Tips For Operating Rotary Screw Air Compressors

The most common type of compressors used in industrial settings are the rotary screw air compressors. There are many weird ideas surrounding these rotary screw compressors. Most of those ideas have to do with cold weather and winterization. Simple maintenance can solve many of the problems and failures that go along with winter weather.

Lots of peoples feel that because their compressor is within a heated building, it will not be affected by outside air temperatures. This is not accurate, since the oil coolers are usually vented to the outside of the building. Oil that’s trapped in a cooler that is exposed to cold air can become thick and will not circulate.

Some rotary screw air compressor have thermal or bypass valves in the oil cooling system. This helps protect the compressor parts during startup in cold weather.


The valve must be checked regularly to ensure that it’s operating properly. Synthetic oil can be a good help because it is going to circulate simpler at low temperatures. However, the actual difficulty is water build up in the oil sump because the water won’t boil off and vanish when the compressor is working under 140 degrees F. Issues caused by the water buildup can be prevented by occasionally draining a little bit of oil during cold weather prior to starting the compressor up.


Cold weather sometimes causes condensation to buildup in the atmosphere lines of the rotary screw air compressors. This will cause the compressor to run with a full load until someone finds the continuous lifting of the pressure relief valves. Condensation is removed through drains that are placed strategically in the air system. A solenoid valve (also known as ” โซลินอยด์วาล์ว  ” in Thai language) is an electromechanically operated valve. The valve is controlled by an electric current through a solenoid.

These discharge lines are often taken to a drain point outside of the building. During cold weather, these lines can become clogged with ice, forcing condensation back into the air system. If not properly drained before the compressor is shut down, this may damage some of the compressor components and costly components.

It’s common for companies to take their rotary screw air compressors out of service during the winter months. This is great only if the appropriate measures are taken to winterize the screw compressors. Including oil and filter changes.

Used oil creates an acid that can damage the bearings in the motor and the compressor components. Manually rotating the motors and maintaining the rotors oiled are also important to prevent seizing at startup. Good maintenance of the screw compressors is important to prevent expensive service calls and to minimize downtime.

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