When you have expensive, heavy equipment, regular maintenance is important to keeping your business operationally efficient. Sometimes, it is not the equipment itself, but the compressor that runs it that is causing a problem. Here are a few tips to maintaining the compressors so the equipment will continue to perform the way you need it to.
Take a few minutes each day to listen to the compressor. You can tell a belt is getting loose when you hear it slipping. A leak will hiss and overheating may cause a vibrating sound. Most of these problems can be fixed quickly and easily if caught early. Other sounds to pay attention to include a grinding or friction noise, indicating the oil in the pistons is either low or dirty.
Check the Gauges
Look at each gauge as you pass by the machine. It is very seldom that a gauge will remain completely steady, with no small fluctuations. If the needle is not moving it could be stuck. Tap on the gauge and make an adjustment that would normally cause the reading to change. In most cases, increasing the speed of a machine will cause an increase reading on the gauges. If nothing changes, shut the machine down and replace the gauge.
Drain Excess Fluids and Clean Filters
A piston compressor has air and oil filters a separator and a small oil reservoir. These need to be drained and cleaned regularly to keep any contaminants from the oil. If even a small amount of grit gets into the piston chamber the walls can be etched. This will cause fluid to leak into areas it should not be decreasing the efficiency of the compressor and in turn slowing down your equipment. Dirt and debris in a filter will also cause the unit to overheat which may cause the compressor to stop working entirely.
Replace Gaskets and Clean Valves
If you notice a decrease in power, or hear a leak, it is probably time to replace the gaskets. When you take out the old ones be sure to clean the valves so the new ones sit right.
No matter what you are using the compressor for, if you do not keep it in good working condition, you may as well not be using it at all. Tools and equipment that are powered by it will not work up to their potential. Often, you will spend time and money trying to fix these units when the problem is with the compressor. It is a good idea to always check the compressor before taking apart a big piece of equipment.
For more information, check out companies such as Mac-Air Compressor Ltd.