Getting the Most from Your Compressor in a Breathing Air Application


Experience has shown there is a monumental difference in the life of a compressor that is neglected versus a compressor that receives copious amounts of "Tender Love & Care (TLC)". At Stark Industries, we have seen as much as four times the service life for the compressor that gets TLC. With that in mind there are many things the operator can do to extend the life and minimize the down time. Here are just a few:

Make sure your compressor is getting a continuous supply of cool clean air. Compressors generate heat. That heat must be carried away. Heat exchangers on compressor must be inspected regularly for dirt and airflow blockage. Monitor the air temperature around the compressor periodically so that sudden changes can be recognized as abnormal.
Like an automobile - - - your compressor must have frequent changes of the correct type of oil. Synthetics are the best but come in many grades and brands. Make sure you know which oil is best by consulting a qualified compressor service shop. Keep the oil level at or near the high mark and monitor the oil pressure daily or more often in heavy use situations.
Compressors give off heat. Dust and grime are attracted to heat. Keep your compressor squeaky clean - - - especially the intercooler fins and tubing. Some compressors are better than others for transferring heat away from the cylinders. Aluminum construction of compressors greatly enhances the cooling process, but they still must be kept clean.
If you expect your compressor to serve you when you need it, you must schedule periodic inspections. Inter-stage pressures, belt tightness & condition, vibrating parts or tubing, air or oil leaks, signs of excessive heat (discolored paint), or unusual noises, are just a few things to look for.
Compressor valves
Carbon forms on the valves (especially the discharge). Clean or replace them (especially the final stage) according to the recommended intervals in the service manual.
Drain valves
drain valves
Whether manual or automatic, valves must be checked to make sure they are not leaking when closed and that all of the stages discharge condensate when opened. Watch for excess oil in the condensate - - - this is a sign of worn rings and/or cylinder wear.
Bauer ® compressors
Bauer compressors
The Bauer design uses steel fittings in aluminum parts which can cause galvanic corrosion. It is advisable to remove these fittings, apply anti-seize compound and replace them. This preventive maintenance will provide for easy removal of the fittings for service later without stripping threads.
Exploded Tank
High pressure compressor applications (breathing air compressors) add an enhanced Air tanks exploded with a breathing air compressor testlevel of maintenance requirements due to the inherent dangers of high pressure air. Special care should be given to inspection of hoses, cylinders and compressor blocks. A failure at high pressure can cause tremendous damage and potentially cause great injury or death. There is no need for senseless accidents if the properly designed, sized and maintained equipment is used.
Training is an important factor in the proper use and maintenance of high pressureTraining for breathing air compressors compressors. Make sure that the supplier you depend on is able to provide you with training that covers all aspects of breathing air compressor ownership. Proper use and proper maintenance means safe operation, higher profits, and less downtime for repairs.

There is much, much more - - - feel free to contact us for in depth analysis and recommendations.


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