air leaks
By Published On: June 21, 2024Views: 63

Air leaks in air compressor are small common problems that often happen and go unsolved for years, or even forever. This wastes large amounts of compressed air and energy every day, if we can find air leaks and fix it in time, the unnecessary cost of compressed air and energy can be saved, thus improve profitability.

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Three ways to find air leaks in air compressor

Test for air leaks part 1—Listen and Feel

A low-tech method of detecting compressed air leaks is to listen and feel the leaking air around air compressor unit, or touch the compressor parts (e.g. motor, air pipes, condenser, etc.) with your hand. If you feel air flow, the air compressor is leaking. This method only works for large leaks that are located in easily accessible places. It may need to shut down the air compressor unit because it’s difficult to hear the sound of a leak over the noise of the air compressor when it is running. For these reasons, this traditional method only works to a limited extent.

Test for air leaks part 2—Soap-water

Apply soapy water to the areas where you suspect a leak. If there is a leak, soap bubbles will form. This leak detection method is reliable, but also time-consuming; it requires direct physical contact, which means air leaks in hard-to-reach areas of the compressor system will be hard to discover. It also does not show which leaks are losing the most air, making it challenging in prioritizing air compressor leak repairs.

Test for air leaks part 3—Ultrasonic leak detector

Using ultrasonic leak detector is the best way to find air leaks in air compressor. It has quickly become the standard method in the air compressor industry. These portable devices are usually composed of a directional microphone, an amplifier, and an audio filter. They utilize headphones or a visual indicator to help the user detect leaks.

This device works by detecting the high-frequency “hissing” sound produced by compressed air leaks, a small sound that may be inaudible to human ear. The device can locate the source of the sound and accurately pinpoint the location of tiny leaks, even in noisy environments. Unlike the other two methods, ultrasonic leak detector does not require direct contact with the air compressor, and don’t require to shut down the machine to delay works. Some ultrasonic leak detector system can even estimate the air leak rate so you can prioritize air compressor repairs.

Causes and solutions for compressed air leaks

Causes of compressed air leaks

  1. Loose joints: In the compressed air pipeline, some joints may not be tightened or loosened, dirt and particulate matter inside the air compressor can also cause seal failure, resulting in compressed air leaks.
  2. Aging of seals: Air leaksare often caused by aging or damage of seals, while the air compressor working for a longer time, the seals will age due to long-term high temperature and high pressure, resulting in incomplete sealing.
  3. Internal failure of the air compressor: If a component of the air compressor fails, such as wear of the cylinder seal block or the compressor piston, it will also cause compressed air leaks.

Solutions for compressed air leaks

  1. Re-tighten the joint: If the leak is caused by a loose joint, just re-tighten the joint.
  2. Check and replace seals:Regular inspection and replacement of bad seals can solve the leakage problem. Common seals include piston sealing rings, cylinder gaskets, valve plates, etc. Generally, you can replace the seals or gaskets by yourself.
  3. Repair the internal parts: If the air leakage is caused by a failure of the internal parts of the air compressor, it is necessary to repair or replace the parts according to the specific fault situation.

The above are the common causes and solutions for air leaks in air compressor repair. If the above methods cannot solve the problem, it is recommended to ask maintenance personnel to come and check it to avoid more serious problem caused by unprofessional operation.

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Notes on air leaks air compressor repair

  1. Safety first: When repairing a compressor leak, you need to pay attention to safety measures. Shut down the machine first, wear protective gloves, goggles, protective clothing and other measures to avoid dangers such as careless operation or sparks generated during welding.
  2. Accurately judge the problem: Before repairing, you need to accurately judge the cause of the air leaksto avoid blind operation or unnecessary replacement of parts.
  3. Do cleaning after compressor repair: After the repair is completed, the compressor needs to be cleaned to remove impurities such as welding residues to avoid affecting the normal use of the compressor.

Precautionary measures

Is there a better way to prevent compressed air leaks? It must be regular maintenance. As long as components of air compressor are in good condition and run stably, a qualified air compressor unit that has passed factory inspection and quality control will not have compressed air leak troubles. So how should we maintain air compressor units? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Regular inspection: Check the compressed air pipelinesregularly to ensure that all joints are tight and there are no cracks or leaks.
  2. Replace seals: Replace seals at appropriate times to prevent air leaksdue to seal aging.
  3. Cleaning and Lubrication: Regular cleaning and lubrication of the air compressor unit can reduce the occurrence of air leaks.
  4. Correctly operate the machine: use the air compressor according to the specifications in the manual, avoid machine overload, power failure, shut down, to reduce internal damage and wear of the machine during operation.


In short, Air leaks test and leak repair is a job that requires skills and experience. It is recommended to follow the advice of professionals or seek the help of professionals for air compressor repair to ensure the quality of leak repair and work safety.

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