4 Causes Of Air Compressors Failing To Produce Correct Pressure Rating

Maintaining accurate and fully operational air compressors directly contributes to your factory's ability to create products to exact specifications. Therefore, if your company's air compressors start malfunctioning, you must promptly track down and repair the problem. Unfortunately, despite its simplicity on the outside, there are a wide range of parts to consider when industrial compressors fail to deliver the right amount of air pressure. Starting with the most common failure points puts you on track to solving the problem in a timely manner.

Streamlining the repair process not only protects your product quality and worker productivity, but it can also save you from purchasing unnecessary replacement components. Here are four areas to check during the initial diagnostic process.

Broken Gauge

Your gauge should move smoothly and evenly through the readings from zero to 100 to 300 PSI, depending on your air compressor model. When the gauge is broken, your workers will initially notice that the airflow does not seem to match the reading on the dial. The hand on the gauge may stick at a particular number, bounce around erratically or fail to respond at all. If this happens, you likely need to source a new gauge from the manufacturer. Although you can often use aftermarket gauges on your air compressor, sourcing OEM components can streamline the repair process.

Motor Brush Damage

The pump inside your air compressor uses a set of carbon brushes to send electricity through the motor by way of the commutator. As this happens, power flows through the system, enabling the air compressor tank to build an appropriate amount of pressure. As the brushes wear down, their ability to produce electricity slowly decreases. At that point, the compressor pump often struggles to maintain tank pressure, especially while workers are using the air hoses. Eventually, the motor will stop running altogether when the brushes cannot make a secure connection with the commutator.  

Defective Capacitor

The capacitor on the electric motor controls the magnetic field created by the inner windings. As the capacitor reaches its service limits, it may start to malfunction, causing the system to produce a limited amount of power. The problem may initially present intermittently, making it difficult to assess the problem without diagnostic equipment. Thankfully, you can easily test the capacitor at the first sign of a problem and throughout the diagnostic process using a simple multimeter. As you watch the dial on your multimeter, verify the ohms rose quickly, and then gradually went back down to the starting point.

Moisture In the Tank

A small amount of moisture in the tank of your air compressor is completely normal and expected. The moisture quickly develops from condensation brought on by rapid pressure-related temperature changes. The problem starts when too much moisture builds up inside the tank, reducing its ability to hold the proper amount of air pressure. You can measure the amount of water inside the tank by opening up the relief valve on the bottom. You should not see water pour out of the tank at a rapid pace. Instead, the system should slowly drip out water for a minute or two, and then stop completely.

Fixing The Cause

When dealing with gauges, brushes or capacitors at the end of their service life, you may need to perform a simple part replacement to rectify the problem. You will need to disassemble the affected components and perform a full inspection to spot other parts possibly contributing to the problem. When looking over parts known to wear down over time, compare the current specifications to the service limits provided by the manufacturer to determine if you need to replace that particular component.

To eliminate moisture accumulation in the tank, you may need to enact new operating procedures for your workers. Instruct your workers to release all of the air in the tank at the end of the workday and leave the lower plug open. At the start of the next day, workers can tighten up the lower release plug before switching the equipment to the on position. Contact professionals, like those at Kruman Equipment Co., for additional information on your air compressors.