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Proper Maintenance Of Your Air Compressor's Pump

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Air compressors, bought from a company like, Air Chief Inc, are a wonderful tool to have around for many different home and automotive projects. However, just like vehicles need regular oil changes, so too does the electric pump on the air compressor in your garage. If you do not perform this necessary maintenance regularly, then the oil will become dirty and its metal particle contamination will eventually lead to failure of the pump.

Follow this simple procedure to change the oil and filter in your air compressor:

1. Unplug the Air Compressor

Before changing the oil on your air compressor, first unplug it from the wall. You should never work on any machinery or tools while they are plugged in or you could risk electrocution.

2. Put an Oil Pan Under the Pump

Put an oil pan underneath the pump to catch the used oil for recycling. You can purchase an inexpensive oil pan at your local automotive parts store. You shouldn't use a bowl that you use for food because it will be hard to completely remove the oil from it and make it safe to serve food from again.

3. Take Off the Lower Oil Drain Plug

With the drain pan below it, remove the lower drain plug. A bit of oil will run out, but the majority will not empty out until the upper fill plug has been removed.

4. Take off the Upper Oil Fill Plug

Take off the upper oil fill plug and allow all of the pump's oil to drain. Rock the air compressor back-and-forth a bit to remove the last bit of oil from the pump.

5. Remove and Replace the Pump's Oil Filter

Unscrew the air compressor's pump's oil filter. Dump any excess oil into the oil pan for recycling, and then you can dispose of the filter in your household trash. Replace the filter with a new one that you can purchase at your local hardware store.

6. Replace the Lower Oil Drain Plug

Once the oil has drained and the filter has been replaced, then you should put back on the lower oil drain plug. If the plug is plastic and has a leak, you can wrap it with plumbers tape before screwing it back into the threads.

7. Fill the Crankshaft with Replacement Oil

Put fresh oil into the upper oil fill plug. Fill the crankshaft until it is half full, or until the oil hits the "full" line on the pump. 

8. Replace the Upper Oil Fill Plug

Finally, put the upper oil fill plug back into the pump.