Brass, a metal alloy formed by combining copper and zinc, has been the material of choice for industrial fittings and accessories for centuries. In plumbing and compressed air systems, whether domestic or industrial, brass adaptors, couplings and other fittings are the most widely used thanks to the unique properties of the alloy. The malleable properties of brass enable pneumatic fitting manufacturers to precision-tool high quality brass fittings and accessories in practically any shape or size to fulfil a multitude of tasks. The benefits of using brass fittings in a compressed air or plumbing system is that brass is exceptionally durable, resistant to corrosion and can withstand the high temperatures and pressures associated with industrial processes. Brass is also a ‘non-sparking’ material which means that it is safe for use in environments where explosive gases need to be piped. And, of course, pneumatic fittings, couplers, adaptors and hosetails made from brass also look good and can be finished in a number of ways. Air Supplies carries a wide range of brass pneumatic fittings for every purpose, including brass tee, elbow and cross connectors, reducing sockets and connectors, lug fittings, air vents, Allen key plugs and hose connectors. If you’re looking for the most durable, versatile pneumatic fittings and accessories, precision manufactured to British and European standards of quality and safety then look no further than Air Supplies’ outstanding range of brass compressed air fittings.
Have you ever wondered what that hissing noise was that occurs immediately after your air compressor has reached operating pressure? That’s the sound of the relief valve (sometimes also called an ‘unloader valve’) releasing residual pressure – a safety feature to ensure that excessive pressure doesn’t build up in the air receiver.
If your relief valve develops a fault it will either continuously vent air pressure instead of closing off, or it will cause your air compressor to stall after the first compression cycle. When these symptoms occur it may be time to replace your relief valve.
On smaller air compressors the relief valve is normally part of the pressure switch unit as these two components work in conjunction, and, unless the relief valve can be removed and repaired or replaced separately, replacing the pressure switch unit is the best solution. It can be user-replaced inexpensively if you’re confident enough: if not, get a professional to replace it for you. Your air compressor’s user manual may list the part number for a replacement pressure switch unit; alternatively you can check the manufacturer’s website or try an online search.
Once you have the correct replacement relief valve, ensure that your air compressor is disconnected from its power supply and has been depressurised (open the release valve beneath the air receiver). Disconnect the narrow tube which runs from the air receiver to the relief valve and then remove the quick-connect fitting, pressure regulator and the pressure gauge from the pressure switch.
Once the electrical connections have been disconnected from the old pressure switch unit it can be taken out and discarded. The new pressure switch unit can be fitted by following the previous steps in reverse. Ensure that all joints and connections are airtight, using plumber’s tape on screw threads if required.
Once the new pressure switch unit has been installed reconnect you air compressor’s power and fire it up; the problem should be fixed. If not it may be time to consult an air compressor repairs expert or consider buying a new air compressor altogether.