We are going to cover a couple of issues plaguing owners and renters alike with their air compressors. These machines are wonderful and important for hundreds of applications but they do tend to play the diva every now and again.
Trouble 1: The pressure relief valve is acting up. What do I do?
- These valves have a tendency to open at odd times and release quantities of pressure LESS than what the compressor comes rated to handle. For example, you could see a pressure valve open on a harbor freight compressor and it will release 100 psi of pressure when in fact the compressor is rated to 125 psi.
- The valve can indeed be removed. Hold it in a bench vice and unscrew the top. You will need to tap the top brass cap in a counter-clockwise direction for which you will require two screwdrivers and a hammer. If you are a technician reading this, you will know exactly what we are saying. If not, get yourself a technician.
- Checking inside, you will find a spring rated to 140 psi; this is the same harbor freight compressor from the earlier example. However, the problem is that the spring has come off its tension, meaning it can no longer hold to that pressure.
- Link a screwdriver to a vice and slide the spring end into it. Have another screwdriver at hand to slide into the other end of the spring. You are going to forcibly stretch the spring; it gets a bit longer. The ‘freshened’ spring and valve need to be reassembled after which you will most probably see that everything works fine.
- However, refrain from over-stretching the spring. If you do, the shut force inside the PRV’s piston will see an increase and the pressure relief valve’s pressure limit could become more than it is safe to be.
The above method of pressure relief valve troubleshooting is good but has its downsides, so if you are following this tip give the new cracking pressure a test to see if the compressor’s PRV levels open at a safe psi point.
Trouble 2: It’s really cold out and my compressor refuses to start. I even tried kicking it.
Whether it is a slow and lethargic start, like an old guy yawning awake, or the thing refuses to start at all, like a kid pretending to sleep, you have a compressor problem that can indeed be fixed. This is generally the case with oil-lubricated compressors. Storage matters, suppose you had the machine sitting in an outbuilding or an uninsulated garage and the environmental temperature reads somewhere in the low 30’s (degrees Fahrenheit)., that’s cold.
In compressors crafted after the model-type mentioned earlier (i.e., oil-lubed), marginal power plants are present in the design. This means motors that are large enough to function on a 120 VAC circuit. You will need the extra power from a start capacitor, otherwise, the amperage draw on the motor’s inrush startup will be not be overcome. This must happen else the circuit breaker will go pop each time you attempt to start the motor.
The above scenario is when the temperature is sat at the tolerant mid-fifties mark or higher. As long as the power supply and capacitor work together, the motor will respond properly; unless you have a complex electrical or mechanical issue that needs checking.
Here is your troubleshoot guide for when the compressor is conversely positioned in an unheated space during cold climes. Oil, when it gets cold, thickens; the fact of life. If it keeps getting colder, the oil will freeze inside the compressor. The internal components are practically stoppered and stuck. The fuse or breaker will most probably go pop (this depends on the fuse delay) when you start the machine.
There is simply not enough amperage flowing out the supply circuit to make it work. Even if the charge is being contributed by the capacitor, you will be hard pressed to have the compressor obey you in the chill. It will give you the cold shoulder; pun intended.
The thickened or frozen oil is going to make things near impossible for the motor to roar to life. But it will go on trying, repeatedly attempting to grab as much amperage as it can to start. It will do this until the fuse or circuit breaker calls it quits. You will have noticed something similar with vehicle start-ups during sub-zero temperatures.
The quickest and most logical solution for your air compressor is for you to heat things up. Place the entire ensemble in a heated space and leave it there for more than an hour. The mechanical segments, as well as the compressor’s start-up circuit, will have warmed sufficiently and the oil will have melted again. Your ‘winter’ is over.
read more : Air Compressor Check Valve