Air Compressor Maintenance

Posted on: 1 February 2016

On your job site, an air compressor is an invaluable tool, one that gets daily or near-daily use. This piece of machinery is expensive and vital, so you need to practice regular maintenance in order keep your air compressor running smoothly for years 

Moisture

When you use your compressor, it will extract moisture from the air. The moisture will accumulate in the tanks, particularly if you live in a humid climate such as Florida, often causing rust to accumulate. Before you turn on the valve that will drain this moisture, make sure that you release the remaining air from the tanks. 

Fuel Tank

You should thoroughly clean the fuel tank annually at the very least. To keep it properly maintained, you need to use a wet vac to clean the tank after you have drained it. To keep your system running well, you should also put in a new filter. 

Oil Check

You need to check the oil much more frequently than you do in a vehicle. In fact, you should check the oil every day before you use the compressor. Too little oil or contaminated oil can ruin your compressor in no time flat. You should not only check the crankcase for the oil level, you also need to look for impurities floating in the fluid. Add oil as needed or change it completely if it looks "dirty."  

Cold Weather

Keeping your compressor running well in the winter months may require a little more maintenance. In addition to keeping the water out of the tanks, you may need to use a heat lamp to prevent the unit from freezing. If your compressor has a "continuous run cycle," you can use that to prevent it from freezing as well. You will also want to make sure your pneumatic tools are lubricated with oil formulated for cold weather. If your tools do not work, the compressor obviously does you no good. 

When you are busy on the job, it is easy to fall behind on regular maintenance tasks. After all, what's the big deal if you don't drain the tanks or check the oil for a few weeks? The big deal could be a compressor that seizes up, requiring some serious repairs or even a replacement. Whoever uses the compressor each day needs to run through a simple checklist of maintenance items, with extra care being taken in the cold months. That way, your compressor can keep up with your business demands. If your compressor is acting up, be sure to contact a compressor service company in your area to take a look at it before any major problems occur.

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