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How to Ensure a Smooth Restart and Maximise Compressed Air after lock down

19 April 2020

As we all wait for confirmation as to when we will move from COVID-19 Alert Level 4 to Level 3, many facilities that have been in lockdown will now be starting to think about the steps they will need to take to reopen.

Something that shouldn't be overlooked is the compressed air system. When a compressed air system is shut down for an extended period of time and then switched on again, if left unchecked there are a number of issues that may arise which could compromise the compressors performance.

Please continue to read and learn more about some of the key issues that could arise and the simple checks to perform... 

  • Check for oil leaks
    During extended periods of shut down there is an increased risk of oil leaks. When hoses and fittings cool down they can become brittle and when the machine restarts they can then fracture. A visual check of the compressed air system should quickly highlight if there is any oil where there shouldn't be, and let you know if any of your pipework has degraded.
  • Check oil quality
    There's also a chance that the oil quality has suffered from sitting still for too long. It can become dirty and this can affect the operation of your compressor. Look for any discolouration or floating particles in the tank. An oil sample analysis with your service provider is the most comprehensive way to check the condition of the oil. 
  • Check the drive belts
    As rubber can deteriorate when left idle for too long, the drive belts are another component in a compressor that may have suffered from sitting still. The tension of the belts should be checked as well as looking for any visible cracks. Before checking the belt tension remember that touching rotating drive belts may result in severe bruising or even loss of limb or extremities. The cabinet should not be open while the machine is switched on. Therefore, prior to checking the belt tension, ensure that the supply power isolator is switched off and locked using a safe lock out/tag out procedure, and check that no voltage is present.
  • Perform an insulation test on the motor
    On larger units from around 37 kW and above it may be beneficial to perform an insulation test on the motor. When your compressor has been operating in a warm climate and is then shut down and cools down, moisture can collect inside the motor which can cause the motor to short circuit when you start it back up again.* 

All of these areas will undoubtedly affect the reliability of your compressor air system and are therefore worth checking before restart. If you are concerned about any of your findings from performing these checks then contact Onsite Compressed Air who will be happy to assist you in rectifying them.

While Onsite Compressed Air have shared these tips with you in light of the current COVID-19 situation, these tips are also worth bearing in mind whenever you switch your compressed air system on for the first time after having turned it off for an extended period of time - such as if you close down for the festive season.

Any concerns and or further questions please dont hesitate to call Onsite Compressed Air to discuss in person. 0800 266 7247 or 

How to Ensure a Smooth Restart and Maximise Compressed Air after lock down