A guide to oil free air compressor maintenance
One of the biggest advantages of choosing an oil free air compressor over an oil lubricated compressor is the minimal maintenance required. The permanently lubed pump cylinder does not require further lubrication so regular oil changes are not required in the same way as oil injected air compressors.
However, while oil free air compressors require minimal maintenance, it doesn’t mean that they do not require any maintenance at all. Preventative maintenance will help to ensure safe and efficient operation of the compressor and help to extend its lifespan.
There are a few steps you can take on a regular basis to ensure your air compressor remains in good working order.
Why should you schedule regular maintenance for your oil free air compressor?
Regularly checking your oil free air compressor and performing the required maintenance will ensure that it is kept in the best condition for as long as possible, preventing you from having to invest in a new one within a short space of time.
For oil free air compressors that are used within sectors where the risk of contamination must be avoided in the compressed air, such as the food and beverage or medical sectors, oil free air compressors must be maintained properly to ensure machinery runs as it should and to prevent contamination.
Choosing the right type of compressor for the job in the first place is also important to make sure that your compressor is not overworked or underpowered for its intended use and to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
How to maintain your oil free air compressor
Here are some of our tips for regularly maintaining your oil free air compressor to ensure that it functions properly throughout its lifetime.
1. Drain the air compressor tank
Drain the air compressor tank according to the instructions because moisture is squeezed from the compressed air and will fill the tank and reduce the amount of air stored. Failing to regularly drain the air receiver will result in the tank rotting and contaminating the compressed air. This will eventually cause the compressor to become damaged and stop working.
2. Regularly inspect the power lead
Keeping an eye on the air compressors cable to see if it has become damaged due to wear and tear over time will help to keep the air compressor functioning properly. If there is any damage, it’s important to stop using the compressor and call an electrician to ensure that it’s safe to use.
3. Check the pressure
When the air compressor is running, check the pressure regularly and make sure its not too high as this could damage the compressor over time and affect its lifespan.
4. Check the compressor’s behaviour
Regularly check your compressor to make sure it’s working as it should. Irregular behaviour can signify a fault with the compressor so if your air compressor is displaying unusual behaviour, shut it down, unplug it from the mains and check it over or call a maintenance engineer.
5. Check for leaks
Have a look at the area around your compressor to make sure it’s not leaking either when it’s off or when it’s running. If you find a leak, it’s important to call in an engineer or fix the air compressor before you use it again.
6. Check the air filter
The air filter location varies model by model so it’s important to check the exact location in the owner’s manual for your compressor. If the air filter inside is made of paper or felt, it will need replacing once it shows signs of wear and tear. If it’s a foam filter, you should be able to clean it out with soap. Make sure you let the filter dry out before replacing it and replace any filter that’s damaged or worn.
7. Visually inspect your air compressor
Regularly inspect elements of your air compressor such as the hoses, valves, and seals for cracks or signs of wear and tear and make sure any fittings are still secure. If you find any wear and tear or damage, it’s important to get it fixed or ask a professional to look at it to prevent any problems from becoming bigger and more costly.
It’s also important to check the air tank for weak spots or rust. If the tank is damaged, it cannot be fixed and will need to be replaced.
8. Check the safety valve
Checking the safety valve of your air compressor is something you should do regularly. Before checking, make sure you’re wearing safety glasses and then you can plug the unit in, allow it to run until it reaches its shut off pressure and then pull out the safety valve ring so the pressure is released from the tank.
If it’s working properly, the valve is working. However, if it doesn’t close automatically or if the air release is not allowed when you pull it out, it’s time to replace the check valve.
9. Check the seals
The seals of your air compressor will experience wear and tear and will eventually need to be replaced. Depending on how much use your compressor gets, this can be between 2,000-8,000 hours of operation but some oil free air compressors can last for longer.
Seal replacement can take the air compressor out of action for several hours so it’s better to replace the seals before the compressor’s performance deteriorates to a point that it can no longer function effectively.
An oil free air compressor that is maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations should remain effective and reliable throughout its lifespan. Making sure you keep on top of maintenance should prevent costly repairs. Regular servicing can help to prevent any problems before the air compressor requires replacement but, if repairs are required, they should be carried out by experts.
At Air Supply, our repair technicians are factory trained with a wealth of skills in electrical fault diagnostics and we pride ourselves on repairing equipment that others would deem unviable.
For more information on maintaining your oil free air compressor or to book in a service or repair, please contact our expert team.