The Complete Guide to Air Compressor Repair
Operators can opt for air compressor replacement or repair to significantly minimize breakdown-induced downtimes and costs. However, the choice depends on several factors, including the repair history, reliability, repair/replacement cost, and energy efficiency. Moreover, operators can fix minor issues in-house and take more complex ones to professionals for repairs. This article highlights some considerations for air compressor repairs and replacement and presents a guide to some common compressor repairs.
Air Compressor Repair vs. Replacement
Compressed air is essential for daily operations in several industrial applications. Thus, an air compressor breakdown-induced downtime is detrimental to operators due to lost production, increased costs, and reduced overall business efficiency.
Operators must choose between repairing or replacing the compressor to mitigate these adverse effects. However, several factors determine their choice, including compressor age, energy efficiency, repair history, overall reliability, and ultimately, repair/replacement costs.
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Factors to Consider
Moreover, operators may prioritize compressor repair over replacement if the current compressor is relatively new with few operational hours. Operators also consider newer technologies when deciding on repair or replacement: if newer air compressor models exhibit similar qualities to the damaged one, the operator may opt for repairs.
Another consideration includes the availability of spare parts for repair. Repair is more viable and less time-consuming when spare parts are readily available. Finally, the general reliability of the compressor is a significant factor that indicates the potential frequency of breakdowns. Repair is a better option for a reliable air compressor than outright replacement.
On the other hand, air compressor replacement may be the better option if the operator has experienced significant numbers of breakdowns, which is indicative of future ones. Moreover, the overall energy efficiency of newer compressor models can inform the operator to opt for replacement, as the new unit could offset procurement costs through electricity savings.
Furthermore, in the event of the non-availability of spare parts, compressor replacement seems like a more viable option. Lastly, after accounting for the current needs in an organization, it may become ideal for operators to replace a faulty compressor with a larger unit to cater to the increased organizational needs.
Consequently, replacing or repairing air compressor units are viable options in an organization. However, the operator must incorporate several relevant considerations into its choice. Although procuring a new compressor seems expensive initially, cost savings from decreased maintenance, increased reliability, and high efficiency will lead to reduced payback time. Notwithstanding, air compressor repair may be more viable in the light of prevalent conditions.
Common Air Compressor Repairs
Air compressors malfunction or break down when they cannot meet three primary requirements: adequate power, pressure maintenance, and proper airflow control. The prolonged absence of maintenance of the unit can lead to an explosion.
Although it is good practice to contract professionals for complex repairs, operators can also carry out common air compressor repairs. This includes repairing leaks, replacing unloader valves, adjusting airflow, restoring power, repairing electrical issues, and replacing broken intake filters.
To repair leakages in the unit, operators must first unplug every adjoining tool and hose and then start the air compressor booster to allow pressure to build. Next, the operator can apply soapy water solution around each fitting after sufficiently pressurizing the unit. Fittings with leakages will form bubbles, which is indicative of maintenance.
The operator can then depressurize the compressor to fix each leaking fittings with sufficient Teflon tapes. Moreover, the operator must repeat the entire process to confirm the presence or absence of any more leakages.
Replacing the Unloader Valve
Some faults require part replacement to repairs. For instance, a faulty unloader valve can lead to trapped air over the pistons, resulting in breaker trips at startup. Operators can address this issue by inspecting the valve, cleaning it, and, ultimately, replacing it with a new one, especially if the fault persists.
This air compressor repair significantly depends on adjusting the screws underneath the pressure maintaining valve. The top and bottom screws turn off and on the compressor, respectively. Adjusting the airflow includes turning on and off the compressor and using an extra upper screw for pressure control. Operators can adjust the pressure of the compressor and, correspondingly, the airflow by tightening or loosening the upper screw to get the ideal pressure.
Several considerations for restoring power to the compressor unit include fully plugging the compressor, ensuring the switch is on, resetting the system, the condition of the power source, and the presence of extensions. In addition, the operator must take the unit to technicians for professional repairs if all is in order.
Repairing Electrical Issues
Air compressors can persistently blow fuses and breakers. To mitigate this issue, operators must replace the use of extensions with direct connections to the power source. Additionally, loose capacitor wires and other forms of wear in old motors in the unit can blow fuses and breakers. Therefore, operators must identify old motor-induced breakdowns and replace them when required.
Replacing Broken Intake Filters
Like the unloading valve, operators must replace broken intake filters due to their importance to the entire unit. Since intake filters stick out from the compressor, they are susceptible to damage. Operators must find filters with similar thread and portal sizes and the diameter to replace damaged ones in the system.
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NiGen is dedicated to offering clients air compressor repair and replacement services that meet the highest industry standards. Whether you want to repair or replace your industrial portable air compressor, we provide industry-leading procurement and maintenance services on several compressor types and brands.
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