What Is an Air Compressor Pump?

November 17, 2020

In many ways, a reliable pump represents the heart of an air compressor. The pump is a critical component that’s essential to helping the compressor do its job. When a pump fails, it has a significant impact on the unit’s performance. The good news is that you can save on the cost of a new compressor by identifying the problem and installing a suitable replacement.

What Does the Air Compressor Pump Do?

Air compressors vary across the board, with designs suited for a wide range of personal, commercial and industrial applications. Still, most consist of the same three primary parts:

  • Drive: The drive (the air compressor motor) is what makes the compressor run. Drives can be electric-operated or gas-powered engines.
  • Storage tank: The tank acts as a reservoir for compressed air. There is a one-way valve that eliminates the risk of creating backpressure.
  • Pump: While all the parts work together, the pump is arguably the most important. Pumps take the atmospheric air and compress it down for storage.

How Do Air Compressor Pumps Work?

The majority of compressors have preset limits for pressure. When you power yours on, it will keep working until it meets the required demand. Each time you use your compressed air or bleed air from the tank, the motor will automatically reengage to continue the process.

When the motor comes on, a moving piston creates a vacuum inside the machine. The suction opens an inlet valve that draws atmospheric air into the area above the piston head. When the piston comes up, it compresses the air, sealing the inlet valve closed. When it goes down, the pressure engages the discharge valve and air enters the tank.

What Can Happen If My Air Compressor Pump Goes Bad?

Like all equipment, compressors and their components have expected lifespans. They’re also subject to damage, malfunction, and normal wear and tear. While your compressor may work for years without giving you trouble, it is possible to have a pump go bad — which means your air compressor is out of commission.

What can happen when yours goes bad will depend on how much you rely on your compressor. If you use yours for production or other essential purposes, a broken or faulty pump can lead to lost inventory, unplanned downtime and mounting costs.

How Do You Know If Your Air Compressor Pump Is Bad?

When air compressor pumps go bad, there will be signs. Pumps that fail or break will often display warnings like:

  • Excessive noise: If parts in the pump become loose or damaged, it can make the compressor sound louder than usual.
  • Slow operation: If your pump is failing but still functioning at reduced capacity, you will experience low performance.
  • No tank pressure: If your power is on, but the pressure gauge remains still, a broken air compressor pump could be the source of the problem.

Replace Your Air Compressor Pump

If you suspect your pump is broken or going bad, get a new one from your local Quincy Compressor dealer to get back up and running fast. Your dealer can also provide you with expert installation services to ensure your equipment works just as designed.

Have questions about a part or need assistance locating a dealer? You can reach us anytime by messaging us through our site.