Pump Update / Pfeiffer Vacuum Saves the day / I’m an Idiot

10 10 2009

Yesterday I got an update on the pump. Here is what happened.

When I received the pump back from the refurbish I fired it up and it was working fine for a bit, then I started hearing an intermittent and worsening screech.

The rough pump is mounted on springs to isolate it’s vibrations from the rest of the unit:


What I didn’t realize (until it was too late) was these springs were bolted down for shipment. When I ran the pump with the springs bolted down it transferred vibrations to the turbo pump and caused the rotor to contact the walls and damaged the rotor. My worst nightmare. Such a small mistake can cause so much damage.

Amazingly Pfeiffer Vacuum went ahead and replaced the rotor free of charge. This damage was my fault, and it would have cost thousands to fix it.  I owe David at Pfeiffer Vacuum a debt of gratitude for nothing short of saving the project.

The pump ships out on Monday Oct 12.  Hopefully that’s the last for pump issues.



One response

23 11 2010
A $5,000 Mistake « Prometheus Fusion Perfection

[…] can’t believe I broke the pump AGAIN. Really heartbreaking, especially because I knew to avoid this specific […]

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