A pressure regulator is a valve that controls airflow from a compressor. This valve dictates the amount of pressure or pounds per square inch (PSI) of air.
When the tank is charging up, the regulator is also responsible for stopping the motor when the tank is full of compressed air.
This is to avoid over-filling the tank, which might cause it to explode.
The regulator looks like a large screw or sets-crew that controls the ins and outs of air. If you believe that your regulator is damaged, you can try some troubleshooting such as allowing the tank to fully be filled and then checking the capacity of air inside.
Connect a tool into the air hose and turn the regulator knob to increase and decrease pressure. You should know by doing this if it produces enough air pressure.
If you find that the air compressor is producing less air than usual, maybe it’s time to repair or replace it.
How do you know when to replace your regulator?
- If you hear a stifling noise near the regulator of your air compressor while in use, that means that it’s trying really hard to suppress the air from the tank into whatever output you are using. This sounds like a stream of air escaping from a balloon.
- If in the middle of the work you find yourself short on air when it usually lasts twice as long. Air may be leaking as you use it, which causes you to charge it more and waste electricity.
- If you notice that the physical aspects of the regulator is damaged, especially the knob. Dropping or banging the regulator valve may cause this so take care of your air compressor while on the job to avoid having to deal with this.
Take note, that if you really have to use the regulator while it is damaged or leaking, you can aid it from causing too much air from escaping by using a duct tape to cover where the hissing sound comes from. Usually, the leak is found at the part where the tube connects to the valve.
This won’t solve the problem entirely and you should not leave it like that for long periods. At the beginning of the problem, you should take measure to completely solve it.
Using tapes to cover the leak is not a permanent solution and it may further damage your machine if not abruptly repaired. Do this only when absolutely necessary.
How to repair or replace the regulator of your air compressor?
Even though you don’t have intensive mechanical skills, you will be able to repair or replace your regulator provided that you have the right tools to do so and immediate know-how or have a bit of knowledge of what each of the part of the air compressor does. Replacing the regulator is not that difficult and it can be completed in less than an hour.
Also, aside from the tools, you will need materials to replace the old or broken ones. You can get a complete set of regulator repair kit from any major hardware stores or from Amazon, such as the:
Craftsman N008792 Regulator Repair Kit for Air Compressors
All you’ll need to replace your regulator comes in this kit. This is a standard duty replacement part for Craftsman air compressors but also fits other brands of air compressors such as DeWalt. To know if it will fit your brand of regulator, check if the parts that come with the kit is identical to what is in your air compressor.
Before you jump into the replacement or repairing process, you’ll need tools as mentioned before. Prepare an adjustable wrench, scrubbing pad, duct tape, Teflon tape etc. Get your:
Teflon tape from Forney 75195 Teflon Pipe Tape, 1/2-Inch-by-260-Inches
What is the step-by-step guide for repairing or replacing your air compressor regulator?
Remove the air compressor from power and take it to a place where there is sufficient lighting. Pull the pressure release valve to remove all air inside the tank.
Use the adjustable wrench to remove the old/broken regulator. You’ll find some parts that are still usable such as the gauge.
Prepare the hose for the installation of the new parts by scrubbing it with the scouring pad to clear grime and dirt. This will make it easier for putting the new parts.
Wrap the hose in Teflon tape to the direction of the thread of the new regulator, or else it may come off when you screw the new part on. Avoid covering the end of the fitting or it might restrict airflow.
Place the replacement parts into the hose. The step-by-step instruction for this varies depending on the type and brand of the air compressor regulator.
Most of the replacement parts come with instructions on the order of installation, such as the:
Stanley Bostitch Air Compressor Replacement Pressure Regulator
Install the hose and other parts of the air compressor you have removed before. Make sure everything’s tight and secure. Test your compressor by plugging it into a power source to fill the tank. The gauge should be showing accurate figures.
Hook up a tool into the air compressor and use it to do a job. Carefully listen to the regulator and check if you can hear any hissing sound. Use the tool until it depletes the compressed air normally. This way, you will know if there are any leaks.
You don’t have to be an expert to replace the regulator on your air compressor. As mentioned, you just need to know how the tools work and where to put the replacement stuff.
Hopefully, this guide will give you an idea on how to do it fast and safe. Ensure that you will check your air compressor for leaks from time to time as it can save you a great deal of money in the future. It is cheaper to buy a replacement kit for your regulator compared to paying for wasted electricity.