Tips on air compressor maintenance to extend its life

The time you invest in air compressor maintenance is never wasted. You will improve its life and efficiency by looking after it properly. The good news is that following our advice on Air Compressor Safety is good for you and it’s good for your equipment.

Draining the water from your air receiver is a quick, simple and very important step. Water collects at the bottom of the tank/receiver during the compression stage. The amount will depend on how humid the air entering the system is but even dry air contains water. Drain the water manually by opening the drain valve located at the bottom of the receiver.

Here are 3 simple ways to keep your air compressor running properly:

  1. Lubrication: it is important that the oil level is checked regularly and “topping up” undertaken when necessary
  2. Filtration: intake filters need to be changed annually or when they become too dirty
  3. Service: an annual service is advisable especially on the larger units. During the service, someone need to check valve plates, gaskets and Non Return Valves (NRV) and replace them if required. If your compressor is belt driven, the belt(s) need to be tensioned or replaced. You should always call in an approved engineer for any service work you require.

You also need to choose the right type of hose, filtration and connections.

Hoses

We provide different types of hoses available for compressed air. Always make sure you choose a hose with a rating that is equal to, or higher than, the maximum pressure of the compressor. Standard compressed air hoses are usually rated at 10 Bar.

Note: Never use hoses not rated for compressed air.

A simple 10m coil hose or flexible rubber hose is ideal for use with a small direct drive compressor. You can use it while you are operating a spray gun for fence panels, decking etc. If you are going to be using a bigger compressor or if you are using your air tools further away from your compressor, you will need a longer hose. Please remember that it is dangerous to use an electrical extension on your compressor; choose a longer hose instead.

Regulators

A regulator is fitted as standard on portable compressors and you can buy one as an optional extra on larger compressors. If you are unsure, check the Additional Information tab to find out whether or not a particular model is supplied with a regulator. The regulator lets you adjust the pressure of the compressed air. This is important when you are using spray guns or air tools which need a recommended pressure to work effectively. If you have any questions, just ask our friendly LiveChat team.

Filters & Water Traps

If you need better quality air for car panel spraying or professional finishes, you need extra filtration for your system. Oilless compressors don’t need oil filters but you might want extra water filters. Just ask the LiveChat experts if you aren’t sure what you need.

Connectors

We love quick connector couplings and we’re sure you will too. With quick connector couplings you can quickly and safely switch from one air tool to another. The couplings stop the air escaping when the hose is disconnected so you can simply switch tools. We love this kind of flexibility when we’re working on projects that need multiple tools.