Common Types of Air Compressor Repair

Lewis Systems & Service Co., Inc. not only sells new and used air compressors but a good part of our business is based around air compressor repair and servicing. Below is a list of some common air compressor repairs that we address in the field. This is not a troubleshooting guide or instructions on how to do repairs, however if your unit is serviced on a regular basis, a lot of these problems can be prevented.

Reciprocating Compressors:air compressor repair tips

  • Rings – As the piston rings wear out, excessive oil consumption will rise.
  • Valves – Carbon deposits can build up on the valves causing the compressor to take longer to build up pressure. They usually need regular cleaning or replacing if damaged.
  • Controls – Defective pressure switch can cause starting problems as well as a faulty check valve. Problems with the pilot valve can cause the compressor not to unload properly.
  • Belts can be too tight or too loose, also the pulley could be out of alignment causing excessive wear on the belts.
  • Air intake filters should be inspected and changed on a regular basis. Dirty air filters can cause long pump up times and overheating.
  • Routine Maintenance Items: Changing the air filter and oil on a regular basis will prevent many problems. It will also extend the life of valves and rings.

Rotary Screw Compressors:common types of air compressor repair

  • Controls / Check Valves: The majority of problems that arise on rotary screw compressors are related to the controls and sensors. A faulty pressure transducer or a sticky thermal valve element can shut your compressor down very quickly. It’s always good practice to have these items in stock or at least know a reliable service center (we suggest Lewis Systems), that normally has these items in stock.
  • Not Building Pressure: Number one cause: a dirty inlet air filter. Also problems with the inlet valve or minimum pressure valve. Both should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Both normally have packing rings or seals that need to be replaced occasionally.
  • Inlet Valve Maintenance
  • Excessive Oil Carryover: A common cause for oil carryover is a blocked or faulty scavenge line check valve. Oil separators can rupture if they are not changed on a regular basis which will cause oil carryover as well.
  • Routine Maintenance Items: Changing the air filter and oil filter on a regular basis will prevent many problems. It will also extend the life of the compressor lubricant and oil cooler.
  • As you can see, there are lots of maintenance and repair issues that should be addressed on your air compressor. Don’t forget that Lewis Systems & Service Co., Inc. has a fully staffed service department at each of our locations to assist you. From emergency repairs to proactive maintenance agreements we can help keep your plant up and running.

Common Applications for PD Blowers and Vacuum Pumps

TriFlow Rotors Tri Lobe DesignPositive displacement (PD) blowers and vacuum pumps take advantage of positive displacement technology; which causes movement by trapping a fixed amount of air then forcing (displacing) that trapped volume into the discharge pipe. These pumps can be further classified depending on what type of mechanism is used to move the air.

Positive displacement blowers usually come in either bi-lobe or tri-lobe configurations. Bi-lobe blowers and vacuum pumps have been around for a long time and are used in a wide variety of applications because of their durability and flexibility. Tri-lobe blowers usually can operate with higher throughput than the standard bi-lobe units. Tri-lobe blowers often operate with less noise and pulsation levels as well. Another design configuration available to both bi-lobe and tri-lobe blowers is a helical lobe design which can allow for even more noise and pulsation reduction.

HeliFlow RotorsYet another more recent improvement is the helical screw blower which offers reduced energy consumption compared to traditional lobe blowers as well as eliminating the pulsation that standard lobe blowers create. Helical screw blowers can reach higher pressures than lobe blowers, but can’t produce the higher flow rates that lobe blowers are known for.

In general, positive displacement blowers are most effective with high volumes at low vacuums and pressures. Choosing the right blower is critical to maximizing productivity and ROI. There are so many different variables that need to be addressed that it is hard to tag a specific style blower to a specific application. A general overview of applications in which you would find PD blowers being used can be found below:

Aquaculture – Aeration Oil & Gas – Gas Collection & Sparging
Cement – Fluidization & Conveying Fly Ash Conveying
Chemical – Vacuum Processing & Conveying Gas Boosting
Coal /Landfill – Methane Gas Recovery Chip Conveying
Dairy – Automated Milking Processing & Conveying
Dry Bulk Handling – Trailer Unloading Potholing & Slurry Recovery
Vacuum Extraction & Sparging Environmental – Sewer Cleaning
Industrial – Material Vacuuming Aeration & Backwashing