Skip to main content

3 Ways to Repair an Air Compressor

Air compressors are useful for a wide range of applications across auto repair shops and garages. Unfortunately, we have probably all been in a situation where our compressor was not working properly. From filling tires to operating air-powered tools, you need a reliable air compressor to get the job done. Here, we will outline a few of the different types and components of air compressors and how to repair an air compressor.

Be Extremely Cautious About Trying to Repair a Tank

It should be noted first and foremost that SVI never condones or encourages home repair of the air tank itself on your compressor. Again, you should NEVER attempt to repair an air compressor tank. Even trained professionals rarely do so.

Why? Because of the large amounts of pressure and forces being created by an air compressor, making an improper repair can result in huge safety concerns. An incorrectly repaired tank can cause your equipment to explode violently and without notice, potentially resulting in severe injury or death. With that in mind, here are three ways to begin making a repair on your air compressor.

How to Repair an Air Compressor Tank

Method #1

If there is a simple issue with a valve or hose, you can easily replace the part. Simply contact our team, tell us which part is broken and what type of compressor you use, and we will be able to find or manufacture a repair part for you.

Method #2

If there is an issue with your air compressor’s tank, any repair efforts will need to be put on hold. Most likely, you will want to replace the entire tank to avoid any future complications. 

Method #3

If your air compressor is relatively old and you think it is time for an upgrade, you can purchase an entirely new air compressor and avoid the need for repairs altogether.

Air Compressor Tank Types

If you decide that replacing your tank is all the repair you will need, there are several different types of air compressor tank types. Each of these tanks are relatively similar in terms of function, but there are some nuanced differences you will want to consider.

The main factors you will want to look out for are the capacity of the tank and your storage requirements. In some cases, the type of tank that suits you best may simply be the tank type with which you are the most familiar.

Pancake Compressors are storage tanks which are flat and round. On pancake compressors, the tank is bolted to the bottom of the machine. The shape of these compressors makes them easier to store and are usually best suited for those who want an air compressor at home.

Hot Dog Compressors include a single cylindrical shaped tank. These compressors are designed horizontally to optimize their ability to be stored.

Twin-Stack Compressors have two cylindrical and horizontal tanks side-by-side. These style of air compressors increase the air capacity of the machine for those who need compressed air regularly.

Wheelbarrow Compressors are all about ease of mobility. They come with handles and wheels for easy movement. While they can differ, most of these types of configurations also have two cylindrical, horizontal tanks.

Features to Seek in Replacement Air Compressor Tanks

Tank Size

The size of the tank you choose will have direct, nominal influences on your ability to work efficiently. Larger tanks result in a greater air capacity that can be compressed throughout your workday. However, if you do not have long working hours, or can complete your work in sections, waiting for the air pressure to build again, smaller tanks may be an equally useful option for you.

Air Pressure Rating

Air pressure rating is a major area of consideration when selecting the correct air compressor tank. Most tanks require a rating of 90 PSA (pounds per square inch) to operate effectively. To achieve this, you may need to adjust your air compressor’s shut off procedure.

Most industrial air compressors have tanks with a two-stage shut off. Commercial or home compressors usually only have one stage. When determining which is best for you, compare your current tank’s pressure rating to the new one. Your main objective will be making sure it is compatible with your existing compressor.


One of the best ways to ensure your new air compressor tank meets your needs is to view the horsepower available. There are many overrated horsepower air compressors, so be sure to take this into account during your search for a replacement. Motors with different horsepower will take different amperage and voltage requirements. Additionally, selecting either a gas or electric motor will also impact the rating, yet gas motors tend to be more popular. However, with advancing technology, electric motors may become more common.

Air Compressor Longevity

Duty Cycle

There are many issues impacting the life expectancy of your air compressor and the tank attached. One is referenced as the duty cycle. The duty cycle expresses how long you can keep your air tank running as a percentage. Many home compressor tanks have a duty cycle of around 50%. That means you should not run the compressor for more than 5 minutes at a time. If you go over that time allotment, it will not fry your engine immediately, but it will lower the life expectancy of your machine. Over time, running your compressor for longer than the duty cycle allows may also cause severe damage to your tank.


Another issue to address that affects the lifespan of your air compressor is moisture. Moisture can accumulate in a tank as it begins to cool off. Longer use periods will result in more moisture; therefore, the best option is to choose a larger sized tank. This will allow you to use your air compressor for longer durations without moisture becoming an issue.

Alternatively, many experts in high humidity areas will use a moisture trap to collect water. These traps do not impact the air compressor’s performance.


The final factor which will impact the longevity of your air compressor is the cost. There are many deals out there but remember: you get what you pay for.

This is not to say that you will have to break the bank just to get a decent air compressor tank but be sure to be on the lookout for “deals” that are too good to be true. You may end up paying for that more expensive tank you decided against not long after purchasing a cheap alternative.

Get the Best Auto Parts for Your Needs – Partner with SVI

SVI International is the industry leader in repair parts for automotive lifts and industrial equipment. When you work with our team, we will be sure to provide you with the best solution for your needs, at an affordable cost.

Contact our team today to get started.

Related posts

Bendpak lifts

Bendpak Lifts: How Do They Compare to Competitors?

Generally accepted as some of the best auto lifts in the industry, Bendpak lifts are…

garage lifting equipment

Garage Lifting Equipment: Top 5 Lifts

Auto shops and garages alike are dedicated to providing the best services to their clients…

All names, numbers, symbols and descriptions are used for reference purposes only. It is not implied that any part or product listed is the actual product of these manufacturers. SVI does not represent and is not associated in any way with any other companies.

Have any questions?

We’ll get right back to you — Contact us now.
Contact us

Quick Reference

Easy Access to Products, Resources, and More