Air Compressor Maintenance Guide & Daily Checklist You Should Know

How to change oil

Air compressor maintenance is not a challenging task, but for many, it is the most annoying one. Probably, you could double the life span of the compressor simply by taking care of it once in a while. There is a whole lot of things you are not going to have to do, or you do not need to break your back. I have given here some air compressor daily checklist, read it, take your compressor, and start your maintenance job.

How To Maintain Air Compressor Pump?

The pump of an air compressor is the center component of an air compress; it sucks air and drains it to a receiver or air tank. This pump can be either oil-lubricated or oil-free. Industrial grade compressors are generally found to be featured with oiled pumps. But consumer-grade compressors have an oil-free pump to make it a little bit cheaper for the customers who don’t have so many things to do with the air compressor.

However, for an oil-free pump, there is no maintenance. After long use the Teflon piston ring decay and fail to build pressure perfectly. The reason is the Teflon ring can seal the cylinder properly and leaks air. Many users can change the ring by themselves and you need not be an expert on that. Though this is critical, with the help of YouTube videos you can do it.

For an oil-lubricated pump, you have to change the oil after a certain period of use. This is quite easy and you can do it by yourself. Many compressors have oil-sight glass like Makita Mac 700 that will let you know when to change the oil of your compressor pump.

If your compressor doesn’t have oil-sight glass, remove the oil fill cap and check the dipstick. By the color of the oil, you will understand whether to change the oil or not.

  • Run your unit for a minimum of 10 minutes to make the oil warm. It will flow out oil including the dust thus making your drainage clean. Then unplug the unit.
  • Before removing the drain plug, open the fill cap so that air can build pressure and make drainage faster.
  • If the compressor is not heavy, tilt the unit. It will make your pump entirely empty.
  • Use a funnel when pouring oil into the pump. That’s all you have to do when changing oil.
  • To know the amount of oil you should put it, check again the owner’s manual. Generally, it is the dipstick that lets you know the oil level for your compressor. In some cases, the exact amount is stated in the user guide (like 1 liter, 2 liters).
  • Make sure the air compressor is unplugged from the electric outlet before you drain the oil.
  • Use manufacturer-recommended lubrication. Check the user manual to know recommended oil for your compressor.
  • Don’t forget to wear hand gloves.

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How To Maintain The Tank?

Air compressors are found in a wide variety of applications, from small pneumatic tools to large industrial systems. ​The air compressor tank is a vital component of the system and must be properly maintained in order to ensure optimal performance.

Do you know your compressor’s air tank erodes from inside? There are few records of tank explosion and it happens when the tank grows old and rusty. Don’t hiccup; you can increase the tank’s life two times more by means of little maintenance.

When you are done with your job, remove the drain valve to flow out water inside the tank. Be careful that the tank doesn’t have full air storage. To reduce the tank pressure, open the safety relief valve manually and now you are safe. Keep the drain valve open for 5 minutes and let the tank dry. You can also keep it open until you start working the next day.

Why should you do that? This is simple science. Water creates rust in iron. When water deposits for a long time under the tank, the tank starts to decay and thus gets premature damage.

There are different material-built air compressors tank e.g. aluminum built, cast iron built, and steel built as well.  With a cast iron manufactured tank, you should drain the tank after every single use; for the rest two types once in a week will do well.

A common question from the users of air compressors is whether the compressor can be left full. There is no harm in leaving the air tank full. But you should not allow water to sit too much in the tank.

How To Maintain The Air Intake Filter?

The air intake filter is located on top of the air compressor. It has a screen that captures dirt and debris, as well as other foreign objects such as pollen or dust. It blocks dirt from the air to ensure clean air flows into the pump. So the filter becomes dirty very soon and requires periodic cleaning.

If the filter is clogged, you may notice that the air intake does not provide a clean and consistent supply of compressed air. To ensure that the compressor is running at peak efficiency, it is important to maintain the air intake filter.

Either you can wash it or blow it out. Avoid washing with any sort of ignitable liquid when washing. Use hot water. When it is way too old, replace it with a new one.

Remember, if your filter is dirty enough, the pump cannot inhale properly causing a delay in refilling the tank.

How to Clean External Parts?

Some compressor has finned tube that cools down compressed air when draining towards the tank. When the fin tube is dusty enough, it will lose its proper operational function and the device will generate an excessive hit.

Over the course of time, the nuts and bolts become loose. Checking after every 3 months will enhance safety at your workplace.How To Maintain Air Compressor Belt?

Air compressors can be either belt drive or direct drive. Whereas a direct-drive pump is mounted on a small home use air compressor, a belt-drive pump is installed on an industrial level compressor.

Air compressor belt is an important component of the air compressor, it transmits power from the engine to the compressor. If the belt is broken or worn out, the compressor will not work properly, so it is very important to maintain the air compressor belt.

The following are methods for maintaining an air compressor belt.

  • Regularly check the tension on the belt to ensure it's not too tight or too loose. A loose belt does not compress air efficiently.
  • Check that the belt is running smoothly and that there are no visible cuts, tears, or cracks.
  • Keep the surface of the belt clean by wiping it down periodically with a damp cloth.
  • Once in a month, remove the belt and inspect it before storing your compressor.
  • Replace the belt every 3 years to avoid malfunctions due to age.

Changing the belt is pretty simple and easy. The belt and pulley are enclosed with some kind of cage, first open it. Now simply slide the old one from the pulley and install a new belt. Wait; don’t forget to place the cage.

Belt Tensioner: The belt tensioner is located near the engine on the rear side of the compressor. When using a belt, you may hear a squealing noise while driving as the belt vibrates against the pulley. This is the tensioner adjusting the belt tension. A properly functioning belt tensioner will not cause any of these problems.

How To Take Care of Safety Valve?

When most people think of valves, they think of the devices that control the flow of water through a pipe. However, there is another type of valve known as a safety valve. A safety valve is a device that is used to relieve pressure in a system. The pressure can be caused by a number of factors, such as heat or steam. Safety valves are used in a variety of applications, including power plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants.

A safety valve is installed on a compressor to release automatically excessive pressure from the tank. The release valve ensures safety by preventing the air tank from overflowing pressure.

To maintain the safety valve, pull the safety valve manually to check whether or not working well. Clean it if found to be tight because of dirt. Put some oil if needed to make it work freely.

As you can see maintaining your compressor is really very easy to do and if you do this per the manufacturer's guidelines or at least once a year your compressor will last for years.

In conclusion, air compressors require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Most compressors will come with instructions for what should be done to maintain the compressor. The steps include things like changing the oil, replacing belts, checking hoses, and cleaning the tank. Keeping up with these basic maintenance tasks can help avoid big problems down the road.

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