How do you detect compressors' leaks?

An air Leak is one of the worst enemies your compressor and your entire compressor system possibly face during its life cycle. In this blog, you can better understand at which point an air leak can appear and how to detect it. 

Leaks along your compressed air system can appear every time and at any moment. Underestimating the effect of this issue can cause you a loss in terms of costs and air production, which can reach 20-30% of the compressor’s output. 

Detect your compressors air leak

Losses in compressed air affect your compressor and piping system, and can also have unfortunate consequences in your entire compressed air system. Some examples can be:

  • Fluctuating system pressure, which can cause inefficiency in your manufacturing machines and systems.
  • Excess compressor capacity, which can turn into higher and unnecessary costs.
  • Unnecessary running time, which means necessary maintenance.

Leaks can be caused in several compressed air systems’ components. The most common ones are:

  • Couplings, hoses, and fittings
  • Filters regulators and lubricators
  • Pressure regulators
  • Point of usage devices
  • Valves

A quick test

The quickest way to be sure that no leaks have appeared along our compressed air system is through a timer test. This easy test can register the on-load time (T1) and the off-load time (T2), both in minutes, according to the following formula:

  • Total leakage percentage = [(T1*100)]/[(T1+T2)]

To consider your system efficient and without losses, the total leakage percentage must be lower than 10%. Be aware that the test must be run when the production is shut down.

Three tips to detect leaks in your air compressors

There are several ways you can detect leaks in your air compressor system. Our suggestion is to develop three methods to detect leaks:

Listen carefully: if you hear hiss and whistles, you probably have found a leak.

Observe scrupulously: your devices can have small holes that you can see with a naked eye or with a solution of soap and water. 

Measure: a specific ultrasonic detector can verify systematically your entire compressed air system and quantify losses linked to air leaks.

Preventing your compressed air systems from leaks has positive effects not only on your compressor and systems, but also on your entire production and investments. You can find additional information about why a backup compressor is important in this article, or put yourself in contact with our experts.

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