If you are using an air compressor on a regular basis, you know that sometimes it may need some lubrication to stay up and running. We’ll be talking about everything you need to know about that shortly. Whether it’s DIY projects or using it in cases of emergency, having a reliable air compressor in your garage is important.
You want to take better care of it each time you have finished using it. The more you take good care of it, the longer it will last. And a long-lasting air compressor will give you better reliability and performance regardless of age.
Whether you own a MAC5200 Compressor or something different, it’s always a good idea to put it to good use. With that said, we’re going to explain the importance of lubricating your air compressor and everything you need to know about it. Let’s dive right in and get started:
The Two Most Common Designs
You need to know that there are two different types of compressor designs: oil-free and splash oil-lubricated compressors. How do they differ from each other? Let’s explain that right now:
Oil-free: These types of compressors self-lubricate. So you don’t need to do any oil applications yourself.
Splash-oil: This uses a mechanism known as an oil dipper. You will find this at the bottom of the connecting rod. The purpose of this is to splash oil that comes from a crankcase.
When comparing the two, nine times out of ten, the professional contractors will choose the splash-oil design over its self-lubricating counterpart. One of the main reasons is that it provides users with a better chance to use it regularly and longer. Not only that, but they are tougher on more commercial or industrial projects as well.
If you are looking for something that is geared toward residential use, an oil-free compressor can be an excellent choice. Especially if you are looking for something that will fit your budget (since splash-oil compressors are usually expensive).
Why is Lube Oil Used in Air Compressors?
One of the reasons lubrication is used in air compressors is that it acts like a sealant. There is a gap between the screw elements, and the lubricant makes sure that nothing is leaking out. The heat that is generated will often be absorbed by this seal and will prevent premature aging for the compressor itself.
If you are serious about making an air compressor go beyond its expected lifespan, you’ll want to reduce the amount of heat that it can take by using lube oil. One of the things you need to be aware of is that it requires regular oil changes to ensure that it can continue its purpose. There are different types of lubricants out there that you can use, including food-grade oils (which will require more oil changes if you use it).
What Should a Good Lubrication do?
It’s always a good idea to find a lubricant that will serve the best purpose possible. You’ll want to find one that has a viscosity grade that ranges from 32 to 46. However, this will differ from one manufacturer to the other.
Lubricants have a responsibility to do the following:
- Provide a lengthy lifespan for the compressor with fewer oil changes
- Prevent damage or any kind of acidity, sludge build-up, and formation of any debris
- Easy filtering without any additional additives
- Demulsibility to ensure that there is less water that enters the lubrication system
- Protection against rust and corrosion both in operation or when it’s shut off
- Excellent foam control
How Often Should you Change the Oil?
This is a question that gets asked quite frequently. What you need to understand is that changing the oil in your compressor is a standard procedure. Think about it like changing the oil in your car.
While it may be hard to track how long you’ve been using your compressor, a good rule of thumb is to change the oil every 200 to 300 hours of use if you use conventional oil. If you are using synthetic oil, you can get away with changing it every 1,000 hours. Be sure to double-check the oil system before moving forward with the change.
Keeping your air compressor lubricated is essential. Especially when you’ll be using it for all kinds of tasks. But the key here is to make it last longer than it normally should.
Some compressors will last longer than others. Likewise, some oil lubricants may need to change quicker. If you are looking for a new air compressor, keep in mind the lubrication it needs to use plus how often it needs regular maintenance. A high maintenance air compressor can cost you time and money.