Troubleshooting a Smoking Air Compressor
If you notice that your air compressor suddenly starts emitting excessive smoke, please turn off the unit to do quick troubleshooting. Air compressors can start smoking for many reasons, it may happen suddenly without warning, and in some cases, you will perceive a smell like burning rubber. This can happen for many reasons.
In this article, I will be writing about some tips to help you troubleshoot your air compressor if you observe excessive smoking and the burnt rubber smell. The air compressor is designed to function with a system that properly circulates oil, which lubricates the engine and air pump. Smoking air compressors is usually the outcome when the oil level in the system drops below the recommended level.
Alternatively, your air compressor can start smoking if you have not changed the oil for a long time, or you have used an inferior oil product for your air compressor. Many manufacturers specify the brand of synthetic oils that must be used in their air compressor models. The user manuals also indicate the frequency of servicing, during which the oil should be changed.
How to troubleshoot a smoking air compressor
The first action you should take if your air compressor starts smoking suddenly is to turn off the engine. This action can save your air compressor and prevent further damage if the oil level has dropped too low.
After allowing your air compressor cool down, have a look at the following parts to know if they have been compromised.
Check the oil sight glass
The quickest way to know if the air compressor is smoking due to oil shortage is by checking the oil sight glass. You can easily tell if the oil level has dropped too low.
If the oil level seems normal, please confirm the last time you took the air compressor for maintenance to know if there is a need for an oil change.
Check the piston rings in your air compressor
Air compressors come with single or dual pistons that improve the performance of the unit. Malfunctioning pistons can cause the engine in your air compressor to start smoking. Piston rings should be changed often, as recommended by the manufacturer or your repairman, to avoid a smoking air compressor engine.
Faulty air valve
The air valve holds the air in the tank. If the air valve in your compressor unit is faulty, the air will escape from the tank. This puts a strain on the air compressor engine and can cause smoking.
Check for oil leaks
The smell of burning rubber is mostly due to an oil leak. The hot oil that leaks come in contact with parts of the air compressor such as the rubber casing, resulting in the smell of burning rubber you perceive.
Please note that low voltage can put a strain on the air compressor, to make it start smoking. If you notice your brand new air compressor starts smoking when you turn it on, please have it checked to know the problem before using it.