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what makes an AC vacuum pump good?


NAXJA Forum User
NAXJA Memorial Lifetime Member
I just got a free AC vacuum pump from an old employee (used to work for me in our shop) and he used this pump for years. I don't have much info on it and can't seem to find much on the interwebs.

the only info it's got on it is:
120 volt
60 hertz
2.4 amp

White Industries
Model 01020

I would be able to comprehend "CFM" numbers or something like that and compare it with other units, but these numbers don't mean much to me.
Is there any one here that can tell me if this thing is even worth keeping?
Those numbers don't mean anything significant. 120v/60hz is normal household power. 2.4 amps is fairly low current draw, so the motor is kind of low-end.

What are you wanting to do with it? Probably have to figure out a practical test to know if it's going to be useful for what you want
yeah, that's what I got out of it too-- I was just planning on pulling vacuum on AC systems, but without any other machines to compare it too, I didn't know if it was even worth using.

I guess I was just hoping that since they don't make things like they used to, it would be worth using.
It will probably work. I know a bunch of guys who run the venturi units to suck down AC systems. If you have a decent size air compressor, they can be had for less than $20 at HF. Personally use a Gast brand quarter horse pump and it seems to do fine.
What you need to do to keep them working at their optimum is keep them filled with fresh oil to the correct level.

Change out the oil (specific to the pumps), find someone with a micron guage (most serious residential/commercial a/c techs)
and then check out your pump's performance. (a standard set of refrigerant guages only shows vacuum in inches of mercury)
If you can pull 500 microns within a few minutes and hold it, your pump's definitely worth keeping. A quality pump in optimum
working order can ususally pull down to 50 microns and hold it indefinitely, assuming there are no leaks.

No other #s, eh? Usually the pumps a/c techs carry run 3 to 8 cfm and are identified as such.
No other #s, eh? Usually the pumps a/c techs carry run 3 to 8 cfm and are identified as such.

yeah, I was surprised with the lack of info on the labels too. I know it's old as dirt and had many hour of use, but nothing else. I wish I had a CFM rating for it-- I'll have to hook it up next time I've got a job to do and see what it can do.

3-8 cfm is a better range than I knew, so at least I have a number to go with if I don't like the performance of this thing.
Even the lower cfm models are more than adequate for smaller systems, like vehicles, window a/c, refrigerators/freezers, etc.
They'll even handle most residential split systems as long if you can leave them running for a while... (sometimes for hours).