If you use a commercial-size air compressor in your mechanic's shop to operate your impact tools, you may notice that the pressure has become sluggish. If so, you may need to drain the moisture and flush out the tank's sediment. To do this, use the three-step guide below.

Step 1: Release The Tank's Pressure By Releasing The Safety Valve

The first step in draining and flushing your air compressor is to release the pressure inside the tank using the safety valve. If you do not do this important step, the water coming out during the drainage step will do so forcibly, potentially causing injury if it hits you in the eyes. The rapid release of pressure and water could also rupture the tank, causing a small explosion.

Find the safety valve, usually located at the bottom of the tank, and examine it. Look for any signs of rust or corrosion before switching it on. If you do see any problems, it should be replaced before you proceed. You can either replace the valve yourself or contact the manufacturer for further guidance.

If the safety valve is not rusted or corroded, slowly switch it on to release the pressure. You will hear a high-pitch whistling sound as the air is released. Once you no longer hear the noise, look at the gauge to ensure the air has been fully released. Leave the valve on, then go on to the next step.

Step 2: Fully Drain The Compressor's Tank

Once the pressure has been released from the tank, it is time to fully drain it of any water. During use, condensation builds up on the inside walls of the tank, creating an accumulation of water at the bottom. Eventually, this water can rust the metal, creating holes in the tank itself.

At the bottom of the tank, look for a single bolt. It should be dead center. Place a pan under the air compressor, and use an adjustable crescent wrench to slowly remove the bolt. Make sure you keep your face away from the bottom of the tank as the bolt is removed in case some pressure still exists in the tank.

As the bolt is removed, water should start leaking around it. Completely pull the bolt out, and drain the tank completely. Once you not longer see a stream of water coming from the drainage hole, go on to the next step.

Step 3: Flush The Tank With Vinegar And Water

Now that the tank has been drained, this next step involves flushing the tank with vinegar and water. The vinegar helps remove any rust that has built up inside the tank's walls, as well as removes sediment left behind by the minerals in the stagnant water.

At the top of the tank, find and open the intake spigot. Then, replace the drainage bolt. Do not replace it before opening the intake spigot, since you need to leave an opening at all times to keep any pressure from building up inside the tank while you work.

Attach a hose to the spigot, and place a funnel in the other end. Pour three cups of white distilled vinegar into the funnel. As it enters the tank, the vinegar will coat the sides of it. 

Wait about a half an hour, then remove the drainage bolt to remove the excess vinegar. Run water through the intake spigot for about 10 to 15 minutes, allowing it to drain out of the bottom. Leave the tank open for several hours to dry, then replace the bolt and close the spigot.

Performing the above steps once a month can help keep the moisture and sediment from building up inside your air compressor's tank. However, if you do not see any improvement in the amount of pressure being delivered, you may want to contact the manufacturer to seek further guidance on whether your commercial air compressor can be repaired or needs replacing. For more tips, contact a company like Kruman Equipment Co.