Whether you operate a whole-shop compressor system with multiple hoses or several portable workhorses to take with you to construction sites, you’ll need to inspect and maintain your air compressors regularly to keep them in good working condition.
Follow the schedule below to catch any minor issues before they become serious — and expensive! — problems.
Some maintenance work should be done on a daily basis:
Daily Maintenance Checks
Check Pump Oil Levels. Like a truck’s engine, a compressor run without proper lubrication can cause serious damage and void your warranty. Each day before turning on your pump, get in the habit of checking the oil level before turning on the compressor.
Remove the fill cap, check the oil in the crankcase for debris and make sure the level is about halfway up the sight glass. Add or change oil as needed
Check for Other Leaks. Inspect the crankcase as well as the exterior for signs of air leaks on your air compressor.
Drain Excess Water From the Tank.
Do a Sound Check. When you turn on the compressor, listen for any strange banging sounds or anything out of the ordinary. You should also keep your ears open for any hissing sounds — a sure sign of an air leak.
Weekly tasks are easy to forget, but just as important as daily ones:
Weekly Maintenance Checks
Inspect Filters. If filters are clogged with dirt, your compressor won’t run efficiently. Clean or replace filters as needed for optimal performance.
Inspect Belts. Look over belts for signs of wear like cracking or stretching. Replace as necessary.
More durable equipment only requires one examination each month:
Monthly Maintenance Checks
Check the Safety Release Valve. Test the valve by pulling it out to make sure that it functions properly.
Check and Tighten All Bolts.
Check All Connections for Leaks.
Finally, an annual checkup is essential:
Annual Maintenance Checks
Have Your Compressor Tuned by a Professional. Even when you follow a comprehensive preventive maintenance schedule, you should have a professional service your compressor once a year to keep it in optimal running condition.
Just as you’d tune up your truck and get a new inspection sticker annually, you should take regular care of your equipment.
During your regular maintenance, you may find you need to top off the lubricant or replace filters or other parts. Follow your owner’s manual for the specifics on your piece of equipment during the first time you perform a minor repair or replacement, and you’ll be able to keep your compressor in good working order.
After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a lot of car repair bills, and you’ll keep your repair bills much lower by staying on top of the little things your compressor needs along the way.