How To Maintain An Industrial Air Compressor And Air Lines

26 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog

There are three major components in maintaining your industrial air compressor that ensure both efficient operation and longevity of the compressor and its components. While proper maintenance of the compressor itself is most important, it is also necessary to keep your air lines clean and clear in order to deliver pressurized air to the machinery that needs it.

As with all routine maintenance, you must follow the manufacturer's specifications and schedules for peak performance and durability. Consistency in maintenance operations and the quality of the materials must also be considered when servicing an expensive piece of equipment such as an industrial air compressor.

The three most important maintenance tasks 

Draining the compressor

Industrial air compressor tanks must be drained daily to help prevent the buildup of moisture inside the tank. Excessive moisture will lead to the tank rusting from the inside out. If significant rusting occurs over time, tank failure could occur.

This could not only be dangerous to anyone near the compressor, but would put the unit out of commission until a new compressor could be installed. If your business operations are either wholly or partially dependent on the compressor, and you don't have a backup, production will be disrupted. This could cost more than a new compressor.

Keeping the compressor oil filled at the proper level

Although an industrial compressor is designed to shut down if the oil level is too low, damage or excessive wear could still occur. Check the dipstick or peer through the glass port (according to the compressor model) at recommended intervals. 

If the level is low, add oil gradually and check the level periodically until the fill line is reached. Add oil more slowly as the level approaches the fill line so you don't overfill. Use only the recommended oil. Never substitute with a cheaper brand.

Change the filter media

The filters must be changed according to the recommended schedules. Failure to do so makes the compressor work harder for less efficiency. This stresses the compressor and makes it runs too often and for too long to produce enough air pressure for your needs. As with the oil, use filter media recommended by the manufacturer of the compressor.

Maintaining the air line

If your industrial air compressor supplies air for multiple areas of your business, you must check the integrity of the air lines and tools for leaks. One large leak, several small air leaks, or partially opened shutoff valves will cause the compressor to run almost continuously, This will not only increase your power bill, but also cause the compressor to become hot, possibly leading to premature wear of internal components.

Drain the moisture from the lines on a regular basis by opening the bleed valves along the air lines. You must also check the air line oil levels to be certain that they are at the fill line. Adjust the drop rate of the air line oil to one drop every 30 seconds. 

It is difficult to adjust the drop rate because you must run an air tool simultaneously to get air to flow through that point in the line, and the vibration may cause the oil to drop inconsistently. However, after a few tiny adjustments, you should be able to adjust the drop rate to the desired level.

Like all machines, take care of your air compressor and it will take care of you.