Air Compressor Maintenance Guide & Daily Checklist You Should Know

Air compressor maintenance is not a tiresome job but obviously to many it is the most irritating job. Do you know you can extend the life of the compressor twice just by little maintenance once or twice in a year. There is no whole lot of things you have to do or you don’t need to break you 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 compresses; it sucks air and drain 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 pump. But consumer grade compressors have 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 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 to be expert on that. Though this is critical but with the help of YouTube videos you can do it.

For oil-lubricated pump, you have to change the oil after 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 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 oil, you will understand whether to change oil or not.

  • Run you unit for minimum 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 let you know oil level for your compressor. In some cases, the exact amount is stated in the user guide (like 1 liter, 2 liter).


  • 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.

How To Maintain The Tank ?

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 next day.

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

How To Maintain The Air Intake Filter?

The function of an air filter is to block dirt from the air to ensure clean air flowing into the pump. So the filter becomes dirty very soon and requires periodic cleaning. 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 with a new one.

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

How to Clean External Parts?

Some compressor has finned tube that cool 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 excessive hit.

With the course of time, the nuts and bolts become loose. Checking after each 3 months will enhance safety at your workplace.

How To Maintain Air Compressor Belt?

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

However, if your compressor has belt make sure it is not too loose otherwise your pump will not compress air efficiently. When the belt is old enough, buy a new one.

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

How To Take Care of Safety Valve?

A safety valve is installed on a compressor to release automatically excessive pressure from the tank may cause by cause any sort of malfunction. The release valve ensures safety by preventing air tank from overflowed pressure.

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 working 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.


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