So, you got yourself an air compressor for all those handy tasks at home, did you? Firstly, well done! Let’s face it, it looks impressive in your garage and instantly makes you look like you are a proper DIY expert and all-round handy person… even without switching anything on yet!

a blue Nuair air compressor in the Metro Sales air compressor centre in Surrey

Compressor Maintenance 101

From inflating tyres to powering pneumatic (air) tools, your trusty air compressor is a real workhorse. That’s why we need to treat it with the care it deserves for making our lives so much easier. For this reason, we have put together this simple guide on how to keep your air compressor in tip-top condition. After all, to get the very best out of it, it needs a little TLC from time to time (don’t we all?!).

1. Read the Manual

Don’t roll your eyes! We know you don’t like reading the manual and we promise that it doesn’t make you less of a person if you do. In fact, the manual is like the user-friendly roadmap to understanding your machine. It often comes with advice from the manufacturer about safety precautions and maintenance guidelines – and nobody knows your air compressor like the manufacturer!

2. Drain the Compressor

An important part of maintaining your compressor is to regularly drain the receiver (tank). In use, the compressor will generate some moisture as well as air due to ambient temperature of the air being compressed, heat from the motor & pump and so on. If not removed regularly it will build up and can cause issues as well as reducing storage as water cannot be compressed, making the unit less efficient. A quick check once a week should suffice unless it is a larger compressor running hard all day long.

How often should you drain your compressor?

Please take a look at the PCL video, it’s method of draining manually is fairly similar on most compressors, best checked with little or no residual pressure.

3. Check the Filter

Once again you may want to refer to your user manual to learn where the inlet filter in your air compressor is located. Think of the air filter as your compressor’s lungs. Over time, it can become clogged with dust and debris, restricting airflow and reducing performance. It’s usually a very simple task to clean the filter. Simply remove all the dust and debris from the filter and pop it back in. If the filter is damaged, it’s time to get a replacement one to install. 

4. Monitor the Belt

Next on the air compressor maintenance list is to check the belt. Now, it may be the case that your compressor doesn’t have a belt if you have a direct drive model. However, if you do have a belt driven compressor, you will most likely find it located inside a fan guard for Safety. It’s worth taking a note of the belt number, usually printed on it. They are not the same as a fan belt on cars but will be available from an Authorised Dealer for the maker of your unit. 

5. Change the Oil

If you have an air compressor that needs oil, it should be changed 6 monthly or yearly depending on use. Please make sure you top up or change using the correct oil specified by the manufacturer in the handbook. Compressor oil has Special ingredients such as dispersants and detergents within it, which lose effectiveness over time. When this happens, the oil won’t work as well in providing proper lubrication. 

It’s important to not overfill your machine with oil too. Most compressors have an oil viewing window. You should always try and keep the oil at a level that is no higher than halfway up the viewing window. Too much oil will result in your compressor not functioning as well as it should.

Below is a quick video on how to typically fill a compressor with oil.

6. Listen for Leaks

The best way to tell if your air compressor or air hose have a leak is simply by listening. Listen carefully around the compressor and hose for a “hissing” sound – this will be the sound of air escaping. Failing that, you can get a special aerosol spray to help find the leak.

Make sure all connections and fastenings are tight if you do detect a leak. It’s also a good idea to swap to another air hose if you are unsure where the hissing is coming from, this will rule out whether it is the hose that air is escaping from.

If you think the leak is coming from your air compressor and you’ve tried everything you can think of to stop it, then please give us a call: 01932 348777 we offer an air compressor repair service in and around Surrey. 

Get your Air Compressor Serviced by a Professional

For any business that relies on compressed air, it is important to have your compressor serviced every 12 months as a minimum. If you do not have the time and/or the knowhow in carrying out a proper servicing for an air compressor, then please get in touch as this is a service that we offer here at Metro Sales.