Setting The Right Pressure For Your Air Compressor

Setting your air pressure switch the right way can affect how successful your projects are, how safe the tools are that you use with your air compressor and how long your air compressor lasts. This switch is found on different locations, depending on the type of air compressor.

Use As Little Power As Possible

Always set the pressure switch so that you are using the least amount of power necessary for a given application. The greater the increase in pressure, the more energy that the compressor will need and the more expensive it will be to operate. For very powerful compressors, you may damage the tools you are using if the pressure is set high enough. Also, setting the pressure higher places more strain on the compressor and makes it more likely to fail sooner.

Set The Cut-in And Cut-Out Points

You will need to set two pressure set points: the cut-in and cut-out point. These are the pressures at which the compressor starts and stops. The cut-in pressure is always lower than the cut-out pressure. The difference between the two is referred to as the pressure differential. If the difference between the cut-in and cut-out pressure is too small, the compressor will start and stop frequently, which will cause it to wear out more quickly. The right cut-in and cut-out points will offer you the pressure you need without wearing out your compressor. Sometimes, the pressure switch comes with a fixed differential, which means you will have no control over this variable. 

Preparing To Set The Cut-In Point

When setting the cut-in pressure, you will want to make sure that you have an empty tank. Let air escape and allow for the pressure to come down. Wait for the compressor to stop and then write down the pressure. This is the cut-in pressure. You can then adjust the cut-in pressure using the larger set screw. 

Once the cut-in pressure has been set correctly, open the drain valve and allow the compressed air to escape. Note the cut-in pressure again and make adjustments if necessary until you have achieved the desired pressure.

Damaged Air Compressors

If you use too much air pressure and you have damaged your air compressor, it will be time to get a new one. It is better to purchase a new compressor than to try to get the job done with a compressor that isn't working properly.

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