Air compressor users often argue back and forth on whether it’s okay to leave air in the compressor’s system or not, and if not, how do you release the air in the most efficient way? This article will provide to you the simplest and quickest method for releasing pressurized air from your air compressor.

Table of Contents

Why Release Air From Air Compressor

The reason air needs to be released from an air compressor is because it carries natural water vapor particles within itself. During the compression stage, the air is heated significantly and these water vapor particles condensate and create moisture.

Moisture can be a problem over a certain length of time as the condensation accumulates and water eventually builds up at the bottom of the tank. This can not only get in your airstream and affect projects, but it may cause the inside of the tank to corrode, leading to premature wear and maybe lead to rust particles in the airstream too.

For more information please visit our Can You Leave An Air Compressor Full Of Air? guide!

How to Release Air From Air Compressor

The following step-by-step guide on how to release air pressure from a compressor can be used as a general guideline.

  1. Turn compressor off

    When you have finished operating, turn the compressor off and unplug the power cord

  2. Locate the bleeder valve

    Locate the bleeder valve which is usually positioned in the center of the underside of the air receiver tank. This bleeder valve/drain is located at the lowest point of the tank so that any built-up condensation can be released along with the air, to keep the system dry

  3. Put on PPE

    Put on some rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect you from the air and condensation that may blast out and hit your hands and face. This mixture may include oil, dirt, or other contaminants that could damage your eyes

  4. Release pressure

    Grip the bleeder valve with a pair of locking pliers and turn the valve counterclockwise a fraction until the pressure of the tank lessens

  5. Release the air

    Continue to open the valve more and more, allowing both air and condensation to release from the tank. Leave the valve open until the condensation stops dropping out of the valve. If possible, rock the tank to ensure all condensation is removed

It’s not difficult to remove pressurized air from your air compressor, and so, it should become a daily task. If you struggle to get all the condensation out alongside the air, it might be worth closing the valve, refilling the compressor tank, and then repeating this removal process. The newly pressurized air should help remove the remaining condensation.

Your unloader valve should release the trapped air inside the compression chamber and tank discharge line automatically when the motor stops, and so, you only need to focus on the storage tank. If for some reason your unloader valve has not done this, manually open it to allow the air to bleed out and seek a replacement.

For more detailed information on unloader valves, their adjustment, and common problems, visit our Air Compressor Unloader Valve Explained guide! The YouTube video below shows you exactly what might happen if you neglect to release air from your compressor and you allow water to condensate.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do you get air out of a compressor?

The best way to get the air out of your compressor is to open the tank’s drain/bleeder valve slowly to reduce the pressure of air, before opening it fully to allow all the air to bleed out from the system.

How do you release the pressure on an air compressor?

To release the pressure on an air compressor you need to first locate the bleeder valve at the bottom of the air receiver tank. Here, you will be able to marginally open the valve to reduce the pressure of the air before opening it properly and allowing all the pressurized air to be removed from the air compressor system.


If you have any questions regarding how to release air from air compressor, please leave a comment below, with a photo if applicable, so that someone can help you!