Cold Weather Diagnostic for Compressed Air Systems

With colder weather coming soon, compressed air systems that are subject to lower temperatures may deal with slow starting, possible control line freeze problems, and condensate lines freezing.  To help prevent some of these problems, heat lamps can be installed close to the lines to prevent freezing. Also, applying heat tape with a thermostat to control lines and condensate lines is a great way to protect your equipment located outside.  However, keep in mind that anything installed on the lines themselves might have to be removed when the equipment is being serviced.

Here is a basic cold weather diagnostic outline:

  • Check insulated areas and make sure the heat is staying inside and the cold is staying outside.
  • Also check any weather stripping and replace areas that are worn out and not working properly.
  • Check condensate drains throughout your system for proper operation. Excess water in your lines and freezing temperatures are not a good mix.
  • Check the intake for your air compressor. If it’s exposed to the outside elements, your inlet air filter can be damaged from ice and snow.
  • Compressed air receivers should be protected as well. If condensate is allowed to collect at the bottom of the tank it can freeze.  Insulate any outside pipes feeding the tank as well as the condensate drain for the tank.
  • Kind of a no brainer here, but make sure your compressed air dryer and compressed air filters have been serviced and are operating correctly. Their job is to remove condensate from your compressed air system.  The less condensate in the system the less there is to freeze and cause problems.

Contact us today if you need any help with addressing your cold weather vulnerabilities. Taking these proactive steps now, can help prevent some major problems once it turns cold outside.

The Benefits of Quick-Lock Aluminum Piping

The piping system used to deliver compressed air throughout your facility is very important. Its material, age and condition affect both reliability and air quality.

quick-lock aluminum piping benefits

Quick-lock aluminum piping is the world’s only totally metal push-connect piping system with many advantages over all current push-connect systems. It is the only push-connect system that fully complies with the ANSI B31.1 piping system code. No special tooling is needed to install the Quick-Lock system, and has electrostatic powder coating for all internal and external applications.

Piping made with iron will rust and corrode, creating buildup on the interior and reducing air flow capacity. This will also contribute to contamination and poor air quality for your downstream processes.


Quick-lock aluminum piping systems have some substantial advantages:

why choose quick-lock aluminum piping

  • They don’t rust or have scale buildup inside, eliminating contamination to avoid reduced efficiency due to pressure drops Much easier to modify than traditional black pipe
  • Substantially lighter than steel
  • Can handle a wide range of operating :.99 bar to 220 psi
  • Can handle a wide range of temperatures: 4 F to 176 F
  • Significant reduction in air leaks saves money in lost power
  • Safer than plastic and will not become brittle
  • never use PVC for compressed air
  • Pipes are color coded for easy identification: air is blue, vacuum is grey and inert gas is black
  • Versatile, tough and long-lasting metal fittings made of brass, plated with nickel
  • Wide range of sizes for varying air flow needs: 14mm to 63 mm
  • Advanced fittings eliminate the need for drilling into tubing
Remember: Plastic is for Toys. Don’t Settle- Choose Metal.

Download our Quick Lock Tubing Brochure or contact us today.

Engineered Vacuum Packages for High Vacuum Applications: The Travaini HydroTwin & OilTwin

Travaini’s new series of compact, high vacuum packages are capable of a working vacuum level of 29.86. HgV and flow rates up to 2100 ACFM. This new design has been developed through a partnership with Bora Blowers and Travaini Pumps USA. Bora Blowers specializes in the manufacturing of boosters for pressure and vacuum applications. Leveraging Bora’s sophisticated electronics for controlling boosters, the partnership customized the technology to couple the liquid ring vacuum pump and the booster. This innovation, along with a unique sensor configuration, allows precise control and protection that traditional packages simply can’t offer.


  • Minimize the Absorbed Power: Compared to traditional liquid ring systems, energy savings could add up to over 30%. A 15hp package can provide deeper vacuum at higher volumes than a 30hp two stage liquid ring pump by itself
  • Safeguard Your Processes: Our unique design and advanced controller protects critical processes with the ability to precisely set and maintain required vacuum levels. This optimizes the reaction to conditions and minimizes losses
  • State of the art Technology: The DVD2 “Digital Vacuum Drive” controller and unique sensor configuration maintain even temperature by controlling compression rates. This prevents the elevated temperatures to protect the booster.
  • Plug and Play: Multiple preset modes applied at Travaini provide a ready-to-use product. This saves you time reprogramming for different processes or shift changes. Additional adjustments are easy to make. This slide illustrates how a 10hp Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump operates alone (blue) and then how it operates with only a 5hp booster added, (red). The significant gain in capacity is presented in green. This 15hp package will give the same flow and deeper vacuum than a 30hp two stage pump.


  • Chemical: Solvent extraction, gas evacuation from tanks
  • Plastics: Degassing
  • Pharma: Stabilization and controlled filtration / crystallization process
  • Food Industry: Water evaporation, vacuum coolers
  • Leather: Treatment & vacuum drying

about high vacuum packagesIn high volume, critical applications where strict control of high vacuum levels are imperative, these packages from Travaini are the logical solution. Lewis Systems will be happy to take a look at your current applications or help you with designing your next system. Contact us today.

Summer Preventative Maintenance For Your Compressed Air System

During the summer, there are a few extra challenges your compressed air system faces. Heat and humidity can cause all sorts of problems if you don’t prepare your system to adequately address them. Here are a few simple reminders of things to check to prevent downstream problems and equipment failures.

Heat Exchanger

Heat Exchanger

    • Condensate Drains – With the extra humidity there will be extra water. Check all of your drains and drain lines to ensure they are sized correctly and operating properly.
    • Heat Exchangers – Check your after coolers and oil coolers to make sure they are clean and the fans are operating correctly. These coolers are your primary defense for keeping your oil temperatures acceptable and removing the bulk of your liquid water from your compressed air system.

Gardner Denver Heated Purge Dryer

  • Air Dryers – Both refrigerated and desiccant compressed air dryers need to be checked and prepared for the summer heat and humidity. Condenser coils and condenser fans should be checked on refrigerated dryers. Pre-filters and drains should be checked and serviced on desiccant dryers to protect the desiccant bed from slugs of liquid water and oil.
  • Oil/Water Separators – All the water that your drains and dryers are removing should be routed to an Oil/Water Separator. These separators help you safely and legally dispose of your compressed air condensate. Be sure to replace all carbon bags and filters every six months to ensure proper operation.


Lewis Systems & Service Co., Inc. carries a full line of drains, dryers and filters to help your compressed air systems to deal with the heat and humidity that the summer brings. So give us a call if you find yourself “under water” this summer.


Air Compressor Buyers Guide

In our air compressor buyers guide, we’ll discuss the two main types of air compressors, their key traits, and the factors to gardner denver air compressorconsider before purchase.

Rotary screw and reciprocating air compressors are two very common types of positive displacement compressors.  Both can be found in a wide variety of applications and industries. There are however some differences between the two. It’s important to take some time to understand these differences and how they are best applied to your requirements. By doing so, you can make a wise investment in an efficient and reliable air compressor.

Reciprocating Air Compressors – Reciprocating compressors, also known as Piston compressors, can be found in variety of designs but most commonly are used in applications under 30hp. Also, whenreciprocating air compressor pressures over 150 psi are required a piston compressor would typically be used. Known for their durability in demanding applications, they can do well in a variety of industrial needs. They can be mounted on tanks or base mounted and driven by electric motors or gas engines. This flexibility also makes them an attractive option. The maintenance on a piston compressor should also be a consideration.  Valves, piston rings and other parts normally require consistent routine maintenance.

rotary screw air compressorRotary Screw Air Compressors – Rotary screw compressors can be very efficient and require less maintenance than piston compressors. These compressors are designed to perform best when a constant volume of compressed air is necessary at pressures up to 150 psi.  Because of their dependability and long life cycles they are usually a great fit for standard plant air. Maintenance on a rotary screw is usually just filters and lubricant. With the use of sound dampening enclosures, noise levels can be dramatically less than that of a reciprocating compressor.

After evaluating which type of compressor fits your application and requirements the best, you will then need to closely examine the factors that will help you find a quality compressor that will last and provide you with a good return on your investment.


Reciprocating Air Compressors

air compressor buyers guide

Considerations for reciprocating compressors:

  • What are the pressure (PSI) and air flow (CFM) requirements?
    • An overloaded compressor will not last so don’t under size your compressor requirements just to be cheap.
  • Will the demand be constant or will it vary?
    • Reciprocating compressors can run stop/start, load/unload or a combination of the two.
  • How much storage (tank size) will be needed?
    • Adequate storage can greatly reduce the load on your compressor.
  • What is the quality of air required downstream?
    • Extra treatment such as dryers and filtration may be necessary. Oil-Less reciprocating compressors are available if necessary.

Features to look for in a reciprocating compressor:

  • Slower speed operation – longer service life
  • Cast iron crankcase – durable construction
  • Valve construction – look for disc-type valves for increased reliability
  • Main bearings – look for over-sized tapered main bearings
  • Extreme duty and higher operating pressures – look for a compressor with a positive displacement oil pump
  • Centrifugal unloader – allows for load-less starting reducing wear on motor/engine
  • Warranty – Industrial Reciprocating compressors should be built to last, make sure that your investment is backed up by a solid warranty with local support for parts and service.

Rotary Screw Air Compressors

If you’ve decided that a rotary screw compressor is right for your requirements, how do you know what to look for in one and what differentiates the good from the not so good?

Quality – the air end is the heart of your compressor, be sure it’s built with quality and backed by a long warranty.  Make sure the manufacturer has a robust re-manufactured air end program available. Other system components should be scrutinized as well.

Size and Serviceability – a small footprint is great, but make sure you can still easily service the compressor. Most packages can be offered with an integrated air dryer which can reduce space and piping requirements.

Noise Levels – newer compressor designs and enclosures can reduce noise levels, allowing greater flexibility on installation locations.


Cooling Method – will it be air cooled or water cooled? Considerations must be made on where the water will come from if it’s water cooled and how to deal with the ambient air conditions if it’s air cooled.

Fixed Speed or Variable Speed – is your demand constant or does it vary?  A variable speed compressor can offer considerable energy savings if your plant demand varies a lot.


Control Systems – there is a huge variety of controllers in the market now that can control and monitor everything, but sometimes simplicity is better.  Don’t over complicate things if you don’t have to. Take time to look at the controllers and make sure they are easy to use.

Total Cost of Ownership – be sure to consider not only the purchase price but the maintenance costs and the energy cost to operate your compressor. Energy costs can account for over 80% of the total cost of ownership.

Service & Support – a solid warranty backed up by local support for service and parts. Look for factory trained technicians that can fix your equipment quickly and professionally.


We hope our air compressor buyers guide answered all you questions but if you still need help, contact us today. Whether you’re looking to purchase, repair or maintain air compressors, you’ve come to the right place. At Lewis Systems, we welcome the opportunity to be your partner in success.