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Star Republic: Guide for Biologists

Vacuum trap

Before you use vacuum, make sure you have a vacuum trap to collect waste. Waste or liquid should never be allowed to enter the central vacuum system or the vacuum pump. It is advised to use a secondary trap connected to the waste collecting trap.

For drying gels, cooling the trap with ice or dry ice shortens the time it takes for drying a gel.

Vacuum pumps

For most lab applications, a low vacuum (5-10 mm Hg, 50-100 Pascal) is sufficient for applications such as gel drying or de-gassing.

Water aspirator vacuum pump generates vacuum by water flow. The simplest unit attaches to tap water. Enclosed units circulates water. Make sure water is at the desired level and change water periodically to minimize contamination.

Oil needs to be changed regularly for oil-vacuum pumps.