When it comes down to it, Industrial Air Compressor wear and tear is a much more serious business. Not only is there standard maintenance that needs to be scheduled but you also need to be performing preventative maintenance as well if you don’t want to be replacing Industrial air compressor parts all of the time. In today’s article we are going to talk about the care of an industrial air compressor, as well as some preventative maintenance which you can perform to get the most life out of your units, and we’ll follow that up with some part examples from a popular vendor so that you know where to get the parts that you need once that preparatory and weekly maintenance simply isn’t enough. Let’s talk about industrial air compressors!
General care and preventative maintenance of your Air Compressor
First and foremost, there are a number of things that need to be done regularly in order to help to ensure optimal performance. Be sure to schedule time weekly for the following (and log it for problem tracing, just in case!):
- Reading the manual – These units are expensive and they have documentation that is specific for them. Do yourself a favor and make sure that these are read. While the tips listed here are good for general maintenance your manual might have some additional items to add and it is imperative that you do these things to get the most out of your compressor.
- Hose inspection – Hoses are going to be the first thing that wears out so they need to be inspected regularly. Be sure to do this proactively to avoid potential issues.
- Tightening nuts and bolts – With regular use, nuts and bolts are naturally going to come loose. Make sure that everything is secure and tight.
- Changing out the air filter – Your filter is attracting dust daily and this dust builds up. Be sure to check your filters periodically to ensure that they are getting changed out on a regular basis.
- Cleaning the intake valve – Dust is also going to gather into your intake valves and you don’t want this to end up causing a clog. Be sure that the intake valves are being cleaned weekly to avoid this.
- Drain that condensate – A lot of moisture is going to generate during normal operations and your air compressor is designed to drain this for dry operation. Make sure that the condensate tank is being emptied on a regular basis so that the machine can do its job efficiently.
- Check out the shutdown system – There are times when your air compressor will need to shut down unexpectedly in order to protect itself from overheating or other issues. Check your user’s manual for instructions on inspecting the emergency shutdown system to ensure that everything is in working order.
- Change out the oil – Not every air compressor is going to use oil but for those that do you will want to make sure to change it quarterly, which comes out roughly to every 8000 hours of operation.
- Change out the air and oil separator – In air compressors that use oil, the oil is manifested as a lubricating mist which the internal separator will take from the air. If the separator goes bad, however, this can fail to occur and oil will end up where it shouldn’t be. So check the separator periodically to avoid this.
- Clean the fuel tank – If you are using an air compressor that relies on fuel you can get buildup from the conversion process. Cleaning the fuel tank once a year will help you to avoid any issues from this.
Common issues with air compressors and quick tips
There are a number of common issues which can occur with air compressors that you should be aware of in order to be prepared. There are a lot of items to cover so we’ll just pick a few from 4 categories that you can look for. Some common air compressor issues are as follows:
- Air leaks – Air leaks can occur and you can catch them with liquid soap. With the compressor unplugged you can place the soap over connections such as the couplers and compressor switch. If you see bubbles then deal with them according (i.e. with the compressor, you can tighten it). Also watch the tank check valve, if it continues to lose pressure when powered off then it might need to be cleaned (or in worst case scenarios, replaced).
- Startup issues – With your compressor, the cut-in pressure needs to be the same as the pressure of the air stored in the tank. Check the setting and if it is inadequate, adjust the levels and try to start it again.
“If the gauge is too low then it will not perform.”
- Pressure issues – If your tank is full and yet you are only getting air produced in short, sharp bursts, then you will want to check your pressure gauge PSI. If the gauge is too low then it will not perform so if your tank is rated for 100 PSI, try switching it to 90 to see if it helps.
- Electrical/motor issues – If your compressors lights are starting to dim on startup then this may be a sign that the starter capacitor is getting worn down and may need replacement.
Parts and where to find them
In today’s article we have discussed Industrial air compressors as well as their care and preventative maintenance, some common issues, and where to go to get parts online if you should need them. Remember, these machines are expensive, so a little care on your part can go a long way to making sure that when you DO have to buy parts it is a case of an exception, rather than the rule!