Air Compressor Care

arrived at the space today to find the air compressor had been left powered off with around 4 bar in the tank. This will cause corrosion, shortening the tools life i.e. air tank will rust out.

When finished for the day you should always:

  1. drain tank condensate using small valve located underneath between the wheels.
  2. release all tank pressure using valve located at side of on/off switch (or use an air tool).

Air compressor procedures are as follows:

Before Use

  • Check oil level. There is a small, circular glass window at the base of the compressor head. In the middle there is a red dot. The oil level should bisect the red dot. If low, then top up adding compressor oil slowly through the red filler cap above. DO NOT start the machine when oil is low.
  • Confirm compressor switch is in the Off position.
  • Apply power i.e. plug it in.
  • Start compressor by moving compressor switch to the on position. Motor should start and pressure gauges should start moving.
  • Check water trap, located at handle end of unit. Use pressure relief valve at bottom to drain water.

After Use

  • Power off using compressor switch i.e. NOT power outlet or power cord.
  • Raise handle end of unit by placing a block of wood under the feet. This allows water in the tank to drain towards the wheels.
  • Open the tank drain valve located under the tank, between the wheels. Leave open until no more water is expelled and tank pressure has been released.
  • Close tank drain valve.
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Sorry that was me, I thought I had done it but got distracted when I was packing up.

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I’ve been pondering … never looked into this before …

Is it common to have a water trap on the input (eg silica gel) to avoid the issue? Gel would need to be replaces. Or is this impractical, excessive volume of air?

In any case, does using the drain really remove enough water to prevent corrosion?


If the drain is positioned correctly it will usually remove most, if not all liquid water in the tank.
It might not be perfect, but it helps none the less.
I have not heard of people putting a desiccant on the input, but it may be worth considering.