Improving Efficiency Of Industrial Air Compressors: 3 Ways To Repair Leaks

Energy inefficiencies of industrial air compressors are mainly caused by leakages of air. In fact, studies indicate that as much as 25% to 35% of energy lost is from leaks, as a leak coming from a hole that is 3/8-inch in diameter in a system at 100 psig can cost up to $31,200 each and every year. If your factory relies on an industrial air compressor, being proactive and using an ultrasonic leak detector to look for leaks regularly can help improve overall efficiency and reduce operational costs. An ultrasonic leak detector is very easy to use. But what can you do if you do detect any leaks? Here are 3 easy repairs you might want to try yourself.

Repairing Leaks Coming from the Compressor Pressure Switch

Over time, the compressor pressure switch of your industrial air compressor will be susceptible to leaks. If this is the case, the ultrasonic leak detector should detect airflow coming from either the switch itself or from the electric wire ports that are connected to the pressure switch. Compressor pressure switch leakages are almost always caused by worn-down diaphragms within the switch.

To repair the compressor pressure switch, you should unplug the compressor from any power source before you disassemble the switch and replace the diaphragm with a new one. As some industrial air compressor parts are hard to come by, you may have to resort to replacing the entire switch. If this is the case, make sure to choose a model with the same voltage and pressure rating.

Stopping Leaks at Joints at End-Use Applications

A fairly common culprit for leaks in industrial air compressors is the joints at the end-use applications. The ultrasonic leak detector should detect airflow coming from the specific joint or application where the leak is present. These types of leaks are fairly easy to repair. Most of the time, you'll be able to patch up the leak by simply tightening the connection at the joint or replacing the couplings or fittings.

At times, the parts may be functioning and in good condition. The problem may lie with the thread sealant. If that's the case, you should consider resealing the joint. If you can identify the location where the air is leaking out from, you might be able to patch up small holes by applying more sealant to the area. If not, scrape the sealant off and start over.

Patching Up Leaks Coming from the Inter Stage Safety Relief Valve

If the ultrasonic leak detector is detecting airflow coming from the inter stage safety relief valve of the industrial air compressor, then there's a couple of ways that you can repair the problem. The most common solution recommended is to install a new safety relief valve; however, if the valve is new, the problem may lie with the reed valve assembly.

To patch up leaks that are caused by the reed valve assembly, which is one of the most neglected parts of the industrial air compressor, simply remove the cylinder head to clean it. Make sure you remove all dust or dirt particles that may have accumulated at the area. Wipe the reed valve assembly dry before you assemble it again.


Leaks coming from an industrial air compressor can cause your factory a fortune. This wasted energy will decrease overall productivity of the factory and will only get worse with time. It's important to be diligent in inspecting for leaks by using an ultrasonic leak detector. In the event that you have detected a leak that you cannot repair, contact a professional immediately. You should always check to make sure that the leaks are patched up and fixed after each and every repair. For more tips, contact a company like Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc.