For DIYers, a high-quality peerless air compressor is a must-have. It’s what allows pneumatic tools such as grinders to work, as the air acts as the power source. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your air compressor is in tip-top shape. However, it’s likely that most beginners have questions surrounding the use of air compressors, so to ensure you can use your air compressor effectively and efficiently, we have put together this how-to guide.
Health and safety measures
Before operating an air compressor, there are a couple of health and safety measures to consider to ensure that you’re protected.
- Wear a pair of goggles to ensure no dust is blown into your eyes.
- Wear protective clothing, as sources show that air compressors can be dangerous if they penetrate the skin.
- If you have sensitive ears, it’s a good idea to opt for a pair of earmuffs or ear defenders as pneumatic tools can be quite noisy.
Test the safety valve
All air compressors have a safety valve, which is a copper coloured plug attached to the hose line. On the safety valve, there should be a ring that you can pull. When you pull this ring towards you, a safe air compressor will start to make hissing sounds, which is the escaping air. However, if there’s no hissing noise and you can’t pop the safety valve back into place, then it could be faulty, so don’t use it.
Note: If you’re able to pull the valve out and put it back in again securely without having heard any hissing noises, your air compressor is still good to go.
Pressurise the tank
Before you use the air compressor, you need to be able to pressurise the tank. To do this, flip the switch that should be located around the back of the tank. You’ll know you’ve released this when you hear the machine start to buzz and notice that the needle within the gauge is moving towards maximum capacity. When you’re at maximum capacity, you can turn the switch back off.
Find out how much pressure you need
Located somewhere on your tool is a sticker telling you how much pressure you need (PSI). You don’t want to exceed the amount of pressure on here as it will overpower the tool, so if you have too much pressure in your air compressor, use the knob to correct it to the right PSI.
Ready for use
When the air reaches the hose, your air compressor is ready for use!