily) or costly machine downtime.
For example, taking an oil drain sample could show elevated amounts of wear metals or contamination and lead to unnecessary repairs resulting in lost productivity and higher maintenance costs. On the other hand, taking a sample downstream of a filter will show the system and components in good working condition even though this may not be true, resulting in unexpected downtime. Installing a proper sampling valve and implementing good sampling practices will cost much less than either error.
In addition, taking a sample without exposing the system to air eliminates the possibility of airborne contaminants (particles or water) from entering the system. Particulates can enter a system in various ways (worn seals, removing the fill cap to add new fluid, etc) and can increase wear and surface damage on components. Surface abrasion and damage are prime areas where metal corrosion can form and where the majority of wear metals originate. And water contamination is also a main contributor to surface corrosion in pumps, bearings, cylinder, valves, and motors.
U.S. Lubricants has assembled a range of high quality oil sampling tools to help you achieve the most accurate results and help you improve equipment reliability and reduce downtime. Regularly scheduled oil sampling can help identify contaminants, detect abnormal contamination levels, and help you gauge equipment requirements and the general quality of the lubricants used in your lubrication system. These tools are designed to extract from the best diagnostic locations - both system and component-specific samples that are representative and repeatable.
Sample Ports are used for on-line sampling and monitoring of system fluids without system shutdown. The ports incorporate a check valve, for reduction of fluid contamination which is normally closed until opened by the sampling adapter when a fluid sample is drawn. They are equipped with a protective dust cap, to eliminate ingression of contamination in the system.
Pitot Sampling Tubes are designed to provide a safe, simple, and effective method of sampling fluids from sumps and non-flooded horizontal drain lines. They ensure oil samples are drawn from the most appropriate location of the sump reservoir, and that the sample is taken from the exact location inside the system each time. This is important for maintaining consistency in routine sampling.
Liquid Level Gauge Sample Ports offer the same sample benefits as pitot sampling tubes; however, they provide easy viewing of the fluid level and condition. They are ideal for bearing housings and other non-pressurized applications.
The vacuum pump is a necessary tool for extracting an oil sample from the sample port. Used in combination with a sample port adapter, flexible tubing, and a sample bottle, it allows users to connect to any sample port for contamination-free oil sampling.