KAESER Know How blog post: How to ensure a smooth restart and maximise compressed air uptime after lockdown
KAESER Know How Blog

In this blog post we share with you four key checks that we recommend doing before restarting your compressor after an extended period of shut down to ensure a smooth restart and maximum compressed air uptime.

Checks to do after an extended shutdown
KAESER Know How Blog

In this blog post we share with you four key checks that we recommend doing before restarting your compressor after an extended period of shut down to ensure a smooth restart and maximum compressed air uptime.

Checks to do after an extended shutdown
How to ensure a smooth restart and maximise compressed air uptime after lockdown

17 April 2020

Extended periods of compressor shut down can cause a number of issues if left unchecked. So, if you’re about to reopen your facility after an extended break then there are a number of checks you should consider performing on your compressed air system before starting it up. In this blog post we share with you four key checks that we recommend doing before restarting your compressor to ensure a smooth restart and maximum compressed air uptime.

As we all wait for confirmation as to when we will move down from COVID-19 Alert Level 4 to Level 3, many facilities that have been in lockdown will now be starting to think about the steps they will need to take to reopen. Something that shouldn't be overlooked is the compressed air system. When a compressed air system is shut down for an extended period of time and then switched on again, if left unchecked there are a number of issues that may arise which could compromise the compressors performance. Read on to learn more about some of the key issues that could arise and the simple checks to perform... 

  • Check for oil leaks
    During extended periods of shut down there is an increased risk of oil leaks. When hoses and fittings cool down they can become brittle and when the machine restarts they can then fracture. A visual check of the compressed air system should quickly highlight if there is any oil where there shouldn't be, and let you know if any of your pipework has degraded.

  • Check oil quality
    There's also a chance that the oil quality has suffered from sitting still for too long. It can become dirty and this can affect the operation of your compressor. Look for any discolouration or floating particles in the tank. An oil sample analysis with your service provider is the most comprehensive way to check the condition of the oil. 

  • Check the drive belts
    As rubber can deteriorate when left idle for too long, the drive belts are another component in a compressor that may have suffered from sitting still. The tension of the belts should be checked as well as looking for any visible cracks. Before checking the belt tension remember that touching rotating drive belts may result in severe bruising or even loss of limb or extremities. The cabinet should not be open while the machine is switched on. Therefore, prior to checking the belt tension, ensure that the supply power isolator is switched off and locked using a safe lock out/tag out procedure, and check that no voltage is present.

  • Perform an insulation test on the motor
    On larger units from around 37 kW and above it may be beneficial to perform an insulation test on the motor. When your compressor has been operating in a warm climate and is then shut down and cools down, moisture can collect inside the motor which can cause the motor to short circuit when you start it back up again.* 
All of these areas will undoubtedly affect the reliability of your compressor air system and are therefore worth checking before restart. If you are concerned about any of your findings from performing these checks then contact your service provider who will be able to assist you in rectifying them. While we have shared these tips with you in light of the current COVID-19 situation, these tips are also worth bearing in mind whenever you switch your compressed air system on for the first time after having turned it off for an extended period of time - such as if you close down for the festive season.

Important: please note that only qualified and authorised personnel should perform maintenance tasks who have read, are conversant with and adhere to the safety instructions and section of the service manual applicable to maintenance of the piece of compressed air equipment. *All electrical work should be carried out by a competent person.

Take the stress out of restarting your compressed air system

KAESER AIR SERVICE

Let us help you get your compressed air system up and running after a long break. 

For a comprehensive inspection before starting up your compressed air system simply phone 0800 447 820 or fill in the form below and we will contact you.

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