The oil in your machine is… well, the life force of your cold press juicer. Juiced Rite Cold Press Machines use a food-grade quality oil in the hydraulic system to operate the press. You literally can’t make juice without it!
We recommend changing out the oil on your press once a year, at a minimum, but it could be more frequent if you use your press more often than typical.
Note: The following steps are for our newest R4 models.
Safety First! Though you will have to operate your machine during some of this process, we still advise you to take every precaution. Turn off and unplug your machine during the initial phase of the oil change and be very cautious of your surroundings during the entire process.
Assess the Quality of Your Used Oil
Before you change the oil, take a good look at what your current used oil looks like (we recommend checking the oil quality at every filter change). If it’s clear and clean, and you can see through it, you do not need to change it. But there are a few other scenarios that will require changing besides normal use.
Clean, clear unused oil has almost zero color. If it has taken on an orange or green hue, unfortunately, this is a reflection of how well the machine is being cleaned.
Colored oil is caused by the keratins and chlorophyll from juice production drying on the cylinders overnight or between presses (you can learn more about produce colors here). When the machine hasn’t been cleaned well, these compounds get pulled into the machine during pressing and begin to color the oil.
Having colored oil isn’t the worst for your machine and its function, but there are clear issues with other machine operations when the machine hasn’t been cleaned well or often enough.
If the oil still appears clear and clean, you may be able to use the oil for a bit longer, but there is a risk of larger proteins getting stuck and clogging the oil filter. Even if you continue to use your oil, it is still crucial to improve your cleaning process to prevent this issue and many others. (Don’t worry! We have a cleaning method here)
Water in Your Oil
If your oil appears to be opaque or milky- you’ve got water in there (which is definitely not good). Your oil should always be clear and if you cannot see through it, water is being introduced into the hydraulic system.
When water is present in the oil, it can shorten the life of your machine dramatically. The oil filter and intake clog often and quickly. This water can also cause corrosion on several of the components in the oil system, leading to the replacement of parts that should last the life of your machine.
Water in your machine’s oil is not only bad for the machine’s life, but it’s also a health hazard as well. Couple the water with potential air leaks that oxidize the water and you’ve got a ripe environment for fungal growth inside the hydraulic tank that houses the oil. YUCK.
Protect the Quality of Your Oil
All the problems you could possibly have with the quality of your oil are easily managed by the proper function of your juice machine. And you can do your part as well by changing the oil at least once a year, changing the filter every six months, and cleaning your machine well and regularly (check out our cleaning method here).
Changing Your Cold Press Machine Oil
Once you’ve assessed the quality of your oil and determined you are indeed in need of an oil change, gather up the following supplies:
- A container under the machine (a full-sized aluminum roasting pan works great — it can hold the gallon and a half of oil inside your machine)
- A 3/8″ hex key
- A funnel
- New food-grade oil (more than 1.5 gallons)
- Teflon tape (optional, but very good to have handy)
Remove the Old Oil
First, you will want to locate the Bottom Plug on the right front bottom of the oil tank (facing the back of the machine) or to the right of center (facing the “belly of the machine” as pictured below). It’s hard to see it so you’ll have to feel for it (promise it’s not too hard to find – see image below).
With your oil pan/tray in place below the tank, use the 3/8″ hex key to open and remove the bottom plug. Set the plug aside in a clean area.
Next, you will want to remove the Top Fill Cap to vent the hydraulic system. The oil will evacuate fairly quickly through the bottom plug once the cap is removed (be sure your pan is in place!). After all the fluid is out of the tank, replace the bottom plug. It’s recommended to use Teflon tape to get a good seal.
Refill with New Oil
Once you have removed all of the old oil and replaced the bottom plug, you’re ready to add new oil back to the machine.
With your top fill cap still removed, place a funnel in that same hole to add new oil a little at a time until the fluid comes to about halfway up the Sight Glass located on the back of the oil tank (it’s like a tiny black window, see image below).
#Pro Tip: To speed up filling your tank with oil initially, you can optionally remove the sight glass to allow the tank to vent. Fill the tank until you see the new oil oozing out of the sight glass hole (it really does ooze), keeping in mind that it’s about a gallon and a half of oil. Reinstall the sight glass to just barely past hand tight. Once you’ve gotten it hand tightened, turn it 1/8th of a turn more and that’s it. Don’t turn it anymore (resist!).
Run Your Machine
With the fill cap off still (and the sight glass fully installed, if you removed it), turn on your machine. Next, run the press cycle back and forth a minimum of six (6) times to get the oil worked through the system and help move air out through the fill cap hole.
Stop your press in the open position (“park” it, if you will) and check the fluid level in your sight glass again. You will likely need to add more to get the oil level up to the midway point of the sight glass again. Use the dot in the center of the sight glass as your marker that you have filled the tank enough.
Once the oil level is steadily midway in the sight glass and you’ve ran the press a cycle without having to add oil, replace the top fill cap.
Burp Your Machine
As with any closed system, the hydraulics of your juice machine can get air trapped inside. It’s good practice to “burp” your machine after it has run for a while — after the first full juicing cycle is an excellent time.
When you’re ready to burp following a full cycle of juicing, reach down and feel if the hydraulic tank is warm and the oil has warmed during use. If so, the air should have moved to the top and is ready to burp.
To burp your machine with warm oil, simply open the top fill cap temporarily and then reinstall it. Doing this shortly after a full oil change releases any extra air pressure inside the tank and minimizes any chance of leaks (yay!).
Troubleshooting Oil Change Issues
Not sure if your oil looks like it needs to be changed? Does it have black stuff coming out? No cause for alarm! We can help you out – snap a photo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let you know if the oil needs changing or if there are more steps that need to be taken to ensure your machine is running at its fullest potential.
In need of supplies? We carry filters and oil for your machine. Reach out to email@example.com and we’ll get you squared away.
Enjoy Your Happy, Loved Machine!