An Easy Guide to Setting Up Your Freeze Dryer

Congratulations on your ownership of a new Freeze Dryer!

Are you ready to embark on your first freeze-drying adventure? Excellent! We've put together an easy-to-follow guide to help you set it up without any hassle. Let's get started!

1. Unboxing and Placement

  • First things first: Carefully unpack your freeze dryer and check all items against the packing list.
  • Find the perfect spot: Place your freeze dryer in a temperature-controlled room (60F to 75F is ideal). Remember, it needs at least 3 inches of clearance at the back and 6 inches on each side.
  • Most of our customer place the machine on a stainless steel table/cart ( at least 30” wide, 24” deep, and 300lb capacity). You can even leave it on the ground/original pallet. In this case, you need a shallow water bucket as the drain valve is about 5” above the bottom.

2. Preparing the Vacuum Pump

This instuction is for standard pump only, for setting up industrial pumps, please follow Industrial Pump Setting Up Guide.

  • Oil Filling: Open the oil cap on the vacuum pump and carefully add oil until it reaches the mid-level mark on the sight glass. It's important to add the oil gradually, as overfilling can occur if not monitored. If the oil level is not visible, it may indicate overfilling. After achieving the correct level, securely replace the oil cap.
  • Pump positioning: The pump can either be placed to the left of the freeze dryer or 6”-8“ underneath it. If you opt for the underneath position, please contact Stay Fresh to obtain a longer hose specifically designed for this setup. Using hoses not provided or approved by Stay Fresh is not advised for safety and compatibility reasons.

3. Powering Up

  • Freeze Dryer Connection: Connect the freeze dryer directly to a 110V wall outlet (either 15-amp or 20-amp). Remember, the power cord is just 5 feet long, so it's important to use a wall outlet close to the machine. Avoid using extension cords or power strips, as they can reduce operating voltage and impact the freeze dryer’s performance.
  • Vacuum Pump Activation: Plug the vacuum pump’s power cord into the designated port on the back of the freeze dryer. Then, switch on the pump. The freeze dryer is designed to automatically control the pump’s activity.

4. Setting Up the Vacuum Hose

  • Attach the hose: Attach one end of the PVC vacuum hose to the freeze dryer's vacuum port and the other to the vacuum pump. Secure both ends with hose clamps.

5. Ensure an Airtight Seal

  • Closing the Valves: Close both the vacuum and drain valves on your freeze dryer by turning their switches to form a 90-degree angle with the hose. A proper seal is crucial for the vacuum pump to effectively lower the chamber's pressure to the necessary level.

6. Setting Up the Drain Hose

  • Attach the hose: Connect the drain hose to the drain valve on your freeze dryer. Then, direct the other end into a water bucket (not provided).

7. Power On and Initialization

  • Let there be light: Turn on the power switch at the back of the freeze dryer. The touch screen should come to life.
  • Personal touch: Give your freeze dryer a name by tapping the top left corner of the touch screen.

8. Patience is Key

  • Settle in: Allow your freeze dryer to settle for 24 hours before its first use.

And that’s it! Your Freeze Dryer is now fully set up and primed for its initial use. For instructions on conducting a straightforward automatic freeze-drying cycle, please see the  Automated Cycle Guide.

Wishing you a successful freeze-drying experience!

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