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AIR COMPRESSOR TIPS AND TRICKS BY WILLING SERVICE CORPORATION
Read And Follow Your Air Compressor’s Manual! Nothing stops an air compressor faster than an owner who doesn’t read the owner’s manual. There’s going to be some simple tips in there that will help you extend the life of your air compressor.
CHECKING EXISTING COMPRESSOR CAPACITY
COMMON LEAK PROBLEM AREAS
- COUPLINGS, HOSES, TUBES AND FITTINGS – Tubes and push-to-lock fittings are common problems.
- DISCONNECTS – O-rings required to complete the seal may be missing.
- FILTERS, REGULATORS AND LUBRICATORS (FRL’S) – Low first-cost improperly installed FRL’s often leak.
- OPEN CONDENSATE TRAPS – Improperly operating solenoids and dirty seals are often problem areas.
- PIPE JOINTS – Missed welds are a common problem.
- CONTROL AND SHUT-OFF VALVES – Worn packing through the stem can cause leaks.
- POINT OF USE DEVICES – Old or poorly maintained tools can have internal leaks.
- FLANGES – Missed welds are a common problem.
- CYLINDER ROD PACKING – Worn packing materials can cause leaks.
- THREAD SEALANTS – Incorrect and/or improperly applied thread sealants cause leaks.
ABOUT COMPRESSORS AND PUMPS
- COMPRESSORS – These are machines which compress air or gases from atmospheric pressure to a higher discharge pressure.
- BOOSTER COMPRESSORS – These are machines which compress air or gases from a pressure higher than atmospheric to a still higher discharge pressure.
- VACUUM PUMPS – These are machines designed for compressing air or gases from an initial pressure which is below atmospheric to a pressure which is at or close to atmospheric pressure.
- RECIPROCATING COMPRESSORS – These are positive displacement machines used to increase the pressure of a definite volume of gas by volume reduction. The compressing element is a simple piston which reciprocates back and forth in a cylinder.
DETERMINING ADDITIONAL COMPRESSED AIR REQUIRED TO BRING YOUR AIR SYSTEM BACK TO 100 PSIG
- CFM P2 | P1 | 653 (114.7) = 884 CFM | 84.7
Therefore, the total air capacity required to hold 100 PSIG is 884 CFM and the additional then is 884 – 653 or 231 cubic feet per minute. Additional compressed air is required to meet the current demand. Depending on the type of system and type of air supply, a “leakage” or “unload factor” should be added to any requirement. This is generally from 20% to 30% depending on the condition. Using a 20% extra capacity factor, the total air requirement would then be 884 x 1.20 = 1060 CFM
ANALYZING THE COST OF SYSTEM LEAKS
For example, assume the total receiver and piping of the system is 120 cubic feet. If the plant has a 90 second bleed down rate is 90 PSIG when no production air is being used, this is leakage. The calculated leakage capacity is as follows – (120) (114.7 – 104.7) (60) = 54 CFM | (90) 14.7
- TOTAL COMPRESSED AIR LEAKAGE = 54 CFM X 1.15 = 62 CFM – Add 15% to adjust for the higher leakage rate at the 120 PSIG to 90
- PSIG (30 PSIG x .5) – Any leakage rate beyond 5% of the total system should be corrected.
BASIC COMPRESSOR TIPS
- KEEP YOUR OIL COOLERS AND AFTER-COOLERS CLEAN!
- USE THE PROPER COOLANT!
- MAINTAIN THE APPROPRIATE COOLANT LEVEL!
- MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO AIR RESTRICTIONS ON THE INTAKE COOLING AIR!
- HAVE YOUR COOLERS CLEANED AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR. TRY TO SCHEDULE IT SO ONE OF THE CLEANINGS IS DONE RIGHT BEFORE SUMMER!
- MAKE SURE DISCHARGE TEMPERATURE IS WITHIN NORMAL RANGE (175° F TO 200° F)!