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Best Oil Analysis Sample Location-TestOil Offers Advice

TestOil, the industry leader in lubricant analysis, offers expert advice on choosing the best oil analysis sample locations. This is critical for getting the most accurate data from oil analysis; identifying actual issues early on and avoiding misidentification of non-issues. TestOil‘s considerations for determining proper location of oil sample ports include:

 1. Component Location: The port should be located downstream from the primary component being monitored.
2. Filtration: Because filters remove contaminants, the port should be located before the filter.
3. Fluid Flow: The port should be located in a high-flow, turbulent area.
4. Safety: The port should be located in an area that does not present a danger to the person taking the sample.
 5. Accessibility: The port should be in an area that is feasible to access.

TestOil Field Analyst David Gawelek said, “A consistent location is important. If you take fluid out of different locations in a machine the fluid will give you different test results. For example, if you take a sample before a filter it will yield different test results than after the filter. If you take a sample from the top of a reservoir it will have less contaminant material than the bottom.”
                He added, “The best place to sample is in an active zone of the lubrication system where it is after the primary component that you want to monitor, but before the filter. This is a very general statement but it holds true for most cases. Filtration can mask a wear problem, especially in a large system in which small changes in wear metal levels can be meaningful. Sampling consistently from the same good location minimizes the noise in the test results.”
                Just as there are factors that can improve the quality of a sample, there are other factors that can diminish a sample’s quality, including:
• Sampling from dead pipe legs, hose ends and standing pipes where the fluid isn’t moving or circulating
• Sampling right after an oil change, filter change, startup or at some time when the fluid wouldn’t represent typical conditions
• Sampling when the machine is cold, hasn’t been operating, or has been idling

                “Some of the worst locations are from a low drain at the bottom of the reservoir—where the particles will settle,” Gawelek said. “Other bad locations are sight glasses and accumulators—generally they are filled with non-circulating stagnant fluid. It’s best not to take a sample from inactive oil.”
                TestOil ‘s expert and experienced field analysts, such as Gawelek, can advise on the best places for sample locations through the company’s Consulting PRO services, which feature an onsite audit of the customer’s business. The audit includes:
• A plant walk through to acquire complete documentation of the assets included in the oil analysis program
• Recommendations for proper sample point locations
• Lube storage and handling recommendations
• Any other improvement recommendations, such as exclusion and filtration, discovered while onsite.

                For more information on TestOil Consulting PRO, visit: https://testoil.com/consulting-pro/
                With more than 30 years of experience in the oil analysis industry, TestOil focuses exclusively on assisting industrial facilities with reducing maintenance costs and avoiding unexpected downtime through oil analysis program implementation. As industry experts in diagnosing oil-related issues in equipment such as turbines, hydraulics, gearboxes, pumps, compressors and diesel generators, TestOil provides customers with a guarantee of same-day turnaround on all routine testing. With in-house, certified training professionals, TestOil offers lubrication and oil analysis training, private onsite training, certification training and exams, and educational webinars. For more information on partnering with TestOil on oil analysis programs or training opportunities visit www.testoil.com. Contact: 216-251-2510; sales@testoil.com.

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