Anyone here ever have to locate vacuum leaks?

I have a customer who has a piece of equipment that uses two decent-sized vacuum pumps. I got involved because of a motor failure on a 10 HP unit... it pulls well now, but cannot maintain. An oil mist is evident at the pump output from time-to-time.
So... does the oil mist indicate a system leak or a bad pump? What seems to happen is the thing will pull very close to the setpoint... in micron fractions... and lose it.
How do you find a vacuum leak if that is what's suspected?
Thanks,
Jake
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Can the system be pressurized? If not, you can find a vacuum leak with an ultrasonic leak detector.
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Number one is on what are you pulling vacuum on Number two if your pump pulls down as you say once you get where you want to be shut pump off and see if you loose vacuum on system you are vacuuming, naturally you must have valve in the line between the vacuum and the system you are pulling vacuum on to isolate. and yes if system leaks the vacuum pumps will smoke and discharge perhaps some oil and water depend on the type of vacuum pump. Finding vacuum leak depend on what you are pulling vacuum on Refrigeration systems that is easy, but Vacuum chambers patting machines containers ETC regardless of type small big it is not! you can spend hours or days looking for leak and specially if you are not familiar with equipment also size makes difference, ultra sound can help depend on size of leak and if you are not in noisy area Tony www.cas-environ.com

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Jake this what we do. First of all, what kind of chamber is this???? What level of vacuum are you trying to achieve. Some chambers are rated at feet in altitude, or Torr, or some other vacuum measure. Testing by pressure is by no means satisfactory if this is a very high vacuum system. The link below, is the first thing that came up when I googled "high vacuum leak detection". But, you will get the idea.
http://www.sciquip.com/Browses/browse_key_word.asp?keywords=leak&title=Helium%20and%20other%20High-Vacuum%20Leak%20Detection%20Systems
There are also, companies who specialty is just this. The leak detection equipment is way expensive for a one time problem.
This is some of the equipment we build and work on.
http://www.thermalproductsolutions.com/Tenney/thermal-vacuum.asp
Let me know what the exact application is so I can be of more assistance.
Barry
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Barry wrote:

http://www.sciquip.com/Browses/browse_key_word.asp?keywords=leak&title=Helium%20and%20other%20High-Vacuum%20Leak%20Detection%20Systems
tell you this is a several mass-spectrometer application used in the plasma business (with metallurgy, I guess) and that the acceptable range I saw was less than .01 torr *I think*. I need better info there.
I have a good ultrasonic but I've had no luck with this one.
Jake
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