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Main Causes of Oil Carryover in Screw Air Compressors

Main Causes of Oil Carryover in Screw Air Compressors
October 12, 2023

Screw air compressors are widely used in various industries due to their efficient and reliable operation.   However, one common issue that operators often encounter is oil carryover, which refers to the unintended presence of oil in the compressed air.   This article aims to explore the main causes of oil carryover in screw air compressors.

screw air compressor

1.   Worn or Damaged Seals:

One of the primary reasons for oil carryover is the presence of worn or damaged seals in the compressor.   Seals play a crucial role in preventing oil from entering the compression chamber.   Over time, seals can become worn, leading to oil leakage and subsequent carryover.   Regular inspection and timely replacement of seals are essential to prevent this issue.


2.   Excessive Oil Level:

Maintaining the correct oil level is crucial for the smooth operation of a screw air compressor.   If the oil level exceeds the recommended limit, it can result in excessive oil entering the compression chamber.   This excess oil can then carry over into the compressed air system.   Regular monitoring and adjustment of the oil level will help prevent this problem.


3.   High Ambient Temperatures:

Operating a screw air compressor in high ambient temperatures can also contribute to oil carryover.   Elevated temperatures cause the oil to become thinner, reducing its ability to adhere to internal components properly.   As a result, the oil is more likely to be carried over into the compressed air.   Adequate cooling measures, such as ensuring proper ventilation and installing external cooling systems, can help mitigate this issue.


4.   Inadequate Maintenance:

Proper and regular maintenance is essential to ensure the optimal performance of a custom screw air compressor.   Failure to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as oil changes, filter replacements, and component inspections, can lead to increased oil carryover.   Regular maintenance, as per the manufacturer's recommendations, can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate.


5.   Improper Oil Selection:

Using the wrong type of oil or an oil with incorrect viscosity can also contribute to oil carryover.   It is crucial to follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding oil selection and viscosity for the specific compressor model.   Using the recommended oil will ensure proper lubrication and minimize the risk of carryover.



Oil carryover in oil injected air compressor can be attributed to various factors, including worn seals, excessive oil levels, high ambient temperatures, inadequate maintenance, and improper oil selection.   By addressing these issues through regular inspections, maintenance, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines, operators can minimize oil carryover, ensuring the production of clean and reliable compressed air.

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