Even with an industry-leading compressed air system, you may face a few hiccups along the way. Lucky for you, we’ve got your back.

shutterstock_667759822Rotary vane compressors, while consistently more efficient, durable, and cost-effective than rotary screw models, may rarely exhibit unexpected behavior or mechanical issues.

Keep in mind that isolating the cause of a complex system failure may require thorough professional assessment. However, a few common operational problems are seen across the board in rotary vane models. With the help of this guide, basic troubleshooting will be a breeze.

Problem: Your compressor won’t start.

Solution: First, check the power supply to be sure it is on and, the compressor display to see if there is an error code. Make sure the emergency stop function is not activated. Check to see if the system pressure is above the cut-in point on the pressure switch. Ensure both oil volume and temperature are at appropriate levels by checking safety switches and oil level.

If working with an industrial air compressor, check your thermal overload relay device. Additionally, if your compressor won’t start, but seems as if it’s trying to do so, take a look at your compressor unloader valve to ensure it is operating accordingly.

Problem: Your compressor shuts down unexpectedly.

Solution: Most often, unexpected shutdowns are due to overheating. First, assess your temperature sensors, as levels may be above normal. Temperature sensors or switches monitor coolants, air and oil inlet heat, as well as discharge air temperature levels, so they can affect a number of heat-related problems. Check your thermostatic valve for issues and evaluate your compressor cooler device for functionality problems or excess dust and dirt.

Another cause of the problem could be oil-related. Check to affirm that you are using the right type of oil, that oil levels are sufficiently high, and that your oil lines are not impeded by dirt or other blockages.

Problem: Your compressor is producing unusual noises.

Solution: First, look for loose bolts, belts, pulleys or damaged flexible coupling element. If the sound is emanating from the machine itself, assess oil level and the condition of the oil, and if the sound is changed in response to changing oil levels, confirm that inlet and outlet valves are working properly.

Problem: There’s oil in your compressed air.

Solution: There may be a number of causes for oil remaining in your final product, even with proper filtration systems in place. Check to ensure that the oil return/scavenger lines are functioning.  The most probable cause is oil-related, so make sure to always monitor oil levels. If your oil level is too high, residual particles will remain in the air. You may also be using the wrong kind of oil or oil whose viscosity is too low, and if your oil is of relatively low viscosity, high heat levels can exacerbate the problem.

Problem: Your compressor’s temperature is higher than manufacturer recommendations.

Solution: Usually, this is a result of low oil levels, so begin by checking oil level and refilling with OEM oil. If this does not solve the problem, check the system’s air and water flow for potential restrictions. If the machine is air cooled check that the ambient temperature is within recommended range and that there is proper ventilation if the machine is located in an equipment room.

Problem: Even with an air dryer attached to your system, you see excessive amounts of water in your compressed air line.

Solution: Evaluate your automatic drain trap mechanisms for any blockages. Then, drain your air receiver by hand. If draining does not fix the problem, have your air dryer professionally serviced, or replace it if necessary. Further, you can install a moisture separator in your air line to reduce potential issues moving forward. Finally, consider using Mattei Automatic Tank Drain to aid in water drainage.

Problem: Your air pressure drops when using pneumatic tools.

Solution: Pressure fluctuations may be the result of a number of issues. First, survey filter elements for damage or clogging. Examine piping, valves, and lines for potential leaks. Finally, ensure the diameters of your hose and the quick-disconnect bore are suitable for your air flow needs, as either may cause pressure troubles if they are too small.

The most prudent measure you can take to guarantee that your compressor remains low-maintenance and reliable for the long term is to invest in an industry-leading Mattei rotary vane compressor. Designed with high-performance output and durability top-of-mind, with a Mattei model, you’ll spend less time troubleshooting and more time achieving your goals and optimizing productivity.

Our compressors outperform and outlast screw models because there is virtually no corrosion to rotor vanes. Since Mattei compressors use bushings instead of bearings, parts are self-lubricated, reducing overall wear on your machine and contributing to a longer life. Invest in a Mattei air compressor today to boost your ROI and get the most out of your system.

Topics: Air Compressor, Rotary Vane Compressor, Compressor 101

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Additional Resources

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