could your company benefit from a generator?

Answers To Common Questions About Your Shop's New Air Compressor

by Luke Lawson

If you've just invested in your first air compressor for your shop, you may be wondering about the best ways to take care of it so that you get the longest possible life from it. In fact, there are several questions that most first-time compressor owners often ask. Understanding the basics of these compressors and the answers to these common questions can help you take proper care of your new air compressor so you can reap the benefits of the machine for a long time.

What's the Big Deal about Water Not Draining?

The tanks of most air compressors contain a steel inner liner. This makes the tank interior prone to rust and corrosion any time there's moisture left inside. If you are looking to get a long lifespan from your air compressor investment, you'll want to be sure that the water is draining the way that it is intended to.

Most compressors require you to manually drain the water frequently, but there are also drain valves that you can install if you're interested in automating the process. Here are a few different types of drain valves you can consider:

  1. Float-Operated Valves: A float-operated drain valve is activated by a float system that opens the drain when the internal float reaches the predetermined level. As the water in the compressor tank accumulates, the float rises until the mark is reached.
  2. Electronic, Programmable Valves: These valves use a solenoid that has an integrated timer. The timer activates according to its advanced programming so that it opens the drain at your programmed intervals. This is great for situations where you want the tank to automatically drain at specific times, such as once a day or every other day. Just keep in mind that these systems need an electricity source to function properly.
  3. Electric Sensor Valves: These valves use a probe fitted with a sensor to activate the drain when water levels hit a specific boundary in the compressor. For this type of valve to work properly, you must plug the sensor in to an electrical outlet for consistent power.

Why Should You Care if Water is in the Lines?

You'll find water in your air compressor's lines for two primary reasons. First, it can happen as a result of a failing condensate trap.  If this happens, you can clean out the trap or replace it with a brand new one. Another cause of water settling in the lines is due to problems with the air dryer. If an air dryer is failing, you'll need to replace it with a new one. The best course of action is to opt for a larger one instead. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to reach out to an air conditioning technician to help you choose the right one for your needs.

How Often Should You Replace the Air Filter?

Most air compressor models are fitted with a filter through which all of the inbound air passes. This ensures that all of the air reaching the inside of the compressor is free of any debris or particles. The role the filter plays is important enough that you must make sure that to keep it clean. Check the filter frequently and either clean or replace it as necessary.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when you buy your first air compressor for your shop. With the information presented here and some advanced preparation, you can keep your compressor functioning at its best and responding well when you need it the most. If you have other questions about maintaining your air compressor, talk with a supplier or maintenance technician who can help you. You can also visit a site like to learn more about the types of air compressors available to you.