Introduction: Reverse Aquarium Pump to Vacuum Pump

Picture of Reverse Aquarium Pump to Vacuum Pump

This instructable will show you how to turn a aquarium (blowing) pump into a vacuum pump.
The pump is a EHEIM 200 and costs about 10 dollars.
It's fairly easy to do and many other pumps work the same so you can apply this instructable to them as well.

Step 1: Open the Pump

Picture of Open the Pump

Start by turning the pump upside down and open it up by removing the four corner screws.
Also remove the four silicon protection parts and lift the bottom shell.

Step 2: Remove Core

Picture of Remove Core

Remove the core of the upper shell by removing the six screws shown in the picture

Step 3: Remove the Diapraghms

Picture of Remove the Diapraghms

Remove the diapraghms on both sides by removing the two screws on both sides.

Step 4: Remove the Valves

Picture of Remove the Valves

Remove the valves by removing the the bolt. On the other side there's a nut. They're attached together.

Step 5: Remove Small Pin

Picture of Remove Small Pin

Where the valve was attached, there is a small pin that prevents you from placing the valve in wrong direction. We actually want this to happen because then the pump will suck. So we need te remove this small pin.
A good way to do this is with a Dremel.

Do the same on the other side

Step 6: Reverse the Valves

Picture of Reverse the Valves

You can see also a small pin on the bottom of the valve. This pin was also placed there on purpose. Because normally you would not be able to place this pin in that way that it's on the same side as the earlier removed pin from the white part.
But now you've removed the white pin, you can place the valve with the pins on the same side.
Do this also on the other side. The valves are now turned and will make the pump suck.

Reattach the valves with the bolt and nut.

Step 7: Assembly Back Together

Picture of Assembly Back Together

Place everything back together:
- First the diapraghms, then the four screws
- Next the core in the shell, then the six screws
- Close the shell, then four corners screws
- Silicon protection parts.

Step 8: Ready!

Picture of Ready!

The pump is now a vacuum pump
Test to see if it's working.


markfab (author)2016-07-24

Great idea & good instructions !

Any idea where one can find this pump for $10 ?

Cheapest I can find is $40

blakehx (author)2015-08-29

Clever idea! What would happen if you just reversed the polarity on the motor?

thomasgruwez (author)blakehx2015-09-07

Wouldn't make any difference. The motor moves the diapraghms up and down just tot create an air flow. The valves can be used to either suck or blow with this air flow.
Reversing the polarity would just let the diapraghms go "down, up, down, up,..." instead of "up, down, up, down,..." But in the end that's just the same.

holymoses (author)2015-07-16

SCHEGO is much easier, you just have to reverse the valves, nothing to cut out or something.

thomasgruwez (author)holymoses2015-09-07

Thanks for the suggestion! ;)

bweaver6 (author)2015-05-30

I run a SMT samsung machine for my internship. We use this same contraption for picking up 0805 size components and smaller. I've been interested is making one, great instructable.

thomasgruwez (author)bweaver62015-05-31

Thank you! Make sure you take a look then at my other instructable, where I use this reversed pump. It's a tool to pick up small puzzle pieces (designed for a disabled person) The vacuum pen along with his heads will be interesting for you, I guess :)

seamster (author)2015-05-30

Excellently documented! This and your puzzle aid project are really great. I hope we see many more tutorials from you! :)

thomasgruwez (author)seamster2015-05-31

Thank you ! :)

hflintoft (author)2015-05-30

What do you use this for? Is it safe to put water through the pump?

thomasgruwez (author)hflintoft2015-05-31

I used to make a puzzle aid for a disabled person.
This is the instructable for this aid:

And no, it's not safe to put water through it. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't even work, because the pump isn't that powerful :)

Techie5 (author)2015-05-30

Couldn't you just swap the intake and output hose instead of going to all the trouble of reversing the valves?
Pumps suck just as much as they blow...

thomasgruwez (author)Techie52015-05-31

In order te blow the pump takes air via the small circle on the bottom (see Step 1). This small circle piece is made of a soft tissue where air can get through but dust or other small particles won't. So maybe you can create some kind of connection to place over this circle that is completely air tight. And if you then attach a tube to it, it'll indead suck and you don't need to reverse the valves. But making something like that and the fact that this is on the bottom of the pump (so the pump must rest on its side or top) maybe will give you as much trouble ;)
Personally, I just found this way easier :)

timmg08 (author)2015-05-30

awesome idea. definitely gonna try it.

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