vacuum pump replacement

vacuum pump replacement

Should I replace my vacuum pump periodically to decrease the chance of an in-flight failure?   If so, how often?
Lenny

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I had a reply to this post that mentioned Aero Advantage pumps which have two pumps and warning lights.  Anyone know anything about this?  www.aeroadvantage.com
Lenny

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I have read that as a rule of thumb, vacuum pumps rarely last more than 500 hours.  Mine quit 6 months ago with approx. 600 on it.

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

Lenny--another way to look at the dual-pump gizmo: what if the life span of both pumps is so close that they both give out at the same time, i.e. in the soup with no AI ?  Ruin your whole day.  And after your emergency landing in a cornfield, you can look forward to replacing a really expensive dual-pump vac. pump.   For the money, I think I would buy the electric vac-pump back-up unit, or a redundant elec. gyro.

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

The dual pump gizmo also has warning lights to warn of a failure.  The big problem with a pump failure is not so much flying after the failure but in realizing that you have a failure and using your backup instruments before you fly into the ground or a granite cloud.  Does anyone make a warning light that can be added on?  My vacuum gage is way on the other side, well as far as it can be in a Skyhawk, of the panel and I know I don’t monitor it as much as I should, a flashing light would be real nice.
Lenny

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

Lenny,

Try the following web site. http://www.preciseflight.com/instrumentsource.html
“Precise Flight” manufactures and distributes an “Instrument Source Warning indicator” light that can be mounted adjacent to the vacuum powered gyros. 

John

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I fly a Seneca II.  It has a warning light if the vac pressure is too low.
This light is on the panel  right in front of the pilot.

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

Just to clarify:

http://www.preciseflight.com/instrumentsource.html

Sells BOTH a standby vac system AND just the warning light.  I bought the light only (about $65.00 from Chief Aircraft) since I have the oil bath pump in my 1967 Skyhawk.

BTW: I have had GREAT customer service from Chief Aircraft and recommend them. Check out http://www.chiefaircraft.com/

Disclaimer: I have no ties with Chief other than being a satisfied customer.

Cheers!

Dkb

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I have a precise flight standby vac system including the light.  It does bring some piece of mind.  Thankfully, I've not had to use it, yet. 

The precise emergency vaccum system backup is useful, if you live and do most of your flying on the east coast or central US where the mountains aren't very high.  In my C172 I can use the system at most at about 8000'.  It is not an equivalent alternate.  Since it uses manifold as a vacuum source you need to reduce thottle to obtain enough vacuum to run the system.  This will save gas and keep you going, but slow you down and you are limited in altitude.  Yet, fortunately, you don't lose your vacuum pump every day.  It is not designed as an equivalent alternate.

One last note. It connects to one of the four manifold intake lines.  When in operation, it preferentially leans the fuel flow to that cylinder.  I've decided that if or when I have to use it, I would enrichen the fuel another "two clicks" to avoid any potential over-temperature conditions with one cylinder.

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I had the light and Stabdby system both installed (SVS from precise flight).

Recently flight tested to arrive at placcard values for altitudes -

Interesting flight thru 10,000 ft - at reduced throttle you can maintain enough vac for emergency use, I could even go to full throttle for a little while to climb, reducing rpm only occasionally to keep the gyros spun up.

Then I went to full climb at 10,000 to see how long the gyros would go before they spun down to unuseable -that was an interesting exercise, and even though the flight was VRF I have to tell you how disapointed I was to see those Gyros laying on their side - nice to be able to bring them back almost immediately - the warning light works excellent - right between the DG and AI.

The Vac pump was unavailable for the flight ( completely disconnected, with air filters installed for the lines/pump ) so it was actual in flight SVS performance, Originally I began to purchase the warning light only then added the rest of the system - very simple and very little weight (ounces I think).

I like it.

- I also recently replaced the vac pump - got a new one with a wear indicator, I don't know how that actually works out in real life, but the inspection or wear indicator seem to satisfy a requirement for time in service -

Ken Wanagas

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

OK for more peace of mind at altitude...

Now you can put in the dual pump along with an electric backup attitude indicator,  with the preciseflite system installed for use at lower altitudes only and you could then minimize the chances
of not having a complete gyro loss. Now add an S-tec auto pilot and a safe flight to a point of landing can be had.

Would we then have enough redundency to be happy?

Some people think having a plane with a parachute attached is the answer....

Bill

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

Thanks for all the discussion on this subject, very interesting!  I checked with Precise Flight and there is no STC for the stand-alone warning light.  There is a STC for the entire system but that costs about the same as the Aero Advantage and the Precise Flight system is considerably more limited, e.g. low altitude or full throttle.  I think I will just replace the existing pump and assign suction gage monitoring to my wife, after all the thing is on her side of the panel :-)
Lenny

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

There are suction gauges with red indicators which "pop" into view when vacuum fails.  But it's just like a red idiot light,....if you don't look at it, or if you see it during engine start and don't notice it failed to disappear,...then what good is it?
When I re-did my 206 inst. panel, I moved my 2" vacuum gauge over into my direct vision on the pilots side where it would be in my primary scan.

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

pumps do fail
just had one failled on me in  imc
it had 450 hours and was bought new ,not rebuilt
was very happy to have autopilot and electric horizon

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I rest my case.....see earlier posting re. v-pumps lasting 500 hrs. max.

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

We replace the dry vacuum pumps on our C-421 every 300 hours.
We've still had occasional failures.   In 33 years of flying, I've never had a wet pump fail.  (trivia: Wet vacuum pumps typically were the ONLY accessory that did not have to be overhauled at engine overhaul/change time in commercial service.  Wet pumps recommended overhaul period was 3,000 hours and most folks I know never did it then even.  opinion: The reason the mfrs went to dry pumps was to 1) sell more parts 2) reduce aircraft weight by a couple pounds 3) reduce complaints from owners about oily bellys, ...in that order of importance.  My C-206 always developed a mist of oil on it's belly until I extended the vacuum pump overboard line 6 inches by sliding a short piece of rubber hose onto the existing aluminum tubing.  My '63 Baron has it's factory original wet pumps (Garwin's by the way) 40 years and 4800 hours later.  Pesco pumps are just as good.
  The original ideas regarding air/oil seperators derived from the wet vaccuum pump days.  The oil was returned to the crankcase and the exhaust air was delivered overboard.  (more opinion: I do not recommend air/oil seperators in the present-day fad of installing them in the crankcase vent system.  Why would anyone want to deliver old oil that is highly loaded with moisture and condensate into their crankcases?  It'd be much easier on your engine to just pour in a couple cups worth of clean distilled water at the end of each flight!)

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

I have heard this pitch about pouring water into the crankcase duplicates the Air/Oil sep.. That has got to be a stretch.  We have run the separators on our 182s for a combined total of over 34.000 hours and have never had a oil problem..  Pepsi and Coke will rust your pipes also, but it is still a popular refreshment.. Whatever the case- our separators are staying on!

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

"We have run the separators on our 182s for a combined total of over 34.000 hours ..." is a testimonial that I'm curious to have qualified.  May I ask, Who is "we"?  And in what kind of service is are the subject airplanes operated?

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

These airplanes have a job.  They are three 182rgs in Law enforcement and each airplane averages @ 600 hrs/annually.  They are used in all realms of Law enforcement.  Each is maintained under all (strict) FAA regulations, and they can hold there own against  any well maintained 182rg.  The highest time 182 in this group (N6136S) has over 12,000 (with the air/oil sep) and so far, water in the oil has not been a factor..  Yes, each airplane has a #337 for the installation.  These airplanes never have much time to rest......

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

That answers my question.  The reason those airplanes don't have a water-in-the-oil problem is because they are flying almost 6 TIMES the amount the average privately owned aircraft does.  Those engines are operated often enough to get their oil temps up for sufficiently long times that water is cooked out.....Not the case with the rest of the fleet average,...where the crankcase vent-line installations of air/oil seperators return crankcase condensate to the oil sump...complete with all that water manufactured by the combustion process.  (It's been estimated that every 7 gallons of gasoline produces a gallon of water.)

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Re: vacuum pump replacement

600 hours annually means the oil is replaced every month; the engines are overhaulled at a rate of about once every 3 -1/2 years. No time for water to accumulate and cause a corrosion problem. Corrosion is a process that takes time. If the oil was replaced twice a year, and the planes got much less activity, so that the water "pooled-up", then maybe it would be a problem.

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