Frequently Asked Questions

Breather Tubes

When do I need a breather tube?

On pumps and blowers where there are tight seals, a vacuum can occur which will result in the oil being sucked from the constant level oiler. You should install a breather a) in the line between the oiler and the pump or b) on top of the housing of the pump to create an atmospheric condition. NOTE: a closed system oiler will also work.

How are breather tubes installed in a bearing housing?

1/8″ NPT breather tubes are threaded into standard fitting provided by equipment manufacturer. We do NOT recommend tapping into OEM equipment.

Central Lubrication

Air and liquid line connections on the Mark 1 pump are 3/8″, the control valves take 1/4″ tubing. How do you connect the control valves to the pump?

Our part number 30098 is a shut-off valve that has a 3/8″ compression fitting on one end and a 1/4″ compression fitting on the other end and could be used in this application if the customer desires a shut-off valve in the system. Customer can also use a 10616 tee fitting in conjunction with two of the 10563R 3/8″ tube compression fittings and one of the 10569R would be connected to the control valve and sections with the 10569R would be used between the pump and the rest of the series of control valves.

What is the difference between the meter units and the control units used with the central lubrication pumps?

The meter units have a check valve in them. The check valve opens when the line pressure increases. As the line pressure decreases, the check valve closes back up. This allows the lines in the cyclic systems to remain filled when the cyclic pumps are not putting out a pressure. Because the continuous systems are always delivering lubricant through the system, they do not require the check valves. That is why control units are used with the continuous system. (Note: one exeception to this rule is when the customer needs the amount of lubricant that a continuous type pump puts out but wants to control how often the pump runs through means of an outside controller. This can be done and will function properly but the system must then be supplied with meter units instead of control units for the lubrication points.)

Can manual or automatic pumps other than the PE-34 or PE-44 series be used with the positive displacement injectors?

No. The positive placement injectors require the use of the PE-34 or PE-44 series pump.

How can you verify that the lubricant is being delivered to the lubrication points in a central lubrication system?

There are two ways to do this. The first way is to use a pressure gauge mounted at the end of the distribution system. By noting the pressure that the system maintains, a rise in pressure would indicate that one or more of the delivery lines are blocked, either the line itself or the control or meter unit. A decrease in pressure would indicate that there is a leak in the the delivery line at some point. The second way to verify delivery of the lubricant would be to install a sight valve, such as our ST series, into the delivery line between the control or meter unit and the lubrication point. This would allow visual indication of the lubricant being delivered to the lubrication point.

Coolants and Lubricants

What is the refractometer reading for Tri-Cool TC-1?

The refractometer reading for the concentrations are listed below:

Concentration = Refractive Reading

5:1 = 8.0

10:1 = 4.2

20:1 = 2.3

50:1 = 0.8

What is the maximum viscosity for coolant that can be used with the siphon spray coolant systems?

We do not recommend anything with a viscosity of higher than 100 SSU @ 100 degrees Fahrenheit in our siphon spray coolant systems. Although these units may dispense fluids with a higher viscosity than this, they are not recommended.

If the customer wants to use lubricants and/or coolants other than ours, what are the recommended guidelines?

Because all of our spray systems are siphon type systems, except for the Mistmatic, it is recommended to not use any fluid with a viscosity of more than 100 SSU at 100 degrees Fahrenheit in our siphon spray systems. Although fluid with a higher viscosity than this may be dispensed with our systems, it is not recommended to use them. All fluids must be compatible with Buna-N and polyurethane. It is also important to note that under no circumstances should any fluid with a flash point of less than 200 degrees Fahrenheit ever be dispensed by means of a spray delivery system.

What could be the cause of mold appearing on the Tri-Cool TC-1 and how can this be prevented/solved?

Tramp oils can cause the anti-bacterial additive to fall out of solution. These tramp oils are found on many new raw materials to prevent rust, oxidation and corrosion. These tramp oils can also have an effect on the rust inhibitor in the Tri-cool TC-1, causing them to fall out of solution, resulting in rust forming on machined pieces. Simple filtration will not prevent either of these situations. Removing these tramp oils from raw materials before machining operations may increase coolant life.

Can Tri-Cool TC-1 be used in a recirculating system? If so, how long could the customer keep using it before they would lose quality?

We have no record of any problems encountered with a recirculating system. The length of timne the product will last before it loses quality will vary with the hardness of water supply, “tramp oils” that may be getting into the system, etc. We do not recommend using it for longer than 4-6 months

At what temperature will Tri-Cool TC-1 freeze?

Tri-Cool TC-1 will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The actual start point of gelling would be 40 degrees Farenheit.

Why would rust form when using Tri-Cool TC-1?

Tramp oils, such as oils used to coat raw materials or oils leaking from the processing machine, can cause anti-rust inhibitors to fall out of solution. Simple filtration alone does not prevent this. Removing oils from raw materials before the machining process may increase coolant life.

Does Tri-Cool TC-1 contain ozone depleting chemicals?

No. Tri-Cool TC-1 neither contains nor forms ozone depleting chemicals during usage in any machining process.

What is the flash point of Tri-Cool TC-1?

Because Tri-Cool TC-1 is made mostly of water, there is no flash point.

Does Tri-Cool MD-1 meet the OSHA PEL exposure limit?

Yes, Tri-Cool MD-1 is a canola oil. Canola oil has a TWA of 15 milligrams per cubic meter for total particulate. This is equal to the OSHA permissible limit.

Expansion Chamber

When we install bearing isolators, such as the Inpro VBX and either a uni-directional vent or expansion chamber, the constant level oiler empties. What is the cause of this?

Because the uni-directional vent only vents air as a result of the pressure build up within the bearing housing, it is creating an atmospheric condition that is different from that in and about the constant level oiler. The same concept holds true for the expansion chamber. The diaphragm in the expansion chamber is taking up the expanding air in the bearing housing, however, this air is contained and is creating a different atmospheric condition in the bearing housing from that at the constant level oiler. In these situations, a good easy conversion for the customer is to use either the closed system Opto-Matic or Watchdog oilers. These can be used with the uni-directional vents and/or expansion chambers because they are vented to the bearing housing.

Why should expansion chambers be used with closed system oilers?

Because the bearing housing is closed off to atmospheric pressure, this pressure, in the form of expanded air, needs some place to go. The seals of the bearing housing are made to withstand small amounts of pressure. By using an expansion chamber, you are providing a place for this expanded air to go, causing the seal not to breathe. If the seal were allowed to breathe contaminants could get into the system.

Gravity Feed Oilers

What is the recommended oil viscosity range for the gravity feed oilers?

Gravity feed oilers can use oils up to 50W viscosity (SUS 2000 @ 100 F). As always, operating temperature is important to insure flow. The oil must be in a liquid form to be able to flow in the environment where the gravity feed oiler is to be located.

Are the type “KL” oilers available with metric threads instead of NPT?

No. However, there are adapters that can be used to convert it from NPT to BSPT threads. For 1/8 NPT use part number 14202R, for 1/4 NPT use part number 14208R and for 3/8 NPT use part number 14209R.

Are the type “KL” oilers likely to be affected by high frequency vibration?

Where extreme vibration exists, it is recommended to connect the lubricator to the lubrication point by means of flexible hose or tubing.

What are the outside diameters (OD) of the wicks used in the vari-feed oilers?

The outside diameters of the wicks used on the vari-feed oilers are as follows: white(very fast)- 3mm, green/white(fast)- 5mm, green(medium)- 6mm, red/white(slow)- 8mm, and red(very slow)10mm.

Is there a way to tell if a chain is receiving inadequate lubrication?

Check the chain for elongation, if chain is more than 3% longer than its normal length there is a need to evaluate the lubrication method.

What is the diameter of the stainless steel & nylon bristles on the applicators?

The nylon bristles have a diameter of 0.008″, the stainless steel ones have a diameter of 0.005″.

Can the valve on the remote rotary bracket/valve assembly be completely shut off?

Yes. The needle valve in this assembly will stop the flow of oil.

Can an adapter be used to mount an applicator to either a “VM” manifold or a “S” bracket at a 45 degree angle?

Yes. Use a 10648R fitting. This fitting can be mounted to either end of the adjustable applicator assembly to make the 45 degree desired angle.

Are the type “VM” & “V” manifolds expandable?

Yes. When the plug on the end of the manifold is removed, it has a 1/8 NPT thread connection. A hex nipple could be used to connect this manifold to another one. The 10971R connecter fitting on the second manifold would need to be removed.

What can you do to prevent or eliminate fogging or cloudiness of reservoirs, especially acrylic?

If oil is attacking the reservoir, use glass. If you are cleaning the reservoir, you must use a solvent that will not attack the acrylic.

Why are the needle valves in the manifold delivering an inconsistent drip rate?

Needle valves may be clogged. Clean out plugs are located at each end of the manifold should internal cleaning be necessary. The manifold can be flushed or blown out by removing these end plugs.

What is the recommended oil viscosity range for the chain oilers?

Chain oilers can use oils up to 50W viscosity (SSU 2000 @ 100 degrees Fahrenheit). As always, operating temperature is important to insure flow. The oil must be in a liquid form and be able to flow in the environment where the gravity feed oiler is to be located.

On the initial installation of a gravity feed oiler, why is there no oil dripping into sight area?

Since the unit has not been used previously, air bubbles may get trapped in the line(s). Open all neelde valves slightly to permit system to fill and trapped air to escape from the lines and manifolds. Air bubbles may appear in drip sights, but will disappear as soon as all air has escaped.

What is the advantage of using the glass versus the acrylic with the gravity feed oilers?

For applications where the temperature exceeds 160 degrees Fahrenheit, glass reservoirs are recommended. If temperature is not an issue, the acrylic reservoir provides a less expensive, durable substitute.

Are the solenoids on the gravity feed oilers normally open or closed?

All solenoids on these oilers are normally closed (NC).

What are the maximum operating temperatures of the applicators for the chain oilers?

Even-Flo Applicators – nylon and stainless steel operate at the same temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ever-Last Applicators – operate at a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Round Brush Applicators – nylon and stainless steel operate at the same temperature 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rotary Applicators – nylon operate at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, stainless steel at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease Dispensers

What is the weight of the three springs used with the GL-P grease lubricator?

The three springs apply the following pressures in the GL-P lubricators:

Light – 4.57 pounds per inch

Medium – 10.04 pounds per inch

Heavy – 14.35 pounds per inch

Grease Meter

How do you calibrate the Grease Meter?

The Grease Meter can be calibrated for different grease types. To calibrate follow the steps below:

1. CALCULATE THE CORRECTION FACTOR

Correction factor = real quantity / shown quantity

Example: The dispensed grease weight is 500 gram. The grease meter shows 485 gram

Correction factor = 500 / 485 = 1.03

2. CALCULATE THE CALIBRATION FACTOR

The new calibration factor = the old calibration factor x the correction factor

Example: The old calibration factor is 700The correction factor is calculated to 1.03The new calibration factor = 700 x 1.03 = 721

3. CHANGE THE CALIBRATION FACTOR OF THE GREASE METER

To enter the menu press the power (left button) and light bulb (right button) buttons simultaneously. The display will show “TOTAL”. Press NEXT (right button). The display will show “CALIB”. Press ENTER (left button). The display will show the current calibration factor. The highlighted digit can be stepped up by pressing STEP (right button). To highlight the next digit press ENTER (left button). Continue to press STEP and ENTER to set the correct calibration factor. When the last digit has been accepted by pressing ENTER the display will show the calibrated amount. Press ENTER (left button) to accept and save the new calibration, or CANCEL (right button) to cancel the changers and return to the old calibration factor.

The calibration of the Grease Meter is also included in the instruction manual with illustrations. To view the Grease Meter instruction manual click here (a PDF file will be downloaded).


Liquid Level Gauge

How do you size a liquid level gauge for an application?

Determine the level range to be monitored, locate inlet fitting in relation to the range, and subtract the difference for the sight size.

What is the maximum viscosity oil that may be used in a liquid level gauge?

As with all Trico products, temperature plays a major role in maximum viscosity. Nothing higher than 50W (2000 SUS @ 100ºF) should be recommended.

What is the maximum distance between a liquid level gauge and a drum?

The liquid level gauge can be mounted an unlimited distance from the drum by using tubing, however, the tubing must be level.

Can a liquid level gauge be mounted higher or lower than the drum outlet and still be effective?

It can be mounted lower than the drum outlet and still be effective. If it is mounted higher than the drum outlet, monitoring of the level, below the bottom of the gauge is not possible.

Opto-Matic Closed System Oiler

In what applications are the closed systems oilers preferred over a standard Opto-Matic oiler?

All outside applications and areas where contamination is common. They should also be used in areas where blower motors or fans are in use in the area where the oiler is to be mounted.

When we install bearing isolators, such as the Inpro VBX and either a uni-directional vent or expansion chamber, the constant level oiler empties. What is the cause of this?

Because the uni-directional vent only vents air as a result of the pressure build up within the bearing housing, it is creating an atmospheric condition that is different from that in and about the constant level oiler. The same concept holds true for the expansion chamber. The diaphragm in the expansion chamber is taking up the expanding air in the bearing housing, however, this air is contained and is creating a different atmospheric condition in the bearing housing from that at the constant level oiler. In these situations, a good easy conversion for the customer is to use either the closed system Opto-Matic or Watchdog oilers. These can be used with the uni-directional vents and/or expansion chambers because they are vented to the bearing housing.

What is the adjustment range of the closed system Opto-Matic and Watchdog Oilers?

The closed system Opto-Matic oilers have an adjustment range from 9/32″ to 1-1/32″ inches above the centerline of the mounting hole. Because it is a combination viewport and constant level oiler, the Watchdog oiler must be mounted on the centerline of the oil level to be maintained. For this reason, it is not adjustable.

Is there a preferred material for the atmospheric tubing on the closed system Opto-Matic?

No. Tubing can be any 1/4″ OD material, however, care and consideration should be given to the type of conditions that the tubing will be subjected to, such as bad weather conditions, wash downs, atmospheric conditions, etc. when deciding on this material.

Why are the closed system oilers ideal for fan and blower housing applications?

Because these applications, by there nature, have much air movement around them, the standard Opto-Matic oilers often misfeed in these applications. Air movement can create different atmospheric conditions between the bearing housing and the air surrounding the Opto-Matic oiler. This difference in air pressure can be off-set by use of the closed systems oilers. Bearing housing and oilers are closed off from the outside air between themselves by use of the atmospheric tubing.

Why are the closed system Opto-Matic oiler reservoirs difficult to remove?

Because these systems are designed to be air tight to keep contaminants out, the reservoir is a very tight fit. Care should be taken to use the collar assembly, with a twisting motion, when removing the reservoir, as using the bottle as a lever may cause damage to it. Also try to apply a light lubricant to the o-ring inside the reservoir assembly to help with the removal of it. Care should be taken to use a lubricant that is compatible with Viton, as this is the material the o-ring is made of, and with the oil being used in the equipment.

Why should expansion chambers be used with closed system oilers?

Because the bearing housing is closed off to atmospheric pressure, this pressure,in the form of expanded air, needs some place to go. The seals of the bearing housing are made to withstand small amounts of pressure. By using an expansion chamber, you are providing a place for this expanded air to go, causing the seal not to breathe. If the seal were allowed to breathe contaminants could get into the system.

What could happen if the atmospheric tubing would become kinked or crushed on the closed system Opto-Matic?

A kinked or crushed atmospheric tube would mean that air exchange between the bearing housing and the oiler is either broken or restricted. This would create the possibility of different atmospheric conditions between the bearing housing and the oiler, which could lead to the oiler misfeeding.

What is the recommened oil viscosity range for the Opto-Matic closed system oilers?

Closed system oilers can use oils up to 50W viscosity (SUS 2000 @ 100 degrees F). As always, operating temperature is important to insure flow. The oil must be in a liquid form and be able to flow in the environment where the oiler is to be located.

What is the ideal level to lubricate bearings at?

You should always check the level of lubrication with the manufacturer of your equipment. However, as a general guideline, the level should be set half-way on the 6:00 position ball of the bearing.

Opto-Matic Oiler

What is the recommended oil viscosity range for the Opto-Matic oilers?

Opto-Matic oilers can use oils up to 50W viscosity (SSU 2000 @ 100 degrees F). As always, operating temperature is important to insure flow. The oil must be in a liquid form and be able to flow in the environment where the Opto-Matic is to be located.

In what applications are the closed systems oilers preferred over a standard Opto-Matic oiler?

Opto-Matic oilers can use oils up to 50W viscosity (SSU 2000 @ 100 degrees F). As always, operating temperature is important to insure flow. The oil must be in a liquid form and be able to flow in the environment where the Opto-Matic is to be located.

When we install bearing isolators, such as the Inpro VBX and either a uni-directional vent or expansion chamber, the constant level oiler empties. What is the cause of this?

Because the uni-directional vent only vents air as a result of the pressure build up within the bearing housing, it is creating an atmospheric condition that is different from that in and about the constant level oiler. The same concept holds true for the expansion chamber. The diaphragm in the expansion chamber is taking up the expanding air in the bearing housing, however, this air is contained and is creating a different atmospheric condition in the bearing housing from that at the constant level oiler. In these situations, a good easy conversion for the customer is to use either the closed system Opto-Matic or Watchdog oilers. These can be used with the uni-directional vents and/or expansion chambers because they are vented to the bearing housing.

Our maintenance staff is responsible for oil and greasing of equipment . We have decided to maintain the Opto-Matic oilers with 100% fill in the reservoirs. What are the real risks and potential consequences of operating the oilers like this?

The problem with keeping the oilers 100% filled is that this requires frequent removal of the reservoirs for refilling. Every time an oiler is removed, oil is released into the lower casting. This also happens when the reservoir is replaced. We have found in our testing that doing this twice a day on a Goulds model “STX”, which has approximately a quarter capacity of oil, we raised the oil level approximately 1/16 of an inch within a week. To keep oilers 100% filled, we would suggest that you have your operators monitor, closely, the oil level in the bearing housing.

The Opto-Matic oiler casting disintegrates, what can I use as a replacement?

The Opto-Matic oiler casting is made with zinc. Zinc can be attacked by corrosive environments, such as salt water, ground water in mines, etc. Use the stainless steel Opto-Matics.

When the equipment shuts down, oil flows over the top of the Opto-Matic casting. What is causing this?

Surging occurs when equipment shuts down and oil from sides of housing settles and returns to the oiler. If casting is not large enough to hold surge, an overflow condition occurs. Use an oiler with a larger lower casting such as the Opto-Matic oiler LS, EH, or EHB.

What is the ideal level to lubricate bearings at?

You should always check the level of lubrication with the manufacturer of your equipment. However, as a general guideline, the level should be set half-way on the 6:00 position ball of the bearing .

During equipment operation, will the pressure inside the bearing housing affect how the Opto-Matic oiler functions?

Yes. Because the standard Opto-Matic oilers are designed to be vented to the outside atmospheric conditions, it is very important that the bearing housing also be vented to the same atmospheric conditions. Always confirm that the bearing housing is vented and the the vent is clear. If the vent is not there or is plugged, this will create a different atmospheric condition inside the bearing housing than that at the oiler, causing a misfeed situation. If there are motor fans or blower motors in the vicinity of either the oiler or vent on the bearing housing, this can also create a different atmospheric condition leading to a misfeed situation.

Spray Cooling

What is the maximum viscosity for coolant that can be used with the siphon spray coolant systems?

We do not recommend anything with a viscosity of higher than 100 SSU @ 100 degrees Fahrenheit in our siphon spray coolant systems. Although these units may dispense fluids with a higher viscosity than this, they are not recommended.

Are the nozzles for the siphon type system interchangeable with the pump system type?

No. The pump system type require pressure tipped nozzles.

What is the difference between a siphon system and a pump system?

As the name indicates, the siphon systems use air pressure to draw liquid to the nozzle tip, therefore, there will be some lag time with the siphon type unit. The pump systems use a pump to force the fluid to the nozzle tip, therefore, immediate or near immediate delivery of the fluid is achieved.

How much vacuum does each siphon spray system draw?

The vacuum is measured in inches, the following is the inches of vacuum for each unit:

Spraymaster II – (18)

Spraymaster – (7-10)

Lil’ Mister – (6-7)DL – (18)

Spraymaster SS – (7-10)

How much liquid does each siphon system draw?

With shop air of 80-90 PSI and the air & liquid knobs turned open one complete turn, the liquid draws for each siphon spray system are as follows:

Spraymaster II- 0.2 gallons per hour

Spraymaster- 0.15 gallons per hour

Lil’ Mister- 0.1 gallons per hour

DL- 0.4 gallons per hour, when reservoir is above or level with nozzle 0.25 gallons per hour, when reservoir is below the nozzle

Spraymaster SS- 0.15 gallons per hourS

ST- 0.06 gallons per hour

Why do I get a sputtering or drip rather than a spray on the DL unit, when I try to adjust the unit for low fluid flows?

This is a simple siphon system. The air adjustment is controlling the amount of fluid that is drawn from the reservoir. The amount of fluid being drawn from the reservoir is affected by where the reservoir is located, it requires more air to make the draw if the reservoir is located lower than the nozzle. We also have a similar type product, DL Magnum, which has both air and liquid adjustments. Reservoir positioning will also affect the unit’s delivery.

How many solenoids does a Spraymaster II have?

Yhe single line Spraymaster II has two solenoids. The two line Spraymaster II has three solenoids. In each unit, one solenoid is used for the air line and all other solenoids are used for the liquid lines.

What is the maximum operating temperature for the P12-A and HV-2100 control valves?

The maximum operating temperature on these units is 150 degrees Farhenheit. This is due to the nylon tubing.

Is a regulator required on the air line supply to the MD-1200?

It depends on the air pressure you have going into the unit. If air supply pressure is between 60 to 125 PSI then no regulator is required. If shop air pressure is higher than 125 PSI then a regulator would be required to bring the pressure down to our recommendation of between 60 to 125 PSI.

Can the flexible hoses, such as H-408 be used with fuel oils, such as gasoline, kerosene or diesel fuel?

No. The hoses are made for use with lubricating oils. Fuel oils such as these will deteriorate the hose


Watchdog Desiccant Breathers

Why do I need this Watchdog Desiccant Breather? My reservoir already has a vent cap.

Most standard breather caps are intended to cover the filler opening on a tank or reservoir to keep out rain and large solid particles. Most of these are only capable of stopping particles of about 100 micron or larger. Studies have shown that to have a significant effect on abrasive wear, particles of 10 micron or less must be kept out of the system. Watchdog breathers remove particles of 2 micron and larger before they cause the silent destruction of your equipment. Most importantly, standard filler/breather caps do not remove airborne water vapor that causes chemical and physical changes resulting in loss of additive performance, sludge, bacteria growth, and corrosion. Watchdog breathers remove water vapor before it enters the tank or reservoir.

I do not see any water in my tank. Do I really need to pay for a Watchdog Desiccant Breather?

There are three states of water contamination in lubricants, hydraulic fluid, insulating oil, etc.:

DISOLVED WATER these molecules are dispersed one-by-one throughout the oil like humidity.

EMULSIFIED WATER these microscopic globules of water are suspended in the oil like fog.

FREE WATER settles to the bottom of the tank like rain.

All forms of water are generators of other contamination: rust, sludge, acids, soot, bacteria, varnish, and ice. All of these shorten the life of the oil or fluid, and the equipment serviced by it.


Why does the Watchdog Desiccant Breather cost so much? Am I getting value for my expense?

A major bearing manufacturer has stated that bearings can have an infinite life when small particles are removed from the lubricant. Hydraulic fluid will last three, even four times as long if water vapor is kept out of it. A power outage when a transformer fails is staggering. A Watchdog part number 39102 will hold up to a pint of water and will filter out 2 micron abrasive particles. The price of a breather is well below the cost of changing hydraulic fluid three times, or rebuilding a gearbox or cylinder, or having electrical shorting in a transformer.

There are several Watchdog Desiccant Breather part numbers, which size do I use?

The airflow BOTH IN AND OUT of the tank, reservoir, or gearbox determines the part number to choose. Two factors create airflow, they are: temperature variations (which cause very low airflow rates), and fluid volume changes caused by the stroking of hydraulic cylinders or by tanks being filled and emptied. The airflow rating for each part number is stated on the sales literature. We also state the equivalent fluid volume change, which a customer is more likely to know. The formula for the relationship between these two measurements is: 7.5 gpm (gallons per minute) of fluid volume change creates one (1) cfm (cubic feet per minute) of airflow.

Part numbers 39100, 39101, and 39102 are rated at 35 cfm airflow. This is the amount of airflow created by 260 gpm of fluid level change. At this airflow rate or fluid level change rate the pressure drop through these breathers will be approximately 1 psi. Pressure drop is an important concern because if there is too much pressure drop created by the resistance to airflow through the breather, the sides of the tank will be subjected to stress and could fracture, creating an implosion or explosion. Even though much larger volumes of airflow can pass through the breather (creating high psi drops), we rate all our models at the cmf that creates 1 psi, which is considered safe even for very thin walled tanks.

The pressure drop rating for a group of products is based on the size of the opening in the standpipe coming out of the bottom. Since Silica Gel adds very little to the airflow resistance, all part numbers with the same standpipe size are rated at the same airflow. Therefore 39100, 39101, and 39102 can be used for the same application, however, the tallest unit, the 39102 is the most economical because it has more life (more silica gel) for the cost.

Because the mounting hole on part numbers 39131, 39132, 39133, and 39134 is smaller (½” female NPT), they are rated for 10 cfm (75 gpm).

For larger airflow requirements the 39108, which has a 2″ standpipe opening, will handle 100 cfm (750 gpm).


How long does a Watchdog Desiccant Breather last?

The useful life of a breather is dependent on three variables. They are, in order of importance,

 Frequency of Breathing Quantity of Silica Gel in the breather Ambient Humidity in the work area

Frequency of Breathing

Means how often does a new batch of wet air pass through the breather. Each time this happens water vapor is retained and the breather life is shortened. Examples of the extremes would be a storage tank that has fluid drawn out once a day; one load of water per day to be removed and retained in the breather = long life. A hydraulic cylinder strokes every 30 seconds; each time a new load of water to be removed and retained in the breather = short life.

Quantity of Silica Gel

The water holding capacity of a breather is directly proportional to the amount of silica gel in the breather. We have a chart that gives the maximum water capacity for each Watchdog part number. Our Cross Reference documents also show the comparison to various Des-Case models.

Ambient Humidity in the Work Area

Most users believe that the ambient humidity is the major factor in the life of breather; however, humidity works for us as well as against us; The amount of water a given volume of silica gel will hold is a function of the humidity; as the humidity increases the efficiency of the silica gel goes up, to approximately 40% of its own weight. Therefore as each load of wet air passes through the breather the air with higher humidity brings more water vapor to adsorb, but the silica gel can adsorb more at the higher humidity level. The end result is a small decrease in the life of the breather at higher work area humidity levels, but this is not as significant as the other two life factors. In certain environments, such as paper mills or areas with steam present, ambient has a more negative effect on the life of the breather.

After explaining these factors to a customer, they probably will still say, OK, how long will my breathers last? Most breathers in industrial applications will last 3 to 6 months, if sized properly. The first breather put on a tank or reservoir that has been in operation for a period of time will usually last a shorter time than subsequent breathers because it is having to dry air leaving the reservoir as well as coming in.


How do I know when the Watchdog Desiccant Breather has adsorbed all the water it can hold?

As the Watchdog® adsorbs water the silica gel turns from gold to very dark blue/green. In fact, it looks black to most people. Seeing a light green color throughout the gold is not a signal to replace the breather. When all of the silica gel has changed color, to the very dark blue/green, the breather should be replaced. A breather that still has a small amount of gold color, or even light green color, showing is just as good as a new breather.

Can the filter cloth become clogged in the Watchdog Desiccant Breather?

In a typical industrial application, it is unlikely that the 2-micron filter cloth will become clogged before the breather has reached its full capacity of water. The filter cloth is a patented knit polyester with the two sides made differently. The side that is placed in the up position in the breather is knitted with a loose pile surface that closes to 2-micron when hit by the incoming air. When air is expelled from the tank it goes back through the filter and the knit opens back up (loose) throwing off the particles collected on the top surface. In the filter industry this is called “backflushing.” These particles flow out of the breather with the expelled air creating a “self-cleaning” process.

How do I dispose of a used Watchdog Desiccant Breather?

Watchdog® breathers are manufactured with all materials that can be disposed of as solid waste as defined by local regulations. However, if a breather is used on a tank that contains regulated fluids, the breather must be disposed of in the same manner as required for the fluids.

Can I wash equipment that the Watchdog Desiccant Breather is installed on?

Yes. Water will not enter the breather unless you spray water directly upwards into the top cap of the Watchdog® breather. They are designed so that water cannot enter the breather under normal conditions. Unlike competitive breathers, normal splashing of fluids will not enter the breather. Washing equipment is safe and will not reduce the breather life.

Will the Watchdog Desiccant Breather break if I drop it?

It is possible, but not likely. Our breathers are made of rugged ABS plastic caps and a high impact resistant acrylic tube, adhesively welded together. While they are sturdy enough to withstand most environments, the acrylic tube can crack if dropped from significant height onto a shop floor. If the tube cracks or breaks, solid particles and water can enter the breather through the crack. It is best to replace any breather that is cracked or broken.

Can I replace the silica gel myself one it has changed color? Or can the silica gel be dried and reused in the Watchdog Desiccant Breather?

The Watchdog® breathers are designed so you cannot remove the top or bottom cap without breaking the breather. This is a safety precaution to keep silica gel beads from spilling and to assure that particles and water vapor cannot enter the unit except where required.

Why are so many adapters available for the Watchdog Desiccant Breathers?

The wide variety of applications for breathers requires us to make installation for our distributors and customers as easy as possible.

Can a Watchdog Desiccant Breather be mounted in any position, vertical, horizontal, or on an angle?

Breathers should be mounted in the vertical position, or at least no more than a 45º angle. Even though the Watchdog® Breathers are vibrated during assembly to assure maximum filling, the silica gel settles during shipping, creating an air passage above it when the unit is in the horizontal position. Air, like people, takes the path of least resistance, and in this case it would miss the silica gel and would enter the tank undried.

Must a Watchdog Desiccant Breather be mounted on the tank/reservoir or can ti be mounted remote?

In many applications it is desirable to mount the breather away from the tank for better visibility or better access for changing the units. Remote mounting can be accomplished using tubing or pipes for the air to flow from the breather to the tank. Care must be taken to insure that there is no airflow obstruction in the line and that there are no air leaks after the clean dry air has left the breather. Piping can also be used to achieve a vertical mounting position for the breather where space limitations exist on the tank or reservoir.

I have a down stream filter already. Do I need this and a Watchdog Desiccant Breather?

Harmful contaminants, both abrasive particles and water, enter an enclosed system from three sources:

Built In: this is debris from manufacturing and service of the equipment. It includes dirt and dust, burrs, contaminated fluids, etc.

Generated: such as mechanical wear, additive precipitation, hose fibers, etc.

Ingested: which enters the tank or reservoir from the atmosphere. The breather prevents the ingested material from entering the tank and causing harm to the fluids and the equipment. The down stream filter removes contaminants that are already in the system before they do additional harm.

Can I use my Watchdog Desiccant Breather outdoors in cold or hot conditions?

Yes, Watchdog Desiccant Breathers are designed for use in temperatures ranging from -20ºF to 200ºF.

Watchdog Oiler

When we install bearing isolators, such as the Inpro VBX and either a uni-directional vent or expansion chamber, the constant level oiler empties. What is the cause of this?

Because the uni-directional vent only vents air as a result of the pressure build up within the bearing housing, it is creating an atmospheric condition that is different from that in and about the constant level oiler. The same concept holds true for the expansion chamber. The diaphragm in the expansion chamber is taking up the expanding air in the bearing housing, however, this air is contained and is creating a different atmospheric condition in the bearing housing from that at the constant level oiler. In these situations, a good easy conversion for the customer is to use either the closed system Opto-Matic or Watchdog oilers. These can be used with the uni-directional vents and/or expansion chambers because they are vented to the bearing housing.

Why should expansion chambers be used with closed system oilers?

Because the bearing housing is closed off to atmospheric pressure, this pressure,in the form of expanded air, needs some place to go. The seals of the bearing housing are made to withstand small amounts of pressure. By using an expansion chamber, you are providing a place for this expanded air to go, causing the seal not to breathe. If the seal were allowed to breathe contaminants could get into the system.

With the Watchdog oiler, when equipment is coming up to speed, oil from the oiler is being allowed into the bearing housing, leading to overfilling of the housing. What is causing this to happen?

In some instances it has been noted that upon equipment coming up to speed that the oiler will feed into the bearing housing causing an overfill situation. In these applications, it has been observed that, if the reservoir is left off of the surge body, a flow pattern can be observed through the surge body. In this situation, it is necessary to mount the oiler away from the housing to take the flow pattern out of the situation.

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