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3 Tips to Make Sure Your Air Compressor Stays Well Maintained

Introduction to This Article:

Air Compressors are extremely versatile pieces of equipment. They are responsible for much of the manufacturing efficiency we see in todays factories, they power many of the tools used on construction sites to build the homes we live in and compressed air systems can even be found at your local gas station for a quick, easy and accessible means to fill a tire that has gotten a bit low.

With the wide variety of use that these pieces of machinery find themselves being a part of, they require frequent service and maintenance to ensure that the machine itself has the longest mechanical lifespan possible. There are many important questions to ask after purchasing an air compressor before you begin use, because the quality of lifespan you piece of machinery will experience has much to do with the operational decision made in the first 1-3 years of the machines life.

What type of air compressor are you using? How many hours will the machine be in a constant state of mechanical performance? What type of environment is the machine being stored in and used in? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask when evaluating what type of maintenance schedule your machine needs to be on.

Air Compressor Types

a chart identifying the types of air compressors and the subcategories that fall under these air compressor types.
Air Compressor Types and Sub-Categories

There are two main categories for air compressors. Positive Displacement Air Compressors and Dynamic Air Compressors. In air compressor that are Positive Displacement Air Compressors, a pump moves a fluid by repeatedly enclosing a fixed volume and moving it mechanically through the system. The pumping action is cyclic and can be driven by pistons, screws, gears, rollers, diaphragms or vanes, generating power. Dynamic Compressors are rotary continuous-flow machines where a rapidly rotating element accelerates air as it passes through an element, converting the velocity head into pressure, partially in the rotating element and partially in stationary diffusers or blades. The types of Air Compressor we will focus on addressing today are Roary Screw and Reciprocating and they are part of the Positive Displacement Air Compressor Type-Family.

Rotary Screw Compressed Air Systems.

Rotary screw Air Compressors work by barricading air between two meshed rotors and reducing the volume of that trapped air as it moves through rotors. This directly results in the compression of air, which is most commonly used to power air tools, inflate tires, or in numerous other applications. The most common sizes of rotary screw air compressors are compressors with 80-gallon tanks, 120-gallon tanks and 240-gallon tanks.

Reciprocating Compressed Air Systems

In a Reciprocating Air Compressor, in short, use cylinders with pistons inside them to generate air. Gas enters a suction manifold, then flows into the compression cylinder where it gets compressed by a piston driven in a reciprocating motion via a crankshaft, and is then discharged. The most common applications for reciprocating air compressors include oil refineries, gas pipelines, chemical plants, natural gas processing plants, air conditioning, and refrigeration plants.

Tips to Make Sure Your Air Compressor Stays Well Maintained

1. Making sure your air compressor is the right size and capability for its intended use is arguably the most important step to guaranteeing your machine receives prior maintenance.

Powering a factory where thousands of hours of heavy duty operation are required of the machine, a much higher level of air compressor capability than powering small tools in a private wood shop is necessary. Likely, in situations where an air compressor will be powering a plant or factory of sorts, the largest size and capability of machine will be necessary and more often than not a secondary machine is absolutely necessary for backup. If you are not sure what capabilities you will need for a machine you are looking to purchase, or you are not sure if your current compressor is up to standard Industrial Service Components Inc. sales team has 30 years of experience with compressed air system sales, troubleshooting and standard maintenance procedure. Click Here To Learn More About The Options Available to You Today!

2. Evaluating the environment which you piece of equipment will be housed and operating in is the second most important part of making sure your air compressor stays well maintained.

When our service team is called to an emergency breakdown involving an air compressor we find that one of two major issues that are preventable are occurring. The first, is that the compressor being used to run operation in the facility is too small and lacks proper capability. The second and most common issue, is that the environment where the compressor is being operated is causing the compressor to build up blockage of sorts. A few of the many environments we run into are saw mills where the compressor is taking in a large amount of wood dust particles, concrete plants where calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron, among other ingredients, are being used in close proximity to the air compressor causing a stiff buildup in the machine of these various particles and facilities where sandblasting is taking place and air compressors are taking in sand and other related dust particles. While air compressors can function under these circumstances in these environments, it is very hard on the piece of equipment and regular maintenance will be required more often than on a machine that is operating in a clean environment. If you are not sure whether or not the environment your machine is operating in is clean enough for healthy operation of the machine or whether your machine should be getting scheduled more frequently than its current maintenance schedule allows, the service team at Industrial Service Components Inc is experienced with evaluation of operational environments and is ready to schedule an appointment to evaluate your facility today. Click Here to Contact a Our Maintenance and Troubleshooting Department About Scheduling an Evaluation by an Experienced Technician.

3. Understanding how many hours your machine is operating and at what capacity and scheduling regular maintenance accordingly is key to prolonging the mechanical lifespan of your piece of equipment.

Air Compressors not cheap, however, they are capable of operating for 10-15 years and sometimes longer when they are maintained regularly and operating at their most efficient capacity. The good news is, 40% of air compressor owners run their piece of equipment between 1-2 hours a day. We recommend that you schedule a service on a moderately used piece of equipment every 6 months to ensure that your machine maintains peak mechanical condition. For machines that operate 8 hours a day we recommend that you schedule a a regular maintenance service every 3 months. While scheduling a service with a professional is not cheap, it is the most cost efficient alternative to paying for an emergency breakdown repair which can rack up a bill into the $1000's or result in an entirely new piece of equipment needing to be purchased, which depending on the capability required can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of 3-50k.

Our service department can evaluate your machine and its operational environments as mentioned above and give you an honest estimate of how often we think your machine should be scheduled for regular maintenance. For large customers who need to operate as efficiently as possible and want worry free maintenance performed on their machine, we can schedule in an automatic service every 3, 6, 9 or even 12 months(for smaller machines that are used extremely infrequently). Click Here to Contact Our Service Department and Schedule Regular Routine Maintenance Today.


Industrial Service Components Inc has been locally owned and operated in the Vancouver, WA. , Portland OR and surrounding regions for 30 years. We have prospered as a company through multiple economic recessions because we provide a high quality service and sales team that provides solutions for our customers that keeps them coming back time and time again. We been a competitor with much larger companies and are well renowned by MANY large-scale customers in our area. Our priority as a company is to find a solution to any issue brought to our service and sales team first and foremost. We prioritize and take pride in supporting other locally owned and operated business when possible and giving business back to those who give business to us. If there is a need we have an answer to we are passionate about filling that need and building relationships with our patrons because we like to see most is familiar faces in our every day business encounters.

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