Written by Marijn

How do you maintain a compressor?

It's important to properly maintain your compressor. By performing regular maintenance, the compressor will continue to function optimally, will have a longer lifespan, and it'll prevent potentially dangerous situations. In this article, we'll also give you some handy tips for maintaining a compressor.

1. Preparations

First consult the manufacturer's manual for the best maintenance tips for your specific type of compressor. Next, it's important that you should disconnect the power before you start maintenance. For safety's sake, always unplug the machine. That way, you can be sure the compressor won't be switched on by accident. In addition, be sure to wait for the compressor to have cooled down sufficiently. Drain the tank by opening the condensation water drain valve. Read more about that in the next step.

2. Regularly drain the condensation water

Draining condensation water from the compressor

Because air is compressed in a compressor, condensation is created. The high pressure in the compressor heats the air, and when it cools down again, water is builds up in the tank. In the long-term, that can damage the compressor, because it might start to rust from the inside, leading to small holes. A minuscule hole in the compressor can lead to very dangerous situations. That's why it's important to regularly drain the fluid via the drain valve on the bottom of the tank, preferably after every use. Don't forget to put a pan of some sort underneath the tank to collect the water before you open the valve. The water might be rusty, so if you don't want brown spots on the floor, put it somewhere else or keep a cloth handy.

3. Check the oil level

Checking the oil level of a compressor

If you own a compressor that uses oil, it's important to regularly check if there's enough oil in the motor. Do you have a compressor that doesn't use oil? Continue on to step 5. Check the oil level by looking at the oil sight glass, the glass eye on the front of the compressor. The oil level should be between the two lines that indicate the minimum and maximum level. If the oil level is too low, top up the oil. In order to avoid spillage, you should use a funnel. If you're compressor doesn't have an oil sight glass, use the dipstick to check if there's enough oil in it. If you use the compressor every day, we recommend checking the oil level every day. Always use the same type of oil that's already in the compressor. Never mix different oils!

4. Replace the oil

Replacing the oil

The manual will tell you after how many operating hours you have to change the oil for your type of compressor. That's usually around 250 working hours. Replace the oil at least 1 time per year. Read how to change the oil in the following article.

5. Check the air filters

Compressor air filters

You can easily remove the air filters from the compressor. Some models require you to unscrew them with a screwdriver, but usually you can just take them out. Blow out the dust from the air filters every week. You could do that with a pistol grip inflator, but just blowing on it is effective as well. If you can't get out the dirt, replace the air filters with new ones. The filters can be purchased from the compressor's manufacturer. The more you use the compressor, the more often you have to replace the filters.

6. Check the belt

Check compressor belt

Do you have a compressor model with a drive belt? Be sure to check the belt every 2 months. In the case of most compressors, the belt is in a kind of cage. Unscrew it and check the belt for tears and wear. Also check if there are any cracks in the wheels the belt drives. If the belt is very worn, replace it with a new one. You can simply take it off. Close the cage once you've replaced it.

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