Air Compressor Maintenance

Air compressor owners often forget that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maintaining your air compressor can save you both time and money down the road. By performing the following checks each time you operate your air compressor, you are saving yourself a world of pain in the future.

Air Compressor Preventive Maintenance Checks

Checking Compressor Pump Oil Level

Unless your air compressor is an oil free compressor, do not operate without lubricant or with inadequate lubricant. Manufacturers and the company from whom you bought it from cannot be responsible for failure do to inadequate lubrication.

  1. Ensure unit is off and disconnect from the power source
  2. Ensure compressor is on a flat and level surface
  3. Remove fill cap / plug
  4. Inspect the oil in the crankcase assembly and look for dirt or debris
  5. Oil should not exceed the halfway point of the sight glass

Changing Compressor Pump Oil

Remember, the compressor pump head and surrounding parts are HOT!

  1. Ensure unit is off and disconnect from the power source
  2. Ensure compressor is on a flat and level surface
  3. Remove fill cap / plug
  4. Place collection container underneath the oil drain cap.
  5. Remove the oil drain cap, and let the oil drain out.
  6. Replace the oil cap and be sure to tighten this nut securely. White plumbers tape (PTFE) is generally a good idea to help create a tighter seal. Fill crankcase with appropriate oil, be sure it does not exceed the halfway point.

Checking the air filer element

For the more common reciprocating air compressors.

  1. Ensure unit is off and disconnect from the power source
  2. Allow compressor pump to cool off.
  3. Unscrew the filter top from the filter base by turning (generally) counter-clockwise.
  4. Separate the filter top cover from the base.
  5. Remove the element from the filter base
  6. Blow out dust and debris from the filter element.
  7. Replace element if needed.
  8. Reconnect filter top to the base and secure filter.

Checking the air filer element

For the more common reciprocating air compressors.

  1. Ensure unit is off and disconnect from the power source
  2. Allow compressor pump to cool off.
  3. Unscrew the filter top from the filter base by turning

General Preventive Maintenance Schedule

ProcedureDailyWeeklyMonthly Annually
(200 Hours)
Check Pump Oil LevelX
Oil Leak InspectionX
Drain water in tankX
check for weird noise and vibrationX
Inspect all air leaksX
Inspect beltsX
Check air filters, clean or replaceX
check safety relief valveX
Check belts if necessaryX
Check and tighten all boltsX
Check connections for leaksX
Service pump or engineX
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