For a stand-alone vacuum system with a single vacuum pump, like for a distillation apparatus or schlenk line it would be pretty much essential to put a cold
trap in the vacuum line so you don’t risk messing up a $5000 vacuum pump.
A house vacuum system generally has a built-in trap prior to the vacuum ballast tank, as is the case at this facility. If a procedure were to involve something that would put the house system at risk for damage like if something bad were to inadvertently get sucked up, then some kind of precautionary trap or shut-off would be put in place and it would be written up like that in the specific SOP. But we don’t run anything here that would risk damaging the house vacuum pump system so we don’t have to take that precaution.
BTW – is anyone still using those horrible water-wasting noisy messy sink faucet vacuum aspirators (requires 6 – 12 liters/minute OMG!)? I’m happy to report we do not.
Eric Clark, MS, CHMM, CCHO
Safety Officer, Public Health Scientist III
Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory
I thought I would try putting this message out there one more time and hope for the best.
Are any of you running building traps on your house vacuum systems? I know standard procedures require lab users to use traps when tapping into the system, but I am curious if any of you have went a step further and installed traps within your mechanical spaces that house the vacuum pumps. If so, could you please provide me additional information on the traps you are using.
Brandon S. Chance, M.S., CCHO
Program Manager, Chemical Safety
Environmental Health and Safety
262 Alexander Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
"… our job in safety is to make the task happen, SAFELY; not to interfere with the work…” Neal Langerman
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