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What is an air compressor switch?

Air compressors are made of many working parts, and one extremely important one is the air compressor switch. In this article we’re aiming to give you basic guide of what the air compressor switch does, and how to manage any issues that arise.

What does an air compressor switch do?

The air compressor switch is used to control the amount of pressure inside your tank. It does this by detecting when your compressor has reached the desired level of pressure and shuts the system off accordingly. By the same token, as you’re working, the air compressor switch will turn the system on again when pressure drops too low.

Without the pressure switch, you would be putting yourself and your equipment at a serious safety risk, as over-pressurized tanks can cause ruptures, damage to piping and end-use tools, and can also cause injury to the user.

How to test your air compressor switch?

Performing regular testing of your air compressor switch can save you time and money on costly repairs down the track. The following steps are fairly standard for most air compressor switches, however we strongly recommend checking your user manual before proceeding.

  1. Unplug your compressor and remove the compressor switch housing.
  2. Disconnect the wires connecting your pressure switch and the terminal block (usually blue or brown). Ensure you leave the black and white wires connected as these power the unit.
  3. Find the valve and apply air to the switch. You’ll need to use a source that can deliver more pressure than your switch is currently set to, otherwise it won’t engage.
  4. Connect your ohm meter leads to the loose wires and check the reading.
  5. If you get a reading of “0”, this means the switch is closed and working correctly.
  6. If you get a reading of open, “OL” or similar, there could be an issue and we recommending seeking some expert advice.

If you’re not confident with these testing procedures, you should always seek advice from qualified repairers such as Airtools WA.

Air compressor switch problems

Because they’re so frequently used, air compressor switches will begin to wear over a long period. The main issues you’ll experience are:

Leaking: If the diaphragm inside your air compressor switch becomes worn or cracked, you may experience leaks – usually from around the switch housing or mounting elements.

Unloader Valve: Many air compressor switches have their unloader valve on the outside of the unit. This is the first place you should check for leaks. The unloader valve allows air to escape when necessary, but if you hear a hissing sound for more than a few seconds, you might have a problem.

As with any kind of maintenance, if you’re not 100% confident in buying the replacement parts and fixing it yourself, you should always seek expert advice. In the long run, it may save you time and money.

Do you need some help?

Replacing an air compressor switch can sometimes result in further issues if not done correctly. We always recommend seeking expert help to ensure firstly that you get the right replacements switch, and also to have the repairs done correctly. As your local WA air compressor switch experts, contact Airtools WA today for the very best products and advice.

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