FAQ’s

FAQ – Vacuum Cups
FAQ – Below-the-Hook Vacuum Lifters
FAQ – Other Products, Services and Information


Vacuum Cup FAQ

FAQ's

Regularly clean the face of the vacuum cup’s rubber vacuum pad to remove oil, dust and any other contaminates. Use a cleaner that has been tested and proven not to damage rubber or leave a surface film that could interfere with the cup’s slip resistance. Soapy water or other mild cleansers are normally acceptable. Do not use solvents, petroleum-based products (including kerosene, gasoline and diesel fuel) or any harsh chemicals for cleaning. Do not use rubber cleaners or conditioners intended for cleaning tires or vinyl surfaces, because those products can leave a hazardous film on vacuum pads which significantly reduces their lifting capacity. The use of any unapproved cleaning agent is prohibited because it could damage the pad and/or create a hazard to the user or others. Use a clean sponge or lint-free cloth to apply the cleaning agent. Wipe all residue from the vacuum pad and allow it to dry completely prior to using the vacuum cup.

Should I fix my old cup or buy a new one? »

One of Wood’s Powr-Grip’s unique advantages is our Exchange Program. We accumulate cups sent in for exchange and remanufacture them. This gives us the ability to recondition them at the best possible price while at the same time conserving our country’s natural resources. Another aspect of the Exchange Program is that we maintain a stock of rebuilt cups. This means that when your cup comes in for exchange, a rebuilt cup is already available. In most cases the exchange cup is sent back to you the same day that we receive your old cup. Several of our distributors also stock rebuilt cups. Your local distributor may be able provide same-day or one-day turn-around as well, so don’t be afraid to ask. Click on this link for more information about Wood’s Powr-Grip Vacuum Cup Exchange and Repair.

What is the capacity of my cup? »

Capacity is a little tricky because it depends not only on the size of the cup but also on the condition of the cup and the attaching surface, as well. We manufacture various sizes and styles of cups, each with a different capacity rating. The maximum capacity of your cup is recorded in the instructions you received with it. In addition, for standard cup capacities, you can look under the Hand Cup section of your industry on our homepage or find instructions for your cup under Product Info Downloads. Loads heavier than the capacity of a single cup can be lifted by using multiple cups.

How long should my cup hold? »

Many factors affect the length of time that a vacuum cup remains attached, including the overall condition of the cup, the elevation at which the cup is used, the porosity of the attaching surface, and the cleanliness of the vacuum pad and the attaching surface. Under controlled conditions, the red-line vacuum indicator on Powr-Grip vacuum cups is expected to remain hidden for two hours. Select the following link to learn more about how Powr-Grip vacuum cups work. To obtain troubleshooting information about your cup, click on the following link for Product Info Downloads.

Which is better, the Metal Handle or the ABS Handle hand cup? »

This is often a matter of personal preference; however, there are some differences that may influence your choice. The ABS cup is lighter and costs less than the metal cup. ABS is a polycarbonate plastic which is strong enough for all normal applications, but metal handle cups are generally thought to hold up better under rigorous use. The ABS cups are more resistant to rust problems in areas with very high moisture levels, but are vulnerable to attack by various chemicals, including many solvents. Metal handle cups are eligible for our Exchange Program, whereas ABS cups generally must be repaired by replacing parts, which can be less convenient or more costly in the long run. The best approach is to consider the characteristics of plastic and of metal, and to evaluate them against your intended use. If you have concerns about which cup is better for your particular application, please feel free to contact us.

Why doesn't my cup work at high elevations? »

Since air pressure decreases with increasing elevation, the red-line vacuum indicator on our standard vacuum cups may not function as expected at elevations above 5000 feet (1524 meters). Until recently, most manually operated vacuum cups were ineffectual at high elevations. However, Wood’s Powr-Grip’s N4100 is a new breed of hand-held vacuum cup that is specifically designed to function at elevations up to 12,000 feet (3650 meters). If your work regularly involves high elevations, we strongly recommend using our N4100 Hand Cup. Follow this link to learn more About Vacuum and how elevation affects vacuum cups.

Below-the-Hook Vacuum Lifter FAQ

How do I select the right vacuum lifter for my application? »

To begin the process, follow this link to learn more about Selecting Vacuum Lifters. Our Technical Sales department is also available to help you choose the most appropriate vacuum lifter for your application. Additionally, we can design custom vacuum lifters for your unique purposes or applications. Please feel free to contact us for assistance.

Do you lease below-the-hook vacuum lifters? »

Wood’s Powr-Grip and many of its dealers have below-the-hook lifters available for lease. Please contact our technical service department for information about dealers that currently lease Powr-Grip vacuum lifters. Click on this link for more information about Leasing Powr-Grip Equipment.

Once my lifter is ordered, how long before I receive it? »

There are a variety of factors that influence the length of time it takes to receive your below-the-hook lifter. Generally, standard lifters do not take as long as custom designed lifters. However, delivery time is also affected by market conditions and simple supply and demand. Related to this are back-orders and other supplier factors. At Wood’s Powr-Grip, we do our utmost to insure prompt delivery while maintaining high quality and reliability standards, as well as a safe and efficient workplace. Our target delivery times for standard below-the-hook lifters F.O.B. our factory is 3-6 weeks, and 8-plus weeks for custom designed lifters. Although Wood’s Powr-Grip makes every attempt to meet delivery schedules and expedite all orders in a timely fashion, during periods of high demand lead times may be extended. Please contact a Wood’s Powr-Grip Technical Sales Representative for current lead times.

What happens if a power failure occurs while using a lifter? »

When your vacuum lifter leaves our factory, it has been tested under controlled conditions to hold a vacuum for an extended period of time in the case of power loss. However, the length of time it can maintain a vacuum under normal operating conditions varies. Conditions that affect the length of time that vacuum is maintained include: the cleanliness of the load surface and vacuum pad, the roughness or smoothness of the load surface, the porosity of the material being lifted, and the condition of the vacuum pad, lines and pump. Most lifters feature a vacuum reserve tank which effectively increases the length of time that vacuum is maintained. However, on rough, porous or heavily contaminated surfaces, where a good seal cannot be maintained during a power outage, immediate loss of the load may occur. For these applications, a 12-volt/DC vacuum back-up system is recommended. To ensure optimum performance of your lifter during a power failure, it is best to test your vacuum system periodically. The procedure for testing the vacuum system can be found in the instruction manual that came with the lifter. If you have additional questions, please contact a Wood’s Powr-Grip Technical Sales Representative.

Why won't my DC-powered vacuum pump turn off/on? »

If you have a battery-powered vacuum lifter, one of its principal components is a vacuum switch, which turns the pump on and off as required to maintain an adequate vacuum level. It does this to reduce unnecessary drain on the battery, thereby extending the time the battery can be used between charges. In some cases, especially in high elevations, the atmospheric pressure is insufficient for the vacuum switch to function properly. In other cases, the switch simply comes out of adjustment. The instruction manual provided with the lifter outlines how to check and adjust the vacuum switch. If you have additional questions, please contact a Wood’s Powr-Grip Technical Sales Representative.

Why doesn't my lifter generate as much vacuum as it used to? »

Vacuum loss can be caused by normal wear and tear of the pump, contamination in the pump, vacuum leaks, or a combination of these or other factors. To ensure optimum performance of your lifter, it is best to test your vacuum system periodically and perform regular maintenance. Directions can be found in the Maintenance section of the instruction manual that came with the lifter. If you have additional questions, please contact a Wood’s Powr-Grip Technical Sales Representative.

I think my vacuum system is leaking; how do I diagnose and fix it? »

Begin by referring to the Maintenance section found in the instruction manual that came with the lifter. If this does not resolve the problem, please contact a Wood’s Powr-Grip Technical Sales Representative.

How long will my battery's charge last? »

DC lifters use a vacuum switch that turns the pump off and on at preset vacuum levels to help conserve the battery’s charge. This energy-saving feature makes it possible for a battery to power a lifter throughout a typical work day. However, the charge may be depleted more rapidly due to various factors, including rough, porous or contaminated load surfaces, leaks in the lifter’s vacuum system, or a vacuum switch that is out of adjustment. To help conserve the battery’s charge, always make sure the vacuum pads, lines and pump are in good condition; clean the contact surfaces of the load and the vacuum pads prior to attaching the lifter; press the lifter against the load surface before starting the vacuum pump; and make sure the vacuum pads have attached properly. Refer to the Maintenance section of the instruction manual provided with the lifter to ensure that the vacuum switch is set properly. The best way to keep your gel-cell battery in good condition is to use it frequently and not allow it to become completely discharged. Otherwise, it can lose its ability to accept and hold a charge. If your battery does not work as well as it used to, a replacement may be obtained from a local battery shop, your dealer or Wood’s Powr-Grip.

Is my Powr-Grip lifter still covered under warranty? »

Powr-Grip below-the-hook lifters are carefully constructed, thoroughly inspected at various stages of production, and individually tested. They are warranted to be free from defects in workmanship and materials for a period of one year from the date of purchase. Follow this link to learn how to obtain Warranty service for your lifter.

What is the best way to clean my vacuum pads? »

Regularly clean the face of each vacuum pad to remove oil, dust and any other contaminates. Use a cleaner that has been tested and proven not to damage rubber or leave a surface film that could interfere with the pad’s slip resistance. Soapy water or other mild cleansers are normally acceptable. Do not use solvents, petroleum-based products (including kerosene, gasoline and diesel fuel) or any harsh chemicals for cleaning. Do not use rubber cleaners or conditioners intended for cleaning tires or vinyl surfaces, because those products can leave a hazardous film on vacuum pads which significantly reduces their lifting capacity. The use of any unapproved cleaning agent is prohibited because it could damage the pads and/or create a hazard to the user or others. Use a clean sponge or lint-free cloth to apply the cleaning agent. Wipe all residue from the vacuum pads and allow them to dry completely prior to using the vacuum lifter.

Other Products, Services and Information FAQ

Can I buy directly from Wood's Powr-Grip? »

In virtually all cases, Wood’s Powr-Grip sells strictly through dealers or distributors. Many years ago we determined that it was more cost-effective–both for the company and for the customer–to work through distributor networks in primary markets. Consequently, the company has not developed an actual sales organization. Our primary reasons for having Technical Sales Representatives are to help both end users and distributors decide what type of tool or equipment is best suited to a customer’s needs, and also to provide after-sale service on the company’s products. Powr-Grip simply is not geared to handle small quantity sales to end users. Instead, we build and stock products based on large quantity orders, which means that delivery of an unexpected small order could be weeks away. Distributors, on the other hand, stock our products in a way that is convenient for the customer. Consequently, if a price is quoted directly from the factory, it is almost always significantly higher than what a customer would pay from an authorized distributor. In short, our technical sales department is designed to provide sales to distributors and service (but not sales) to end users. We are happy to help any user of Powr-Grip products to keep tools and equipment functioning properly, and we will do everything in our power to provide timely technical information or assistance, and to see that replacement parts are available as promptly as possible.

How do I locate a dealer in my area? »

If you are located in the United States, Canada or Mexico, click on the following link to find out Where to Purchase products in your area. For other countries, click on the International link. These links will help direct you to your nearest dealer.

How does vacuum work? »

Follow this link to learn more About Vacuum.

I've lost my instructions; can I get another copy? »

Yes! To find current instructions for many standard Powr-Grip products, click on the following link to Product Info Downloads. If the instructions for your Powr-Grip product cannot be located on our site, contact a Wood’s Powr-Grip Technical Sales Representative, or the dealer from which you purchased the product, to obtain a replacement copy.

Is my Powr-Grip product still covered under warranty? »

Powr-Grip products are carefully constructed, thoroughly inspected at various stages of production, and individually tested. They are warranted to be free from defects in workmanship and materials for a period of one year from the date of purchase. Follow this link to learn how to obtain Warranty service for your product.

Can I place a link to the Powr-Grip website on my website? »

Yes, you can. However, doing so automatically constitutes an agreement between you and Wood’s Powr-Grip for how the link may function, and it places certain responsibilities on you. Follow this link to view our link permission policy.

Where can I find definitions for the terminology used by Powr-Grip? »

For those who are not familiar with some of the terms used in Wood’s Powr-Grip publications or on our website, the following link provides definitions for most of our specialized vocabulary.

Why was I charged a handling fee on my invoice? »

A handling fee is assessed when special services are requested or required to process an order. For example, when products are sent in for repair or exchange but are not accompanied by complete and legible return shipping information, extra time is required to correctly identify the customer and address. Other special services may include (but are not limited to) requests for faxing or mailing copies of invoices or other documents, etc. If you feel you were charged a handling fee in error, please contact our Customer Service Department.

What precautions should I take when using my vacuum attaching tools and equipment? »

The primary thing to consider when using vacuum attaching equipment is the condition of the equipment itself. Damaged or dirty vacuum pads can cause accidental release of the load and endanger the operator of vacuum lifting equipment and those in the immediate area. Always inspect vacuum pads before use. If cuts, slits or other surface damage is discovered, discontinue use until the pads are replaced. Clean vacuum pads and the load surface between each lift. Make sure both surfaces are dry and free of any dirt or obstruction.

While hand-held vacuum cups are routinely used on the job site, jobs that require a worker to lift more that 51 lbs [23 kg] frequently or repetitively may cause physical injury to the back, hands, arms, shoulders, knees and ankles. If a worker is required to lift loads repetitively, or loads that routinely exceed 51 lbs [23 kg], a below-the-hook vacuum lifter may be employed to reduce the risk of physical injury. Operators should carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the vacuum lifting equipment, in order to avoid damage to the equipment, the material being handled and injury to the operator or others on the job site.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has published a website with guidelines on simple solutions for lifting, holding and handling materials. You can access this information here: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-122/.

What is the 'coefficient of friction' and why does it matter? »

The coefficient of friction is a number used in calculating load capacity, which represents the ability of a vacuum cup or lifter to resist load slippage. The maximum load capacity of most Wood’s Powr-Grip products is based on a friction coefficient of 1. However, a product’s ability to achieve this friction coefficient depends on many factors, including the condition of the vacuum pads, the rubber compound used to make the pads, and the nature of the load’s contact surface.

Based on testing by Wood’s Powr-Grip, new vacuum pads made from our standard rubber compound have a friction coefficient of at least 1 when attached to clean, dry, smooth, plain glass. Nevertheless, the friction coefficient of all vacuum pads can be reduced by factors such as contamination, wear, age and exposure to sunlight. To ensure that the friction coefficient is not compromised, WPG recommends that all vacuum pads be inspected and replaced on a regular basis, according to the expected service life for a particular rubber compound.

Although WPG’s new standard-rubber vacuum pads normally have a friction coefficient of 1 under tested conditions, the friction coefficient varies with our other rubber compound, according to the compound used. For example, Powr-Grip’s extra-flexible rubber compound has a friction coefficient of 0.75, resulting in an effective lifting capacity equal to 75% of the maximum load capacity for any given product. Whenever a special rubber compound is used on a product, the coefficient of friction must be considered in determining the effective lifting capacity. This is the case unless the product only lifts loads in the flat position, where slippage is not a factor.

As explained in the instructions, a product’s stated load capacity also assumes it will be used to lift loads with a smooth, flat, nonporous contact surface. Clean, undamaged flat glass and similar materials normally possess such characteristics. However, the only way to be absolutely certain load materials are capable of achieving a friction coefficient of 1 is to test the products and loads in question. When in doubt, contact your dealer or Wood’s Powr-Grip for more information.

Does Wood's Powr-Grip have a Privacy Policy?»

Yes.   Wood’s Powr-Grip does have a Privacy Policy.  You can view it HERE.