What Type of Oil Drain is Right for My Shop?

By Brian Morgan



Things to Consider

When deciding on the correct style and type of oil drain for your shop there are a few things to consider. First thing to consider is how you store waste oil, do you have a waste oil storage tank with a diaphragm style suction pump or are you emptying the used oil in 55 gallon drums or other type of bulk container and don’t have a suction pump.

Pump Assist

If you have a waste oil tank with a suction pump then the pump assist style drains are your best option, these drains allow you to hook up a suction hose directly to full oil drain and transfer from the drain to the bulk used oil tank, usually done with shop air to run the suction pump. Pump assist drains vary in size from 8 gallons for a smaller couple bay shop up to around 30 gallons for a larger high volume multi bay shop. Some shops will elect to have multiple oil drains on site if oil changes are a focus or specialty.


For those shops that do not utilize a diaphragm style suction pump then the self-evacuating style oil drain is the best option. Self- Evacuating oil drains use shop air to pressurize the oil drain when it is full of used oil to “blow” the oil out of the drain into a waste oil tank or 55 gallon drum. Self-Evacuating oil drains are a good choice for many shops as there is no need for extra equipment or a diaphragm pump system, lower initial investment and fewer pieces of equipment that may break down causing delays and lost time managing used oil. Self-Evacuating oil drains come in various sizes like the pump assist drains to meet the needs for the size of your shop.

One more thing to consider when purchasing oil drains is the type of material the drain is made from, steel or plastic. Depending on your customer base and which types of vehicles you are servicing comes into play. Steel drains are the tried and true material that hold up well and can last a long time. However if your shop is working on higher end vehicles or specialty type vehicles you will want to consider drains made from plastic. If a technician were to get careless and bump an expensive car with a steel drain there could be damage to the vehicle, not so much so when a plastic oil drain is being used. Plastic drains also come in both self-evacuating and pump assist configurations along with various capacities.

So ask yourself,

How many oil changes is my shop doing daily? – Which is the right size oil drain

How is my waste oil being stored and do I have a suction pump? – Which style is right for you, Self Evacuating or Pump Assist

What type of vehicle is the majority of my customer base? – Plastic or steel type drain.


For more information on professional used oil drains visit www.johndow.com for a full line of steel, plastic, self-evacuating and pump assist oil drains.


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