Things to Check Before You Replace Your Air Compressor

Air compressors power many types of machines and processes in industrial operations, and many other industries. This is why any downtime related to equipment failure can adversely affect productivity, reliability, and the company’s bottom line. While you can do many precautions to prevent this, it’s also inevitable. No matter how good maintenance is, any piece of equipment will fail from time to time since its components will eventually start to wear out. 

When air compressors become unreliable, people start to consider two choices: repair or replacement. These types of equipment are big investments, so it’s crucial to weigh each one carefully. Repairing worn-out parts may be the more cost-efficient alternative for now, but it might cost you more in the long run. Meanwhile, to avoid incurring more problems you just buy a new one, but it may be an unnecessary purchase.

To help make a smart decision, there are some factors you need to understand. Read on to learn more about them.

Inspect and Troubleshoot First

Before you decide to replace your existing air compressor, it’s best to check out the system thoroughly first, just in case the problems can be easily fixed. This way you won’t have to spend more money than needed. Remember, a breakdown can be caused by various problems, but not every one of them is repairable. Here’s a quick rundown of common issues that have simpler solutions:

Check the Power Connections

Failing to start is one of the most common air compressor problems you can encounter. Many would assume that the entire machine just gave out, but they just overlook the power connections or deactivated the power switch.

It’s essential to always make sure that the power cords are properly connected, and the breaker is on. If the system still won’t turn on, check the cords if they’re in good condition. If not, you can easily replace them with new ones.

Inspect the Hoses

Hoses are some of the most vulnerable parts of the air compressor. They’re under constant stress during operations since they’re the ones that transfer the pressurized air from the machine to the endpoint. This means that they’ll eventually start to show strain over time. Once they’re completely worn out, they’ll start to bend and fold, leaving behind creases that can turn into holes that cause air leaks.

If you notice faulty hoses, you should replace them immediately. If not, it can render your entire system inefficient.

Replace the Intake Valves

Unlike other issues, pressure and flow problems are more subtle. The system may appear to be running normally as usual, but when you look closely you might notice that the pressure doesn’t reach the required PSI. This is usually a result when your intake valves are compromised.

These components can also be easily replaced with new ones. But if you want to prevent this from happening, it’s best to clean them regularly to make sure that the vents won’t get clogged.

When to Buy a New One?

Sure, a new air compressor would surely carry a hefty price tag at first. But when you factor in energy savings, increased reliability, and decreased maintenance cost, the ROI is shorter than you think. You should also consider the devastating costs of more shutdowns and delays if it’s not replaced immediately.

Knowing when’s the best time to replace an old unit is easy if you know what to look for. Here are some of the most common telltale signs that your unit is in its last legs:

Constant Breakdowns

Repairs may seem less expensive, but if it’s needed constantly, the cost will add up. When your system has already broken-down multiple times within a few months, it’s best to buy a new one instead of regularly spending money on maintenance services that often lead to the same problems.

Oil and Metal Deposits

Lubricating the system is essential since it helps everything efficiently without any hindrances. If the oil isn’t changed on time, it can lose its viscosity. This will cause too much metal friction. The constant grinding will chip off small metal pieces. Eventually, you’ll start to see metal and oil deposits in places where they’re not supposed to be.

When this happens, you’ll likely have to replace a lot of things since the damage may be irreversible. Instead of doing this, it would be much more economical to buy a new air compressor.

High Energy Consumption

The cost of running an air compressor isn’t just related to its initial price tag, it’s also related to your energy bill. Older models tend to have lower energy efficiency than new ones. And the more they get used, the less efficient they become. 

To repair or to replace. There are many things to consider when choosing which one’s the best for your current situation. Hopefully, this guide will help you get through the process. If you want to learn more about the benefits of each alternative, talk to our experts.