How to Read Air Compressor Gauges

Posted on: August 16, 2022

How to Read Air Compressor Gauges

Air compressors put air under pressure so that it can potentially be converted to energy later. Reading air compressor gauges lets you determine if the machine is in good working order and if the environmental conditions are ideal.

How Many Gauges Are on a Portable Air Compressor?

You’ll find two gauges on an air compressor, a regulator gauge and a tank gauge. While both gauges measure pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI), each one has a different purpose.

A tank gauge measures the pressure inside of the compressor’s tank. The gauge will display a zero when the tank is empty. When you turn the compressor on and the air starts to fill the tank, the needle on the gauge will move upward as the tank fills with air.

The regulator gauge measures the amount of air entering the tank through the connected hose. Tools you connect to an air compressor need a certain amount of air pressure to work properly. When there’s too little pressure, the tool won’t work effectively. Too much pressure in the regulator gauge can cause the tool to wear out or break down quickly.

How to Read Air Compressor Gauges

Reading an air compressor gauge is similar to reading a speedometer on a vehicle. The gauges are circular and typically mark out PSI from zero to 250. Gauges have small lines or hash marks that divide the pressure into increments. A needle on the gauge moves in response to pressure fluctuations. As air pressure builds in the compressor, the needle moves up. 

Look at the tip of the needle on each gauge to see how much pressure is in the compressor.

What’s the Correct Air Compression Level?

The correct air compression level depends on the tool you’re using. Remember, too much pressure can damage your air compressor, while too little will affect its performance. The air compressor’s user manual will often let you know the right air compression level.

How Can You Adjust an Air Compressor?

You might need to adjust the pressure on an air compressor if it’s too high or too low. You can change the pressure by adjusting the pressure regulator, which is a knob that lets you set the maximum pressure. Consult your air compressor’s manual to find the maximum pressure permitted, then turn the knob so that the regulator is at that level. 

If you aren’t getting enough pressure, you’ll have to adjust the regulator up. You can usually do so by turning the regulator knob clockwise, increasing the pressure that flows into the tank.

Learn More About Air Compressors

Learn More About Air Compressors 

Quincy Compressors produces a wide range of air compressors that are ideal for use in the food and beverage, automotive, agriculture and oil and gas industries. Contact us today to join our email newsletter.