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Industrial Horizontal Compressors—Troubleshooting Guide

Low Capacity

Possible Causes What To Do

Compressor RPM too slow Use tachometer to determine compressor


speed. Verify pulley selection.
Valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves
Piston ring worn Replace piston rings
Inlet strainer clogged Clean or replace screen
Leaks in piping Inspect and repair
Piping undersized (High Differential) Verify differential pressure. Validate piping sizes
with respect to operating conditions.
Discharge piping too long Verify differential pressure. Move compressor
closer to tank being unloaded.

Overheating or Running Hot

Possible Causes What To Do

Valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves


Piston ring worn Replace piston rings
Inlet strainer clogged Clean or replace screen
Inlet or ambient temperature too high Consult factory on ways to decrease inlet
temperature
Compression ratio too high Check application and consult factory
Unbalanced load Inspect valves or consult factory

Knocks, Rattles and Noises

Possible Causes What To Do

Valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves


Loose sheave or belt Tighten or adjust sheave
Worn connecting rod bearing Replace
Worn wrist pin or wrist pin bushing Replace
Loose valve, piston, or packing Tighten or replace as necessary
Unbalanced load Inspect valves or consult factory
Foreign material in cylinder Inspect and clean cylinder and strainer
Liquid in cylinder Install or inspect and drain liquid trap

Abnormal Piston Ring Wear

Possible Causes What To Do

Valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves


Inlet strainer clogged Clean or replace screen
Loose valve, piston or packing Tighten or replace as necessary
Inlet or ambient temperature too high Consult factory on ways to decrease inlet
temperature
Compression ratio too high Check application and consult factory
Unbalanced load Inspect valves or consult factory
Foreign material in cylinder Clean and inspect cylinder area and strainer

Product Leakage

Possible Causes What To Do

Worn piston rod packing Replace


O-rings leaks Replace
Leaks in piping Inspect and repair

Product Leaking Through Crankcase Breather

Possible Causes What To Do

Worn piston rod packing Replace


Leaking gas blowing oil from crankcase Replace packing
Oil Leakage Around Compressor Base

Possible Causes What To Do

Leaking gas blowing oil from crankcase Replace packing


Bad oil seal / gasket Replace
Loose plug Tighten

No Oil Pressure

Possible Causes What To Do

No oil in crankcase Add oil accordingly


Oil pump malfunction Adjust oil pressure to 20-30 psig
Gauge faulty Replace gauge
Oil pump worn Replace
Oil pump shaft worn Inspect and clean
Foreign material around adjusting ball Inspect and clean oil pressure adjusting ball

Excessive Vibration

Possible Causes What To Do

Inadequate compressor support Strengthen or replace baseplate, grout


baseplate
Improper foundation or mounting Tighten mounting or rebuild foundation
Valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves
Loose sheave or belt Tighten or adjust sheave
Worn wrist pin or wrist pin bushing Replace
Worn connecting rod bearing Replace
Loose valve, piston, or packing Tighten or replace as necessary
Unbalanced load Inspect valves or consult factory
Bad motor bearing Lubricate according to motor manufacturers
instructions
Foreign material in cylinder Inspect and clean cylinder area
Interstage Pressure Is Too High

Possible Causes What To Do

Second stage valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves
Second stage piston rings worn Inspect, clean or repair valves
Variation of inlet or discharge pressure Review and confirm conditions
conditions
Intercooler plugged Inspect and clean

Interstage Pressure Is Too Low

Possible Causes What To Do

First stage valves broken, stuck or leaking Inspect, clean or repair valves
First stage piston rings worn Inspect, clean or repair valves
Variation of inlet or discharge pressure Review and confirm conditions
conditions

Motor Overheating or Starter Tripping Out

Possible Causes What To Do

Low voltage Check line voltage with motor


Motor wired wrong Check wiring diagram
Wire size too small for length of run Check on correct sizing
Wrong power characteristics Voltage, phase and frequency must coincide
with motor nameplate
Wrong size heaters in starte Check and replace according to motor
manufacturers instructions
Compressor overloading Reduce speed
Motor shorted out Review motor driver installation