Many pieces of machinery rely on an air compressor to operate. Specifically, an air compressor is responsible for converting electric or gas power into energy in the form of highly pressurized air. However, because air compressors are relatively complex machines, they can run into problems from time to time. There are four common issues that you'll want to be able to troubleshoot if you plan on buying or renting an air compressor.
Unusual Noise While Operating
Any unusual noises, such as a clanking noise or any thuds should be noted and taken seriously. In regular operation, an air compressor may make a noise similar to a hiss, which is normal and a direct result of air pressure building up. If you notice any unusual noises, stop using the air compressor as soon as possible. You may have a loose clamp or pulley that needs to be tightened, a crankcase that needs to be replaced, or even a part that simply needs to be lubricated.
Excessive Consumption of Oil
Another problem that's relatively common when it comes to air compressors is that of the machine using more oil than usual. When this happens, there are a few possible causes. One common cause is that of a restricted air intake, which can be as simple a fix as replacing the air filter. An oil leak is another potential cause, which may require anything from the tightening of a bolt or the replacement of an entire gasket.
Compressor Will Not Operate
If the air compressor will not turn on at all, there are a few troubleshooting steps worth taking before you call the manufacturer or a repair expert. Start by checking the oil levels; the compressor will likely not operate if oil levels are too low, so top up if necessary and try starting the compressor again. You may also be dealing with a pressure problem, where the pressure levels in the tank are too high or too low to operate; this could require an adjustment in the pressure switch.
Usual Vibration of Compressor
Finally, if the compressor seems to be vibrating or there are vibration sounds coming from within, shut it off and check to see if there are any mounting bolts or belts. Tighten these as needed. If the problem still occurs, you could be dealing with an air compressor that was not properly mounted when it was installed, which may need to be fixed by a professional (such as one from Kruman Equipment Co.).