Reciprocating Air Compressor – Maintenance Checks and Schedule

April 25, 2015

The basic working principle of a reciprocating type screw air compressor is the same regardless of the brand and model However, the design of ach equipment is different between different manufacturers and from one model to another. The owner’s manual is one the most recommended place to refer for while preparing a maintenance check and schedule for your compressor. The schedule below provides generic checks and schedule that can be followed for your reciprocating compressor.

Maintenance Checks and Schedule

Item Activity Observation/Remarks 
  1. 1.    DAILY CHECKS
1.1 Visual inspection before stat up.  
  Check the oil level. Maintain between high and low level marks onThe sight glass. Warning: Do not overfill!   
1.2 Drain moisture accumulation from the air receiver.  
1.3 Drain drop legs and traps in air distribution system, if applicable  
  Check if safety guards are in place.   
1.4 Check oil pressure, (Guide line:18 to 20 psig for compressors up to 200Psig. Forr pressures above 200 psig, maintain a minimum oil pressure of 25 psig. Refer to owner’s manual for more specifics)   
1.5 Check for any unusual noise or vibration.  
1.6 Check for oil leaks.  
1.7 Check the power, (Voltage and Amps drawn)  
1.8 Check the Cooling water supply (for water cooled compressors)  


2.1 Manually operate the safety valves to make sure they are functioning.   
2.2 Clean the cooling surfaces of the intercooler, aftercooler andcompressor.   
2.3 Perform thorough leak check on the entire system including distribution system, hoses and connectors  


3.1 Check oil for any contamination and change if necessary. Check more frequently id operated  under humid or dirty condition  
3.2 Check belt tension and adjust if needed  
3.3 Check pulley and pulley clamp screws or set screws for tightness.  
3.4 Inspect filters in Unloader Pilot Hydraulic Unloader and Three Way Valve.  


4.1 Change oil and oil filter  
4.2 Perform three monthly check on the engine (if engine driven)  


5.1 Change oil and oil filter  
5.2 Perform Six monthly check on the engine (if engine driven)  
5.3 Inspect compressor valves for leakage and/or carbon buildup.  


6.1 Inspect pressure switch diaphragm and contacts  
6.2 Inspect and clean contact points in motor starter (frequent start/stop can cause sparking and carbon build up)  
6.3 Lubricate electric motor or engine.