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How to Properly Clean the Oil Circuit of a Screw Air Compressor

How to Properly Clean the Oil Circuit of a Screw Air Compressor
December 16, 2023

Screw air compressors are widely used in various industries for their high efficiency and reliability. To ensure the smooth operation and prolonged lifespan of these machines, proper maintenance and regular cleaning of the oil circuit is essential. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to correctly clean the oil circuit of a screw air compressor.

screw air compressors

I. Importance of Cleaning the Oil Circuit:

The oil circuit of a screw air compressor plays a critical role in lubricating and cooling the moving components, ensuring smooth operation and preventing excessive wear and tear. Over time, contaminants such as dirt, dust, and metal particles can accumulate in the oil circuit, compromising its efficiency and potentially causing damage to the compressor. Regular cleaning of the oil circuit is necessary to maintain the performance and reliability of the machine.


II. Preparations before Cleaning:

1. Turn off the compressor: Before starting any cleaning procedures, it is crucial to turn off the compressor and disconnect it from the power source. This ensures safety during the cleaning process.

2. Gather necessary tools and materials: Prepare a set of tools and materials required for cleaning the oil circuit. This may include cleaning agents, brushes, lint-free cloths, and protective gear such as gloves and goggles.


III. Steps for Cleaning the Oil Circuit:

1. Drain the oil: Begin by draining the old oil from the compressor. Follow manufacturer instructions to locate the drain plug and collect the oil in a suitable container. Proper disposal of the used oil is essential to minimize environmental impact.

2. Remove and clean the oil filter: Locate the oil filter housing and remove the filter element. Inspect the filter for any signs of clogging or damage. If necessary, replace it with a new filter. Clean the filter housing using a suitable cleaning agent, ensuring all debris and contaminants are removed.

3. Flush the oil circuit: Fill the oil circuit with a recommended cleaning agent or solvent. Start the compressor and let it run for a specified period, allowing the cleaning agent to circulate throughout the system. This helps dissolve and remove any remaining contaminants in the oil circuit.

4. Drain and rinse: After the cleaning agent has circulated, drain the solvent from the oil circuit and thoroughly rinse it with clean oil. This step ensures that all residues of the cleaning agent are removed from the system.

5. Replace oil and filter: Once the oil circuit is clean and free from contaminants, replace the oil with a suitable lubricant recommended by the manufacturer. Install a new oil filter to ensure proper filtration of the oil.

6. Inspect for leaks and proper operation: After completing the cleaning process, carefully inspect the oil circuit for any potential leaks or abnormalities. Run the compressor for a short period to ensure smooth operation and proper oil circulation.


IV. Maintenance and Regular Cleaning:

To maintain the cleanliness of the oil circuit, it is recommended to establish a regular cleaning schedule based on the compressor's usage and manufacturer guidelines. Regularly inspect and clean the oil filter, and replace it when necessary. Additionally, monitor the oil quality and change it according to the manufacturer's recommendations.


Proper cleaning of the oil circuit is essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of oil injected air compressor. By following the steps outlined in this article, one can ensure the removal of contaminants, proper lubrication, and efficient cooling of the compressor's moving components. Regular maintenance and cleaning will contribute to the overall reliability and productivity of the compressor, ultimately reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiency.

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