8 Necessities When Winterizing Industrial Air Compressors
Cold winter temperatures put stress on air compressors. Industrial facilities need to prepare air compressors for cold temperatures by carrying out vital winterization tasks.
Air compressor winterization prevents equipment malfunctions and maximizes air compressor longevity. The following are eight tips for winterizing industrial air compressors.
1. Check for Condensation
Condensation within an air compressor tank creates significant problems as the temperature drops. Water expands as it freezes. If water accumulates in a tank because of condensation, freeze thaw damage causes significant damage within the interior of the air compressor.
Remove condensation from an air compressor by placing the receiver tank at a low angle so that the moisture naturally drains. Depending on what model air compressor you have at your facility, your air compressor may drain automatically.
Even if your air compressor drains automatically, you should still perform inspections to test periodically for condensation issues as part of your winterization regime.
2. Apply Heat Trace Tape
Heat trace tape protects drain bowls and drain lines against the cold. However, heat trace tape needs a power supply to function properly. Apply heat trace tape over every exposed part of your drain lines for greatest effectiveness.
3. Replace Worn Weather Stripping
Inspect weather stripping before the coldest temperatures of the year hit. Over time, weather stripping will naturally wear away and require replacement.
Fortunately, replacing weather stripping is an inexpensive and simple task to prepare air compressor equipment for winter.
4. Empty Receiver Tanks
Focus on receiver tanks for winterization procedures. If you run your industrial air compressor throughout the winter, periodic receiver tank inspection is essential.
You must prevent moisture from freezing in your receiver tanks to prevent enormous disruptions to your operations if you’re reliant on your air compressor to continue production. Other problems lingering moisture causes include corrosion, deterioration of air cylinder moisture, and scale development in pneumatic controls.
Inspect for moisture in receiver tanks, and remove moisture using drying and dehumidifying equipment to protect receiver tanks from moisture issues.
5. Adjust Louvers
Louver adjustments are important to keep cold air out of the compressor inlet. Adjusting louvers also recovers heat that’s headed toward the compressor outlet. Also, louver adjustments keep moisture out of the oil circuit while also maintaining adequate lubrication of moving parts.
Louver adjustments direct warm air toward the compressor rooms. This minimizes the negative impact of compressor exposure to cold temperatures.
6. Service Drains, Valves, and Separators
The end of the summer and the fall is a good time to inspect drains, valves, and separators. Inspection should include thorough cleaning of these essential air compressor components.
Parts like drains, valves, and separators are subject to moisture exposure, and moisture exposure is one of the biggest problems with winterization and preventing winter malfunctions of air compression systems.
7. Inspect Hoses and Belts
Unfortunately, cold weather wreaks havoc on rubber equipment. Hoses and belts connected to air compressors are generally made of rubber.
Inspect hoses and belts for cracks as part of winterization procedures. Replace cracked hoses and belts because winter weather expands such cracks and makes air compressor malfunctions likely when cracks are present.
8. Install Ambient or Cabinet Heaters
Installation of ambient or cabinet heaters is an effective way to deal with the problems of operating air compression equipment in cold temperatures.
Ambient and cabinet heaters keep lubricant warm to protect the compressor and reduce any wear on the motor. This keeps the chances of system malfunctions resulting from cold temperature operation to a minimum.
At Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc., we offer compressed air system sales and service. Contact us for assistance with your industrial air compressor needs.