Starting Up an Old Air Compressor

An air compressor is a necessary device in any machine that helps to make work easy by using power and converting it to energy that can be stored in compressed air. This stored energy can be used at a later date for various applications.

Application of air compressor

Various machines use air compressor to do numerous jobs like-

  • Air compressor is used as a cleaner for stone blocks
  • One vital use is to power air brakes in buses, trucks, trains etc.
  • They help in inflating tyres
  • Supplies high-pressure air for refilling of gas cylinders
  • Helps in providing power to pneumatic tools

To start an old air compressor

Starting Up an Old Air Compressor

In order to restart an old air compressor following steps are necessary-

  • Cleaning of an air compressor-

    Air compressors tend to remain hot while running and therefore surfaces must have means for heat dispersal to ensure transfer of heat from pump and motor-cooling fan to atmosphere. Its surface must be free of any dust particles and hence regular cleaning is a necessity. In case of broken parts, leaks and flaws, it is crucial to repair or replace them according to requirements.

  • Pouring out contents of air compressor tank-

    Slowly open drain valve of a tank to its fullest capacity and drain it. This will empty any air or water that was left behind. In most cases corrosion on walls of tank can be seen. If any rubbish or unused water drip out then it is vital to check its color. If it is reddish then it may be a symptom of rusting. If it is in a very limited capacity air tank can be reused but in case it has passed safety limits then it will have to be changed.

  • Checking an old compressor tank for any damage or deformity-

    It is important to determine whether a compressor tank is in working condition or not. For this a tank has to undergo following procedures-

Hydro-static testing for tanks is an expensive but sure and certain procedure to determine soundness of any air tank. It requires opening of a compressor pump and tank and transporting it to the required test facility.

There is a less expensive method to test whether an air tank is in working condition or not. Pour water inside an air tank and now with help of an air pump push air inside the tank which is filled at full capacity. This will force increased air-pressure against walls of tank and water. In some cases, because of corrosion, walls of air tank are weakened and thus water is leaked and in some other cases, because of faulty tank it explodes. If both cases do not occur then tank is still in working condition and thus can be re-used.

An easier method to determine working ability of an air tank is by taking help of a rubber mallet. One can tap it all over an air tank with extra force to determine any damage under its blows. If the tank is not at par it will surely distort easily and in that case, replacement will be necessary

When an air compressor starts running, it is vital to build pressure at levels of 10 PSI. Now shut it down at every increment and make an inspection for leaks or damage. Regular checking will identify any deformity or leaks

  • Power cord of an old air compressorIt is important to check power cord of an old air compressor for any leaks and cuts. One must ensure that end plug of a power cord is in working condition and is suitable for wall socket of 120 VAC.
  • Oil of an old air compressor- It is sensible to change old oil to fresh oil of an old compressor. It is also prudent to check level of oil by help of a glass or dipstick as it is necessary to maintain correct levels to produce desired results.
  • Cleaning of intake filter- If a machine has a compressor with single cylinder, then an intake filter is installed on top side of a pump. In case it has dual cylinders, there will be intake filters for each one separately. There might not be any intake filter if it is a fractional HP old compressor.

Remove old compressor from intake and now remove its filter cover. If filter media is dirty, leave it aside while compressor is tested. It is better to clean intake filter or replace and reinstall it on pump head according to requirement.

Starting old air compressor

Plug in compressor cord into wall socket without using extension cord. In absence of air in tank, old air compressor will start up. It is sensible to monitor meter of tank to know whether it is operating in good condition or not. When pressure reaches 10 PSI, switch it off and check for any damage or leaks. Again switch it on and turn it to 20 PSI. Now turn it off and recheck for possible leaks and damage. Repeating this procedure ensures start of old air compressor.




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