Air compressors are vital equipment for small auto shops, DIYers, and manufacturers. They power all sorts of pneumatic tools, from sandblasters to nail guns and paint spray guns. However, with frequent use comes wear and tear, and the air compressor pump can eventually wear out. Learn when to replace your air compressor pump and the signs that indicate it's time to take action.
Compressor Pump Age
Typically, a well-maintained compressor pump can last 10–15 years with intermittent use. However, if you use the compressor pump every day or constantly, its useful life falls closer to five or six years. You may need to replace it sooner if you continuously subject it to high temperatures or humidity levels.
If you notice a steady drop in the air pressure from your air compressor pump, then it's time to start thinking about a replacement. A faulty air compressor pump may struggle to generate air pressure, making it difficult for you to use pneumatic tools.
Keep track of your air outlet pressure readings with a gauge, and compare it to the correct operating range; if the outlet pressure fails to meet the manufacturer's specifications, then you might be due for a new pump.
If your air compressor pump produces unusual noises such as rattling sounds, knocking, strange whirring noises, or other metal-on-metal sounds , it's a sure sign that the compressor pump needs a repair or replacement. Don’t put this off, lest your device sustains further damage, such as bearing malfunction or broken connecting rods. This could cost significantly more to repair than replacing the pump. A screeching sound could also indicate white metal bearing degradation; consult an expert if you suspect this is the case.
Air compressor pumps need lubrication to keep all the pump components working correctly. The oil in the compressor pump should be clean. If you notice oil leaking from your air compressor pump, something is wrong. The oil could be leaking due to too much oil in the crankcase, worn-out compressor pump seals, degraded crankshafts, or broken pistons. Address the issues immediately, as a drop in oil levels can damage the interior components of your air compressor.
Preventive maintenance is crucial to extend your compressor pump’s useful life. With frequent inspections, you can spot and address any issues before they worsen. Regular maintenance will give you a better chance of keeping the pump running for a long time. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule for tips on checking for oil leaks, replacing air filters, and performing oil changes.
Understanding when to replace your air compressor pump can help save you money in the long run and ensure your daily operations run smoothly. You can also order air compressor pump rebuild parts to fix your air compressor pump yourself, which may be cheaper than buying a new pump.