Sep 13, 2023

Common air compressor failures

When an air compressor shows an issue, one usually lacks all the knowledge or data needed to understand what’s happening and how to resolve it. Nevertheless, before calling the manufacturer’s Official Technical Service, we can consider several common causes of compressed air compressors that can be addressed firsthand.
1. The compressor won’t start

  • This can be due to an electrical problem or a lack of power. For instance, the thermal motor protector (common in many single-phase compressors) may have tripped…
  • It can also be because the air tank is full, and the pressure needs to drop to the minimum established level before the compressor can start again.

2. Overheating

A high temperature in the compressor room can significantly increase the energy cost of compressed air, lead to premature wear and potentially expensive breakdowns.

  • The compressor should always be placed in a clean, cool, dry, and well-ventilated location (cross-ventilation, sometimes forced, may be necessary), installed at a minimum of half a meter away from any wall.
  • The use of non-approved consumables or spare parts by the manufacturer can be another cause.
  • Failure to adhere to the equipment’s established maintenance intervals can lead to overheating and many other issues.

3. Excessive Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption can result from using lubricants and other consumables that are not approved by the manufacturer and are unsuitable for the equipment. Among other causes, you can find:

  • Leakage caused by damage to structural elements.
  • Leakage caused by overpressure.
  • Leakage caused by shutting off the compressor by cutting the power supply, i.e., using the emergency stop button. The shutdown procedure should be performed from the control panel or through automatic shutdown programming, remote controls designed by the manufacturer for such use, or remote management programs…
  • In portable and DIY compressors, if the transport oil plug has not been replaced with a breather.
  • In piston compressors specifically, excessive consumption can be due to the compressor operating beyond its technical specifications and enduring high and continuous stress points.

Once all of this has been taken into consideration, it’s crucial to have the manufacturer’s Technical Service phone number on hand, where their professionals are familiar with the compressor model and can quickly identify the cause and its solution. Downtime for a faulty compressor translates to a lack of power for the rest of the machinery, impacting the smooth operation of any business.