If you have started a project at your factory that requires you to use an old air compressor you found lurking in the back of the maintenance shop, you may wonder if there is any way to check if it is working properly. If so, look at the following three things before you use the old industrial air compressor.
Examine the Coupler Connecting the Tank and Hose
The first thing you should examine when checking to see if the old air compressor is still capable of functioning correctly is the coupler that connects the tank and the hose. If this connection is not able to securely fasten the hose to the tank, the compressed air will escape through any gaps in the coupler.
If this happens, you will not have enough air to power air tools. Or, the hose along with the coupler could fly off completely, leaving you with an empty, compromised tank.
To check the connection at the coupler, turn the hose to the right with your hand to make sure it is tight. If the hose continues to turn, the threads may be stripped on either the hose or the coupler.
If you believe the threads are stripped on the hose, replace it and try fastening it to the coupler. If it still refuses to tighten, the threads on the coupler are the problem.
You may be able to get a replacement coupler from your manufacturing supplier for the old model, if parts still exist for it. However, before you start ordering replacement parts, proceed with the next two sections to find out if doing so is even worth it.
Inspect the Outside of the Tank for Rust
Another thing you should inspect after checking the coupler itself is for signs of rust on the outside of the tank. If the tank was left outside during wet weather or while it was cold, the exposure to moisture could have resulted in oxidation that is eating away at the metal.
When checking for rust, start at the area around the coupler, and continue looking at all surfaces of the tank. If you see any reddish-brown areas, gently poke them with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver goes through the metal, the amount of deterioration has reached a critical point.
If you try to turn on the air compressor, the air will escape immediately or the tank itself will blow out. Either way, you will need a new tank.
However, if you do not find any rusted areas on the outside, this does not mean the tank's metal is solid. Proceed to the next section to find out what is going on inside the tank.
Drain the Tank to Check Condition of the Interior
Since the air compressor's tank is an enclosed space, you may think it is difficult to determine the condition of the tank's interior. However, when you drain the tank, the color of the water can tell you whether the metal on the inside has become rusty.
Inside the tank, water builds up while air is flowing through the filter and into the tank. Even if the air compressor has not been used for a while, this water will remain inside and could cause rust. When you drain the tank and find dark brown or reddish water, the metal has likely started to deteriorate.
If you find one or more of the above problems, you may want to skip using the old air compressor. Instead, you may want to contact your factory's manufacturing supplier to see about replacing the old unit with a new air compressor that meets your current and possible future needs on the job. You can also click here to find more information.