Changing Your Air Compressor Oil
As with any of your other equipment, your air compressor will be more likely to serve you optimally and for a longer time if you perform some routine maintenance. Your air compressor consists of many moving parts and components, all of which need to be tended to regularly to ensure that your compressor works as it should.
When it comes to maintenance of air compressors, people tend to think of inspecting hoses, cleaning condensation from the tank, and changing the air filter. However, one of the most important yet overlooked things you should do to keep your air compressor working optimally is to change your air compressor oil regularly.
As with all other maintenance aspects of your air compressor, you should also change the oil on a regular basis, depending on the size and brand of your particular air compressor.
To help save you from having to do any guesswork, let’s take a look at some of the basics of changing your oil for your air compressor, such as how often to change it, how to choose the right oil, and so forth.
How often should you change the oil?
As stated above, how often you change your air compressor’s oil depends on what kind of air compressor you have. Before you begin trying to guess how often to change the oil, one of the easiest ways to learn more about how often to change the oil (and what kind of oil to use and so forth) is to check the owner’s manual that came with the air compressor. A majority of manuals will plainly describe just how long (in hours) the oil life of your compressor is, which gives you the timeframe to wait between oil changes.
If you can’t find the information you need in the owner’s manual, there are some general rules of thumb that can help you. For the average rotary screw-style compressor, aim to change out the oil roughly every 7000 to 8000 hours that the machine is in use. If you own a reciprocating air compressor, on the other hand, aim to change the oil roughly every 2-3 months. No matter what and at the very least, you should change your oil once a year.
What kind of oil to use?
To find out what kind of oil you should use when you’re performing the oil change, check your owner’s manual to see if it is mentioned – most manuals will provide this essential information. If for some reason you cannot find the information on what kind of oil to use, always opt for oil that is made specifically for air compressors. One of the worst things you can do to your air compressor is to use regular motor oil or some other form of oil since these oils tend to foam and fail to coat your compressor’s internal pieces.
If you can’t find your owner’s manual or if the manual doesn’t provide details on what oil to use, you can usually find the information you need with a quick Google search. You’ll find that many users of the same air compressor have asked the same question and found the answers. In some cases, you can even find a digital copy of the owner’s manual online.
How to change the oil?
Once you’ve found the right oil and understand how much to use, it’s time to change your oil. First, make sure that the air compressor is turned to the off position. The oil is either located in the crankcase or the sump and can be drained from your compressor via a drain below the casing that can be opened. Once you’ve drained all the oil out, there is another opening where you can pour the oil in, much like the oil system in your average car.