Why My Air Compressor Is Constantly Running

The Air Compressor For Use in Fire Protection

If you have a dry pipe or pre-action fire sprinkler system, you most likely have an air compressor that keeps the air or nitrogen pressurized inside the pipe until a sprinkler head activates, filling the system with water.  The air compressor is an integral component to the fire protection system. The air supply provided by the compressor must be able to restore air pressure in the system within 30 minutes, per NFPA requirements. The only exception to this rule is in refrigerated spaces that stay at a consistent temperature at or less than 5 degrees Fahrenheit or -15 degrees Celsius. In those cases, the NFPA specifies that a 60-minute time span is all it should take to restore air to the system.

How Often Should My Air Compressor Run?

The pressurized air in a sprinkler system is critical to a system functioning properly.  An air compressor will turn on at different time intervals.  It’s not uncommon for an air compressor to turn on daily.  However, the more often your compressor is running, the less likely your system is operating optimally.  If your compressor is running multiple times per hour to keep sufficient air in the system, you should consider your options to improve system performance.

Why is My Air Compressor Running So Often?

An air compressor can run too frequently for a few different reasons:

  • Pin Hole Leaks in the System Piping or Fittings
  • Mechanical or Electrical failure of the Air Compressor
  • Improper connection piping from the Air Compressor to the Sprinkler System

What To Do When Your Air Compressor Runs Continually

If your air compressor is constantly running, you should consider having your system inspected by a professional.  A system investigation can uncover leaks in the system.  Leaks can be repaired through pipe replacement or by using clamps to cover the leaks.  A leak investigation could also reveal a larger issue with the system that is more critical than simply a running air compressor.  Your system could be experiencing a corrosion issue that if not remedied early, will lead to costly service of your system.  There are long term solutions for combating corrosion that a professional can recommend.  Regardless, repairing leaks should slow down the frequency of a running compressor and thus extend the life of the actual compressor.

Nov 17, 2014 | Fire Sprinklers

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