Is Your Air Compressor Using More Oil Than Normal? Find Out The Reasons Why

26 May 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Articles

Oil plays an important role in your commercial air compressor. It helps prevent air leakage, lubricates the moving parts and cools portions of the compressor. If the oil in your compressor is running low, it can't do its job and your compressor can overheat or parts can become damaged due to a lack of lubrication. As such, it is important to check the oil in your air compressor often. Should you notice that you have to refill the oil more quickly than normal, this is a sign that something may be amiss with your air compressor. Here are some of the reasons why your commercial air compressor may be using more oil than normal.

Restricted Air Intake

One of the reasons why your air compressor may be using more oil than often is because the air intake is restricted. The most common reason this would happen is because the air filter on your unit is full or blocked. When the filter is dirty, your compressor has to work harder and longer to pull outside air in to the unit so it can be pressurized and pushed through the system. This uses more oil. Replacing or cleaning the air filter can solve this problem. The location of the air filter varies based on the make, model and manufacturer of air compressor you have. Consult your owner's manual to see where yours is located and how to access it. If it needs to be cleaned, you can simply spray it down with a can of compressed air. If the filter has been in use for several months, it may be better to replace it.

An Oil Leak

Another reason why your air compressor may be using more oil than normal is because you have an oil leak. If the oil leak is large, you will likely notice oil puddling or pooling under the unit. However, if the leak is small, you may not notice this. Most oil leaks in a commercial air compressor are caused by loose bolts. Unscrew the bolts from the air compressor housing unit and tighten any bolts inside. Loose bolts around the head gasket and compressor area are the common cause of these leaks. If this does not solve the problem, the head gasket may be blown. If you don't have experience making repairs to the air compressor, this is a repair best left to the professionals. It is also important to note that if your air compressor is under warranty, attempting to make this repair yourself can void the warranty.

The Wrong Oil

Another reason you may be using more oil in your air compressor than normal is because you are using the wrong oil. Generally speaking, it is recommended that you use an air compressor oil with an ISO rating of 60 to 100 and a SAE rating of 20 to 30. Anything that falls within this is a basic and general air compressor oil. An SAE rating of 20 is ideal in cooler temperatures, while an SAE rating of 30 is better in warmer temperatures. If the temperatures you are working in are below 34 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want an SAE rating of 10. If the temperatures you are working in are higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want an SAE rating higher than 30. If you use your compressor often, a synthetic oil may be better for you, as it requires less changes. And always use a non-detergent oil in an air compressor to prevent build-up. If you use the wrong oil, you can use more oil trying to turn your unit on or lubricate the parts in the system. If the wrong oil was placed inside, you will have to drain it and refill it with the correct type of oil.

There are many factors that determine how often you will need to add more oil to your commercial air compressor, including how often your air compressor is used, how clean the oil is, and what weather elements you are using the compressor in. If you feel like you are using more oil than normal, your unit may be giving you a sign that something is wrong. A dirty air filter, an oil leak or using the wrong type of oil can cause you to use more oil than you normally would. Correcting the problem will reduce the amount of oil your unit uses. You could look here for more information.