How To Perform Air Compressor Maintenance – Tips & Pointers

It is one thing to invest in an air compressor, it is another to maintain it. If you are sat there assuming you will buy a brand new air compressor and then replace it when it starts to give trouble, you are (no offense intended) the dumbest person alive. Maintenance can push compressor lifespan up by years even decades and that is with the cheap ones; imagine how long costly compressors can last and all you have to do is perform routine maintenance.

Tip 1: Fastener Tightening

Each time an air compressor roars to life, its engine is vibrating. Even noiseless or reduced-noises compressors experience this phenomenon to some degree. The vibration loosens screws on different components in the compressor; this includes bolts and nuts. This is a bad state to keep your compressor in. Loose fasteners like the three mentioned earlier are like wounds waiting to tear open; pardon the gory analogy. Get them tightened when you see them or if you hear them rattle. In fact, check this factor out as often as you can, perhaps once a week.

Tip 2: The Manual

This is a dry tip, a boring one, but valuable nonetheless. Each compressor model on the market has its own ‘personality’. You can ‘get to know it’ via the manual that comes with it. You can squeeze out a long life from the air compressor of your choice if you only read its manual and highlight some of the more useful points and tips in there for that model; what to do, when to do it, what to avoid, why. Also, there is the off chance that you will end up voiding your warranty if you do not do something properly as delineated in the manual’ ‘why’d you go and do that when we expressly warned you not to? No rules, no warranty!’

Tip 3: Air Filter Cleaning

There are some or several air filters in air compressors. The machine needs to breathe so any clogging along these lines is a no-no. If these air filters remain dirty and you assume they are still filtering the air, you are wrong. After a certain amount of dirt has clogged the filters, the pressure that compressors are used to push and pull air in such a way that dirt will be forced to enter even past the filters. The strain this places on your compressor includes it working extra-hard to breathe. Dust and dirt cleaning for air filters has to be done every six months at least if you want your compressor to lead a long and healthy life; and not cost you a fortune in repairs or replacements.   

Tip 4: Tank Moisture Draining

Compressors have a receiver tank that holds moisture gathered from the air they compress. This is even more so if you have compressors working in humid environments. Among a majority of these tanks, you will find that they drain the accumulated moisture via valves. You are responsible for overseeing that they do this regularly. Air pressure from these tanks must compulsorily be removed before any moisture draining can take place.

Tip 5: Fuel Tank Cleaning

All engines demand a clean fuel tank every now and again. It is only proper if you want optimal operating conditions for your compressor. An annual clean-up of the compressor’s fuel tank can make a huge difference in extending and/or preserving its lifespan. Residual grime and dirt build-up that comes in from the fuel will need to be cleaned out of the tank in due course.

Tip 6: Hose Checking

There are a handful of hoses, if not more, in air compressors that perform the crucial task of ‘veins’ for the machine. If they even so much as start to corrode or crack, you can certainly expect leakages that go on to stress out all the other components. Check to see if the hoses are doing well or replace them in case of the slightest damage. You cannot be remiss about this.

Tip 7: Oil Changing

Not all compressors use oil and the ones that do need to be maintained accordingly. The oil has to be topped off in your compressor for which you need to perform daily checks. After every 500 to 1000 hours of use, the oil has to be changed. If you want your compressor to perform at its ultimate best, follow this tip.

Tip 8: Safety Shutdown System Checking

Some compressor models have a safety shutdown feature built in. If the machine gets overly hot, the shutdown kicks in and turns it off. The system does the same trick when it notices the oil pressure sitting low. A long-lasting compressor needs this system, which is why you need to check and see if it is working properly without glitches.

Tip 9: Intake Vent Cleaning

This is slightly different from air filter cleaning; mentioned earlier. You will lose compression power if you force your compressor to intake air. The process should really be smooth or the compressor’s quality will degrade. Keep these intake vents clean as a fiddle and check them regularly. This is especially true if you are working in a dust-filled zone.

Tip 10: Heat Exchanger Cleaning

These are actual components in your compressor that serve to reduce your machine’s operating temperature. This means little to no over-heating issues. As you can imagine, cleaning them regularly can and will enhance compressor lifespan.

Tip 11: Separator Element Changing

To keep the compressor from relying on too much oil, the separator element needs to be replaced occasionally, namely every 1000 hours that the machine runs.



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