Fluid Power Journal

Money Wasted Due to Air Leaks

ONE THING I FIND in maintenance costs is money wasted due to air leaks that drive a compressor runtime through the roof and the electric bill along with it. A large building with this problem can easily cost the company an additional $30,000 in utility costs. I have a friend who made $10,000 for about one month of work. His tools were a bottle of soapy water, a pipe wrench, and a roll of Teflon tape. During lunch breaks, he would go from machine to machine and spray soapy water on air fittings and valves, sometimes on components. Air would cause bubbles at the point of the leak. In the majority of cases, the source of the leak was a faulty threaded connection. The connection was disassembled, cleaned, and put back together with tape applied to the threads. Some of the leaks were found where base-mounted valves met the manifold and required tightening or o-ring replacement. There were no major costs associated with the repair of the leaks, but the savings were enormous.

Joe Nail, CFPAI, CFPAJPP, CFPIHM, CFPMHM, joe.nail@kctcs.edu


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