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Vacuum Controller
1/8" NPT



Customer Rating:
Vacuum Press:
Project Box:


Product Description

One of the most critical components you will need for the vacuum system is the vacuum switch. Our kits refer to this item is as a "vacuum controller". This is the device that measures vacuum inside of the reservoir and controls the electric power to the vacuum source. It turns the vacuum source on when the vacuum inside the reservoirs drop below a given level and turns the vacuum source off when the correct amount of vacuum is reached.

Vacuum Switch Connection PointsThis vacuum controller alone will not allow a vacuum pump to auto-cycle correctly. The full vacuum press kit is required for auto-cycling.

Wiring instructions are not included with this part since it is sold as a replacement unit for our vacuum press kits (which do include wiring instructions).

Version Option
  Type 1 - Standard Vacuum
  Type 2 - Low Vacuum
10.5" to 26.5" of Hg   2" to 10" of Hg
Response Time 25 msec   25 msec
Thread 1/8" NPT   1/8" NPT
Differential 2 to 5" of Hg   2 to 4" of Hg
Contact Rating 10 amps at 120v AC
3 amps at 12v DC
  10 amps at 120v AC
3 amps at 12v DC
Relay Required Yes if the start-up amperage on vacuum pump exceeds the contact ratings shown above.   Yes if the start-up amperage on vacuum pump exceeds the contact ratings shown above.
Damper Required For vacuum sources over 4 CFM   For vacuum all sources
Comments The type 1 vacuum controller is included with all of our auto-cycling vacuum press systems.
The type II controller is used for specialty applications where a low vacuum is used.
Typical Uses
Veneering and vacuum clamping

Model aircraft construction

Vacuum Press Model Option

Select the vacuum press model for which you are replacing the vacuum controller. We offer this vacuum controller only to our customers who have an existing auto-cycling vacuum press from our website. This vacuum controller will not be sold to anyone for use outside of our vacuum press systems. Contact us prior to ordering if this item is being used to replace the vacuum controller found in the Project: V4 Premium vacuum press kit.

Project Box Option
If you are replacing the vacuum controller in the Project: EVS kit, we highly recommend updating your system to include an enclosure box. With this option selected, we include a predrilled enclosure box and cable gland so that the vacuum controller is protected on the carrier unit. Please click here here to see a picture of the prepared project box.

Do the right thing instead and purchase a vacuum press kit which allows the vacuum source to reliably, properly, and safely release the back-pressure from the pump when it cycles off. The kit is designed to protect the vacuum controller and prevent the pump from stalling and over-heating.

Rotary vane pumps draw too much amperage at startup and that will fry the vacuum controller. Even with a relay, we do not offer any support for vacuum press systems that use a rotary vane vacuum pump.

Due to the liabilities of high voltage, we do not offer any support for 240v AC. We can not provide assistance, instructions or diagrams for building a high voltage system. Please a certified electrician before purchasing and/or building a 240v system.

Which version of the controller should I get?
If you are replacing the vacuum controller that originally came with your auto-cycling vacuum press kit from our website, then you should order the Type 1 version.

What is the difference between the Type 1 and Type 2 vacuum controller?
The most important difference is the range of adjustment. The Type 1 allows a higher level of vacuum to be applied before shutoff. The Type 2 vacuum controller is better suited to model aircraft builders who need less vacuum for their projects and a smaller differential range.

Can you provide a wiring diagram?
All of the vacuum press kits we offer that use this vacuum controller have a basic wiring diagram included in the kit instructions.

How do I adjust the shut-off level?
Here is a link to our list of kit instructions. Select your kit from the list on the left side of this page. The adjustments information can be found in these instructions.

Which version of the vacuum controller comes with the vacuum press kits?
The Type 1 is the vacuum controller that is included in the kits.

Will a rotary vane vacuum pump work with the vacuumcontroller?
No. Rotary vane vacuum pumps such as the Gast 1023 and 0523 vacuum pumps have been a nightmare for me. I have found them difficult to fine tune for vacuum pressing and they draw a tremendous amount of power when they start up. There are much better choices in vacuum pumps than rotary vane. I am well aware that several other companies are using rotary vane pumps for their vacuum press systems.

If you are using a rotary vane pump, you will at least need the relay and vacuum damper parts. I offer ZERO support for troubleshooting vacuum press systems built with rotary vane pumps. If you try to use the vacuumcontroller with a rotary vane pump, please know that I will not be able to help you troubleshoot problems. You waive your right to return this part if you are using it with a rotary vane pump.

Why does my system require me to tap on the vacuum controller to make it cycle off?
The issue is not caused by the vacuum controller. It is the effect from another problem. There are two typical scenarios where this happens.

1. Carbon will build on the switch contacts inside the vacuum controller if the pump is drawing more amps at start up than the 10 amps that the vacuum controller can handle. This causes the contacts to stick. The solution is to use a relay do to the high-current switching. You'd also have to get a new vacuum controller but you will not likely have this problem again once this change is made.
2. The vacuum pump is being "asked" by the vacuum controller to deliver a higher vacuum than the pump can offer. In this case, the vacuum source (either a vacuum pump or a venturi) typically has some sort of issue which is preventing it from achieving full vacuum. It may be able to achieve slightly less vacuum than what the controller is asking in order for it to switch off the system.

  • For a vacuum pump, the most common cause is a clogged exhaust muffler. If your pump has a bronze muffler with hundreds of tiny metal "beads", then simply remove it and soak it in denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner and then blow it out with compressed air.
  • For a venturi (assuming that the air compressor is delivering enough air) the most common cause is debris caught inside the mesh screen at the intake port of the air valve. Simply remove the compressed air fitting from the intake port of the air valve and clean the screen inside.

Product Reviews

  1. Great Price - Works Well

    Review by Joey Lebow

    I'm using a vacuum pump to vacuum bag fiberglass composite parts. The pump was too strong and sucked too much epoxy from the parts. This controller allows me to set a desired vacuum level, and it automatically turns the pump on and off to maintain the desired pressure. Added bonus: the pump isn't running continuously anymore.

  2. Nice Part

    Review by Bill Simpson

    Nice part, compact, easily set, holds pressure nicely, has small hysteresis, and does not appear to stick in either position. Good piece.

  3. Great Site, Great Service

    Review by C Christensen

    Have not used it yet. This is more for the order and the site. With shipping, the vacuum switch was less expensive here than from a company that specializes in pneumatics. Even if I would have found it for less, I hope I would have still bought it here, in support of this great source of information. The part shipped next day and I had it within 3 days. Very satisfied.

  4. Highly Recommended

    Review by Dale Arnett

    Very good product, with a good price. Fast a friendly service. They let me know as soon as the unit shipped and had FedEx keep me up to date on when it would arrive.

  5. Using This for 15 Years

    Review by Rick Funcik

    Simple and reliable, this controller works great. Allows me to dial in the 18-22 inches pressure that works for me. This place is a really important source for veneering work!

  6. Review from Spokane, WA

    Review by Pat Hudgens

    Bought the whole system form Joe except the pump which I already owned. Takes some time but easy to assemble. Works great. Thanks for the thorough instructions.

  7. Review from Middleton, Wisconsin

    Review by David Lorentzen

    This is so nice. I build fiberglass composite vacuum bagged wings for my RC sailplanes. Before adding this switch, I had to babysit my the vacuum on my projects for several hours while the epoxy cured. Now I can go to bed! The directions were simple to follow and the system worked the first time I threw the switch. I also got the relay, and maybe didn't needed it -- but for $20 it's good security.

  8. Reliable but watch the amps!

    Review by Frank Gilmore Jr.

    If you've got a big pump, get the relay. I burnt up my controller quickly because I didnt heed the advice shown on this website. The owner of the site helped me figure out my stupidity and I ordered a new one with a relay. There have been no problems since then. Take it from me, it doesnt pay to overlook the details.

  9. Works Like A Dream

    Review by Mark Caccamo

    I followed the instructions and built my own press using this device as the controller. It installs easily and works like a dream.

  10. Our Vacuum Press Runs Great

    Review by Bonnie Watts

    Finally! Someone who knows what they're talking about! This vacuum controller runs my vacuum system that I use for veneering exotic woods to baltic birch plywood which is then scroll sawn and sold at conventions and home interior parties. Our vacuum press runs great thanks to the instructions on this website.

  11. Great Item

    Review by John Watts

    Great item. Works perfectly and was easy to mount and adjust.

  12. Everything Went Smooth

    Review by Carrol Feinman

    My friend and I built the vacuum press last night with a bunch of parts from this website. Everything went smooth and the press was ready to go this morning. We built a 2 foot by 4 foot bag and did a test run with the press. After a minute or two of adjustment, the vacuum was doing its thing just as we hoped it would. We are going to try vacuuming a veneer tomorrow! I cant wait to see how it turns out. So good! Thank you.

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