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55-Gallon Drum Oil Sampling

Dan Freeland


Obtaining a multilayered oil sample from 55-gallon drums

arrival_red-fill-300x300-(1).pngOil sampling and analysis at the “Arrival” stage provides indication of the condition and care your supplier has taken to ensure the lubricant meets the required specifications and is contaminant free. Oil analysis at this stage is essential from a forensic standpoint. Without a reference sample, diagnosing problems later in The Journey of the Lubricant® becomes difficult because there will be more variables to eliminate.

Taking a sample of each lubricant type at the time it’s received is an authentication of what you purchased.  It is the first critical step in applying the dimensional sampling philosophy. Not only are there occasional packaging or labeling mistakes, but for companies that employ an oil analysis program and interpret results in parts per million (PPM), it’s important to know what the baseline was when you took receipt of it.  This will considerably reduce the number of variables and questions in interpreting future stage results.

There are many ways to sample your lubricant at the arrival stage.  Most importantly, you want to make sure you are taking a multilayered sample or multiple samples from different layers. A multilayered sample draws lubricant from the entire vertical volume of the fluid. This will provide a complete summary of the lubricant’s contents from top to bottom. Some lubricants, mainly mineral oils, can have their additives drop out of their chemical bond. These additives can fall to the bottom of a drum over time. Additionally, free water will fall to the bottom of a drum. If this is a concern, multiple samples from the top, middle, and bottom of the drum should be taken and the oil analysis compared to identify either of these situations. A pipette style sampling tube or a handheld vacuum pump will provide a quality sample in either case.

How to take an oil sample from 55-gallon drums?

Check out these quick videos on taking a sample from a 55-gallon drum using a pipette style sampling tube and using a vacuum pump.

If you need further assistance, please contact us.