5 Important Tips For Maintaining Your Air Compressor


If you want just about any piece of equipment to last for a long time, it's important to stay proactive when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Practicing preventative maintenance when it comes to your air compressor can not only help it last longer, but it'll also perform better. The following highlights 5 important tips for keeping your air compressor in great shape.

Pay Attention to Your Hoses

Rubber tends to lose its moisture as it ages, resulting in hoses and other parts made from rubber becoming cracked and brittle. Compressed air can easily escape through these cracks as it's force-fed through tools and other devices, causing increased wear and tear on your air compressor.

If you see noticeable cracks or missing chunks from a compressed air hose, you should have the hose in question replaced as soon as a fresh replacement can be procured.

Keep Moisture at Bay by Draining the Receiver Tank

The receiver tank plays a critical role in a typical air compressor's operation. Not only does it store compressed air for on-demand usage, but it also helps separate moisture from the compressed air. To prevent any potential damage caused by downstream condensation, the receiver tank should be checked and drained on a regular basis. Dryer membranes and filters should also be checked and replaced to prevent condensation issues.

Before draining the water from the tank, don't forget to bleed off any remaining air from the tank. This crucial step can help prevent serious injuries and equipment malfunctions from happening.

Stay On Top of Compressor Oil Levels and Quality

Although many of today's air compressors offer oil-free operation, there are still many that rely on oil as an essential lubricant for reciprocating parts. Any air compressor that still relies on oil should have it carefully inspected each day before the equipment is put to use. During your inspection, keep an eye out for any dirt or grime that's made its way into the oil. Also watch for any plastic or metal fragments in the oil.

Depending on the type of foreign debris you find in the oil, you may need to perform a comprehensive inspection of the air compressor to pinpoint the potential source of the debris. Don't forget to change the compressor oil at the recommended intervals called for by the manufacturer. Most experts recommend changing the fluids at least every 500 hours of operation on machines with capacities of 600 cubic feet per minute (cfm) or less and every 1,000 hours on machines capable of 750 cfm or more.

In addition to checking the compressor oil, you should also check and replace the separator element after 1,000 hours on small-capacity air compressors and after 2,000 hours on larger air compressors.

Remove Dirt and Debris from the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger helps regulate compressed air temperatures by removing latent heat from the air and transferring it elsewhere. Over time, dust and debris can build up on the surface of the heat exchanger. Built-up layers of dust and dirt can block the heat transfer process, making it nearly impossible for the heat exchanger to absorb and transport latent heat.

In most cases, removing the dust and debris from the heat exchanger requires only a soft-bristle brush and mild dishwashing detergent. Simply fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of detergent. Spray the solution onto the heat exchanger and use the brush to gently break up and loosen the debris.

Make Testing the Safety Shutdown System a Priority

In the event that your air compressor begins to overheat or malfunction, said malfunction may trigger a safety cut-off switch or shutdown mechanism within the compressor. You should always make sure your air compressor's safety shutdown systems are in good working order. Check the manufacturer's instructions on how to test the safety systems your air compressor.

For more information, contact a local air compressor supplier or repair company. 


4 April 2016

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