As compressed air lines age, dirt can accumulate in the air lines and rust can be caused by water carried over to the piping system. To prevent damage to your equipment, install filters at the point of use. When replacing or adding piping, consider the use of copper or extruded aluminum piping which will not rust. Adding a dryer to remove water before the air enters the piping system will reduce rust problems.
All lubricated compressors send oil downstream. The quantity will depend on the type of compressor. In a rotary screw compressor, oil in the lines may be due to faulty separation equipment or a compressor oil level that’s too high. Check the air/oil separation system and change the separator element if necessary. Also follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper oil level. In a reciprocating compressor, the force feed lubricator may be set at an excessive level. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for proper feed rate. If oil carryover continues to be a problem, you may need to add a coalescing filter to your system.
For systems with modulating load controls, the air capacity control system may not be adjusted properly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for adjustment of the modulation system. In reciprocating compressors, another cause may be worn or broken valves or the wrong setting on your air pressure switch. Check the valves and repair or replace as required. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for setting the air pressure switch. If none of the above solves the problem, the low-pressure problem may be caused by an undersized compressor. You may require additional capacity (CFM) to maintain the desired system pressure.
Low pressure can be caused by a number of factors. You may have air leaks in the distribution piping or clogged filter elements. The pressure at the compressor discharge may not be sufficient to overcome system pressure drop. Check the lines, connections and valves for leaks. Clean or replace filter elements. Raise the compressor discharge pressure as a last resort.
Poor Air = Repair Cost + Replacement Cost + Lost Production.
Condensation in the tank and air lines is a natural occurrence when compressing air. To prevent water in the lines, drain the air receiver frequently to eliminate the condensate. Consider adding an automatic drain to eliminate the manual process of draining the tank. Add a moisture separator to your air line and drain on a regular basis. If you have an air dryer, water in the lines may be a sign that you need to repair or replace your dryer. Have the dryer serviced to see if that eliminates the water problem.
Washing away of required lubrication, increased maintenance, sluggish pneumatic equipment, rust, instrumentation clogs, paint spotting, airline freeze-up and dramatically shortened tool life.
Elevated compressor temperature may be caused by restricted air, water or oil flow, a low oil level, or excessive ambient temperature. Check the water flow, pressure and quality, and clean the heat exchanger as needed. Check the compressor oil level and add oil as required. Remove any flow restrictions and replace parts if necessary. Make sure your compressor and compressor room are properly ventilated. Check with the manufacturer to determine the maximum operating temperature.