Air Compressor Guide
Type of Compressors
Evaluating a Compressed Air System
Selecting an Air Compressor
Maintenance
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Glossary and Reference Data
 
 
 
 
 
Getting the Most for Your Money
How to Select and Protect Your Air Compressor Investment
Troubleshooting
 
     In a compressed air system, as in any plant system, problems occur during routine operation. Most of these problems are minor and can be corrected by simple adjustments, cleaning or replacing a part, or eliminating an adverse condition. Any major problem that may develop is generally related to improper cooling or lubrication, poor maintenance and operating practices, or misapplying the system.
 
 
     The troubleshooting chart below is not comprehensive, but indicates some common problems that can develop in compressed air systems using positive displacement compressors.
Troubleshooting Compressed Air Systems
Problem Probable Cause Remedial Action
Low pressure at point of use Leaks in distribution piping Check lines, connections and valves for leaks; clean or replace filter elements
a Clogged filter elements a
a Fouled dryer heat exchanger Clean heat exchanger
a Low pressure at compressor discharge See Below
Low pressure at compressor discharge  For systems with modulating load controls, improper adjustment of air capacity control  Follow manufacturer's recommendation for adjustment of control 
 
a Worn or broken valves Check valves and repair or replace as required
a Improper air pressure switch setting Follow manufacturer's recommendations for setting air pressure switch
Water in lines  Failed condensate traps  Clean, repair or replace the trap
a Failed or undersized compressed air dryer Repair or replace dryer
Liquid oil in air lines  Faulty air/oil separation 
 
Check air/oil separation system; change separator element 
Dirt, rust, or scale in air lines  In the absence of liquid water, normal aging of the air lines  Install filters at point of use 
Excessive service to load/hour ratio  System idling too much 
 
 
For multiple compressor systems, consider sequencing controls to minimize compressor idle time; Adjust idle time according to manufacturer's recommendations 
a Improper pressure switch setting Readjust according to manufacturer's recommendations
Elevated compressor temperature Restricted air flow Clean cooler exterior and check inlet filter mats
a Restricted water flow Check water flow, pressure, and quality; clean heat exchanger as needed
a Low oil level Check compressor oil level, add oil as required
a Restricted oil flow Remove restriction, replace parts as required
a Excessive ambient temperatures Improper ventilation to compressor; check with manufacturer to determine maximum operating temperature
 
Types of Compressors / Evaluating a Compressed Air System / Selecting an Air Compressor / Maintenance / Glossary and Reference Data
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