Air compressors are used for a wide range of applications, from inflating tires and air mattresses to powering pneumatic tools. Many people who own air compressors don’t use detergent oil in their air compressors, but instead choose to use non-detergent oil. But why use non-detergent oil in air compressors, instead of regular detergent oil?
Using non-detergent oil in air compressors can help prevent wear on the moving parts inside the air compressor. Non-detergent oil is thinner than detergent oil and will penetrate the moving parts better, keeping them oiled and working smoothly. Non-detergent oil provides less lubrication than detergent oil, but that can be an advantage for air compressors, which don’t need to be over-lubricated.
In this article, you’ll learn what makes an oil a detergent oil and why that matters for air compressors. You’ll learn the different characteristics of detergent and non-detergent oils. Finally, you’ll get answers to some common questions about using non-detergent oil in air compressors.
Why Use Non Detergent Oil in Air Compressors
There are two main reasons to use non-detergent oil in air compressors—protection and performance. Non-detergent oil offers better protection to the compressor.
According to the Air Compressor Manufacturer’s Association (ACMA), non-detergent oil reduces the chance of compressor contamination and increases lubrication of moving parts.
Another reason to use non-detergent oil is because it improves the performance of an air compressor. You may have noticed that when an air compressor has been running for a while, it starts making a louder noise—that’s because the oil has gotten dirty and thick. That thick oil can’t move as freely around the compressor and can’t lubricate the moving parts as effectively.
That thick oil is also more likely to stick to moving parts and contaminate them. Using a non-detergent oil is designed to reduce the amount of thick oil in the system, which will help to prevent that loud noise and keep contamination at bay.
What Are the Benefits of Using Non Detergent Oil in Air Compressors
Prevent Build Up—Easier Maintenance
Using non-detergent oil in your air compressor can help prevent build-up and decrease the need for frequent maintenance. It’s also less abrasive on the seals and other parts of the compressor—making it easier to keep it working properly.
Reduced Operating Temperature—Improved Performance
Using non-detergent oil instead of detergent oil in your air compressor can reduce operating temperature and improve overall performance. This can prevent overheating and prolong the life of the equipment.
Fewer Emissions—Environmental Friendly
Using non-detergent oil in your air compressor can reduce emissions, making it more environmentally friendly. It also helps keep the air compressor cleaner, allowing it to run more efficiently and quietly.
According to our experts, using non-detergent oil in your air compressor can have many benefits—including preventing build-up, reducing operating temperature, and improving overall performance. It can also help reduce emissions and keep the equipment cleaner.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Non Detergent Oil in Air Compressors
Inability to Thoroughly Clean—causes Compressor Failure
With non detergent oils, it is difficult to thoroughly clean the compressor and its components. This can lead to build-up and eventually damage to the machine. In addition, non detergent oils do not clean well enough to prevent the build-up of harmful contaminants such as airborne contaminants and metal particles.
Inability to Reach All Internal Parts—can Cause Damage
Non detergent oils are not able to reach all the internal parts of the air compressor, which can lead to damage and malfunctions. Detergent oils, on the other hand, are able to reach all the parts and provide thorough cleaning.
Increased Risk of Failure—due to Insufficient Cleaning
The use of non detergent oils in air compressors greatly increases the risk of failure due to insufficient cleaning.
Decreased Performance—due to Poor Lubrication
The use of non detergent oils in air compressors also leads to decreased performance due to poor lubrication.
How to Choose the Right Non Detergent Oil for Your Air Compressor
The first thing you need to do is figure out what oil you need for your air compressor. This will depend on a few different factors, such as how much you are using the compressor and what type of compressor you have.
If you are using the air compressor for a hobby, such as airbrushing or for inflating tires, you can use mineral-based compressor oil. This type of oil is safe for most compressors and won’t damage any of the parts.
However, if you have a high-performance compressor—such as a rotary screw compressor—you may need a synthetic compressor oil. These types of oils are specifically made for high-performance compressors and will offer better protection.
Additionally, if you are using an air compressor that is constantly running and may overheat—such as a tire inflator—you should always use a non-detergent oil. This type of oil is specifically designed to prevent rust and protect against overheating.
Does an Air Compressor Need Special Oil
Air compressors do not need any special oil—just regular lubrication and care. Of course, you’ll need to check the oil regularly and change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, be sure to clean the air filter and check for any wear and tear.
Once you’ve taken care of the basic maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy a long-lasting air compressor.
If you want to know more about air compressor maintenance—including how often you should perform each task—check out this guide.
And if you’re looking for a new compressor, make sure to read our reviews and recommendations first.
Non-detergent oils are thinner than detergent oils and more suited for use in air compressors, as they will penetrate the moving parts of the air compressor more effectively. Using non-detergent oil in an air compressor will allow the moving parts to function more smoothly and will help prevent wear on those parts. The oil will not be as thick as a detergent oil and may need to be reapplied more frequently.
Have you ever used non-detergent oil in an air compressor? What was your experience? Leave a comment below to let us know.