Since the introduction of silent air compressors, the industry has breathed a sigh of relief with this new technology. With noise reduction dramatically reduced with ultra-silent air compressor units, safety is heightened for all those who are working around these machines.
However, this doesn’t mean that the safety of low noise air compressors can then be neglected. Air leak maintenance is one of the most important elements for any business using compressed air, whether their air compressor is a quiet air compressor or not.
Health & Safety
The top priority in any workplace, is not just construction and manufacturing. Health & safety should never be neglected, even for a moment. An air leak may not sound that dangerous, but it surely can be.
Even the smallest of air leaks can cause tools and equipment to malfunction and not perform to the standards workers are used to. This can lead to injury to those using equipment or those around them. If you are injured in any such accidents, you can initiate lawsuit with the help of attorneys to claim compensation or you can also find attorney for birth injuries who can help you claim compensation for the injuries and damages caused.
Therefore, any air leak should be addressed immediately and equipment should not be used until this has been rectified.
Every business should be jumping at the opportunity to save cash wherever possible. Air leaks cost thousands to businesses in the form of wasted energy.
A hole as small as 3mm could cost a single organisation as much as £600 a year. This is literally cash wasted into the atmosphere and the cost to fix an air leak is usually far less than the cash that is wasted.
Energy bills are always increasing and by addressing air leaks regularly, businesses can see these bills fall.
Helping The Planet
Wasted energy doesn’t just hit bank balances, it’s also releasing preventable carbon emissions. Businesses may already be implementing other practices to be as green as possible but an air leak can easily let them down on their mission to save the planet.
Carbon emissions lead to global warming, a subject close to many of our hearts. Imagine the amount of wasted energy across the world from small air leaks; this could be fixed so easily and help to create a positive change to the earth.
If tools and equipment aren’t performing to the best of their ability, neither will employees, and manufacturing processes may not be up to standard nor take longer than necessary.
On top of this, air leaks can increase downtime as tools and equipment are assessed. It can even lead to further damage to these, meaning more wasted time to fix something that could have been prevented.
How Do You Detect Air Leaks?
Unlike liquid leaks, air leaks are invisible. What’s more, they can often be so quiet that even a silent air compressor will shadow any noise they make. Below are the best steps to take to detect air leaks effectively.
Even though air leaks are quiet, they can be heard in the right environment. If you are using your ears to detect a leak, make sure you do the following:
The air compressor should be run alone, disconnect any equipment or tools.
Get rid of background noise. Listen for leaks outside of operating hours and make sure everything is turned off where possible, from machinery to the radio.
An air leak will present itself as a hissing or aspen sound, similar to a puncture on a bike tire, be conscious of these noises.
While air leaks are technically invisible, there is a way to make them visible to our eyes. By doing so, even the smallest of air leaks can be seen.
Use a bowl or bucket and mix water with washing up liquid or soap, anything that will create bubbles.
Apply this soapy mixture to pipes, flanges, valves and joints, a paintbrush or sponge makes this easier. Keep your silent air compressor running while doing so.
An air leak will be made apparent straight away with the liquid bubbling.
Get The Professionals
Professional equipment in the form of ultrasonic leak detection devices is the best way to detect air leaks.
These can be hired or purchased. In some cases, it will be more economical in the long run to purchase these and have regular air leak checks throughout the business.
Training staff to use these properly is a brilliant way to keep those air leaks at bay. However, you can also hire professionals to carry out these checks on your behalf. They will provide a full and comprehensive report on air leaks.
How Should You Address Air Leaks?
Now you know how to find an air leak, you need to know what to do next.
Any worn-down components need to be replaced immediately. If you have used a professional to detect your leaks, they will be able to advise exactly what needs to be done.
Pipes and tubes are often victims to patch jobs with tape, glue and other things. While these are a fine temporary fix while you wait for a new part to arrive, they should never be seen as a long-term solution. Any pipe with a crack or hole needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Consider using a reliable solution like Polyisocyanurate Pipe Insulation to prevent such issues in the future and ensure the long-term integrity of your plumbing system.
Rubber o-rings and valve seals wear down quicker than most other elements of equipment. They are also often hidden from the eyes. Check these regularly and replace them the moment they are worn. It’s a good idea to always have a stock of correct sizes for on-site equipment so there is no delay to replacement.
Connections can become loose easily and most employees won’t notice until there is a real issue. Schedule checks on connections regularly, this can even be part of the morning routine before anything is turned on. By giving everything a quick turn and squeeze as often as possible will prevent air leaks in the future.
So, now is the time to address this wasted energy and potential hazard in the workplace. Air leaks are easy to find and rectify so there is little excuse for them in the industry. Let’s save cash and the planet and put an end to those air leaks.