Airwell Care and Maintenance with Tom Sedgwick
The work horse of your Airwell pumping system - The Air Compressor
When you consider that most workshop air compressors would be lucky to run for more than several hours each week, where as a compressor used to operate your Airwell pumping system may be required to operate 24 hours per day every day, you should expect problems with your compressor if maintenance is neglected.
By the time you buy your Airwell system and compressor, Airwell has already made some modifications to the compressor and supplies an air compressor that with a little TLC should provide you with many years of service. For over 10 years Airwell has recommended and sold the “Pilot” air compressor for the quality of the Italian made compressor unit and the back up and support given by the supplier.
To overcome much of the heat and friction factors that cause most of the wear and tear on the air compressor parts, Airwell has replaced the standard aluminium fly wheel with a cast iron fly wheel and added a counter weight at the other end. This has the effect of slowing the running speed of the compressor down to about 66% of its normal operating speed and reducing the volume of air the compressor produces.
Why do we do this? Simple, a normal air compressor is designed to build up to maximum pressure then shut off until the pressure drops then the compressor will restart and build the pressure back up before shutting down again and so the cycle goes on. This is fine if the compressor does not turn on and off every couple of minutes. As previously stated most wear and tear comes from heat and friction, heat is generated mostly when reaching those top pressures before switching off, friction is increased the more times the air compressor switches off and on.
Airwell uses a complex calculation to work out the amount of air and the pressure you need to operate your pumping system most effectively. By knowing this we will recommend the most suitable sized compressor for your application. The required outcome is the compressor should only produce sufficient air to operate you pump system efficiently and not stop while pumping and the compressor never reaches the maximum pressures you have effectively reduced the heat and friction in the compressor.
Regular and ongoing maintenance is the other key requirement to achieve long term results from your compressor. I have listed below the areas you need to pay attention to:
1. Drain the water condensation from your air receiver tank weekly or if in high humidity areas daily.
2. Check oil level in the sight glass at the same time as ou drain the water. It is also important to remember that because the air compressor has been slowed down the oil level must be at the top of the sight glass and not halfway.
3. Change oil regularly, monthly is recommended especially for compressors operating over 12 hours per day.
4. Due to the expected longer running periods we only use and recommend a 150 grade oil be used in your compressor.
5. When changing the oil, also check the tension and alignment of the 'V' belt. An out of alignment belt or poorly fitted belt will wear quickly.
6. If you have a VVVF drive fitted to your compressor ensure this is moutned on the wall.
7. Any "different" or unusual noised should be investigated promptly as this could save repair costs later.
8. Keep your compressor clean and free of spilt oil and dust to aid better cooling.
Airwell stock a full range of spare parts for your convenience. Please contact Tom on 0418 844 331 to order
I hope this information helps improve the performance and life of your air compressor and provide you with trouble free pumping for many years.