Do I need a regulator on my air compressor?

Do I need a regulator on my air compressor?

If you work in a busy environment or a type of business that requires the use of multiple tools, you know the essentiality of an air compressor. These units don’t necessarily make work a lot easier but are also helpful when doing odd jobs around your home. They are super easy to use and will get your tools working instantaneously. More exceedingly, they come in various forms and are suitable enough, even for much smaller jobs. Simply put, air compressors have made work more comfortable and exciting than ever before. When operating an air compressor, its pressure will largely determine the success of your projects. So, do I need a regulator on my air compressor? Yes, you do.

Well, each application relies on the amount of pressure you set. To ensure you make the correct settings and adjustments, you’ll need a pneumatic compressor pressure regulator valve. This article aims to dig deep into vital aspects that must be considered when regulating pressure on your air compressor.

Defining a pressure regulator

A pressure regulator can be defined as a control valve that offers dependable pressure to any fluid. They work as sensors and can significantly reduce inside pressure to almost a vacuum if preferred. It acts as a monitor to enable you to see the exact pressure, which is essential when it comes to setting the exact PSI number.

Failing to set the pressure to the exact PSI number may cause your tools not to function as intended. Similarly, if you have a larger air compressor, you’ll need more than one pressure regulator. This is because large compressors are often used for multiple uses and hence require different regulators to control each specific tool.

The essentiality of a pressure regulator

These pneumatic devices receive air at any pressure and then dispense it to pressure not greater than the intended output. In most circumstances, air comes in at a higher pressure and in reverse departs at a lower pressure.

When air reaches the regulator, a system of springs and an internal diaphragm pushes back the incoming air which then offers enough resistance for the set volume of air. If the upstream pressure is only enough to open the diaphragm and not to tear the air regulator off, then the downstream pressure will always be constant even if the upstream pressure changes.

This is utterly significant since many pneumatic cylinders are often exposed to greater harm by overly powerful air. Also, the very minimum jobs the cylinder would be performing wouldn’t meet your expectation if quickly done.

Generally, air compressors have a cutoff point where they stop compressing air and instead allow the already compressed air into the reservoir to perform tasks. Air regulators majorly cause the upstream system to back up in a way that the upstream system builds up to force the compressors cutoff point to trigger.

When the cutoff point triggers, it tends to stop the compression until the high-pressure gets the chance to work its way through the regulator until the pneumatic compressor restarts. However, when all this happens, the downstream pressure from the regulator remains constant, the whole system shuts down, and the diagram finally closes up.

Why most air compressors have a pressure regulator

As discussed above, these units protect delicate work and devices from variations in the upstream air pressure. They also significantly reduce the amount of air that any air compressor has to process. Although most air compressors have this fantastic feature, some may not have one.

Regardless, if your air compressor lacks this feature, it doesn’t necessarily mean it would be less effective. It may be designed in a way that it actually doesn’t require one to perform its work or probably equipped with a different device.

Steps used when adjusting a pressure regulator on an air compressor.

Ideally, if you’re a garage warrior, you understand that every time a pneumatic tool is attached to an air compressor, you need to alter the pressure to meet the PSI requirements of the instrument. It’s, therefore, crucial to understand how you can adjust the tools pressure regulator before changing out one device to the other. You’ll need to follow these steps;

  1. Turn on your air compressor

For a much accurate adjustment of the pressure gauge, you need to turn on your air compressor to get it warmed up for its normal operating cycle. Be patient enough until the tank is filled up with compressed air. The emitted noise, when the compressor is turned on, should then be able to indicate if the initial air pressurization is perfect.

  1. Pick up your desired tool that you prefer to use.

Upon activating the tank sufficiently with full air, you can then pick up your desired tool that you prefer to use. Ensure the PSI number doesn’t exceed the capacity of your air compressor. If it does, you may reserve it for another compressor with a higher capacity.

  1. Connect the air hose on the compressor with the tool

You can then connect the air hose on the compressor with the tool you had set aside to use. If it’s your first time connecting the device, you can search for the port on the instrument. If you can’t pinpoint the feature, check from the user manual.

  1. Adjusting the pressure regulator

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can then adjust the settings on the pressure regulator to be in line with the specified PSI requirements on the tool. Most compressors have a knob located on the right-hand side of the pressure regulator. Conversely, depending on the brand of the machine, it might be located in a different area. If that’s the case, you can also consult the user manual for clarity.

  1. Unlocking the regulator knob

Well, most regulator knobs include a locking feature that must be released to turn the knob. The locking on most occasions is often a push-pull mechanism. Either way, if you’re not sure of the process, you can always consult the user manual.

  1. Final touch

Lastly, you can now turn the regulator knob in a clockwise direction. This helps to intensify the pressure inside the air tank of the compressor and vice versa. Upon bringing the regulator to the desired pressure, you can push the knob back in to lock the setting in place.

Reading the regulator

All pneumatic tools require the PSI rating when determining the functionality of a tool to meet its intended performance level. Suppose your tool is designed for a specific rate, but the pressure supply falls below the specified number, then you won’t get the expected performance power from that tool.

The PSI readings will vary depending on the capacity of the air compressor plus the types of pneumatic applications the system can perform. From this, you’ll know how much air pressure the compressor can generate per square inch.

If your air compressor lists a maximum PSI of 100, you can then expect the highest volume of air pressure generated to be 100 pounds per square inch. Other issues that can impact the machine’s ability to reach a specific PSI rating include dirty environmental air which may infect the system rendering pressurization be less intense.

Frequently asked questions

Is it okay to clean a water pressure regulator?

Sure, you can do so by soaking the entire piece removed in a tiny bowl filled with calcium lime remover. If your pressure regulator ceases to function, it could be that it’s coated with calcium or lime deposits. Always allow the valve to sit in the solution for multiple hours before removing it.

Must I adjust the pressure regulator?

Well, You should adjust your pressure regulator. Otherwise, it might subject your air tools to the wrong PSI. A wrong PSI can render your tools less effective or possibly damaged.

About Air Compressor Regulators

Wrap up

It’s indeed true that lots of air compressors come with entirely different features. However, most of these devices include a pressure regulator. This is essential as it plays a crucial role in an air compressor. More importantly, you should make it a priority to enact a compelling set of maintenance protocols. This will ensure that your compressor meets its performance level.