How to Take a Good Oil Sample

If you operate hydraulics or other machine models at your facility, the first step in keeping operations up to standard is conducting regular check-ups, examinations and repairs. These check-ups are necessary to ensure that every piece of equipment is ready to perform at its best. S.O.S. Fluid Analysis offers a convenient, cost-effective way for you to have your machinery’s oil, fuel or coolant analyzed.

Before you can have these fluids checked, you’ll first need to learn how to take a good oil sample. Knowing the proper technique for collecting fluid will give you the resources and experience you need to send in a clean, high-quality sample for analysis. If you’re interested in learning how to take a good fluid sample, check out our step-by-step guide below.

Step-by-Step Oil Sample Instructions

The simplest and quickest way to take an oil sample is to extract the fluid and place it into a bottle using a small tube. A few steps you can follow to minimize contaminants follow:

  1. Locate the valve: The first step is finding your machinery’s oil valve, which will be covered by a cap. When you’re ready to take the sample, remove the cap and wipe the valve off with a clean towel or rag.
  2. Prepare a waste bottle: To flush out the valve and prevent sample contamination, prepare a waste bottle that you can use to collect a small amount of oil. Place the machine on idle and use a probe to extract fluid into the bottle. Once you’re finished, you can safely dispose of the waste oil.
  3. Prepare a sample bottle: After you’ve cleaned the valve, fill up a second bottle (about three-quarters of the way to the top) with clean, uncontaminated oil. Use only the bottle and probe provided to ensure cleanliness and testing accuracy. In addition, be careful to keep any other substances — such as dirt, dust and fluids — from touching the bottle or bottle cap.
  4. Seal and label the sample bottle: The final step of the process is to secure the cap onto the bottle and apply the proper label to the container. All you need to do now is ship the sample off for analysis, then everything will be good to go!

Why Is It Important to Take High-Quality Oil Samples?

Fluid analysis is a critical part of maintaining your heavy equipment and systems. Having the oil checked on a regular basis will help detect small issues early so that you can address them before they start causing major malfunctions or safety risks. This maintenance tactic saves time and money — in many cases, it can even extend the life of your equipment.

That’s why it’s so important to use the utmost care and consideration when you gather fluid samples. Taking a proper sample reduces the risk of fluid contaminants and maximizes testing accuracy, which will give you a better picture of your equipment’s needs. 

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By following these simple instructions, you’ll be able to collect oil samples for machine fluid analysis quickly and efficiently. Stay up to date on maintenance and support for all your Cat® equipment by working with Thompson Machinery and having your oil checked at regular intervals. Contact us if you have questions about these steps or the benefits of oil sampling.

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