Compressor Location

Compressor location; where best to install your air compressor - continued!

On this previous page we talked about some of the factors that should be considered when selecting the optimal compressor location.

Some additional factors to be considered are:

Compressor Air Intake

As well as being on the coolest, shadiest side of the building if possible, ensure that your air intake is well up the wall. If it is located near ground level, there is a possibility of sucking ground level dust and debris into the intake. Not to mention objects that bystanders might try to insert!

Your compressor air intake will (should) have an adequate dust and debris filter which will help keep out dust, debris, and whatever folks might try to throw into it.

Do not forget to have the cleaning of the intake filter added to your compressor preventive maintenance schedule.

Visibility - Lighting

Give some thought to adding lighting in the compressor room. It never fails that you will have to do something to the unit that is in behind it, or close to being completely underneath the compressor, and it sure is easier to perform maintenance on a compressor when there is good lighting.

Good lighting is important from a safety standpoint, too. Every surface seems to collect things, and around the compressor does not seem to be an exception. Good lighting means that you will not be tripping over items, damaging them or yourself in the process.

Have you checked out the cost of worker's compensation lately?


Who is going into the compressor room? Who is perhaps not planning anything catastrophic, but just might push the wrong button or turn the wrong valve?

Depending on the type of compressor, moving parts may make being in close proximity dangerous. Yes, the belts on compressors should be guarded to prevent very dangerous pinch-points, and you can make things even safer by keeping unauthorized and unskilled persons out of the compressor area completely.

Do the curiosity seeker and yourself a favor, and lock the door to the compressor room.

Where Is The Key

Have a documented system for controlling the compressor room key. If there is a problem that needs to be rectified, why waste time looking for the key? Those that need to know or need access should have the information as to where it is, or the actual key at hand.


Depending on the style and size of the compressor, there will be varying levels of vibration associated with its operation. Installing the compressor on the recommended cement base could mean that vibration from the running compressor could be felt, and affect, other areas of the plant.
There are many options available to help isolate the compressor vibration from transmitting to other areas of the plant.

Wire rope isolators are one, or the simple elastomeric (neoprene or rubber cushions) mounts is another. The elastomers are likely the lowest cost, and provide a rubber cushion between the feet of the compressor and the floor.

Be aware of the vibration concern when seeking a new compressor . Be sure to ask the vendor about steps you will have to take if the compressor you select can cause your plant a vibration problem.


A cement or concrete floor under your compressor is best.

Not only will this type of floor resist vibration, it will also resist decomposition from the water that is a continual by-product of compressing air.

It will also resist the oil spilled on the floor if it is an oil-lubed air compressor.

Painting the floor will make it easier to clean. Be aware of slip-and-fall hazards on a painted, wet or oily floor.


If you install an auto-drain in the tank drain valve of your receiver, or just opt for using the manual drain valve to drain the tank at least once a day, the water that could come flooding from your receiver drain valve has to go somewhere.

Be conscious of the fact that the mixture blowing out of the drain of the receiver may be mostly water, but will have dirt in it, and if your compressor is oil-lubed, that waste water will contain oil as well.

It is likely that this water / dirt / oil slurry from your compressor will be considered as "hazardous waste" in your jurisdiction, and it must be treated as such.

Gone are the days when you simply ran the line from the receiver right into the nearest municipal drain. You do want to be sure about where your tank water/oil goes if there is sufficient volume.


We have already talked about making the compressor room large enough to have elbow-room around the compressor, but when you are planning the compressor room, also give thought to the ancillary equipment you might ultimately need.

You may opt for installing an extra compressor tank or two right in the compressor room.

If an additional receiver does not provide sufficient cooling of the air to remove the water to a level satisfactory for your plant, you may need some compressed air cooling technology such as an aftercooler, a desiccant dryer or a refrigerant dryer.

These items can get you into some serious additional real estate around the compressor, so keep your options open in terms of how big your compressor room needs to be.