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Maintaining Your Compressed Air System

It is important to maintain all equipment in the compressed air according to the manufacturers' specifications. This is especially true for the recommended inspection, testing, maintenance, and service schedules specified in operating manuals.

  • Leaks on compressors increase operating costs and interfere with control systems.
  • Plugged coolers can cause moisture problems, which in turn may lead to open drainage and higher air flows.
  • Oil separator differential increases power consumption.

From an energy efficiency perspective, in many cases, it is wise to maintain equipment more frequently than the recommended intervals. This is especially true for managing air leaks, high pressures, moisture and controls.

Figure 27 lists some maintenance tips (aimed at rotary screw compressor systems) for you to consider.

Remember, that the points shown in Figure 27 do not replace the items listed in manufacturers' manuals.

Figure 27 - Preventative Maintenance Checklist Considerations
Frequency or Running Hours Action
  • After normal start procedure, check control panel and gauges.
  • Using a log book, record pressures, cooling water temperature.
  • Check for abnormalities compared to previous days’ operations.
  • Inspect for Air Leaks (fittings, cracked hoses)
  • Inspect and replace filters if necessary
  • Check and adjust air regulators
  • Check and adjust system pressures
  • Check and adjust refrigerated dryer set points
Every 3,000 hours
  • Check and replace filter element
  • Check/change sump-breather filter element
  • Check/clean condensate drain valves
  • Inspect the condition of shaft couplings and fasteners
  • Apply the specified quantity and type of lubricating grease for motor bearings
Every 15,000 hours
  • Test all safety devices
  • Inspect and clean heat exchangers
  • Check and clean blowdown valves, check valves, interstage pipe works, isolation mounts
  • Inspect and clean lubricant sump check valves and strainers

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