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Oil Mist Eliminators


Although instructions and recommendations are included for installation of the Oil Mist Eliminator, the Manufacturer (Solberg Manufacturing, Inc. or Solberg International Ltd) does not assume any responsibility for the final installation of this Oil Mist Eliminator. The Manufacturer will not be held liable for direct or any consequential damages resulting from inappropriate methods of handling or installation. The Oil Mist Eliminator needs to have adequate support or the unit may suffer a premature failure due to stress and vibration. Designs and layouts may change based on specific application conditions.

All the information in this manual has been thoroughly perused; the Manufacturer assumes no accountability for any possible errors or omissions.

This is only intended to be a guide and it is to be used by the customer with proper caution. If there are any doubts or questions, please contact a Solberg office or representative before installation.

• For inquiries within the USA, please call Solberg Manufacturing, Inc. at 630-616-4411
• For all inquiries outside of the USA, please call Solberg International, Ltd at +1-630-616-4900 or contact your local Solberg sales representative. For a list of our international offices and representatives please visit our
International Representatives page on our website.




Pressure Differential & Efficiency:

Pressure differential is a very significant factor in designing OME’s for lube oil applications. This value varies throughout the life of the OME, and will have an effect on controlling the pressure/vacuum inside the reservoir/crankcase. The customer requirement determines the size of the internal filter element and the size of the vacuum source.

Most Solberg OME filter elements are rated 99+% for 0.3 micron oil mist which typically results in low outlet oil concentrations. The elements are sized properly, so the saturated pressure differential is as low as possible. The increase in pressure differential from the initial reading to the saturated reading should also be kept to a minimum.

Pressure differential is also an important consideration when specifying the blower or fan vacuum source (from now on referred to as blower). Generally speaking, the greater the pressure differential, the larger the blower must be. This is because it has to overcome the pressure differential of the filter element to create negative pressure inside the lube oil reservoir or crankcase.

If the vacuum source ever fails, the VAE is equipped with a pressure relief valve (Item 3 on schematic) that opens a 1” H20 of positive pressure.

Vacuum Regulation:

An important goal for plant personnel is to minimize maintenance and vacuum adjustments for the VAE. The reservoir or crankcase is commonly maintained at a constant negative pressure, so the blower must overcome the differential pressure created by the filter element.

Differential pressure increases as the filter element saturates and reaches equilibrium after a certain time period (usually 48-72 hours). During this time of initial saturation the blower’s capacity to create negative pressure is more than necessary. Also, over the element life span, it becomes dirty and contaminated with particulate from the oil reservoir/crankcase. This causes an increase in differential pressure, and the VAE vacuum level is increased to overcome this. There are different ways to control this vacuum; the most common are listed below.

1. Using a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) to vary the motor speed on the blower in accordance with the required oil reservoir/crankcase vacuum level. This is accomplished by using pressure transducers and has a control unit which automatically adjusts the speed of the blower motor and thus the vacuum the blower can produce.

2. Using a filtered bleed in valve (Item 4 on schematic) to increase or decrease air into the system so that the blower can create only the required negative pressure. This is done manually and is the most common method used in the field.

3. Using a butterfly valve or damper to create pressure across the system so that it compensates for the increased negative pressure. This is typically used in fan style VAE’s.

Drain Port:

All the oil mist eliminators used to eliminate visible emissions are equipped with a drain port (Item 5 on schematic) so coalesced oil can be returned to the lube oil reservoir, crankcase or waste receptacle. The drain line is typically supplied by the operator/end-user. The filter vessels are installed vertically; thus the oil uses the force of gravity to drain. Below are two important considerations when installing the drain line and VAE.

1. The drain line is under vacuum at all times; therefore, the drain line must be submerged below the low oil level in the reservoir, crankcase or waste receptacle so oil mist does not migrate up the drain line, into the vessel, around the element and into the atmosphere.

2. The drain and vessel must be installed a certain height above the high oil level inside the reservoir, crankcase or waste oil receptacle. This height will depend on the system flow rate, the saturated pressure differential across the filter element at that flow and the blower’s vacuum capacity. This minimum height is calculated and recommended by the manufacturer on an individual project basis.

3. The drain port and installed line must be free of any kinks, obstructions and debris. Any of these occurrences can cause oil to collect in the line and migrate into the vessel resulting in oil bypass out into the atmosphere.


Solberg Vacuum Assisted Oil Mist Eliminator (VAE Series) Schematic


Since the OME is designed to capture and coalesce oil mist emissions, temperature is an important factor. Solberg recommends a maximum air/gas stream temperature of 180 degrees F. Oil tends to stay vaporized at higher temperatures, and this can lead to oil carryover past the filter element. Mounting height above the mist source and/or a heat exchanger are two methods to limit the effect of temperature.


1. The Solberg OME is intended for separation of only oil mist. It is neither an inlet air filter nor a dust collector. It should be not be used to capture solid particulate.

2. It is also important to note that certain applications such as metal shearing may result in a build-up of heavy solid particulate on the OME’s high efficiency filter element. In these cases, the results may be excessive differential pressure, limited life span and resulting oil mist emissions.

3. It is important that an OME is properly sized for each application. The air flow is a critical parameter. Air flow from the oil reservoir or crankcase determines the differential pressure contributed by the filter element(s) and the type/size of the vacuum source for a VAE.

4. Questions regarding the sizing of the units can be directed to the Solberg Oil Mist Solutions team at or by visiting the Solberg Oil Mist Solutions website at



1. Inspection: Inspect the shipping box or the skid carefully for damage. If everything is intact, open and check the unit for damage. Care should be taken to check the blower thoroughly if it is a VAE unit. If any damage has occurred, please notify the shipping company. All units are inspected for quality before shipment

2. Orientation: Solberg OME’s are installed vertically. Please refer to the manufacturer’s sales drawings for information as this varies from unit to unit. The drawings will show the correct inlet and outlet markings for correct direction of flow. Also, adequate clearance should be given for the drain line as well as the removal of top cover and filter element.

3. Location: The unit is typically mounted as close as possible to the source of the oil mist emissions. This will minimize the pressure differential contributed by the piping. However, the temperature of the air/gas stream is important. Mounting height can determine the temperature of oil mist when it reaches the OME.

4. Vessel Connections: The OME’s typically are equipped with a male pipe, female coupling or a flange on the inlet side of the vessel. This must be secured properly to the reservoir/crankcase connection. If ducting is used, Solberg recommends that the length and number of bends are minimized to reduce pressure differential across the pipe span.

5. Blower Connections: Most VAE units have the blowers attached to the vessel by means of a welded bracket. Make sure that the blower is attached properly to the bracket before operation. In case of remote mounting, use the correct hard piping or flexible hose for connecting the vessel to the blower. Solberg can assist with recommendations.

6. Drain Line Connections: Either rigid or flexible hose are acceptable for the drain connection. Solberg recommends that the line is vacuum rated to avoid collapse under negative pressure. Sometimes, larger units are equipped with two drain connections. The two drain lines should never be connected or manifolded together.

7. Electrical Installation: All blowers supplied with the VAE come with a service/operation manual. These instructions must be followed properly. Wiring diagrams can be found on the underside of the motor conduit box cover. Standard models may be wired for 220 or 460V, 60 or 50 HZ with three phase or single phase input power.

8. Start-Up: After all of the above steps are complete, please make sure that filtered bleed in valve (Item 4 on schematic) is 100% open. This will minimize vacuum produced by the blower. Failure to do this will result in extremely high vacuum levels in the reservoir or crankcase, which can lead to oil migrating up the drain line, into the filter canister and out to
atmosphere. Also, please make Solberg aware of any additional butterfly valves or breathers that may be present. This can affect the performance of the Solberg VAE.

9. First 24-72 Hours: As the coalescing filter element becomes saturated with lube oil, the pressure differential will increase. Bleed in valve adjustments are made to overcome this. Over the first 24-72 hours, please monitor your vacuum level in the reservoir or crankcase. If this level becomes lower than required, adjust the bleed in valve by closing it incrementally until the desired vacuum level is achieved.

10. Filter Element Life Span: As the coalescing filter element ages, it will capture particulate that is present in the lube oil. This will increase the differential pressure over time.


Periodically monitor your reservoir or crankcase vacuum level to ensure they are at the required levels. If this level becomes lower than required, adjust the bleed in valve by closing it incrementally until the desired vacuum level is achieved. When adjustments no longer achieve vacuum increases in the reservoir or crankcase, the element should be replaced.


The maintenance of the mist eliminator requires an inspection of the filter element at regular intervals. This is easily accomplished with a digital or analog gauge. The replacement interval is a function of the solid contaminants in the lube oil and subsequent mist emissions. When only clean oil mist is being fed to the OME, it will function for an extended period of time (usually a year or more) without maintenance of any kind. In applications where excessive solid contaminant or high humidity is present in the air stream, frequent filter replacements may be necessary. Again, this can be done by monitoring differential pressure with a digital or analog gauge.

Filter Element Replacement (Item 2 on schematic):

1. In the case of VAE’s, make sure that the power to the blower is shut-off. Unbolt and remove the vessel cover. Never run the unit with the vessel cover removed. With smaller units, the vband style clamp will need to be removed in order to access the filter.

2. Remove the bolt which holds the element in position.

3. Lift out the elements. Care should be taken when removing them as the saturated weight may exceed normal handling limits. Large elements will have lifting handles to facilitate removal.

4. IMPORTANT: The used elements can’t be used again. They should be disposed immediately after removal. Since the elements are saturated with used oil, please dispose in accordance with local regulations. They can’t be cleaned, and no attempt should be made to clean or reuse these cartridges.

5. Check the filter vessel cover’s o-ring or gasket for damage and replace if necessary. Also, check the sealing butterfly gasket for damage, which is located on the bottom of some vessel sizes. Replace if necessary. Ensure that gaskets adhered to the replacement element are intact. These are critical for proper sealing and performance

6. Center the element seals seals positively to the canister and top plate of the element. Tighten the bolt to secure the cartridge. Close the top cover by clamping the v-band or by tightening the bolts.

7. Solberg recommends a maintenance plan pressure differential readings and pressure/vacuum readings in the reservoir/crankcase.

8. Line Inspection: Periodically, check hoses and drain lines for any possible leaks. Solberg suggests a planned maintenance program to ensure optimum performance.

9. Cleaning: Do not use any hydrocarbon based solvents or toxic solvents for cleaning. Vapors discharged from any residues will cause health hazards. Detergents or soaps may be used in cleaning the vessel.

Filtered Bleed-In Valve (Item 4 on schematic):

1. The filter portion of this valve contains a replaceable polyester element. Since it constantly encounters ambient air, it will become dirty over time. Please monitor as a part of your continual maintenance process.

The remaining components require no regular maintenance and only need to be replaced in the case of damage. When ordering replacement parts always reference the sales drawing number or the full model number of the OME on your request.

Maintenance Manual for Solberg's Vacuum Assisted Oil Mist Eliminators

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