Fire Service Breathing Air Compressor Oil and Oil Filter Changes. This is the Air You Breathe!
Safety is? Being cognizant of your surroundings and prepared for the inevitable.
Breathing air filling procedures may vary Fire Department to Fire Department. Having an SCBA safety and fill policy, is mandatory in most NFPA states and fire departments. However, there are agencies that do not maintain the same safety and maintenance records for the nucleus of the breathing air operation-The High-Pressure Breathing Air Compressor. With the push to 4500-5500 psi breathable working environments, it’s imperative we keep in mind the safe proper operational importance of the equipment that fill these high-pressure breathing air cylinders.
Each Nardi fire service compressor adheres to a specific set of guidelines for manufacturing and must meet NFPA, EN and ANSI specifications for breathing air quality and grade. Changing the oil and oil filter changes are one other key to successful breathing air compressor longevity. The world of high-pressure compressor applications is complicated enough without having to fight parts issues and down time due to poor or improper servicing.
When servicing your compressor application, the end user must decompress the application by opening manual drains and disconnecting electricity or turning the application off. Each Nardi application uses a similar tri-ester based synthetic oil blend that quite simply is the life blood of our applications. Changing this oil on a manufactured suggested time frame or hourly interval is imperative to reducing internal wear and tear on the crankshaft, block and individual stages as well as pistons, cylinder sleeves, valves and finally the quality of air being processed.
The smaller Atlantic 4 stage series, when using the 800 series tri-ester synthetic oil, will have an average life interval of 100 hours of compressor run time or every six months between oil changes. The Atlantic does not utilize an oil filtering system, instead has a twin set of “flippers” on the first and fourth stage piston connecting rod(s). These are used to evenly distribute oil throughout the interior of the crankcase, the piston skirt and rings on the down stroke.
Whenever servicing the larger 3 and 4 stage Nardi compressor blocks the same make safe systematic approach is required. Changing any oil that is a tri-ester based synthetic blend or 800 series is our recommendation as the manufacture. To improve the longevity and performance, change the oil filter in the oil pressure pump, as you would on your vehicle when changing the oil. You must properly drain and dispose of the oil and oil filter. Each larger 3 or 4 stage Nardi compressor block will require one US gallon or nearly 3.75 liters per oil change. Each Nardi Pacific series, be it 3 or 4 stage will come standard with an oil pressure pump and filter. The oil drain is located on the uni-constructed crank case or block opposite the cooling shroud and fan blades. The servicing individual will need a 19” articulating funnel for the oil to be drained into a proper disposal container. The metal cased oil pressure pump filter requires little effort to change. By removing the oil pressure pump chamber bolts and cap, the filter is easily removed and changed. All Nardi 3 and 4 stage blocks have the oil pressure pump located on the working side of the application and are protected by the twin drain water separators bracket making the oil filter change a little complicated on the older 230/270/350 Nardi blocks. Any newer 230/280/350 Nardi compressor block will have the new drain water separator bracket relocated, making the oil filter change much simpler during oil changes.
Once the oil and oil filter change is complete, always make certain the oil level is correct and that the drain plug and oil fill cap is properly secured. The end user may want to make a turn or gently move the cooling fan to rotate the internal crank and displace any trapped air in the crankcase or block with the oil fill cap off prior to placing the application back in service.
It remains imperative that the quality of breathing air be tested periodically as per NFPA and regulatory guidelines or departmental policies.