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Milwaukee Tool’s new M18 FUEL 5 CFM Vacuum Pump gives HVAC techs instant power exactly where they need while taking the common hassles out of service and installation work on residential and light commercial air-conditioning equipment.
“Current corded solutions often interrupt workflow for HVAC techs as they have to hunt for outlets, run generators or run long extension cords that are a hazard on the service call,” said Alec Dietzel, product manager at Milwaukee Tool, over a Zoom call with PHCPPros.
Vacuum pumps are critical installation tools for techs during the evacuation stage of HVAC repairs and installs.
In addition to providing instant power throughout the evacuation process, the 5 CFM Vacuum Pump features an industry-first “manifold mode,” which provides the performance that matches a corded pump and allows techs to maximize speed and run time while using a manifold setup.
In addition, Milwaukee’s M18 REDLITHIUM batteries deliver the runtime and speed needed allowing tradespeople to get their work done and move on to the next job. Featuring a POWERSTATE Brushless Motor that allows for evacuations as fast as corded during system pull-downs, the 5 CFM Vacuum Pump harnesses REDLINK PLUS Intelligence to ensure maximum performance and protection from overload.
Inefficiencies Made Efficient
Let’s break down some of the ways the 5 CFM Vacuum Pump powers through common inefficiencies in the workflow.
Power: This should come as no surprise since Milwaukee Tool routinely has already “cut the cord” for countless other corded products before launching the 5 CFM Vacuum Pump.
“There’s rarely power where they need it,” Dietzel explained in this case, “which is at the condenser unit. The last thing a tech wants to do in such circumstances is to interrupt their customers just to be able to do the job that they’re getting paid to do and ask if they can borrow one of their plugs.”
Asking a customer to borrow an outlet is an extra problem since these types of pumps “pull a lot of current and will likely trip a circuit breaker.”
The need for instant reliable power to service and install air-conditioning equipment takes on an added dimension when Dietzel mentioned that in some parts of the U.S, in particular the Southwest, the AC equipment will mostly be found on the roof.
“Which just means that techs will have to resort to pulling out long extension cords that can create a tripping hazard made even worse when the work is up high,” Dietzel added.
And in the case of new construction, not many techs carry a generator on their trucks, which puts the tech at the mercy of the electrician’s schedule.
Finally, there’s the case of the “widow maker” or considering more and more women are in the trades the “widower maker.”
“A lot of techs will tap directly into the condenser’s own power,” Dietzel said. “I can’t think of anything that highlights the unnecessary risk techs might take to be able to run their vacuum pumps.”
Work Savers: One worry for HVAC techs is whether their work will be lost if a corded product trips a breaker and turns off. Will they be able to maintain a vacuum while they get the vacuum pump back up and running? (Likewise, this could also happen with a cordless pump if the battery dies.)
“What techs need is a foolproof to save their work,” Dietzel explained.
The 5 CFM Vacuum Pump features two lines of defense to solve that problem. The first and primary method is an isolation ball valve to isolate the pump for easy battery changes.
“The second layer of defense,” Dietzel adds, “is an internal check valve designed to protect the system vacuum when the pump is not running.”
Manifold Mode: Various hose configurations can be used to connect to an AC unit to evacuate, and often technicians include a manifold in the connection setup. However, while a manifold gives techs more control and diagnostic information while evacuating an AC unit, the manifold itself restricts the flow. The 5 CFM Vacuum Pump is designed with an industry-first “manifold mode” to maximize speed and runtime, providing up to 90 minutes of performance per charge.
Meanwhile, for evacuations using direct connections and large, 1⁄2-inch hoses, a “default mode” provides up to 60 minutes of runtime.
The vacuum pump’s 1/2-, 3/8-, and 1/4-inch ports deliver fast evacuations, especially when used with large hoses.
Maintenance: To help maintain the 5 CFM Vacuum Pump a gas ballast valve extends oil life and decreases the frequency of oil changes. In addition, a large oil port and angled oil drain allow for easy oil changes without a funnel. For the pro looking to extend the use of the pump long-term, the pump was designed with easily replaceable parts for quick in-field repairs.
M18 Line: Finally, the 5 CFM Vacuum Pump is fully compatible with the entire M18 line, which currently offers more than 250 power tool solutions.
“It ties into all the other cordless needs that techs will have throughout their workflow,” Dietzel explained. “What techs are really looking for is a full system that supports all those pieces of their workflow.”
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