How To Read Air Compressor Gauges

How To Read Air Compressor Gauges

When using an air compressor, it is important to understand how it works and what its gauges are for. This will help you use your compressor properly and prolong its lifespan.

What Are Air Compressor Gauges?

The air pressure in a reserve tank is regulated by a pre-programmed pressure switch that keeps it within the compressor manufacturer’s accepted range of PSI. Once the reserve tank reaches that pressure, it will stop filling and the outlet pressure can never be higher than that. Air compressor gauges are devices that measure air pressure inside a pneumatic system. They are essential tools for ensuring the system operates at a consistent level and meets air quality standards.

How Many Gauges Are There?

There are two main gauges on most standard air compressors: the tank gauge and the regulator gauge. The tank gauge displays the pressure inside the tank, and it reacts to the air pressure being increased by the compressor pump. The regulator gauge is fitted to the compressor and works with a pressure switch that lets you adjust the air pressure to your tool. 

What Are They?

​The gauge that measures the air pressure in the tank is usually the largest of the two gauges on an air compressor. It typically is located underneath or next to the regulator knob, which controls the pressure being generated by the compressor. In general, there are a number of different types of gauges to choose from. Some are designed for low-pressure applications, while others seal possible leak paths and are able to work in corrosive or extreme environments. Some are specifically suited for sanitary or pharmaceutical requirements, and some are high-precision test gauges.

How To Read A Tank Gauge

As we’ve learned above, these gauges tell you how much air is in the tank, and they can also indicate if your pressure switch is operating correctly. The tank gauge displays a zero when the tank is empty, but as you use the compressor, it will move up. This indicates that the tank is full of pressurized air and ready for your power tools. In addition, the pressure switch on some compressors will have two separate screws that change the cut in and cut out pressures. This allows you to easily determine what the correct pressure settings are, and if the switch is working properly.

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