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Common Signs If You’re Having a Valve Failure

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A problem with a reciprocating compressor valve can manifest itself in a variety of ways. As a result, there are numerous symptoms. Signs of valve failure can be found on the compressor as well as in the outcomes of various processes.


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A compressor that overheats or makes too much noise, for example, will have a problem that could easily be caused by a faulty valve. Unusual loads and amp draw could also be the result of valve failure. Poor system performance and unfavourable end-of-life outcomes are also common indicators of compressor valve failure. The following are the most common symptoms of valve failure:

1. Suction Pressures That Are Greater Than Normal

Irregularities are typically indicative of poor system health, including instances of valve failure, which can result in unusually high suction pressure. When surges in suction pressure are combined with lower-than-normal discharge pressure, this is a tell-tale sign that two inter-related, valve-reliant functions are failing to perform to system standards.


2. Discharge Pressure is Low

IIf your reciprocating air compressor’s discharge is weak and inefficient, the valves are most likely to blame. A compressor is intended to discharge pressurized air at specific consistencies determined by system settings. If this does not happen, or if the pressure appears to be insufficient, the problem is most likely due to an obstructed valve passage. The situation is most obvious when the low discharge pressure is combined with high suction pressure because you have correlating processes that are both failing at their respective functions.


3. The Compressor Is Extremely Quiet

As much as having an air compressor operate at low volumes can be a relief, it can also be cause for concern if the compressor appears to be operating at full capacity. If your air compressor sounds like it’s fading out or humming quietly, it’s likely that the valves are failing.


4. Low Amp Draw

If a reciprocating air compressor fails to draw normal power levels, the problem could be due to a system obstruction caused by a valve. To move air from the pressurization stage to the end-use, a compressed-air system will use a certain amount of energy. If the amp draw is unusually low, the system may be unable to draw a normal amp due to a lack of valve flow.


5. Exceptionally High Discharge Temperature

A discharge valve that fails to seal securely will result in unusually low head pressure. Air will be discharged from the cylinder during each upstroke. The air becomes pressurized in seconds, and some of it leaks back into the cylinder due to the unsecured valve seal. The air is subjected to an unusually short cycle, resulting in unusually high discharge temperatures.


6. Leakage and Carbonized Valve Oil

When a discharge valve is subjected to extremely high temperatures, carbonization is likely to take root in the oil along the valve’s lining, plate, and backings. The iron material that makes up the valve is prone to accelerating the chemical reaction as the overheating spreads. As a result of these effects, the valve is also likely to leak.


7. The Valve Plate Is Contaminated

Another consequence of excessive valve heat is the formation of contamination, which can form along with the valve plate as a result of a chemical reaction to the high temperatures. Contamination is caused by a combination of broken-down oil and dust in the pressurized air, which combine to form sludge along with the valve plate.


8. A Rise in Electricity Bills

If your company’s electric bills have risen despite no changes in machine usage, the compressed-air system may be consuming too much energy to perform basic functions. When an air compressor suddenly requires more energy to perform the same functions, the problem is usually due to a system issue, such as a failing valve.


9. Air Compressor Overheating

If a reciprocating air compressor is unable to properly cool itself, the unusual heat could easily be caused by an obstructed air passage within the system. Because of its inability to pass air as programmed, the compressor may overheat as the pressure rises. Such issues are frequently caused by faulty valves.


10. Air Compressor Overload

When too much pressure builds up within an air compressor, air does not flow fluidly from one compartment to the next. The process is designed to move at a consistent rate from the time air enters the system until it is used. If the pressure rises and the system becomes overloaded, there is most likely a problem with the obstructed flow, which could be caused by a faulty valve.


11. Pressures that Are Too Close Together

Opposite pressures should not be in close proximity in a system that relies on the processes of a reciprocating air compressor. When the pressures on the high and low sides become too close for comfort, it is usually a sign of lost pumping capacity. When a valve fails in a system, the high-side pressure is often unusually low, and the low-side pressure is unusually high.


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Source: QuincyCompressor