How to change compressor oil? On these pages I will provide as much of a step-by-step process for you as I can. The process of changing compressor oil is normally not difficult. It can, however, be really messy if you are not careful.
All oil-lubricated compressors from different compressor manufacturers will have slightly different oil change processes. I do think though that the overall concepts will work for all oil-lubricated compressors.
Not all compressors are oil lubricated. Make sure that your compressor is. A lot of the little DIY type air compressors available from the big box stores these days are lubrication oil-free. You cannot easily change the oil because there isn't any!
Lubricating oil that is added to the compressor flows down into the oil sump and sits there, waiting for the compressor to start.
The typical DIY type oil-lubricated home compressor will be the splash lubed variety. If it is splash lubed there will be no expensive oil pumps to install and maintain, and, if the unit is designed to be splash lubed, that process works just fine.
My rule is simple. If my air compressor is under warranty, I use the oil that is recommended in the manual.
If the warranty period for the air compressor has passed, then I buy compressor lubricating oil from my hardware store.
This rule applies to home DIY compressors only. Some of the more sophisticated and larger compressors used by industry have very specific requirements for oil, and you must use the oil recommended by that compressor manufacturer or you void the warranty or cause oil-related issues.
Compressor oil has the proper additives to make it suitable for the compressor lubricating environment. These additives are not necessarily found in automobile oil, air tool oil, etc.
Also, the additives that are other types of oils are not compatible, and in fact may damage, your air compressor.
For the DIY type air compressor user, unless you are using it all the time, follow the manual guidelines or change the oil once a year.
If it is an industrial air compressor being used continuously, depending on the model of your air compressor and the manufacturer's recommendations, consider changing the oil every 300 hours of compressor operation.