FAQ: 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.

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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.

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.