Almost all air compressors should cut out at some point – it’s a sign they’re working properly. So here’s what to do if yours doesn’t.

Air compressor pressure gauge
Somewhere in your air compressor, there’s a pressure switch. There are a few types, but essentially they all perform the same task. When the pressure in your compressor is too low, the pressure switch tells the compressor to kick in. When it reaches full pressure, the pressure switch is what makes the compressor motor cut out again.

At one end of the range the pressure switch ensures your compressor has a consistent pressure that enables it to perform. At the other end of the range it ensures the pressure doesn’t build to dangerous levels.

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So what does it mean if your air compressor never cuts out?

There are three likely explanations for this, and two result in the same answer: get your compressor serviced or repaired.

1. Continuous operation
Continuous operation air compressors are used where there’s a constant requirement for air, or where your compressor is likely to start and stop more than 12 times per hour. It’s important you know whether your air compressor is a continuous operation model because of what follows, so if you’re unsure, call us and check.

2. Failing to make pressure
A constantly running compressor could be a sign that it never reaches full pressure. That’s not dangerous – the pressure’s not high enough for that – but it could be damaging the quality of your finished products and it will definitely be causing significant wear – reducing the life of your air compressor.

3. Pressure build up
The alternative – and even more worrying possibility – is that pressure is continuing to build. Every air compressor has a pressure relief valve and if this is venting excess pressure in combination with a constantly running compressor (that’s not meant to run constantly) it’s a sure sign of trouble. Switch it off and call your compressed air engineers for repair.

Worse still, should the relief valve fail, you’ll be in a situation where the pressure continues to build with no release. That’s a potentially catastrophic scenario so it’s vital that someone in your operation is regularly monitoring your air compressors, and that you call for a repair when they identify a problem.

For air compressor supply or servicing, repair and maintenance, talk to Algar Air on 0114 243 2347.


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