Working Safely With Compressed Air: Do Air Compressors Need to Be Inspected?

Working Safely With Compressed Air

Air compressors are essential pieces of equipment for many businesses. They are used to power tools, create air pressure, and more, but do air compressors need to be inspected?

There are a lot of things that you need to do in order to keep your business running smoothly. One of those things is making sure that your air compressors are properly inspected. Many people don’t realize this but if you don’t inspect your air compressors on a regular basis, there is a good chance that something will go wrong.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of air compressor inspections and how they can help your business stay safe and productive.

What is an Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a device that uses pressurized air to do work. Air compressors are used in many different settings, from homes and businesses to construction sites. This can include things such as powering tools, inflating tires, or running a machine. Air compressors come in a variety of sizes, and there are both portable and stationary models available.

Air compressors derive power from either electric energy, gas combustion energy, or a diesel engine. The source of power for an air compressor is dependent upon the intended application and specific compressor requirements. For example, a small air compressor that is used for powering tools in a home garage would typically derive power from electric energy, while a larger air compressor that is used for commercial applications would more likely derive power from gas combustion energy or a diesel engine.

By one of these methods, an air compressor forces more and more air into a storage tank, increasing the pressure. When air compressor tank pressure reaches its upper limit, the air compressor shuts off. The compressed air, then, is held in the tank until used.

Air Compressor Safety

While most air compressors are designed for safe operation, there are still some potential risks that users need to be aware of.

All those who work with air compressors need to safety train and follow protocol because accidents can happen at any time. This is why owners of air compressors should be well-versed in how these machines operate as well as what precautions must be taken before operating one themselves.

Most important safety protocols when working with an air compressor include:

  • Always make sure to wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask
  • Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using an air compressor and make sure to follow all safety precautions
  • Never use an air compressor indoors and/or in badly ventilated areas
  • Before each use of your air compressor, it’s important to perform a routine safety check
  • Never point an air compressor at yourself or anyone else
  • Clean the air compressor properly
  • Avoid using PVC pipes in air compressors

As we said, most air compressors are designed for safe operation. However, there are still some risks associated with using them. By following the proper safety procedures, you can help reduce the chance of an accident.

Do Air Compressors Need to Be Inspected?

One of the main reasons why you should inspect your air compressors on a regular basis is because they can be dangerous if they are not properly maintained. If an air compressor fails, it can cause a lot of damage. Not only that, but it can also be hazardous to your employees. That is why it is important to have a regular inspection schedule in place.

Working Safely With Compressed Air

Another reason why you should inspect your air compressors is because it can help you save money. If an air compressor is not running correctly, it will use more energy. This can lead to higher utility bills and increased wear on the equipment. By inspecting your air compressors regularly, you can catch any problems that may be occurring and fix them before they cause any damage.

The first 7 to 8 years of an air compressor’s life cycle are critical. After that mark, you can start seeing a decrease in energy efficiency or performance – but it’s still not too late for continued use. With proper care and maintenance, your compressor can provide you with 10-15 years of optimal performance. That, of course, includes proper air compressor inspection.

Inspection and proper maintenance is key to ensuring your air compressor system continues running smoothly.

Legal Requirements

Let’s take a look at the legal books to answer the question: do air compressors need to be inspected? From alegal standpoint, it is important that air compressors be examined at regular intervals by an engineer or other competent person.

The common misconception is that all air compressor systems have to be inspected at regular intervals. If you don’t have an air receiver, legally there’s no need to conduct a thorough examination. However, this only applies if there’s an “air receiver”, which stores compressed gas in vessels. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do routine maintenance of its parts.

Not all air receivers are created equal.The size and pressure of an air receiver will determine how often it needs inspection. Air receivers with a diameter greater than twelve inches and operating at 150 psi need thorough examinations every twelve months.

How Often Should Air Compressors Be Inspected?

Themaintenance intervals of air compressor inspection will depend on the type but it should happen at least once every twelve months to ensure that you’re following best practices for maintaining safe working conditions in all areas where air compressors are used.

The type and frequency of examinations will depend on what’s agreed upon with the person conducting your air compressor inspection.

Usually, the first examination of an air receiver is a full internal inspection. The next one twelve months later requires working external checkups, and then another thorough evaluation needs to be done every two years after that!

Air Compressor Inspection Checklist

Here are theessential air compressor maintenance procedures to keep your machine running at peak performance.

  • External inspection: When inspecting your air compressor, you should also visually inspect it for any signs of wear and tear. By doing this, you can catch any problems that may be occurring and fix them before they cause any damage. Some of the things that you should look for include damaged hoses, leaks, rust, corrosion and wear on the seals and gaskets.
  • Check Fan Motor Bearing Temperatures: If they are too high, it can cause the equipment to fail. In order to ensure that your fan motor bearings are running correctly, you should monitor their temperatures on a regular basis.
  • Check Drive Motor Bearing Temperatures: This can be done by using a thermal imaging camera. If the drive motor bearing temps are too high, it may be an indication that there is a problem with the compressor. By catching this problem early, you can prevent it from causing any damage to the compressor.
  • Inspect Coupler, Hub, and Shaft Seal: If any of these components are damaged, it can cause the compressor to fail. In order to make sure that they are in good condition, you should inspect them on a regular basis. If you do find any damage to the coupler, hub or shaft seal, you will probably need to replace them. This can be a costly repair, so it is important to catch any damage early.
  • Check Oil Cooler Temperatures: The oil cooler is responsible for cooling the oil in the compressor. If it becomes too hot, it can cause the compressor to fail.
  • Inspect Scavenge Line Check Valve: This valve is responsible for ensuring that the air compressor is able to properly evacuate the air from the system.
  • Change Oil Filter: The next step in inspecting your air compressor is to change the oil filter. This can be done by using a wrench or a socket set. If you do not have a wrench or a socket set, you can also use pliers. When changing the oil filter, you should make sure that you use a new filter. Old filters can cause problems and may not be effective in protecting the compressor.
  • Change Air Filter: Once you have changed the oil filter, you should also check the air filter. This can be done by using a dust mask or a respirator. If the air filter is dirty, you will need to clean it or replace it.
  • Change Internal Oil-Water Separator: The internal oil separator is an important part of your air compressor that allows you to separate the water from oil.
  • Check the Oil Level: One of the things that you should do as part of your air compressor inspection is to check the oil level in the air compressor. If the oil level is too low, it can cause the compressor to overheat.

It is important to refer back and review the manufacturer’s manual for your air compressor. The information in this guide will help you best operate, maintain, and troubleshoot any issues that arise with it over time.

What Happens if the Air Compressor is Not Inspected?

Air compressors are powerful tools that can be found in many different settings, from auto shops to construction sites. While they are versatile and often essential for completing a task, air compressors can also be very dangerous and it is important to be aware of the dangers they pose.

If the air compressor is not inspected on a regular basis, it can lead to a number of problems. The most obvious problem is that the compressor will not be able to generate enough pressure to properly power tools and machinery. This can lead to equipment failures and production delays. In addition, an uninspected air compressor can also develop leaks. These leaks can allow contaminated air into the system, which can damage equipment and cause respiratory problems for workers.

If you’re in the right place at just the wrong time, an air compressor can cause flying debris and when it hits someone it could result in serious injury. Finally, an uninspected air compressor is more likely to overheat and catch fire. This can obviously cause severe damage to property and put people at imminent risk.

Working Safely With Compressed Air

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I change oil?

4000 operating hours is the magic number when it comes to your mineral compressor oil. Synthetic compressor oils can usually last twice as much.

How often should I change the air and oil filter?

The frequency of changing your filters depends on what kind you have. Some should be changed every 6 months, while others need to see an overhaul at least once per year in order for them to keep working properly.

Can an air compressor explode?

An air compressor can definitely explode if it is not properly inspected. By inspecting the compressor on a regular basis, you can catch any problems that may be occurring and prevent them from causing any damage.

Can an air compressor kill you?

While an air compressor can’t kill you outright, it can certainly do some damage if used improperly. For example, if you were to breathe in the compressed air, it could cause some serious health problems.

What is the life expectancy of an air compressor?

The lifetime of an air compressor can vary depending on the make and model. However, most air compressors have a lifespan of around 7-10 years. With proper maintenance it can last even longer.


Air compressors are an essential piece of equipment for many businesses, but do air compressors need to be inspected? The key to getting the best performance from your air compressor is to maintain a regular preventative maintenance schedule. This involves regularly checking the oil level and changing the oil when necessary, as well as replacing the air filter on a regular basis. Additionally, it’s important to check the compressor for any leaks and to make sure that all of the moving parts are properly lubricated.

Air compressors are complex machines, and even just one component can affect the performance of the entire system. Neglecting just one component of your system can cost you a significant amount of money in repairs or replacement parts. By following preventive steps, you can help ensure that your air compressor will always be in top working condition.

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