What are some preventable causes of air compressor failure?
Air compressors can fail for an assortment of different reasons: Normal wear and tear, lifespan and age of the unit, poor maintenance, power
surge, install issues are just a few the come to mind. When talking to our technicians, we asked what are the common preventable air
compressor failures they commonly see out in the field. The list below are those preventable causes that can
help save you the headache down the line.
1. Preventative Maintenance
The lack of preventative maintenance will create a whirlwind of issues leading to pre-mature failure of your air compressor. Using wrong
parts and filters can damage the internals of your air compressor. Using the wrong oil can create varnish on the inside of your air
compressor and start a very costly repair venture. Missing important inspections can lead to very costly repairs and even complete failure.
2. Oil Changes
Failure to perform regular oil changes and oil samples will cause your machine to pre-maturely fail due to overheating, varnishing,
pre-mature bearing failure, High TAN Levels, and corrosion.
Air compressors, like most other machinery, have an optimal operating temperature that the manufacturer has designed and engineered into the
machine for many operational reasons. When the machine starts to operate outside of those designed temperature ranges bearing failure and
oil breakdown start to happen.
4. Air Contamination
Rotary screw air compressors are among the most reliable, yet temperamental, machines that need clean air to start the compression process.
As air enters the air compressor, immediately, the air and oil join together. This air and oil joining process is critical to the longevity
and operation of the compressor. Any contaminates in the ambient air can mix with the oil and create additional chemical changes to the oil
along with physical changes to the oil that can drastically reduce the life of your compressor if not corrected sooner than later.
5. Coupling Alignment
Whether you own a piston air compressor, rotary screw air compressor, or a centrifugal air compressor, all these machines have some type of
coupling associated with them. Coupling alignments are one, if not the most important checks to prevent your air compressor from failing. A
misaligned coupling between your electric/ fuel powered motor and your compressing unit, will wear bearings prematurely, create vibration
issues and those vibrations will go throughout the machine creating many more issues. All of these issues because of a small vibration… or
is it because of the 0.09mm misalignment?
6. Electrical Issues
Electrical equipment is designed with very tight tolerances to be the most efficient. All electrical equipment has variances specified that
the equipment will work at, not the most efficiently, but they will work. When your air compressor is ran in the variance range, you start
to see issues arise. The air compressor can fail from the electric motor running low or high voltages, if the start contractors are not
fully seating you will see arcing which can lead to very hazardous failures in the compressor and possibly to you personnel and operations.
Electric motors are not cost friendly, no matter the size. Having a qualified air compressor service company and qualified electricians
perform routine electrical maintenance is well worth the investment.
7. Proper Installation
Placement of your air compressor is crucial to the livelihood of your entire compressed air system. It all starts from the Installation of
your air compressor. During the install a poor location choice that would introduce contaminated ambient air to be ingested into the air
compressor could start a ticking time bomb to the failure of your air compressor. Not verifying the proper coupling alignment after shipping
and receiving could create the sudden failure due to the bearings for both the electric motor and the compressing unit. Failing to properly
mount the air compressor to its permanent home can create damaging vibrations to go through the machine and create premature failure of
important components, cracks, and warping of components. Improper ventilation for the air compressor can cause overheating. Not verifying
the electrical specs and infrastructure are correct can cause critical failures that most likely will not be covered under warranty.
Who we are and how Ash Air can help your business!
Ash Air has been around in New Zealand since 1979, and we’ve grown into a nationwide company with international support and a
reputation for quality and reliability.We look after all things compressed air for your business!
Reciprocating, Screw, air compressors
An extensive line of air treatment components
Ash Air's range of Chicago Pneumatic, Alup, Pneumatech, and Quincy compressors are used extensively around the world in industries
ranging from oil and gas to food, automotive and farming, and we bring you these world class compressors here in the land of the long white
cloud.Our technicians are compressed air equipment experts and are dedicated to addressing customer needs. Supported by a 13 locations
nationwide, Ash Air offers one of the widest selections of compressed air equipment and parts available today in New Zealand.
Reliability and Efficiency
With Ash Air compressors, you can count on reliability and high performance for even the most demanding applications. We focus our
efforts on the following:
Air compressors are used in many different applications and provide essential compressed air to many businesses and individuals with
different air needs. No matter what your CFM, PSI and HP requirements are, the electronic controller on your air compressor is the
motherboard for keeping your unit running as efficiently as possible. It is your eyes into your machine.
The emergency stop, "e-stop", is for true emergency situations only. When hitting the e-stop, all power is halted from the machine
and the unload process isn't achieved. The emergency stop button is intended to help with possibly hazardous situations that are developing.
Common conditions of having to use the e-stop is the misuse of the equipment in ways that weren’t intended, predictable failures not
addressed or failing to consider all the foreseeable uses of the compressor. Read More…
Air compressors are helpful for an enormous range of applications such as air filling, packaging, tools, HVAC control, and more! One
possible drawback is the amount of electricity they use; air compressors can be a huge drain on energy if used inefficiently. If you are
running them too long, allowing leaks to exist, or using the wrong type of compressor, you are wasting energy and money. This article will
go over some of the biggest power-wasters and how to