Vacuum leaks are small holes that can occur in parts of the system that allow unwanted exit or entry of gas. They vary in severity based on the hole's size, temperature, the type of gas being pumped through the system, and inside vs. outside pressure differentials.
When a vacuum system develops a leak, efficiency suffers, and operators and products are put at risk. Several negative results can occur due to a vacuum leak, including:
Note that vacuum systems don't need to be vacuum-tight to run safely and efficiently. They do, however, need to maintain proper operating pressure, gas balance, and an ability to reach and maintain ultimate pressure.