Troubleshooting Leaks Tips & Tricks

Troubleshooting Leaks Tips & Tricks

by Jennifer Oden June 28, 2018

In the unlikely event that your HD vacuum press is not holding vacuum, we have some easy solutions for you. Every press is rigorously quality tested prior to packaging and must pass to our standards before being boxed up. A clean membrane and proper mold size can make a world of difference in vacuum quality in a press. Let’s go over common leak causes and solutions to get your press back up and running like it should!

What are Our Quality Assurance Standards?

Each press is tested fully assembled with a 8CFM Vacuum Pump using a average size mold similar to what a typical customer would use. All plumbing and external parts are checked for leaks. The vacuum press must hold full vacuum for 10 minutes with no more than 0.50 InHg drop in that time to pass our QA checks.

Clean Your Membrane…Seriously!

The most common reason for the HD vacuum former to lose vacuum is a dirty membrane. Any dust/debris accumulation on the HD vacuum forming membrane may cause the press to slowly lose vacuum. The membrane itself creates the seal with the unique design of the HD Vacuum Press, so it is important to pay close attention to this.

To clean:  Run a damp sponge over the entire membrane surface on the side that will contact the work area. Pay particular attention to the region on the membrane that touches the sealing edge on the vacuum former base. You do not need to remove the membrane from the vacuum press to do this. This only takes a few seconds to do.

Edge Allowance:

Before moving on to further troubleshooting steps, double check that your molds are not too close to the outside edge of the heatsink. Modify your molds to provide enough work area around them for the membrane to engage the sealing edge or upgrade to a larger press size if your molds cannot be modified to fit properly. 

Use the Heatsink:

The Heatsink Board is an important part of the HD Vacuum Press. To get the best seal possible in your HD Vacuum Press it is vital that you use the heatsink board as a work platform.

Check Internal Plumbing:

To check the plumbing underneath the HD Press:

Remove heatsink and switch your vacuum pump on. Open the control valve and plug the vacuum port(s) in the center of the vacuum grid with a wetted thumb. When you have a good seal with your thumb, allow vacuum to build to its highest point, close the control valve, and check the vacuum gauge. Vacuum gauge should not move until you remove your finger.   It should hold full vacuum if there are no leaks in the plumbing and fittings attached to the press.

If there are no leaks, your problem is outside the vacuum press system.

Obtain the Best Seal:

In order for the HD Vacuum Press to hold vacuum pressure without leakage, it must first achieve maximum InHG to seal properly.

First, ensure that you are using a fast enough vacuum pump (3CFM or higher - see below) to fully evacuate all air from the vacuum press.

With the heatsink in place, allow your vacuum pump to fully remove all air from the press and reach approximately 25 InHg or higher on the vacuum press gauge (relative to your elevation above sea level - see below) before closing the vacuum control valve and shutting off your pump. Your vacuum former should now hold vacuum as expected.

Still Having Trouble? Touch Base!

If, after going through the steps above and watching the video, you are still experiencing issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for further help. We want our customers to have the best experience possible when using our products and will do our best to correct any issues that arise.

Jennifer Oden
Jennifer Oden


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