Oil Sampling And Compressor Servicing Tips


At SA Performance, we work with you and your support team, to train, advise and determine best practices that will enable you to best serve your customers. Most anyone can be your vendor; we strive to be a trusted advisor. The following is an excerpt from one of our training presentations that provides best-practice information for oil sampling programs and compressor servicing:

Oil Sampling And Compressor Servicing Tips

Problems –

Improper sampling techniques can result in two outcomes.

  • Contamination - suggests the presence of problems that do not exist.

  • Misrepresentation - suggests there are no issues, overlooking a problem.

Procedures –

Proper location and consistency are keys to successful sampling:

  • Sampling - through a drain/sampling port or oil fill hole via a vacuum pump.

  • Consistency – everyone should be sticking to the same procedures. Inconsistent procedures may suggest variations in results.

Frequency –

Determine the objectives of an oil analysis program:

  • Time-Based Oil Changes - changing based on OEM specs, or when needed.

  • Condition-Based Oil Changes - fluid monitoring to adjust system operations for maximum performance, lubricant life, and extend service intervals

Compressor Servicing -

Consistent maintenance monitoring programs are key to the life of your compressors.

Time-Based Oil Changes –

Most rotary screw compressors have full PM annually:

  • Annual Servicing - changing of lubricants, separator, and filters.

  • Rotary Screw Oil Life - designed to be longer than 8,000 hours at 200ºF.

  • Oil Sampling Best Practices - sample after a change-out to ensure fluid condition with proper analysis.

Condition-Based Oil Changes –

Most centrifugal compressor lubricants last years:

  • Lubricant Volume - condition monitoring is more oriented more towards those systems with large sumps and with lubricants that last years.

  • Oil Analysis Trending - frequent oil analysis is typically only needed when the lubricant change-out decisions are based solely on lubricant condition.

Shock Pulse Monitoring –

Alternative to rotary screw lubricant condition monitoring:

  • Predictive Analytics - monitors air end vibrations over years of service for early detection of bearing failures.

  • Planned Overhauls - early identification prevents catastrophic failures.

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