FAQ: 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-Mtic 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.