Type: Adjustable Auto-Cycling
Vacuum: Electric Pump
Page: 10 of 11
Testing and Adjusting
Close the vacuum valve on the main reservoir. Plug in the AC cord and turn the system on. The pump should turn on and air should begin moving through the system. If the pump does not start or only runs briefly, be sure to adjust the vacuum controller (see next paragraph) before you re-examine the wiring.
Notice that there is a small plastic cap on the vacuum controller just in front of the "common' tab. Under this cap is where the adjustment is made for setting the amount of vacuum inside the unit. You can pop of the cap with small flat screwdriver.
For the next stage of testing, you will want to carefully adjust the vacuum setting to 21". With the system powered up, use a small flat screwdriver to slowly turn the adjusting screw counter-clockwise until the unit creates 21" of vacuum and turns off. Do not touch the tabs or bare wire on the vacuum controller while the unit is plugged in.
Remember: Counter-clockwise turns of the screw will increase the amount of vacuum required before the controller will turn off the system. I've found that most often, 21" of Hg is when there is about 1/8" of thread showing above the adjustment screw. Re-attach the plastic cap to the vacuum controller when the desired vacuum level adjustment is set.
The system will automatically cycle on again when the vacuum has decreased. The manufacturer of the vacuum controller claims that the unit will cycle back to the "on" mode within 4" of Hg decrease. This 4" amount of differential is not adjustable.
During normal operation of a tightly sealed unit, it is common to have the unit cycle on every 15 minutes for 10 - 30 seconds. The length of time depends on the size of the vacuum bag, pump and reservoirs.
After the system has automatically turned off, watch the needle on the vacuum gauge to see if it shows signs of a leak. It's not uncommon to have a small leak show up. The fix for this is simple. Read on, my friend.
Got A Leak? No Problem!
First, remove the manifold system from the reservoirs and tighten all of the brass joints. While it is somewhat possible to over-tighten the fittings, it is more common to find that the fittings are not tight enough. Re-assemble the system and test it again. I've found that this solves 99% of leak problems.
If the leak persists, leave the system charged with vacuum and apply a small amount of silicone to each of the brass fittings and gauge where they attach to the PVC caps. If a leak does exist, the vacuum will pull the silicone into the void area causing the leak to seal itself. Also consider appyling silicone to the area around the edge of the PVC caps on the pipe.
After you have applied the silicone, turn the system off and let the air back into the PVC pipe by opening the vacuum valve. Allow the unit to sit overnight so the silicone can cure.
- You can now attach the 10' piece of 3/8" ID braided vinyl tubing to the brass fitting on the vacuum valve.
- Apply thread-sealing tape to the 3/8" barb to 1/4 NPT-male fitting.
- Attach the barbed fitting to the lock-on connector. Be sure to hold the lock-on connector at the hexagon part of the casting when attaching the barbed fitting. If you hold the head of the lock-on connector and apply too much torque to the barb fitting, the connector will break.
- Slide this assembly onto the end of the tubing.
Your Vacuum Press System is Ready to Use. Now What?
I've written this short but helpful article that explains what else you will need to begin using your vacuum press. The article also includes a step by step guide to using your system for veneering.