It’s still winter. Whether you believe in what the groundhog says or not (sorry, Buckeye Chuck), it seems winter will hang around a while longer. That means now is a good time to revisit what you’re doing to take care of your compressed air systems.
Kaeser, the gold standard in air compressors, has great ideas. Here are five tips from them on how to winterize your compressed air system to prevent your plant or facility from costly repairs or worse … shutting down altogether.
1. Check tanks and drain them regularly
Condensation could cause serious problems for your system.
- Keep water (condensation or moisture) from freezing in the tank
- Use an automatic drain to maximize condensate collection for your tank
- Check tanks – Kaeser recommends at least weekly throughout the year
2. Use heat trace tape around drain lines and bowls
What is heat trace tape? It’s tape — a flexible sticky substance — that enables you to wrap around pipes to keep them from freezing. You’ll need power though. If your facility is shutting down for any time during the winter, drain water from all lines before closing your plant.
3. Adjust louvers to minimize flashes of cold air
Flashes of cold air can hurt your compressed air system. (And Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana are known for those crisp mornings and evenings where frost is likely!) But you can’t be out at every moment, monitoring the temperature. Automatic thermostatically controlled louvers are recommended.
4. Recirculate air and use heaters
Recover the heat from the compressor outlet by moving warm air away to heat an adjacent room or recirculating the air the equipment is too cold.
- Use cabinet or ambient heaters to preheat and keep lubricant warm.
- If you already have one installed, check to make sure it’s functioning and adjusted for the lowest allowable operating temperature recommended by the manufacturer.
5. Maintain separators, drains, and valves
Clean and rebuild separators, drains, and valves during the reduced production over the holidays and winter months. Separators and valves — not just drains – are susceptible to condensation.
Summary of winterizing your compressed air systems
Kaeser also has a video, making your checklist easier.
Let CAT help you
We understand it’s a lot of work to maintain your compressed air system. That’s why we offer regular and preventive maintenance to make it easier and ensure your facility stays up and running. With more than 60 years of combined experience, our technicians have worked on compressed air systems to keep plants going across the tri-state area running smoothly.