How to Adjust Air Compressor Pressure

June 10, 2021

A new air compressor is a great investment for any business that needs to use compressed air in its daily operations.

 Purchasing an industrial-grade machine, however, can be expensive and time-consuming. If you’re interested in purchasing a new air compressor but think it might not be worth the cost, here are some secrets to maximizing performance and efficiency with your current equipment!

What pressure should I set on my air compressor?

Air compressors can be adjusted to a variety of PSI levels, and it is vital that you set the machine at the proper pressure for your task.

 If you are using an air compressor as a vacuum cleaner that requires low pressure – then setting your machine between 40-70PSI will suffice. 

For general use, like blowing out dust and debris or delivering high volumes of compressed air to tools, try adjusting your machine to 100-120PSIs.

How often should I change my oil?

The amount of time required good small air compressor before changing an air compressor’s oil varies by model. In most cases, however, this interval ranges from three months up to one year (depending on how much the equipment is used). 

Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before proceeding with any maintenance.

How do I adjust air compressor pressure?

Adjusting an air compressor’s PSI level is typically done by turning a valve or screw on the machine to release more compressed gas into the system when it requires higher pressures. 

Conversely, if you need lower levels of pressure, then turn this same valve in the opposite direction until reaching your desired setting.

Should I use synthetic oil for my air compressor?

There are many different types of oils that can be used with an air compressor including water-based and petroleum-based ones, as well as those derived from natural sources like vegetable oil or animal fat (known commonly as biodiesel). 

Some manufacturers even produce their own oils for different types of compressor engines.

What are some maintenance tips that can help keep an air compressor running smoothly?

If you’re encountering any issues from clogs in the system (which may also cause noisy operation) or power spikes while using an electric-powered unit, consider adding silicon spray lubricant around fittings every six months which will reduce friction and improve performance. 

This type of substance is typically harmless to rubber or metal seals.

Some have also found success with using a shot of aerosol air duster in the compressor tank, which helps clear out any debris that may be preventing the engine from running smoothly; others recommend adding small amounts of gasoline straight into the tank, too.

 If you discover your unit is not able to recover after being shut off and restarted again, then it’s likely time for some maintenance work on one or more parts within the system such as an oil change if you’re dealing with a low-pressure (LP) model.

How do you adjust a pressure regulator on an air compressor?

Pressure regulators should never be adjusted without first understanding the ramifications of making changes to your system. 

A pressure regulator is used to control just how much air you’re drawing from a tank; if it’s set too high, then there may not be any air left in the tank when you need it most. 

For example, some folks have found success with using a shot of aerosol air duster in the compressor tank on their unit this helps clear out any debris that might prevent an engine from running smoothly or improve performance. 

Others recommend adding small amounts of gasoline straight into the tank as well and these remedies are effective for those who find themselves unable to recover after being shut off again and restarted (perhaps indicating time for maintenance work).

How do you adjust air compressor gauges?

It’s important to know the pressure of your machine before you start trying any adjustments. 

For most, that means knowing how much air is in the tank and what it will take for an engine to restart after being shut off again (usually a few minutes). 

The gauge on the regulator should be set at about 125 PSI.

 if you find yourself needing more pressure than this setting can provide, then there may be some issues worth investigating further on either side of the hose or between the two gauges.

The screws on top of each gauge control their respective pressures. Turning these clockwise lowers their output while turning them counterclockwise raises it until they reach maximum capacity which feels like “pushing” against your fingers when you turn them.

 The screws on the regulator control a percentage of both gauges – turning them clockwise lowers pressure and counterclockwise raises it.

If you do need to adjust these, then we recommend starting with the gauge that controls your compressor’s air tank (the one not connected to an engine).

 Keep in mind that this setting will affect how quickly the other gauge responds; for instance, if you were running at half-capacity when adjusting from 25 PSI to 50 PSI, then your engine would have started breathing more deeply almost immediately. If instead, you had adjusted from 125 PSI down to 60PSI, your engine may take longer before being able to start again because it has less compressed air available as fuel.


Air compressors are an essential part of any worker’s toolkit and our goal at XYZ Tool Company is to help keep them as efficient in the workplace as possible! We hope these tips will serve you well in maintaining your compressor’s performance and efficiency.

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