Keep Your Compressor Ticking Over

Dusty and harsh environments are the most common places where portable air compressors are put to the test. According to Wim Thijs, this underscores the significance of creating a routine maintenance schedule.

A daily, weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance plan for portable compressors is often overlooked because they don’t require a lot of time and effort to maintain. With a well-maintained air compressor, a contractor’s tools are always within reach, no matter where they’re needed. If the compressor was not properly maintained, it could quickly ruin an otherwise profitable project.

Consider the portable air compressor as the brains and the pneumatic tools as the limbs of the project. You can’t do anything if your body isn’t functioning properly. In contrast, a healthy compressor indicates that all other tools are performing at their peak potential. If the compressor cannot be repaired or replaced, the project will be put on hold. Time spent on compressor repair or replacement results in lost revenue for the contractor. In order to avoid costly downtime, it is important for contractors to perform regular scheduled inspections on their portable air compressors.

The most important thing a contractor can do for themselves before even thinking about maintenance is to make sure they use the right equipment for the job. For contractors, selecting a portable air compressor is much easier once they know what tools they will need on a job site.

In addition to knowing how much air is needed for a specific application, the contractor must also take into account the location of the work. The compressor’s pressure may need to be adjusted if the work is to be done at a distance, or a larger hose may be required to reduce pressure loss.

In order to prolong the life of a machine, a few simple maintenance procedures must be followed after the contractor has selected the best power source for the job.

At least once a day, you should do the following:

  • Make sure there are no leaks around the compressor, and that there are no pools of fluid under the machine.
  • The compressor should be powered up and checked for readiness before each use;
  • Make sure you have enough gas in the tank to get you through the rest of the day. In order to prevent dirt and debris from entering the system, it is best to keep the fuel tank closed at all times.
  • Make sure the tyres are in good condition before moving the vehicle.

You should: at least once a week

  • Check the hoses for cracks or leaks; they must be replaced immediately.
  • Keep an eye on the oil level and be aware that a significant drop from the previous week’s level could indicate other problems; and
  • Make sure the air filters are clean (although, depending on usage, the air filter restriction indicators should probably be checked daily).

Once a month, you should do the following things:

  • Make sure the automatic shutdown system is working properly by running it through its paces.
  • Visually inspect the engine to ensure that no obvious wear to the components is present and replace any necessary parts; and
  • Keep an eye on the coolers and use a soft brush to clean them as needed. Keeping the coolers in your compressor clean can help it run more efficiently and avoid overheating.

Finally, once a year, it is recommended that you:

  • Remove and replace the separator element (the component of a compressor that removes oil from compressed air) •
  • Make sure the fuel tank is clean.

If your compressor or engine has a filter or oil filter that needs to be replaced, you should do so. Because old oil oxidizes and increases the likelihood of failure, it’s important to keep your filters clean.

To ensure a long and productive life for your portable air compressor, a small amount of time each day, week, month, or year should be spent on maintenance. In addition to extending the life of the compressor, a well-executed maintenance plan can also improve the bottom line in a significant manner.

Wim Thijs is product manager for air at Chicago Pneumatic

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Last Updated on December 28, 2021

Indra-Gupta

Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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