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Air compressors are essential tools across a variety of industries that simplify a lot of otherwise complex tasks. Whether you’re in a commercial or industrial industry, they do a lot to improve daily operations. Like all machinery, they require maintenance and a little troubleshooting to keep them working effectively.

When you can identify the problem and how to fix it, you can save yourself some costly downtime. The problems may be due to something simple like overheating, or it may be more complex than that. Whatever it is, you can protect your investment by becoming more familiar with it. Below are some of the common problems associated with an air compressor.

Compressor Is Bogging Down

If your compressor is only reliable for short periods of time, it could be a motor problem. Air compressors can easily become bogged down when they split the power supply with other machines.

They require their own power supply that leads to a 15-to-20-amp breaker.
If the power supply isn’t the issue, you might want to check the unloader valve. You can find this by opening the tank to drain the water and let the air out. If the air compressor still bogs down when you reclose it and power it back up, then it’s time to change the unloader valve.

If the problem continues, it may not have the capacity to complete its current demand applications.

Compressor Has An Air Leak

If the air compressor is deactivated when the tank is low, and the gauge indicates low pressure, you will likely have an air leak. The best thing you can do in this circumstance is to inspect your equipment and try to pinpoint the hissing sound of air escaping. You can also run your fingers over the equipment to determine if you can feel where the air escapes.

If these techniques don’t work you can lather the connections in liquid soap, and make sure to get the couplers and the power switch. The soap will bubble at the site of the air leak. All you’ll need to do is tighten the coupler at the location of the leak to seal it.

You may want to also look at the tank check valve. Air leaks occur when the valve remains partially open. The pressure gauge should no longer drop with the tank shut off. You may need to clean or replace the valve at that point.

There Are Pressure And Flow Problems

Pressure and flow problems with your air compressor may come on more subtly. Air compressors can build up too much air or none. The pressure should only be able to reach a particular PSI. When you are experiencing pressure and flow problems, you may compromise the intake valve, gasket, piston seal, or tank check valve. If any of these are worn or damaged, they may need to be replaced.

Pressure and flow issues can stem from:

  • The pressure gauge is set too low
  • The coupler doesn’t fit right and obstructs airflow
  • Obstructed intake filters that strain the compressor

It’s Making Uncharacteristic Noises And Vibrations

Loud noises and vibrations alert you to trouble but could mean a lot of different things with your compressor. The noises may not always mean significant repairs are necessary. Sometimes small adjustments can take care of the issue.

Below are some common causes of noise and vibration:

  • Parts and components that need to be tightened.
  • The crankcase may need more oil, new bearings, or to be replaced entirely.
  • The pistons may need adjustment.
  • The bolts mounting the compressor may need to be tightened.

The Compressor Is Failing

When the compressor doesn’t start or shut down properly, or provides inadequate air pressure, there may be some issues at play that can be fixable.

  • If It Fails To Start – This can be something as simple as a disconnected power cord or deactivated power switch. You’ll want to inspect these things, and possibly the breaker box. Air compressors can also fail if they lack sufficient pressure. You may need to check the cut-in pressure settings and adjust them if needed. You may also need to check the oil and the compressor fluids if the problems persist.
  • If It Fails To Stop – When the tank pressure hits the cut off point, the compressor should stop. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll want to examine the pressure release valve or the power switches to see if they are defective.
  • If It Fails To Provide Enough Pressure – In this case, there may be an issue with the intake pump. The gasket between the low pressure and high-pressure compartments could be malfunctioning. Changing these parts out should help your compressor perform better.

Go With A Reliable Air Compressor Company You Can Trust

The reality is that air compressors are complex machinery that require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. It’s important to have trusted technicians look at your equipment to ensure it remains in the best possible working condition. If you have questions about your equipment or would like to schedule a service appointment, contact us today!

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