FAQ: A Quick Guide To Oils and Lubricants

Everyone knows nearly every compressor requires some form of oil or lubricant to operate correctly and keep the gears, bearings and seals in working condition, but which oils, lubricants, and guidelines are the best to keep your compressor running smoothly for years? That’s the question…

Let’s start with oil.

The first step is to use the right oil. The oil you use for your compressor can’t be car oil or hydraulic oil for one main reason: Compressors get hot! Many compressors run at 120 degrees Celsius (That’s almost 250 degrees Fahrenheit), and car or hydraulic oil aren’t built to do the job compressor oil can do at these temperatures. Compressor oil not only lubricates the moving parts, it also removes heat from the compression and cools important parts of the compressor element.

However, even when you use the right oil, it’s still important to know how long your compressor oil will last as well. While every scenario is different, here is a general chart you can follow:

Remember… As the operating temperature increases, your oil life decreases, especially above 210°F. So, using the right compressor oil will help you avoid the higher temperatures.

Now, let’s talk about lubricants.

The best compressor lubricants are premium-grade turbine oils with ISO viscosity grades of 32 or 46.

These premium-grade ISO VG 32 turbine oils are going to give you some good benefits to prolong the life of your compressor.

• First, they help to prevent acidity, sludge, and deposit formation.

• Second, they are extremely effective at protecting against rust and corrosion, even during shutdown.

• Third, they efficiently shed water that enters the lubrication system and control foaming.

• And last, they are easily filtered without losing the effectiveness of additives.

You many not think the extra cost of premium-grad lubricant is worth it, but it’s been proven that using a high-grade lubricant can extend the life of your compressor for years. And the initial fill of lubricant can often last beyond 30 years.

The bottom line is that it’s important to put in the right oil and lubricants and also put in high-quality oils and lubricants. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure your compressor runs properly and smoothly for years. However, every compressor is different, so it’s important to check with your manufacturer for the recommended lubricants for your specific compressor.