You know that air compressors are important for your business. It is a major piece of equipment that you need to run smoothly and efficiently in order to get the job done. Discover the right oil for your air compressor to keep it running in tip top shape.
You also know that air compressor oil is needed to keep it running well. But what type should you use? Are there risks of using the wrong oil? What happens if you spill some oil? These are all very common questions, and we will answer all of them so you can make an informed decision on which air compressor oil best suits your needs!
What Are The Different Types of Air Compressor Oil and What Do They Do?
There are a few different types of air compressor oil, each with its own unique purpose. The most common types of air compressor oil are the following seven:
This is the most basic type of oil and is used in many air compressors. It is inexpensive and does a good job of lubricating the air compressor components. However, it is also the slowest oil to absorb heat and lose viscosity, so it should only be used in air compressors running for short periods of time.
It should not be used if your air compressor runs constantly or operates at high temperatures as this type of oil will break down quickly under such conditions.
This type of oil is more expensive than mineral oil, but it has many benefits. It absorbs heat faster, has a higher viscosity, and lasts longer than mineral oil. This makes it a good choice for air compressors that run constantly or at high temperatures.
This type of oil is a blend of synthetic air compressor oil and mineral air compressor oil. It is more expensive than the other types of air compressor oils, but has many benefits as well. This type of air compressor oil absorbs heat faster, retains its viscosity longer, and lasts longer than both types of single-purpose air compressors oils (mineral or synthetic).
Air Compressor Oil Additives
There are air compressor oil additives on the market that claim to enhance air compressor performance. However, most of these products have not been tested by a reputable third party and some may actually harm your air compressor if they contain silicone or other harmful chemicals.
Air Compressor Oils with PTFE (Teflon)
This type of air compressor oil is a synthetic oil that contains PTFE. It is more expensive than other types of air compressor oils, but it has some unique benefits.
This type of air compressor oil does not absorb water and will actually repel it, making it a good choice for air compressors that are used in humid environments. It also has a higher viscosity index, meaning it is resistant to high temperatures and will retain its lubricating properties.
Air Compressor Oil with EP (Extreme Pressure) Additive
This air compressor oil is for air compressors that are driven by gears or belts. It has an additive in the form of PTFE which reduces wear on air compressor components.
Air Compressor Oil with MP (Molybdenum Disulfide) Additive
This air compressor oil is for air compressors that are driven by gears or belts and has an additive in the form of molybdenum disulfide which reduces wear on air compressor components.
How Do I Know Which Oil is Right For My Air Compressor?
To determine which air compressor oil is right for your air compressor, you need to know
- Type of air compressor it is (reciprocating or rotary)
- The temperature at which it operates
- How often it is used.
Once you have these three pieces of information, you can use reference an oil spec chart to hone in on which oil for your needs:
If you are still unsure about which air compressor oil to use, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations, contact a reputable air compressor dealer.
Are There Any Risks with Using The Wrong Type of Oil in My Air Compressor?
Yes. Using air compressor oil that does not match your air compressor can cause wear and tear on air compressor components, which will damage them over time and could even result in a failure of the air compressor unit.
If you accidentally spill oil inside your air compressor unit, shut off the air compressor and allow it to sit for at least 24 hours. This will give time for oil in the air compressor components to migrate away from bearings so they don’t become contaminated with excess lubricant or wear down due to friction.
What Should I Do if I Accidentally Spill Oil on the Ground or Inside My Air Compressor Unit?
Let’s take a look at what you should do if you have the misfortune of experiencing either of the two situations.
Spilled On The Ground
If you spill air compressor oil on the ground, it’s important to clean up immediately. If left alone, air compressor oil can kill grass and plants which may result in an environmental hazard or costly cleanup if your property is rented out.
After cleaning up any air compressor oil spills, make sure they are completely dry before using them again since oil and water don’t mix.
Spilled Inside The Unit
If you spill air compressor oil inside your air compressor unit, it’s important to shut off the air compressor and allow it to sit for at least 24 hours so the oil can migrate away from bearings.
If this is not done, the excess lubricant will contaminate these components and could lead to wear down or even air compressor failure.
How Should I Change The Oil in My Air Compressor, and How Often?
The frequency of which you need to replace air compressor oil depends on a variety of factors such as:
- How much your air compressor is used (the more it’s used, the faster its oil will break down)
- What type of air compressor oil you are using
- The air temperature where your air compressor is stored.
It’s recommended to change the air compressor oil in rotary compressors every 50 hours, reciprocating air compressors every 100-150 hours and turbochargers either once a year or prior to winter storage if it will be used during cold weather months. It’s also a good idea to change air compressor oil after any air compressor rebuild.
Hopefully, this article has equipped you with the information needed to help determine which air compressor oil is right for your air compressor.
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