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Maintenance Service, Parts & Maintenance

How to know if you have an air leak


Having an air leak in your compressed air system not only effects your company’s performance but can also cost your business thousands. While it may not seem like much, just one quarter-inch air leak at 100 psi could cost more than $2,500 a year.

There are numerous causes of a leak, valves don’t close all the way, poorly fitted connections, microscopic fissures in pipes are just a few places compressed air can escape out of your system. Addressing these leaks can save you money and make production more efficient.

So how do you know if you have a leak? There are a few telltale signs to look out for. You might have a leak if…

  1. You can hear it.
    Large leaks are audible. Take the time to walk through your system every few months and listen for large leaks. These leaks are less common than inaudible leaks, but they do waste a lot of compressed air and in conjunction, a lot of money.
  1. You lose compressed air, even when you are not using it.
    If you notice you are using compressed air even when your end uses aren’t, then you have a leak. Any air lost while your compressed air is not in use, means you may have lots of little leaks contributing to your air loss.
  1. You experience unusual pressure losses.
    Have you noticed the pressure in your system has gone down? Have you noticed your system has to work harder to supply the same airflow that it used to provide with ease? It could mean you have a leak. This probably means multiple smaller leaks, but it all adds up.
  1. Your piping system is more than 5 years old
    Systems that are more than five years old have been shown to exhibit leaks of up to 25 percent. If your piping is outdated, consider upgrading to a new, easy to install aluminum system.

Sometime operators will notice some of these symptoms but attribute them to a poor compressor performance, but leaks are the most likely offender. We recommend a walk through your system, but if the leak is inaudible, ultrasonic leak detection is required.

If you have any questions or still aren’t sure if you have an air leak, please contact one of our air experts to schedule a compressed air audit today.

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