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2016WinterShotcreteEMag

Nozzleman Knowledge On-Job Compressor Maintenance Essentials Due to near-constant full-throttle operation and the proximity to shotcrete operations, air filters require cleaning or replacement more often than the normal manufacturer’s recommended service intervals (Fig. 3). On-job maintenance of air filters is a constant responsibility. Because adequate engine and compressor intake filtration is one of the most important maintenance elements to equipment service life, cleaning and replacement of air filters should be part of all on-job maintenance. Check the Vital Fluids (Including Ones that You Don’t Know About) Vital fluids must be kept at the correct levels. Like other construction equipment, fuel, engine oil dipstick, and engine coolant levels must be checked prior to operation. On portable air compressors, the components that compress, regulate, and cool the air are lubricated with vital fluids that must be maintained at safe levels. When asked, many operators cannot identify the procedure to check or fill the compressor head unit, or the type of lubricant required. The compressor head unit and filter/ separator assembly fluid must be checked routinely by viewing the lubricant level through a sight glass or opening a large filler plug (with the engine off and all air pressure drained) located near the bottom of the filter/separator tank (Fig. 4). Operating an air compressor with low compressor head lubricant can cause overheating, shutdown, or costly damage to the compressor head unit. Prior to use, on-job personnel should check all vital fluid levels. Check the Battery If the battery on an air compressor starts the motor, no one will think any more about it. Typically, batteries only receive attention when the motor will not start. Although most batteries configured for construction equipment are designed to be maintenance-free, the battery’s electrical terminals are not. Neglect and corrosion of the battery terminals creates voltage and current fluctuations that can damage the electronic control module, prompt unexpected shutdowns, or other costly problems (Fig. 5). Routinely inspect and clean battery terminals before, not after, a problem occurs. Fig. 3: A visual inspection can easily identify dirty air filters Fig. 4: A sight glass or filter plug are provided to check compressor head lubricant level 44 Shotcrete • Winter 2016


2016WinterShotcreteEMag
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