Here are some great Air Compressor Trouble Shooting Tips
to help you or anyone providing the regular maintenance for your compressed air system.

Below are listed several very common problems, their probable cause and some usual remedies for the trouble.

Of course, there can be multiple problems and unique circumstances to every compressor issue…but these tend to solve the most common situations.

Low pressure at point of use

Probable Cause – Remedial Action

Leaks in distribution piping – Check lines, connections and valves for leaks

Clogged filter elements – Clean or replace filter elements

Fouled dryer heat exchanger – Clean heat exchanger

Low pressure at compressor discharge

See Below
Low pressure at compressor discharge

Probable Cause: Remedial Action

For systems with modulating load controls, improper adjustment of air capacity system:

Follow manufacturer’s recommendation for adjustment of air capacity system

Worn or broken valves Improper air pressure switch setting: Check valves and repair or replace as required

Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for setting air pressure switch

Improper air pressure switch setting: Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for setting air pressure switch

Water in lines

Probable Cause: Remedial Action

Failed condensate traps: Clean, repair, or replace the trap

Failed or undersized compressed air dryer: Repair or replace dryer.  If you do not have a Compressed Air Dryer, consider adding this equipment.

Liquid oil in air lines

Probable Cause: Remedial Action

Faulty air/oil separation: Check air/oil separation system; change separator element

Compressor oil level too high:  Follow manufacturer’s recommendation for proper oil level

Dirt, rust or scale in air lines

Probable Cause:  Remedial Action

In the absence of liquid water, normal aging of the air lines: Install filters at point of use

Excessive service to load/hour ratio

Probable Cause:  Remedial Action

System idling too much: For multiple compressor system: consider sequencing controls to minimize compressor idle time

Adjust idle time according to manufacturer’s recommendations

Improper pressure switch setting: Readjust according to manufacturer’s recommendations

Elevated compressor temperature

Probable Cause:  Remedial Action

Restricted airflow: Clean cooler exterior and check inlet filter mats

Restricted water flow

Remedial Action

Check water flow, pressure, and quality; clean heat exchanger as needed

Low oil level

Remedial Action

Check compressor oil level, add oil as required

Restricted oil flow

Remedial Action

Remove restriction, replace parts as required

Excessive ambient temperature

Remedial Action

Improper ventilation to compressor; check with manufacturer to determine maximum operating temperature.