Can an Air Compressor Explode? Know the Possible Reasons

Air compressors are used on domestic and commercial levels to operate different pneumatic tools. They are made for running for a long time; some quality compressors may last upto 10-15 years with proper maintenance. Your compressor can blow up, and It is very rare because the manufacturers have considered this issue. Many compressors have an auto-shutoff system installed in them, which helps to turn off the unit when cut-out pressure reaches.

One of the major reasons for its exploding is rust; when the unit gets tool old, and you don’t care about the moisture or cleaning dust, the rust starts eating the surface, and a time comes when you build pressure, it explodes.        

There are multiple reasons for compressor blow-up; let’s know them and learn how to prevent these issues.

7 Possible Causes of Blow Up

Following are the possible reasons of air compressor blow up:

#1: No Auto Shut-off

There are a lot of well-reputed brands in the market that take care of their customers and provide safe use of tools. If you have an air compressor with an auto-shutoff system installed, you will save from tool blowing up kind issues. Because the possibilities are high in those compressors that haven’t this feature. When the air tool fills the tank full, and you are far away from it and forget about turning off the device, the pressure continues building in the tank, and it may explode.

So, always follow the safety measures and turn off the unit it got the maximum pressure.

#2: Rust Continue to Eat Tank’s Surface

Rust is harmful to any product made from metals. When a metal consistently gets moisture and reacts with oxygen, the rust starts eating the metal surface. When the specific area on your tank gets corrosion, it gradually becomes weak, and when you turn on the compressor to build pressure, the pressure inside the tank exceeds, and it explodes.

The tank also becomes rusty from the inside when you don’t drain it regularly. The moisture remains inside the tank, and it starts corrosion when it reacts with oxygen. To prevent rust, ensure you properly clean and drain the tank daily after use.

Pro Tip: Keep your compressor tank painted; it will fight against rust and save you from the consequences of a humid environment.

#3: Defective PRV

A bad pressure relief valve (prv) or safety valve is one of the major reasons for compressor blow up. Some units do not turn off due to fault and continue building pressure; their safety valve also gets bad, surpassing the pressure in the tank. The bad safety valve won’t let the excessive pressure release; when the pressure reaches the maximum limit, and there is no space left inside the tank, high pressure will start applying excessive force to the tank walls, and a time comes when it explodes.

To fix this issue, you have to know what fault is causing the compressor not to shut off. When you solve it, replace the pressure relief valve; the unit starts working normally and will not blow up.

#4: Misassembled Compressor Parts

If you are a beginner and don’t know how to install the compressor parts properly, you can follow the owner’s manual that comes with the compressor. Still, after following the manual, if you have installed the parts improperly, it will cause trouble for your air tool.

Mostly,  valves are responsible for pressure fluctuations. It won’t pass or release pressure if you haven’t properly installed the valves. The pressure will remain inside the rank and continue increasing, which results in an explosion. To prevent this situation, you must follow the installation guide provided by the manufacturer.

#5: Faulty Manufacturing

Some compressors have faults from the day it is manufactured, and they won’t run as perfectly as other normal units. Maybe the valves are faulty, and they are not allowing the excessive pressure to go outside, resulting in the tank overpressurizing and blowing up.

If you have observed any defect in the air compressor when purchased, quickly contact the support team and share your issue. They will fix the problem or replace the whole unit.

#6: Bad Air Filter

If the air filters in your compressor get bad and you are not cleaning the incoming air properly, the dust will enter the system and make it difficult for parts to run smoothly. When dust particles increase, it maximizes the friction between the piston and pump surface, filling heated air in the tank. When warm air inside exceeds the tank tilling capacity, it may explode. So, you have to keep checking the air filters; if they get bad, quickly replace them.

#7: Unit Gets Too Hot

If you are getting harder and long hour jobs from the compressor without any break. It results in excessive overheating and explodes the tank. Mostly the industrial units face this problem because they are giant and doing difficult jobs. If the cooling system in that unit gets any faults, it won’t reduce the system heat. When the heat increases too much, it blows up the unit. To overcome this issue, keep checking the compressor’s temperature when running. If the temperature reaches high, turn off the unit and wait for the temperature to drop, then again start working.

Tips for Prevention of Explosion

  • Make sure your tank is fully painted.
  • Follow the guidelines or instructions provided by the company
  • Make sure your compressor valves are in good condition
  • Keep the unit in an open area
  • Properly lubricate it
  • Make sure the compressor has enough cooling to prevent overheating.

Additional Tips To Run Air Compressor Safely

There are some extra tips that you should follow to save your tool from blowing up. It helps the unit to run perfectly and increases its life.

Tip 1: Replace Air Filter

Bad air filters may ruin the proper functioning of the air compressor, it damages the working of internal parts, and we also do not get the desired pressure. So, you have to check the filter regularly and if it is bad, then replace it.

Tip 2: Replace oil

Oil-lubricated compressor owners know how important it is to lubricate the unit to get the perfect job properly. If you don’t do that, the piston in the air pump won’t run smoothly and may get damaged. You should keep lubricating the compressor every 3rd month; it will increase the tool’s life and provide a good job.

Tip 3: Drain the Tank:

Draining the tank regularly helps your compressor to prevent corrosion. When air is filled in the tank, it has moisture with it that can cause the formation of rust. Making your tank empty after every job will throw out all the water and keep your device safe from rust.

Wrapping Up

Every air compressor will not explode; there are very rare cases we have seen of this kind. All the manufacturers have taken safety measures and installed features like PRV and auto turn-off device to save the customers from this type of issue. But, you don’t need to worry, just follow our given tips and keep running your device. Found this guide helpful? Must share with your friends so they can be aware of compressor explosions.

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