Scuba Diving has become an increasingly popular activity, particularly for those on vacation, offering spectacular view of sights under the water and a thrill that most adventurous individuals are looking for. Scuba Diving can be quite dangerous, require long hours of training to ensure the safety of oneself and others around.
An often overlooked aspect of Scuba Diving concerns the matter of maintenance. Most divers are unaware about how compressed air fills their oxygen tanks and less about the proper maintenance of their breathing air compressor. A faulty air compressor can endanger lives, so it is important to get your compressor tested and ensure proper maintenance. For this reason, here are five important air compressor maintenance tips you might want to follow.
What Is A Breathing Air Compressor?
For any business and experienced diving expert, an explanation regarding the object of a breathing air compressor can seem quite redundant, but for those who don’t know, here’s a brief synopsis. A Breathing Air Compressor is as its name suggests – a small machine with the purpose of filtering the surrounding air and compresses it to around 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) to fill your air tanks.
Primarily, a great exercise to ensuring proper maintenance of your air compressor system would be to initiate frequent and comprehensive air audits. The Department of Energy believes that air compressors use almost 10% of the energy produced in the United States, but actually waste at least 50% of this as leaks account for 25%-30% compressed air use. The numbers reflect a machine with huge inconsistencies and considerable wasted energy. Consistent and complete air audits will make sure that your air compressor works at its maximum potential, finding potential leaks and prevalent issues that could be affecting the effectiveness of your machine.
Change Air Filter
Just like you would change and monitor your air conditioning system’s air filter, you should also check and change your air compressors air filter. Remember, your system’s purpose is to condense air to be pumped into oxygen tanks. The air outside is not clean, containing dust and other particulates that can find their way into the breathing apparatus if poorly filtered. Such particulates and other microbial contaminants can cause illness and in some cases death. Particulates can cause issues with the machine itself but more importantly issues to the individuals using the apparatus.
Similarly, a poorly maintained filter can cause the inclusion of Carbon Monoxide into the breathing equipment. If otherwise unknown, Carbon Monoxide or CO is a poisonous gas and has been known to kill. The gas is odorless meaning you could be allowing it into your breathing equipment and you would never know.
Changing your air filter helps to reduce all of these issues limiting the amount of particulates that could make their way into the air supply while reducing the appearance of Carbon Monoxide and protecting the safety of individuals that use the equipment. Filters are relatively inexpensive, providing a quick and simple resolution and judging from their importance, they should be apart of your maintenance process.
Proper Lubrication and Oil Levels
Nothing works better than a well-oiled machine. Similar to the way a car needs oil to lubricate the engine’s pistons, so too does an air compressor need oil.
Lubrication is needed in order for the compressor’s system to function at maximum efficiency. Without proper lubrication, too much or too little, the systems can get damaged through heat and corrosion, so maintaining proper oil levels and viscosity is of the utmost importance.
Low quality lubrication build up within the air compressor, causing low efficiency and more power to run the system. Adequate time spent on ensuring proper lubrication will help save you thousands, removing the need for repair.
Luckily, there are a few air compressors that don’t need oil. It is important to understand your system and its needs. Education regarding your system will provide you with the ability to take better care of it.
Removing Moisture Build-Up
As air is heated up and cooled quickly in order to be compressed, moisture can build up within the pipes. Moisture leads to rusting and corrosion, eventually causing failure to the system. Additionally, without the presence of rust, moisture can inexplicably affect the efficiency of your air compressor. Through proper cleaning and maintenance, moisture build-up can be reduced ensuring the longevity of your system.
Adhering to ISO quality classes
Various type of equipment are defined by a series of ISO Quality Classes. The classes differentiate the quality of these pieces – 0 representing the highest quality. Using these classes can help to decipher which type of equipment would be needed to help your air compressor work at optimum level, also saving you money from purchasing items that won’t help you.
Overall, a clean system bodes well for clean compressed air. Through considerable testing and maintenance you can make sure your breathing air compressor functions without failure. According to considerable research, poorly maintained air compressors are responsible for at least $3.2 billion in excess utility costs and inefficiencies.
The International Organization for Standardization and Occupational Safety and Health Standard have become stricter concerning properly regulated air and every year, their standards change. Failure to adhere to the changes could spell doom for your organization/business. Reading and educating yourself about these new rules and regulations is best way to protect yourself from accidents and possible court cases.
All the aforementioned tips are part of a comprehensive air audit program to ensure the purity of your air. Purity should be a major concern for you and the safety of others. Contact Lawrence Factor experts to test the efficiency of your equipment and the purity of your air. They will direct you to the best tools and ways to improve the longevity of your equipment. Your safety and the safety of others is imperative to function of breathing systems. People are relying on the effectiveness of breathing apparatus to keep them alive. The first step would be ensuring your air compressor works well and produces clean air.