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3-Step Guide To Troubleshooting Simple Problems With Your Air Compressor's Pressure

While using your air compressor, you may have noticed that the pressure is no longer strong enough to operate your tools or inflate a tire. If so, use the following three-step guide for troubleshooting and fixing simple problems with your air compressor's pressure.

Step 1:  Check The Hose And Its Fittings

The first things you need to do when checking for your compressor's reduction in pressure are the air hose and its fittings. If the hose has a hole in it or fittings are not tight, the loss of compression will result in less air pressure reaching the nozzle.

Use your hand to determine if the fittings feel loose. If any air is felt, use an adjustable wrench to hand-tighten them. Make sure you do not tighten them too much, however, because the metal could cut into the hose.

After making sure the fittings are tight, check for holes in the hose. One way to do this is to place the hose in a tub or bucket of water while the air compressor is on. Look for any air bubbles.

If you see any, locate their source and pull it out of the water. Dry the hose completely with a towel and wrap duct tape around the area.

Test the air compressor to see if there is any improvement in the pressure. If not, go on to the next step.

Step 2:  Drain Water From The Tank

As the air compressor pulls outside air through it and heats it up, moisture can collect inside of the tank. If the water builds up too much, it can displace the air pressure inside the tank, resulting in reduced pressure coming out of the nozzle. 

To remedy this problem, drain out the excess water through the drainage valve located on the bottom of the tank. Before you do this, turn off the air compressor and loosen the fittings to reduce the amount of pressure inside of the tank to prevent the water from spraying out too forcibly.

Even after loosening the fittings, make sure your face is not too close to the drainage valve while you remove it. The water could still be under a lot of pressure.

After the water has drained out of the tank, replace the valve and tighten the fittings. Then, turn on and test the compressor. If there is no improvement, move on to the third step.

Step 3:  Clean The Heat Exchangers

The heat exchangers on the top of the air compressor pull in air from the outside of the tank and heat it. They then release the cool air, keeping the pressurized air at a constant temperature. When these become dirty, however, the temperatures fluctuate and affect the amount of air pressure.

Cleaning the heat exchangers could help stabilize the pressure. Depending on the model you have, there may be one or two glass tubes. Find them on the top of the compressor.

Turn off the air compressor and loosen the exchangers' fittings using an adjustable wrench. You will hear air leaking out as the pressure is released. Wait until you no longer hear the air escaping before going any further.

Carefully remove the tube or tubes. Run clean water through them and let them air dry for two hours. Then, replace them and test the air compressor. 

After going through the above steps, you may not be able to figure out the reason for the decrease in pressure. If so, you may want to speak to a representative from your air compressor's manufacturer to see if they may be able to recommend other steps you can take to diagnose and solve the problem. You can also contact a compressor repair company like Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc.