Air Supply UK: Specialist Compressed Air Engineers

Published: 19/06/2024

A Step-By Step Guide On How To Set PSI On Your Air Compressor

Air compressors are versatile pieces of equipment and can be used for a variety of tasks – from spray guns to nail guns.

For your air-powered tools to work effectively, it’s important for your air compressor to be set at the correct pressure. The minimum is responsible for ensuring that your air compressor and equipment will operate correctly.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to control the pressure on your air compressor so that you can use it with a wide range of pneumatic tools.

What PSI should I set my air compressor?

The level of PSI depends entirely on what you’re using the air compressor for. To get a good gauge of what PSI you should be using the tool at, you should check the owner’s manual of the air tool for its recommended PSI as well as look for the factory settings of the tool (what they were at when you first bought it). 

It’s also worth checking the tool itself for a recommended PSI.

It differs for every application, so it could be a good idea to consult the provider of the tool to double-check this.

How to set PSI on an air compressor

  1. Disconnect the compressor from the power supply.
  2. Locate the pressure gauge on the air compressor: This is where you will regulate the air compressor pressure.
  3. Find the pressure regulating valve or knob: This will allow you to adjust the PSI and decide if the air pressure drops or increases.
  4. Change the air pressure setting: Turn the pressure valve or knob until the control panel reaches the pressure value required for your air tool.
  5. Restart the compressor: Make sure the air system is operating correctly and at the correct pressure.

How to adjust PSI on an air compressor

To adjust the pressure of your air compressor, you need to follow the instructions above.

If you want to know how to increase the PSI on your air compressor, every compressor differs. Carefully turn the pressure regulating valve clockwise and anti-clockwise, checking which direction increases the pressure on the pressure gauge. You’ll find that what increases the pressure for one air compressor decreases it for another. Some compressors require you to move the regulating valve upwards too.

How to alter the set pressure of the compressor

The above tells us how to regulate the compressor pressure to suit the tool we are using, but what if you need to increase the set pressures of the stop and start of the actual compressor? 

Firstly never increase the top (stop) pressure beyond the rated pressure of the machine when new, the air receiver will only be rated to match this, as will the safety valve. 

Pressure switches do lose adjustment over time, so sometimes it is required to bring them up or down to the original setting. To do this isolate the power and remove the pressure switch lid (there is usually a screw controlling a spring in the middle of the switch). To increase top pressure turn clockwise, only one 360 turn at a time, then replace the lid, power up and test. The bottom (start pressure) will usually follow the top pressure with a set differential.

If however, it seems the top pressure has to exceed the compressor rating to get the bottom pressure to a usable level, then the switch has lost its differential setting and needs replacement. NEVER EXCEED TOP PRESSURE TO GET BOTTOM PRESSURE USABLE.

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