Helpful Hints and Neat Ideas from Fellow Readers

The “Lube-Tips” section of Machinery Lubrication magazine features innovative ideas submitted by our readers. Additional tips can be found in our Lube-Tips e-mail newsletter. If you have a tip to share, e-mail it to editor-in-chief Paul V. Arnold at To sign up for the Lube-Tips e-mail newsletter, visit and click on the “Newsletters” link found near the top of the home page.

How to Time Filter Changes

This technical tip was submitted by Jason Frankiewicz, a member of the reliability team at Holcim (US) Inc.:

“When is the correct time to change a filter? Is it when the differential pressure gauge reads 25, 40 or is topped out? Some systems have a built-in pressure relief that may never allow the back-pressure to indicate the need for a filter change. Writing the date that the filter was last changed on the filter or tag can help. Including the filter part number also has proved useful. Consider covering the date and part number with plastic so that it isn’t wiped off during cleaning.”

Outdoor Lube Storage Tip

This tip is courtesy of David Turner, a lubricants technical advisor at Shell Global Solutions:

“To minimize water and particulate contamination from entering new drums of oil, it is preferred to keep drums indoors and stacked horizontally. However, when it is necessary to store drums outdoors and uncovered, here is a technique that may be used to remove water from the top of a drum. Attach a paper towel to the top of the drum. In the above photo, a magnetic clip was used. Allow the paper towel to hang over the edge of the drum so that the water wicks through the towel and down the side of the drum. Water will continue to travel from the top of the drum to the ground. This reduces breathing of water through the bungs.”

A paper towel absorbs water and transfers it off the top of an oil drum.

Reuse That Grease Drum

This tip was sent in by Mark D. Jones Sr., a lubrication consultant at Lubrication Engineers:

“When I design a lubrication storage room using Noria’s best practices, there is never a way to properly store the drum adapters. Afterward, I always find them lying in the bottom of the tote containment vessel or stacked into a corner collecting dust and becoming contaminated. In a recent lube storage room conversion, I noticed an empty grease drum. I then found the lid and had five holes cut out; I had two-inch collars welded into the holes. I then put an oil absorption pad in the bottom of the drum. I spray-painted the top blue and screwed the color-coded drum adapters into the lid. I also would recommend using dust caps. This storage method helps control contamination, safely stores drum adapters and keeps them where they are easily found.”

Grease drum has been outfitted to hold a myriad of drum adapters.

Advice for Spotting Oil Leaks

This tip came from Josh Redington, a reliability facilitator at Jennie-O Turkey Store:

“When possible, add dyes to your hydraulic oil to make it easier to spot leaks. Colors such as purple or red will stand out much more than the natural color of the oil, especially in sunlight. Confirm dye compatibility with your lubricant manufacturer before adding.”

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