The Cost of Air Compressor Leaks and How to Detect Them

Description: Mobilair M57 and M57 Utility Mount compresssorsThe average leak rate of compressed air systems is estimated to be 25 percent by the U.S. Department of Energy.  This means countless dollars lost by businesses using these systems and also lowered productivity and equipment life.

How do Leaks Waste Money?

  • Wasted Electricity
  • Reduced Productivity
  • Increased Service Costs

What are Some Areas Where Leaks can be Found?

A leak can be found in several places on an air compressor.  A large number of fittings and hoses can oftentimes mean more leaks.  Leaks may be the result of wear and tear on the equipment or from poor installation.  Some areas where leaks are commonly found are:

  • Condensate Traps
  • Hoses
  • Disconnects
  • Shut-off valves

How can a Leak be Detected?

The first step to reducing or eliminating leaks is to find problem areas.  You can check for leaks using a couple different methods.

  • Listen and Feel – this works for larger leaks because you would have to get close enough to feel them.  This method is not practical to use to detect most leaks.
  • Soapy Water – soapy water is placed on the areas where a leak is suspected and if one is present bubbles will form which will confirm the suspicion.  This method two has its drawbacks as it requires a close proximity to the equipment and does not tell how severe a leak is.
  • Ultrasonic – this is the most reliable form of leak detection and can work for even the smallest leaks.  This method requires special equipment and knowledge of how to use it.

After determining where the leaks are it is crucial to develop a plan to fix them.  While it costs money to fix these leaks, doing so will be more cost-effective in the long run as those leaks will no longer be plaguing your air compressor.  It is also important to develop a plan for how to detect any future leaks early on and repair them in a timely manner.

For all of your air compressor needs Air Center, Inc. will be able to help.  Air Center stocks many air compressor parts and filters for major manufacturers, designs and installs compressed air systems, and employs technicians who are able to service any compressed air equipment.