The risk of an air compressor leak

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The most common culprit for wasted energy efficiency, an air compressor leak can result in lost performance and cut into your revenue. With this, it's worth mentioning that the average amount of air lost from leaks is 20%. This number is quite significant when considering how much compressed air plays a role in industrial operations.

You'll likely first notice that your air pressure is reduced from its advertised levels. When this happens, your air compressor will overwork to overcompensate for this loss. Not only does this mean increased energy usage, but also more wear and strain on your equipment.

To combat this problem, you'll want to perform routine maintenance of pipe and valve connection points. One of the most simple ways of checking for an air compressor leak is to apply soapy water to such areas. If bubbles form, you know there's air escaping. Additionally, on board monitoring tools are useful in detecting issues early. As you can see, it's relatively easy to avoid leaks. You'll find more information on these topics in this guide.

How to detect weak connections

Like with most mechanical equipment, it's highly recommended to regularly check the performance of your air compressor system. Aside from the soap method mentioned above, there are intelligent tools to help make this easier. One of these is the Elektronikon® Nano™ controller, available on select Mark MSM models.

This powerful tool analyzes over 30 data points, including leaks. With this insight at your fingertips, you can spot problems early - before they become costly. Making this even easier is how the Nano™ connects to mobile devices via Wi-Fi through ICONS. It helps you avoid the need for a full system audit while keeping your operations running smoothly.

You can also check your gauges to spot performance changes, regardless of whether you have onboard monitoring technology. If you've noticed a drop of 10% or more, then it's likely a leak causing such a loss of compressed air pressure.

If you'd like a second opinion on ensuring optimal compressed air performance, it's worth having a qualified service person complete a thorough check. With smart devices, like the Nano™, you'll be better informed on what to evaluate.

What to do if you spot an air compressor leak

As pointed out, leaks are generally found in an air compressors pipe network. They are caused by loose fittings, worn seals, and bad installations. Low quality, non OEM certified fittings are also culprits of air leakage. Also, running equipment too long can cause such parts to wear out quickly.

When you've identified a leak, through a connected monitoring device, or just by simply hearing air escaping, it's important to rectify the issue. To better put things into perspective, a leak of 3/8 inch operating at 100 psig can cost roughly 32,500 EUR per year.

It might seem obvious, but the first thing you'll want to do is check for any loose fittings. You'd be surprised how simple tightening such components might be in stopping air leakage. If this is handled, then replacing filters, o-rings, seals and other parts related to air performance is the next logical step.

In addition to addressing these areas, you might want to invest in new piping. Air compressor pipes undergo a lot of strain due to rapidly changing temperatures, and the amount of pressure required to perform a job. Over time, this can cause areas of weakness, and leaks.

We're here to help

We hope the information in this guide helps you understand the importance of leaks and what you can do to easily resolve them. Our high quality air compressor equipment and parts are designed to withstand the toughest conditions. However, normal wear and tear is part of running any machine.

If you have any questions on what you can do to optimize performance, our team is happy to help. It is our goal to empower you to make informed decisions regarding maintenance, operations, and new equipment. Feel free to reach out today. 

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