Many industries use air compressors, from cooling to drilling. These tools can power anything from small machines to entire facilities by converting electricity into kinetic energy.
Air compressors must work correctly so they can provide sufficient power levels. Identifying common air compressor issues can help keep your unit in working condition.
Read on for common air compressor problems and how to fix them.
Common Air Compressor Issues
From air leaks to broken parts, there are many common problems with air compressors. Staying aware of common problems helps you proactively prevent them from occurring. Luckily, conducting regular maintenance checks can help your air compressor stay in its best shape.
Here are a few examples of air compressor problems:
Leaks air: Correct air pressure is essential for a properly functioning air compressor, but one of the most common air compressor issues is air leaks. These leaks can cause low pressure in your machine, resulting in expensive fixes or energy losses. The compressor, oil fill tubes, valves and air lines could all leak air, so it’s important to check them for issues regularly.
Won’t turn on or off properly: Your compressor could also face motor or electrical connectivity problems. Air compressors require a secure, direct electrical connection to function properly. Your compressor could blow a fuse or breaker, and without a direct power source, it cannot turn on correctly. Faulty pressure release valves or pumps can also hinder an air compressor from starting.
Leaks oil: Another common air compressor issue is oil leaks. Oil can creep into the compressor’s air lines and damage the plastic material outside the compressor. If oil spreads to other areas of the compressor, it could cause more harm. Oil can also become a milky color if exposed to humidity for too long. Excess condensation could enter the oil reservoir and create more issues.
Has issues with pressure or flow: Air compressors often face issues with airflow. The compressor’s air filter could become corroded or obstructed. You could also encounter problems due to a lack of air in the tank or low gauge levels.
Has broken parts: Lastly, your air compressor could experience issues because of a broken part. From the intake filter and compressor manifold to the compressor fan and on/off switch, an air compressor has many components. Any of these parts could break and make an air compressor stop working properly.
Common Signs of Air Compressor Issues
You can often detect an air compressor issue by a sudden change in performance or strange behavior. Look for these indicative signs something is amiss:
Making weird air compressor noises: Sudden, unusual noises can signify something is wrong. Clattering, rumbling, rattling and other similar noises can indicate electrical or motor problems.
Vibrating or shaking: A vibrating compressor also indicates poor health. Excess shaking usually means the machine is having trouble turning on. Difficulty turning on a unit might indicate a system failure will occur soon.
Producing limited airflow: Air compressors should provide consistent airflow. If you notice your compressor isn’t blowing as much air as before, this is a significant issue. It might be unable to generate air in the same way and require repairs.
Showing off-colored oil: During oil checks, make sure the substance is clear and uniform. If you see a compressor’s oil is a milky color instead, your unit might have an oil leak or another concern.
Shutting off frequently: If your compressor turns on only to shut off suddenly, this is another sign your compressor is faulty. Your compressor might be overheating or have a faulty gauge. On the other hand, if your compressor won’t turn off, this could mean a blocked air filter or an air leak.
Luckily, there are many repairs you can make on your compressor when you notice an issue. Your first job is to find the root of the problem. After your air compressor troubleshooting, you can create a resolution.
You can solve most air compressor problems quickly. Replacing filters and sensors is often the only necessary step to repair the issue. These are common fixes for air compressors:
Air leaks: You can often find air leaks by applying soap to the area and inspecting where bubbles form. The bubbles will indicate the leak’s location, and then you can take measures to patch it or replace affected lines. Many leaks also form from tank check valves. You might need to clean or replace it to solve the leak.
Failure turning on: Besides a broken power cord or disconnected switch, your compressor might not turn on because of the cut-in pressure. To fix this, you can adjust the cut-in pressure to match the air pressure level in your tank.
Oil leaks: If oil spreads too far throughout the system, you might have to replace the valve and gasket. You could also drain and replace the oil regularly to prevent a buildup of condensation.
Pressure or flow issues: These issues often occur as a result of clogged filters. You can clean or replace your compressor filters to fix this. You should also check your gauge readings and ensure they’re set at the right point.
Broken parts: You can replace most faulty components with new ones.
With regular maintenance and repair methods, you can keep your air compressor in great shape. Preventive maintenance is crucial for an air compressor’s health. It has many benefits for users, including:
Saving money in the long term without costly repairs
Reducing chances of injured workers
Compressors should undergo maintenance checks at least once a year, where you inspect components like belts, oil, filters and voltage. You should also look for abnormal behaviors that indicate a more severe problem.
Contact Compressed Air Technologies Inc Today
If you’re experiencing any of these issues with an industrial air compressor, consider Compressed Air Technologies Inc today. We offer maintenance and audits that can extend your compressor’s life span. Our technicians have over 65 combined years of experience with diagnosing and repairing air compressors. From supplying air compressors to repair services, we can help with all of your air compressor needs.