A good air compressor is a remarkable tool that can make the operation of your pneumatic tools a breeze.
It creates an environment where you can run your projects smoothly and faster.
If it’s your first time using an air compressor, you may find it intimidating, making you shy away. However, using an air compressor shouldn’t be challenging thing – even if you are a beginner.
Below is a comprehensive guide on how to use air compressors.
How To Use An Air Compressor?
Do a thorough check on your air compressor
First, you will need to check if the unit needs an oil change. To do this, locate the dipstick that’s found at the bottom side of the compressor. Pull it and check the oil level, it should be about two-thirds or above.
If you don’t find a dipstick then the chances are that your machine is oil free. You can consult the owner’s manual to establish the model you are using.
Attach the air hose
Next is to attach an air hose into the regulator valve. At the end of the compressor, you will locate the regulator valve which is near the pressure gauge.
You should push the pointed end of the hose into the valve. Make sure it has fitted well and secure. This help in preventing low air pressure that can cause damages to both the compressor and hose.
While doing this, ensure that the switch is off before you plug the power cord into the outlet to avoid electrocution.
Power on your air compressor
When the oil level is okay and air hose attached, then go-ahead to power your machine. Remember air compressors come in three types: oil, gas, and electric.
For an electric air compressor, you will plug it into a properly grounded electrical outlet and turn it on using a power button.
It’s important that you avoid using extension cords as it tends to overheat the motor, instead use an extended air hose. An air compressor that runs on gas will require you to have gasoline close by.
Set the pressure to the desired range
There are two gauges on a compressor: One shows the pressure in the compressor’s tank while the other shows the pressure coming out of the hose.
To start building pressure into the tank, you will need to move the pressure gauge to “AUTO ON” position.
This enables the machine to build pressure until the right amount is achieved. The pressure gauge needle will stop moving when the maximum pressure is achieved.
You can set the pressure to the specifications needed by your air tools by adjusting the regulator knob. However, never go beyond the specified pressure.
To start working, squeeze the trigger to allow compressed air to come out into the tool you are using. The good news is that you will not need to adjust this pressure specification unless you are switching to a different device.
In case the pressure drops after use, the compressor will automatically start building additional pressure.
A video about set the pressure to the desired range:
If the air compressor shuts off while you are working, it could be due to overheating especially if you are using an extension cord.nIn such a case, turn off the pressure switch and let the motor cool down.
To restart the compressor, press the reset button. This will result in an additional pressure for the rest of your project.
After you are done, shut the machine off and unplug it from the power source – by switching the lever to “OFF” and the pressure gauge to “OFF” as well.
Lastly, unplug it from the outlet. You can then let out any air left in the tank by the use of a pressure relief valve.
Store your air compressor carefully
The last step is to let the machine cool down then find a safe and a dry place to it. You need to understand that it’s possible for condensation to occur under the air compressor when not in use.
This could lead to corrosion and malfunction of the machine. To avoid it, make sure proper circulation of air gets under the unit to keep it dry.
Safety Cautions of Using an Air Compressor
A safe working environment is a primary concern. Before you start using your machine, you need the following things to be in place to ensure your safety and that of the compressor.
1. Read the manual keenly and fully: This will help you understand most of the operations and maintenance care of the unit.
2. Clean and secure working area: Ensure that your working area is safe and that the air compressor is on a flat surface to reduce the chances of tipping over.
3. Wear protective gear: When using an air compressor, your eyes may be exposed to debris. Wearing protective gears would save you from injuries.
4. Conduct safety inspections before using the unit: You need to make sure the hose fits tightly to prevent damage or underperformance of the air compressor.
5. Safe distance: Always ensure that you position yourself firmly on the ground and away from any active parts of the machine.
6. Regular maintenance: In case lubrication is required, you should ensure that you apply the recommended lubricant for maximum functionality of the unit. This will also help reduce wear and tear for a lasting unit.
7. Hoses: Air hose fittings need to be very tight. This is because a loose fitting air hose will reduce your performance and may cause damages to your equipment.
8. Voltage: Always ensure that you plug your unit into a properly grounded outlet to prevent damages to the electrical system as well as your equipment. The manual from the owners will come in handy to know the recommended voltage.
The Bottom Line
The truth is that a compressor may seem a complicated machine to operate, but on the contrary, it’s quite simple and easy to use.
You will discover that this worthwhile investment can make your projects smooth, safe and more enjoyable.
It is high time you possess one and have the experience of this amazing tool.