Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Air Compressors

Whether you're new to having an air compressor in your shop or you are just unfamiliar with the process of caring for one, there are some common questions that most air compressor owners find themselves asking at one time or another. The more you know about your compressor's operation and care, the better equipped you will be to keep it running at its best and to deal with problems if they arise. Here are some of the most common questions that you may have when you own an air compressor, and some clear answers to help you address them.

How Often Should You Check The Air Intake Filter?

Many air compressors come equipped with an air intake filter that ensures that the air coming into the compressor is clean and free of contaminants. As a result, it's important to keep the filter clean so that you ensure a steady flow of air to your compressor.

Depending on how often you use the compressor, you may find that you only need to check the filter once a week. During times of heavy use, such as several hours a day, you'll want to check it and clean it every couple of days. Also, make sure that you replace it any time you see physical damage such as tears or holes.

Should You Be Concerned About Water in the Air Lines?

There are two common reasons to find water in the lines of your air compressor. Sometimes, the condensate trap may fail. If this is the case, you can clean the trap out or install a new one. If the problem isn't the condensate trap, it's likely an issue with the air dryer. In that case, you'll probably need to replace the dryer with a larger unit. You'll probably need a technician to help you choose and install the right one if you have to upgrade the dryer.

Why Does it Matter if The Water Isn't Draining From the Compressor?

Most air compressor tanks are crafted with steel liners. This means that any time moisture is left inside the tank, it can lead to rust. If you want to keep your air compressor working at its best, it is in your best interest to make sure that the water is draining from the tank properly. Most compressors require you to drain the water from the tank regularly, but you can install an automatic drain valve if you have trouble remembering to drain it. You can also invest in an air dryer to help keep the tank dry.

What Kinds of Drain Valves Are There?

In addition to manual drain valves, there are three primary types of automatic drain valves. Understanding each one can help you choose the best one for your compressor.

Float-Operated Drain Valves – Float-operated drains rely on a float system that activates the drain valve when a small float inside the tank reaches a certain level. The float will rise as the water in the tank builds up, activating the drain automatically when there is too much water built up inside the compressor tank.

Electronic Timer Valves – Timer drain valves use a solenoid valve with an electronic timer integrated. This timer triggers the valve to open it at predetermined intervals. That way, you can tell the valve how frequently you want the water to drain and it will do the work for you. These timer valves need electrical power to keep them functioning properly.

Electric Sensor Drain Valves – electric sensor drain valves rely on a probe with a sensor on it to trigger the drain when the water level is high enough that it contacts the sensor. These drain valves need to be plugged into an electrical outlet for them to work correctly.

As you can see, there are many questions to consider when you're investing in or new to owning an air compressor. With the information here, you can keep your compressor running at its best for as long as possible. Visit to learn more.