Regular preventative maintenance is essential to keep your air compressor operating at its best. However, most compressor maintenance is not something someone without experience should handle. While this guide will help you understand the do’s and don’ts of compressor maintenance, an professional air compressor repair service provider will always be your best bet for keeping your compressor in working order.
The importance of air compressor maintenance
Proper maintenance of an air compressor has many advantages, some of which are outlined below.
- Higher operating costs: if your air compressor is not maintained correctly, it will cost more to operate. A dirty air filter will force the compressor to work harder to pump air, requiring more energy and putting additional strain on the system. Inadequate lubrication of the components will make it more difficult for the compressor to do its job efficiently. This problem will cause wear on the parts, leading to a breakdown. Keeping your system maintained will ensure that it is operating at peak performance, which will reduce the cost of operation and keep it functioning for longer.
- Equipment life: As mentioned above, if your system is not maintained correctly, it is more likely to break down sooner. Regular maintenance by an air compressor repair service will be able to determine if anything needs to be addressed to keep the compressor running smoothly and efficiently for as long as possible.
- Emergency repair frequency: If your system is not maintained correctly, it is more likely to have a breakdown that requires an emergency repair. While all breakdowns are unexpected, most can be prevented through regular maintenance of the air compressor system. A poorly maintained system is prone to breakdowns that are costly to fix, especially when they prevent the air compressor from being used.
- Unexpected downtime: If your air compressor breaks down, it could mean other facility processes are not taking place as well. The cost of an emergency repair to your air compressor suddenly includes more than just the repair bill – it means lost operating time for your facility.
The cost to perform preventative maintenance on your air compressor may seem like something that is not worth it, but the price of a complete air compressor breakdown, which could include a total system replacement, is much higher. Properly maintaining your air compressor is the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure long and efficient system operation.
Tips for air compressor preventative maintenance
It is essential to follow the manual that came with the air compressor system. This will provide you with a schedule of maintenance activities and information about how to perform some maintenance yourself. Below is a list of important preventative maintenance activities for keeping your air compressor in good working order.
- Change the air filter: Changing the air filter is one of the most overlooked but easiest maintenance pieces. While the operating conditions of your system will dictate how often the air filter should be replaced, regularly checking the cleanliness of the filter will allow you to spot a dirty filter and replace it. This may mean checking the filter every day, week, or month. Establishing a schedule for reviewing the filter is a good idea and something that does not take much time but can save time and money in the future.
- Check motor bearings: Ensuring proper lubrication of the motor bearings is another easy check that will allow you to spot a potential problem before it becomes a problem. Again, the operating environment will dictate how often this needs to be done, but setting up a schedule to check the bearings is good.
- Check belts for wear: The belts are in high tension. If they become worn, they are going to break. When that happens, your air compressor will no longer function, and you will be facing an emergency repair and a facility that is not performing. Also, when you check the belts for wear, ensure they are at the proper tension. As the belts stretch, the adequate tension will decrease, allowing the belts to slip.
- Change the oil and filter: Keeping the oil clean and at the proper level is essential for keeping the compressor lubricated. When the filter becomes dirty, the oil will not pass through it as efficiently. Also, If the oil level is too low, the motor will quickly wear and fail.
- Drain excess fluids daily: If your air compressor does not have an automatic drain valve, you will need to drain any fluid manually. This needs to be done daily when the compressor is shut down.
- Check lubrication of bearings, joints, and moving parts: Keeping the moving parts of the air compressor properly lubricated will help minimize wear and improve system performance. Proper lubrication of anything that moves should be checked frequently, as an unlubricated part can seize up the entire compressor system.
- Check pressure relief valves: If the pressure relief valves are not functioning correctly, the air compressor is more likely to over-pressurize. Checking the relief valves regularly to ensure they are releasing at the proper pressure is an easy piece of preventative maintenance.
- Inspect the air compressor: An excellent visual inspection regularly is easy to do and a perfect way to spot any trouble spots before they become major. Establishing a checklist of things to inspect and a frequency to check them will help you make sure the crucial components of the air compressor system are in good working order.
The above list is a good starting point for preventative maintenance of your air compressor system. However, other things can be done to keep your system in good working order.
Who should perform the maintenance?
Much of the daily maintenance can be performed by anyone using the system. If a daily checklist is created and placed near the compressor, whoever starts the system or shuts it down can make the necessary system checks and note any problems.
These problems can then be referred to the maintenance staff. They will be able to address things such as replacing the air filter and lubricating parts. They can also do more detailed inspections of more complex components to access, ensuring that they operate as required. A checklist of regular inspections will be helpful for the staff to make sure everything is maintained regularly.
If the maintenance staff notes a problem or cannot address some maintenance on the above list, calling an air compressor repair service will allow for a quick and efficient remedy. Also, a professional repair service will be able to evaluate other parts of the system that are vital for keeping the system running. Some of the things that only a professional should address include the following:
- Diagnosis: Your air compressor may not be functioning as expected, but only a professional can appropriately diagnose the problem. Problems like air leaks can be challenging to find without the proper equipment and training. You will likely be the first to recognize that a problem exists, but relying on a professional to precisely figure out the issue will save you frustration and money.
- Inspection: While users and maintenance staff can handle daily inspections of most compressor components, there are some inspections that only a licensed professional should address. This includes safety inspections. Shutting the system down for a safety inspection is not something to be taken lightly, so working with a licensed professional to inspect the system’s safety is essential because they know what to look for and how to handle any problems they find correctly.
- Repair: Although preventative maintenance aims to reduce or eliminate the need for repairs, any repairs to your air compressor system should only be handled by a professional.
Although much preventative maintenance can be handled by your staff directly, anything that your team is uncomfortable with needs to be taken care of by an air compressor repair service. Schedule regular checks with Complete Engineered Solutions. Contact us today to learn more about additional preventative maintenance that we can do to help keep your air compressor system working at peak performance, saving you operating costs and ensuring that a breakdown does not halt operation completely.