Air compressors are very important tools that are used for many different applications. Autobody shops, manufacturing facilities, farms, and countless other businesses need air compressors to handle various tasks that they encounter on a daily basis. The wide range of industries depending on air compressors is one of the reasons that global companies spend over $32 billion a year on them.
Unfortunately, air compressors are not infallible. A number of problems can occur, which require troubleshooting to resolve. If you don’t fix problems with your air compressors early on, you will end up running into even bigger issues down the road.
Here are some of the most common air compressor issues and the steps that you need to take to fix them. You might also want to have the right air compressor parts on hand in case you need to repair your air compressor.
The air compressor does not start at all
You might have tried turning on your air compressor and noticed that nothing happens. This might seem like the worst problem that you can possibly encounter, but it is often the least serious.
The reason that it is not always a very serious problem is that it is often simply due to a problem with the power supply. One of the most common reasons air compressors don’t start is that they just are not turned on. You can simply flip the on the switch and it will start operating. In other situations, you might just need to hit the reset button.
Unfortunately, the solution is not always that easy. Although one of the most frequent reasons that air compressors don’t operate is that the power supply is disconnected, there could be other issues as well. You might also have to check the oil level. Oil might need to be replaced if these levels are low.
You might also have to check the pressure switch if the power is turned on and the oil level seems sufficient. Toggling the pressure switch could make the problem better.
The air compressor is making a lot of noise when it is in operation
Another issue that you might encounter is that the air compressor is going to make a lot of noise when you turn it on. There could be a number of reasons this might happen. One of the biggest reasons is that the pulley, belt, or flywheel is loose. You are going to need to check any loose ends on these parts and tighten them.
Another common reason an air compressor might be making a lot of noise is that there is not enough oil in the crankcase. It is very important to take care of this problem as promptly as possible. Insufficient oil usually leads to poor lubrication, which can cause damage to the bearings. You need to add more oil to resolve this issue.
Another common problem is that the piston might be striking the valve plate. This is another issue that can be very expensive if it is not fixed. You might need to take out the head of the compressor cylinder and see if there is any corrosion or objects on top of the piston. Any foreign objects will need to be removed because they might be adding height to the piston and causing it to strike the valve plate. You might also need to replace the gasket and reassemble the head of the piston cylinder.
The air compressor is making knocking sounds
Another common problem is that the air compressor sometimes makes knocking sounds. The troubleshooting approach that you need to take here is going to depend on when the sounds are taking place.
If the sounds happen when the air compressor is operating at its regular speed, then the problem might be the main bearings, connecting rod bearings, or a loose flywheel. You might need to replace the bearings or tighten the flywheel to fix this problem.
If the sounds happen when the air compressor is just starting to load, then the problems might be the rod bearings, wrist pin, or connecting rod nut. You might need to try tightening the rod nut or replacing the wrist pins or bearings to fix the problem.
The oil reservoir has milky oil in it
You might notice that the oil in the oil reservoir looks milky. This can be a very big problem because it means that water is entering the reservoir, which can cause serious damage to the system if it is not fixed.
You want to start by finding an air source with less humidity. You might also want to change the service unit more frequently and train the tank every day.