SAE 20 weight non-detergent oil
The March pumps we use (as well as most other pump brands) require periodic lubrication. To quote the manual:
LUBRICATION: The motor should be oiled annually at the start of the heating season with 4 or 5 drops of SAE 20 weight non-detergent oil in each bearing. If the pump is used year round it should be oiled every six months. Do not over oil.
These instructions assume that the pump is in use continuously (24/7) so for brewing where the pumps are only used a few times a month, 2-3 drops of oil once every year or two is more than adequate.
Our pumps did come pre-lubricated from the manufacturer so the first oiling only needs to be done after the first year or two of use. Check with your pump manufacturer to confirm.
To find the oil ports, look for the word "OIL" printed on the sticker on the top of the pump. Arrows point towards the ports where the drops are to be applied (usually one or two holes):
Pump oil ports on a March pump
With the pump level, carefully apply 2-3 drops of oil into each hole, once every year or two. That's it! Proper lubrication will ensure that your pumps will last you a lifetime.
If using a different brand of pump, check your pump manual for the proper lubrication procedure. Some pumps such as the Chugger TCPSS-CI have sealed bearings such that oiling is not required.
Whenever you oil your pump is also a great time to inspect your thrust washers.
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