Air Compressor Maintenance

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Air Compressor Maintenance

Industrial air compressor maintenance involves a number of practices that need to be performed to varying degrees on all models and makes of compressors. No matter how many compressors you have, you should regularly inspect and service the machine’s key components. A failure to do so could result in premature failures, unplanned downtime and expensive repairs.

Maintaining your compressed air system preventatively will also help to ensure you are getting the most from it. Let’s be honest. Compressor replacements are expensive and time-consuming. If you don’t absolutely need to fix or replace your unit, why would you want to do so?

Why You Should Maintain Your Compressor ?

A well laid out industrial air compressor maintenance program can

provide numerous benefits, such as consistent performance and few issues. To ensure you're getting the most out of your air compressor, be sure to follow the steps in this guide and keep to a regular maintenance schedule.

Air Compressor Maintenance Plan

Money savings: 

Industrial air compressor maintenance can save manufacturers huge amounts of money by preventing costly repairs and downtime. Maintained compressors will typically function as intended for thousands of hours longer, ultimately saving manufacturers money that can be passed onto consumers.

Maximum efficiency: 

Keeping your industrial air compressors running smoothly is key to keeping your production line moving at a consistent pace. Air compressors that are constantly breaking down can really slow down the entire process, so it’s important to make sure they’re properly maintained.


Industrial air compressors are essential to the productivity of any business that relies on advanced technology and machinery. By performing routine inspections of the fluids, hoses, filters and fasteners, you can ensure that your rotary screw air compressor remains in good condition.

Superior products:

The quality of air that comes from an air compressor is crucial for any operation that relies on compressed air. For example, any assembly that needs to be painted, sanded, or dried must have clean air to avoid any malfunctions. To ensure quality air throughout each usage cycle, it is important to perform air compressor preventive maintenance on a weekly, and sometimes even daily, schedule.

Longer service life: 

An air compressor maintenance schedule offers many benefits, including reduced need for parts replacement and system repairs. Air compressors are often subject to unexpected service costs if an air compressor maintenance checklist is not implemented. However, companies that do follow an air compressor maintenance guide can easily get years of additional use from each air compressor and pneumatic tool.

Performing air compressor maintenance can be difficult, depending on the size and complexity of the machine. Many companies find it difficult to find employees who are knowledgeable about compressor maintenance. However, with the right training, anyone can learn the basics of compressor maintenance & avoid compressor failure.

Our team at Turbo Airtech are experts in industrial and mechanical air compressors. If you have any concerns about air compressor maintenance or regular servicing, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Recommended Preventive Maintenance Checks

If you want your industrial air compressor to run smoothly, it's crucial to perform proper maintenance on it regularly based on hours of operation. Check the filters, vents, belts and bearings to make sure they're free of dirt and grime, and apply lubricant to all applicable parts as needed.

Air Compressor Preventive maintenance
Compressor Preventive maintenance checks

Preventive Maintenance Check Schedules 

How to Develop and Follow Them

To keep your air compressor in top condition, you should create a

preventive maintenance checklist that is tailored specifically for your

type of compressor. Depending on the compressor, preventive maintenance tasks may need to be performed daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

Prepare a preventive maintenance plan for your compressor

To keep your air compressor running smoothly and to prevent costly repairs, follow a preventative maintenance checklist and complete tasks according to a set schedule. You may need to perform maintenance daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on the needs of a given component.

By following a checklist, you can extend the life of and increase the efficiency of your air compressor and its attachments. Preventive maintenance can help detect problems at an early stage before they do serious system damage and lead to costly repairs and downtime. Your company can invest the money you save through preventive maintenance back into its infrastructure and staff. 

Air Compressor Maintenance Tips

An air compressor is a machine that compresses air, turning it into power to run tools and machinery. It is made up of many different parts, each of which needs to be maintained in order for the compressor to function properly. Every three months, the oil needs to be changed, the filters cleaned, and the after cooler inspected. And at least once a year, the filters need to be replaced and the connections tightened.

By following a checklist, you can extend the life of and increase the efficiency of your air compressor and its attachments. Preventive maintenance can help detect problems at an early stage before they do serious system damage and lead to costly repairs and downtime. Your company can invest the money you save through preventive maintenance back into its infrastructure and staff. 

1. Read the User Manual

With a little help from the user manual, most air compressor problems can be easily solved. Though this might seem like common sense, many owners of air compressors forget to consult the manual, instead resorting to calling for help.

Although it is important to read the user manual before making any adjustments to your air compressor, sometimes things go wrong anyway. If this happens, don’t worry! There are many ways to troubleshoot an air compressor without voiding the warranty.

2. Tighten the Nuts and Bolts

As an air compressor goes through month after month of daily use, some of the nuts and bolts may become loose causing machine vibration. This is not a sign that the machine is falling apart, but just an indicator that it is time to pull out a wrench.

3. Clean the inlet Intake Valves

To ensure your air compressor functions at full capacity, keep its intake vents clean. Over time, dust and other air-borne elements from ambient air will accumulate and can impede performance. Be sure to clean the vents regularly for optimal results.

Intake valves can become dirty in all sorts of environments, from construction sites to factories. When the ground is broken at a construction site, dirt particulates get tossed into the air by the pneumatic tools used in the process. In factories, cooking products like flour, salt and sugar can create a lot of dust, which can get sucked into the intake valves.

Clean the intake valves every three months, regardless of the working environment.

Also, ensure that the discharge check valve is in good condition to avoid damages due to compressed air backflow.

4. Inspect the Hoses

One of the most important – yet often overlooked – parts of an air-compressor assembly are the hoses. As the component that transfers compressed air between the machine and a given endpoint, hoses are responsible for delivering air under high pressure. And though they may seem strong and tough, hoses can easily show strain as time passes on, due to their need for both strength and flexibility.

Inconsistencies in air pressure can make the problem worse. While transferring air from a machine to a pneumatic tool, the hoses are bound to get stretched under high pressure. Overpressure followed by periods of insufficient pressure causes the hoses to contract. As hoses are moved around, bends and folds can gradually take their toll.

To ensure your compressor never lags due to worn hoses & air leaks, inspect them on a regular basis. If you see any signs of wear, change out the hose for a new one. If you don’t, you could run into some efficiency problems.

5. Change the Air Filter

The air intake filter inside your air compressor is designed to trap lots of junk during a daily usage cycle. This will help keep your air compressor running smoothly and prevent dust and other impurities from degrading the performance of pneumatic tools.

Without air filtration, the results of pneumatic painting and drying tools would be disastrous!

The quality of the air filter at an assembly plant can make or break an entire line of products. If the line is salvageable, the pneumatic application that caused the problem would have to be redone.

The filter can only do so much; it collects the dust that would otherwise infect the compressed air and degrade the quality of end-point operations. As the filter fills, it becomes less and less capable, so it’s crucial to change it out annually.

6. Drain Condensate From the Tanks

To keep the air pure and dry, the moisture tank inside an air compressor collects the water droplets that form as a result of compressed air.

Compressed air with moisture can be a real headache in situations where water damage is a risk, such as in auto assembly plants. Not only can excess moisture make the paint weak and spotty, it can also cause problems with other aspects of the assembly process. For example, it can lead to expensive and time-consuming do-overs.

To keep the air clean and fresh, it is crucial to regularly drain the moisture tank. Overfilled tanks leak water and re-contaminate the air. Use of Drain valves is highly recommended for all compressor installations.

7. Inspect the Air Compressor Control System

There are times when an air compressor will need to take a break to protect its well-being. As an example, when the machine gets too hot, it does not work as well as it should. If pushed to work in such conditions, the machine could overheat internally and parts could ultimately give out. If an overheating situation occurs on a large machine, the loss will be greater and more costly. 

To protect its internal components, most compressors today are equipped with safety shutoff mechanisms. These mechanisms are designed to activate when a compressor becomes too hot or pressure-deprived, in a way similar to how an overheated computer will lock up and reboot.

It’s important to check it regularly to ensure it’s working properly.

8. Maintain your heat exchangers

Heat exchangers are vital for a compressor working at full potential, they ensure that the air entering the next compression stage is cooled down to reduce work done, consequently reducing the energy costs by the compressor and prevent excessive heat build up.

Heat exchangers also ensure that the output air is cooled down to operating range before it is used by the production machines. It also acts as a mean to remove moisture from the air.

A routine maintenance program on heat exchanger is highly advisable to keep your compressor’s working at full efficiency.

9. Change Out the air compressors oil

Although not all air compressors use oil, those that do should have their lubricant level maintained & oil changed just like a car does to ensure the engine runs smoothly preventing unexpected downtime. Oil level has to be maintained to ensure adequate lubrication.

In humid environments, oil can lose its viscosity and fail to provide proper lubrication to the internal components of an air compressor. This lack of lubrication can lead to metal friction and stress along the moving metal parts, which could wear them down and cause premature failure. Likewise, in colder environments, oil can become sludgy, especially if moisture is present.

10. Change the Air/Oil Separator

Oil-lubricated air compressors are designed to function internally with oil mist. The compressors disperse oil inside the machine alongside air. An oil separator, however, removes the oil from the air before it leaves the machine. As a result, the machine remains lubricated while the endpoint remains dry. 

Without a properly functioning oil separator, the air can become oil-corrupted, leading to potential disasters in pneumatic applications like spray-painting. To ensure the compressed air remains pure and free of oil, it’s important to replace the oil filter as per manufacturer’s recommendation and operating conditions.

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