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What is an Air Compressor?
It is a device which converts power (electric, gas, diesel) to potential energy stored as pressurized air. By one of several methods, an air compressor forces more and more air into a storage tank thus increasing air pressure to a desired amount.
What is the difference between a reciprocating compressor and a rotary screw compressor?
A reciprocating compressor is a positive displacement compressor that uses a piston and internal valving to compress air, The piston moves up and down similar to a car engine. A rotary screw compressor uses two twin screws which ingest air at atmospheric pressure and squeeze the air to create pressure which typically exits at 90-120PSI
Which compressor is better - reciprocating or rotary screw?
Each style compressor has certain applications which they are better suited for. A reciprocating compressor is typically more forgiving to dirtier environments and is not best suited for constant run conditions. Reciprocating compressors generally require more periodic maintenance than rotary screws.
Rotary screw compressors are quieter to operate and generally work best when they run full shifts. They also work better in cleaner areas and require less maintenance, usually consisting of periodic oil filter, air filter and air/oil separator changes.
How often should I change my compressor oil?
Most manufacturers recommend changing oil after the first 50 hours of operation. After the initial break-in period, consult your compressor manual and follow the suggested intervals.
Synthetic Oils can extend oil change intervals to between 4000-8000 hours of operation.
How often should I change my air filter?
Most manufacturers will recommend 1 to 2 times annually. This will vary depending on how dirty the work environment is. As an example, a woodshop's air intake will be filled with particals of wood dust and will clog a filter more quickly that a medical research lab.
Inspect air filters regularly and change when dirty or clogged. A good indicator is when your running temperature is higher than usual.
How often should I drain my receiver tank?
Drain your tank at the end of each shift to avoid condensation downstream and rust.
It is suggested to install an autodrain to eliminate operator error. A $150.00 investment can save a lot of downtime and expense right from the initial investment. The autodrain should be routed to an oil/water separator to collect bypass oil prior to discharging the drain water. Unfiltered drain water cannot be discharged legally due to the oil which is mixed with condensate.