The featured image is a typical General air compressor for a fire sprinkler system.
The air compressor in a dry pipe fire system is a true workhorse that runs often. Because it runs on a regular basis, it needs maintenance. Not daily maintenance, but certainly periodically. This maintenance is often overlooked because it’s not something that has to be done daily and the air compressor is usually in a storage closet or closed warehouse area so it is obscure. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But nothing stops an air compressor faster than ignoring maintenance.
A dry pipe fire sprinkler system is supposed to be dry. The air compressor generates condensation as it continually operates, so there is almost always moisture in the compressor tank. The air compressor tank needs to be kept drained or it will rust and allow moisture to get inside the fire sprinkler.
Here are some regular maintenance tips we advocate for air compressors:
- Keep moisture drained from the tanks. The receiver tank collects moisture from the air that it is compressing. Your tank will have a valve for draining the moisture that accumulates. Keep the tank dry and before draining the water, be sure to release the air pressure from the tanks.
- Clean intake vents. If you force your air compressor to work too hard to intake air you’re losing power on your compression. Be sure to keep your intake vent as clean as possible and check them regularly, especially if you’re working in a dusty or dirty environment.
- Tighten All Fasteners. Your air compressor’s a running, vibrating engine and it will loosen its screws, nuts and bolts on a regular basis. Be sure to check these periodically and tighten them up if you find any that have jiggled loose.
- Check Hoses Regularly. Check all your hoses periodically as they are the veins of your air compressor. If they become cracked or corroded they could soon begin to leak and then put undue strain on the rest of your compressor’s components. Be sure to check them and replace them if you find them cracked or damaged.
- Check and Change the Compressor Oil. If you’re running a compressor that uses oil you should be checking it on a daily basis to make sure that your machine is topped off. Then, every 500-1000 hours of use you should be changing this oil to ensure maximum functioning of your air compressor.