How do I Protect my Air Compressor From Leaks?
Establishing a Leak Prevention Plan
Air compressor leaks can be a substantial source of wasted energy in any system, sometimes wasting 20-30% of a compressor's production.
Worst of all, a poorly maintained compressor can have a leak rate expected to equal 20% of total compressed air production capacity. A
compressor leak produces a drop in the systems pressure, which causes tools to operate less efficiently, run longer, and shortens the life
span of that tool. Increased run-time adds more strain to the system and can lead to additional maintenance and unscheduled downtime.
Let's Make A Plan
A leak repair program is critical in maintaining the efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness of any compressed air system. Below are a few steps to implement a program in your shop.
1. Leak Identifications: Your operation should establish a program to find and reduce leaks. This can be as simple as walking the facility during a non-production period and addressing the audible leaks, using a solution of soap and water to visibly identify leaks, or by using an ultrasonic leak detector to more accurately identify the source of an air leak and to detect the inaudible leaks.
2. Seek, tag & repair the leak: Now that you've located the leaks and "tagged" them, schedule them to be repaired. Once repaired, make sure you run an audit to ensure the leak has been patched and operations are running efficiently. Documented leak repair program is insightful on finding root causes of leakages, and where leaks occur frequently and which component fails fast.
3. Employee Education: One method of reducing air leaks or inappropriate uses of compressed air is employee
education. Educate your employees about how much a leak can cost the company. Some facilities have even adopted programs rewarding
employees for reporting air leaks or reducing compressed air demand for their departments. Air leaks and inefficient compressed air
uses will continue to develop so it is important to recognize they should also be addressed regularly. A leak prevention program should be
part of an overall program aimed at improving the performance of compressed air systems.