Welcome back to our portable air compressor reviews. In the earlier article, we have discussed the working formula of portable air compressors. Today we are here with the answer to the question of how long do portable air compressors last.
Portable air compressors are the powerhouse of construction sites. But most of the users don’t know the exact lifespan of an air compressor which may cause a serious accident like an explosion.
To get rid of such a hazard you must have primary ideas about proper maintenance of an air compressor. Do you know why? Because without proper maintenance air compressor’s parts especially air tank, it may blast before the expiry date.
In this article, we will not only show you the lifespan of portable air compressors but also provide the guideline for maintenance. Stay with us till the end of the article to have the basic views of air compressors preservation.
- 1 Effective Factors on the Lifecycle of Portable Air Compressor:
- 2 Syndromes of Bad Compressor:
- 2.1 Repair vs. Replacement:
- 2.2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- 2.2.1 Question: How long does a portable air compressor last?
- 2.2.2 Question: How does a portable air compressor work?
- 2.2.3 Question: Portable or stationary which is the right air compressor for the pneumatic project?
- 2.2.4 Question: Why do portable air compressors have various shapes?
- 2.2.5 Question: Does the capacity of a portable air compressor have any effect on its lifespan
- 3 The Closer:
Portable Air Compressors at a Glance:
A portable air compressor is a special kind of air compressor that is moveable. There are moveable wheels as well as flexible handles adjoining with the portable air compressor.
Most of us have the misconception that portable air compressors are tiny in size. As a result, they are not powerful. But it’s totally wrong idea. Portable air compressors have both smaller as well as bigger models. So they are applicable for small to medium or even larger power jobs.
Figure: Portable Pancake Air Compressor
And you will be surprised to see the giant-sized portable rotary air compressors. They are powerful machines with a horsepower range from 50 to 550.
So the capacity of any portable air compressor mainly depends on the area of application. If you want to do small household tasks like cleaning or inflating, then go for portable pancake compressors. However for running power tools like nailer guns or sanders you need a 40 gallons portable piston compressor.
Figure: Portable Rotary Air Compressor
Portable rotary compressors are the best for construction sites. For example road constructions, mine extraction sites, building projects, and so on. In these large projects, portable rotary compressors are easy to carry from one site to another. Again portable air compressors can run with diesel. So you needn’t worry about electricity connection at the construction site to run these giant machines.
The Lifespan of Portable Air Compressor:
- There is no exact expiry date for an air compressor. It mainly depends on how you are using the compressor. The duty hour of an air compressor is also a factor that influences the lifespan of the compressor.
- Normally a reciprocating air compressor provides you flawless service from 15 to 20 years. If you maintain it properly then you can expect up to 30 years life span. That means with a single air compressor you can get lifetime service. What you need to do is routine maintenance as well as proper caring.
- Again the spare parts of a rotary air compressor are more durable than a reciprocating air compressor. These air compressors are heavy-duty air compressors. So they need to work at a stretch. For this reason, the life span of any portable rotary screw air compressor mainly depends on the duty hours. Most rotary compressors provide 30000 to 60000 hours of working time. So you will get a 30 to 40 years lifetime from your portable rotary-type air compressor.
- The main benefit of using a portable air compressor is the availability of spare parts. If any part of the compressor gets damaged, you can easily replace that part. So you don’t have to buy a new compressor for the project.
Effective Factors on the Lifecycle of Portable Air Compressor:
The lifecycle of any machine is influenced by some external factors. These factors are humidity of the air, temperature, the using procedure, and last but not least the proper maintenance.
We all have known that air is a kind of compound substance. So there is a mixture of different kinds of gaseous objects in the air. Water vapor is also a substance of air. And the rate of water vapor mixed with air is called humidity of the air.
When air compressors suck atmospheric air, they suck the water vapor also. With the compression of the air inside, the water vapor turns into water droplets. And these tiny drops of water can form gallons of water inside the air tank. Can you believe this!
Yes, this happens with all the compressed air systems. As a result rust is created inside the tank. Do you know what rust is? Rust is the brownish byproduct of the reaction of oxidation-reduction. We know that water is a combination of oxygen and hydrogen gas. This oxygen reacts with the metals in the presence of water. So rust is formed.
And rust is the biggest enemy of an air compressor. It makes the metal body fragile. So the compressor body especially the air tank cannot bear the pressure of the compressed air. As a result, the whole system may even blast.
Temperature is another factor that has an effect on the durability of an air compressor system. In winter the temperature comes below the freezing level. Especially in the northern region snowfall occurs. If moisture remains inside the air tank, then the moisture turns into frost.
When water turns solid, the volume is increased automatically. So with the increased volume, this solid ice gives extreme pressure on the surface of the compressor. Sometimes the compressor’s body crackdown for increasing volume. To cope up with this crisis you need to drain the compressor system after every single use. By draining the pressure as well as moisture, the air compressor gets released which expands the durability of the compressor.
Another vital factor for getting the expected lifespan of an air compressor is the proper using procedure. What you need to do is reading the user manual before using the system. The manufacturer provides a user manual book with the system.
In this manual, the manufacturer shows the proper using method. Again you will find ideas about what to do and what not to do with the system.
When you have the basic ideas of the using procedure then you can run your power tools flawlessly with the air compressor. The proper use will not only expand the lifespan of the compressor but also ensure the smooth finishing of the pneumatic works.
Proper maintenance is the key to the preservation of any kind of air compressor. You can expand the lifecycle by the following routine maintenance:
- Drain the moisture as well as air pressure after every use by opening the bladder valve of the compressor
- Check the oil level frequently
- Change the lubricant and add fresh oil to the motor
- Clean the compressor’s parts with lubricant so that the rate of internal tear and wear reduces
- Keep the compressor in a dry, well-ventilated room where it can get a sufficient amount of fresh air
- Never leave the pressure on the compressor
- Remember that if the pressure of the compressor is not released it will reduce the durability of the machine
- Insert air filter with the system. The air filter separates the moisture from the compressed air and removes it from the system by the drain valve
- By opening the relief valve, release the excess pressure
- Never go beyond the PSI (the pounds per square inch) of the compressor
- Don’t allow children to play with the compressed air system
- If you use electricity as a source of power then use 3 pronged grounded outlet
- Never use an extension cord as the extension cord cannot bear the load of the system. As a result, a short circuit may burn the whole system
- If you use lubricant as the fuel of the system then follow the manufacturer’s recommendation
- Always use branded oil (according to my experience PAG oil is the best for portable air compressors). Check out what oil to use in air compressor to get the right motor oil for the system
- Keep some extra parts on the sites so that you can replace them in case of emergency
Syndromes of Bad Compressor:
Now the question is how can you understand that when your air compressor is getting weaker? There are some syndromes of the bad air compressor systems. These are:
Air compressors make noise while working. But a faulty air compressor makes a bit different noise than regular sound. So when your compressed air system makes a weird sound, you need to check it up.
It happens because of the breakage of the fan or bearing. The belt drive compressors make extreme noise when the belt is getting fragile. So it cannot perform its function properly.
To cope up with such a problem you need to figure out the fault first. After diagnosing the disease of the compressor you can take necessary action. If the bearing or fan is broken then replace a new one.
Leakage of Moisture:
Another sign of a bad air compressor is the leakage of moisture or lubricants. The leakage of moisture indicates the crucial state of the air compressor. You must check the leak to find out the faulty part.
To find out the leak you can use soapy water. Just fill the compressor with soapy water. Then run the compressor for a while. You can easily find out the leak by observing the bubbles of soap. After that, use a welding torch to fill the leak.
The Vibration of the Motor:
Another indicator for a weaker air compressor is the extreme shaking of the motor. When you see the abnormal shaking of the motor then you need to check the motor. It’s better to take the compressor to an expert if the compressor is too old.
Less Flow of Air:
Air compressors supply compressed air. And if the compressor is getting faulty then the normal flow of air will automatically decrease. This problem is mainly caused for moisture problems. Use an air filter to separate the moisture from the compressed air. And you should install a new filter once a year.
Sudden Drop of the Pressure:
Sudden pressure dropping is the indicator of a faulty regulator or pressure switch. What you need to do is check out the pressure switch and the regulator. You can replace the parts as they don’t cost much.
Repair vs. Replacement:
- We have already seen some common syndromes of bad air compressors. Now you might be confused about how to deal with a faulty compressor? Most air compressor users think that repair is more suitable than replacement.
- However, if you go for repair then the faulty part may create a new problem again. On the other hand, if you go for a replacement then you needn’t worry about this part in the future.
- You will be glad to know that the replacement parts are available in the market for any portable models. So you can collect the parts according to the manufacturer’s recommendation from any hardware shop or from online.
- When the metal layer of the air tank becomes thin you must replace it then repair it. You can check the tank whether it is getting thinner or not simply by tapping.
- Firstly tap the upper portion of the tank. After that tap the lower portion. If the two sounds do not match that indicates that your air compressor’s tank is at a risk. So you must set the new tank to prevent an explosion. This only happens after 12 to 15 years of using the compressor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Question: How long does a portable air compressor last?
Answer: The durability of an air compressor mainly depends on the user. If your air compressor is from a renowned brand then you can expect 25 years to 30 years life span from a portable model.
Question: How does a portable air compressor work?
Answer: Portable piston air compressors work by the rotation of the pistons. And portable rotary air compressors work by creating a vacuum inside.
Question: Portable or stationary which is the right air compressor for the pneumatic project?
Answer: The places of application is the best determiner for selecting an air compressor. Portable air compressors are suitable for personal as well as construction work. On the other hand, stationary air compressors are the best for paint jobs.
Question: Why do portable air compressors have various shapes?
Answer: Portable air compressors have various shapes as well as models. They are designed for small household tasks to an enormous construction project. So according to the capacity along with places of application they have various shapes.
Question: Does the capacity of a portable air compressor have any effect on its lifespan
Answer: No, smaller pancake air compressors have a lifespan of 15 years to 20 years. However, if you run bigger tools with a smaller compressor then it cannot carry the high pressure. As a result, the compressor system will be failed permanently.
A portable air compressor is very helpful for our day-to-day life. Portable home air compressors are multi-tasker devices. You can run almost all the power tools of your garage with a 40 gallons portable air compressor.
To preserve the compressor properly you need to know how long these portable air compressors last. And if you are interested in buying a new portable air compressor for your next project then you can follow this link. Anyway, don’t forget to take safety precautions before using the power tools. You know, your life and its safety is the first priority. And don’t forget to leave your opinion on portable air compressors and how they work as well as their longevity.