How to Use an Air Compressor

How to Use an Air Compressor

Having an air compressor can make wonders for your everyday life. Knowing how to work with it properly, though is what will take you to another level. These tools are amazing if you’ve decided that you want to work on some personal DIY project in your garage or around the house.

Air compressors are used for a variety of tasks present almost anywhere around us. From your own basement, though the neighbor’s yard to gas stations, car repair shops and much more, pressurized air has found its way in the modern industry. What makes air compressors famous and a must-have for many households is the array of tasks they can handle for you such as inflating mattresses, toys, the flat tire on your car, the pool for the kids out in the garden. They can also power your nail gun, spray gun, pressure washer or staplers.

The magic happens right inside those devices, where electrical energy is converted into kinetic and that on its own part is used to power your array of tools from a single supply. Now, let’s quickly go through the first steps of learning how to handle an air compressor, shall we?

Introducing You To The World Of Pressurized Air

Before we move forward you have to make sure that you are wearing as much safety gear as needed. Usually, safety glasses are just fine, but still important to have them. Now, go take your air compressor, put it in front of you, maybe even give it a name (just kidding), locate a nearby power supply and we can get started here.

Step One. Make sure you assemble your air compressor exactly as you are instructed by the user manual of your specific product. Inside it, there are installation steps and procedures provided (often with pictures), follow them and once you are done plug in the tool. An important thing to say here is that you should never go above the specified pressure written on the manual. For example, if your air compressor is said to never go above 120 psi, don’t go above this limit even if your gauge says you can go up to 150.

Step Two. Now it’s time to connect your hose to the compressor’s valve. After you are done with that, check the oil levels and add oil if the levels are too low (if your compressor is oil-lubed). If it isn’t, forget what we just said.

Step Three. Plug in your assembled compressor to an outlet and check if its relief valve is set properly and working. Ensuring that this valve works will protect you from future system failures and even injuries. Its function is narrowed down to automatically open if the compressor is under more pressure than it can handle.

Step Four. Check if the gauges are working and whether all valves are okay again (double-checking on this one).

Step Five. Bring in your tools and try them one by one to make sure that everything is working properly and that there will be no surprises in the future. But still, if you are new to all this, be extra careful around nail guns. Trust us on this one.

After using the compressor for your needs, make sure you turn it off properly (first the button then the outlet, not just the outlet) and drain the fluid out of it. Many people don’t realize that air is actually humid and this humidity is gathered inside their air compressor tanks. This water has to be drained out regularly, otherwise, it will lower your working volume and eventually degrade your experience.

What Not To Do With An Air Compressor

Air Compressor

Now that we’ve quickly walked you through the Dos, it’s time for the Don’ts.

You should never forget that your air compressor is a powerful tool to handle and you should always treat it with caution and safety. Everybody thinks that bad things won’t happen to him, but there are enough incidents with these types of work tools, so please take this seriously.

Once again, do not use these compressors without safety glasses and shoes (somewhat optional, depending on the compressor and the work you’re doing). Never plug in the compressor to an outlet while the power switch button is switched to “On” and never use your air compressor with an oil pump or on a highly unstable surface.

Most power tools are made specifically to work with air compressors but you have to always check if that is the case. Don’t just use your compressor with any power tool.

Constantly check whether your air hose is clean, and not torn, ripped or damaged in any way, or even overused. Replacing your hose is an important step of taking care of your air compressor and has to be done regularly after inspection. It goes without saying that they shouldn’t have any kinds of kinks or holes, as those can lead to serious issues. Do not use any hose that indicates that it’s damaged in any way.

Knowing the PSI required for the task you are undergoing is crucial as well. As you will be using your air compressor for various of these tasks, you need to know what kind of psi you need for each one of them. For example, to power screwdrivers, you need around 70-90 psi. Nail guns, on the other hand, require around 100-120 psi. Inflating tires requires around 30-50 psi and so on.

Overall, it is important to always remember that you have a tank filled with pressurized air in your hands and you need to treat this volume of compressed air with the required safety and caution. If you aren’t sure of something, better not do it and try finding instructions for it in the user manual or online. “Better safe than sorry” is what we are trying to imply this whole guide.