Identifying Old Air Compressors – How and Things to Look Out For

Identifying Old Air Compressors

Do you have issues identifying old compressor? Primarily, the air compressor’s age and its technological capabilities are determining factors.  An air compressor can be said to be old when these factors are taken into consideration.

I want to set an instance that will be helpful. Old Compressors make use of manual switches for adjusting pressure and keeping track of their output. Whereas, the new air compressor has introduced a digital control panel with an LCD screen and automatic controls to regulate pressure and monitor the output.

However, aside from identifying old air compressor through the switches, you can also identify an old air compressor by looking up the manufacturer name on Google.

Another method is checking the stamp at the back of the compressor, this way you can easily see the manufactured date there.

This blog post will give you insight into identifying an old compressor and will also give you reasons why you should not dump it as they could be useful too.

 How to Identify an Old Compressor

Identifying Old Air Compressors
Old Air Compressors

Identifying an old air compressor depends on the usage and the user.

Air compressors can only be said to be antique for rarity purposes and let’s say because of their age. Air compressors could be old and still execute operations perfectly.

Below are ways to identify an old compressor with ease:

  1. In an old air compressor, there is no off-and-on switch. It has a cord that is plugged into electricity.
  2. Old compressors have bigger tanks compared to the compressors being produced recently.
  3. There’s a nameplate that tells you when it was established.
  4. Old air compressors have dirt, and surface rust and exhibit signs of wear and tear
  5. Comparing air compressors with more modern models. Old air compressors have traditional and remote designs. Unlike new compressors will have trending and modern designs

When identifying an old air compressor, it depends on the varying model and specific type of air compressor.

Read also: Will an Air Compressor make Balloons Float

Importance of Identifying Old Air Compressor

1. Maintaining  and Repairing Considerations:

Old compressors will require specialized maintenance or repair procedures due to outdated technology or the limited availability of replacement parts.

When you’re aware of the age of a compressor, enables users to implement proper maintenance strategies and prevent predicted malfunctioning.

We will emphasize the significance of regular inspections and adherence to maintenance schedules.

2. Efficiency and Performance Assessment:

New compressors feature enhanced efficiency, energy-saving technologies, and improved performance. By identifying an old compressor, users can check its efficiency and determine if an upgrade is necessary.

Refurbishing your Old Air Compressor

I was opportune to be gifted a very old compressor. Receiving such a gift was very annoying initially. I had no use for the compressor and sold it to the museum as an antique.

Until recently, when I discovered an old compressor can be Refurbished and reused, I then regretted my actions of selling it out.

It’s important to note that not all old items are valuable antiques, as their worth depends on certain factors and the market’s observation.

You don’t want to be in the same shoes which is why you have probably come to this article, keep reading.

If you’re looking to buy a large workshop air compressor, you’ve got two options. It’s either you buy a new one that has 60 to 80 gallons or you refurbish an old air compressor.

I will give you guidelines on option 2 which is refurbishing your old compressor

Below are the steps involved in refurbishing or restoring your air compressor

1. Assessing the compressor

Check out the condition of the air compressor. Identify any visible damage, worn-out parts, or areas requiring attention, and give a rub down and some paint to the tank if it has rust.

2. Disassembling the compressor 

Dissasembling the compressor is very necessary for the refurbishing of your air compressor.

when you disassemble your air compressor, it gives room for cleaning and replacement of parts that needs to be worked on.

Carefully disassemble the air compressor, documenting the process and organizing the removed components for later reassembly.

3. Cleaning of dirt on your air compressor

Refurbishing is not complete if the unit is not clean. You have to thoroughly clean all parts, including the compressor body, pump, valves, and filter, and remove dirt, rust, and debris that may have accumulated over time.

Read also: Air Compressor Keeps Shutting off – Reasons and How to Fix it

4. Replacement of damaged parts:

Old compressors automatically will start developing damage in parts. Identifying an old air compressor and refurbishing it, will need replacement and Identification of worn-out or damaged parts, such as gaskets, seals, valves, belts, filters, or hoses. Acquire the necessary replacement parts and contact an engineer for installation.

5. Repair of Faulty parts:

The next step is to repair all parts that are no longer functioning properly.  Address any mechanical or electrical issues. Repair or replace faulty motors, switches, wiring, or control mechanisms as needed.

6. Lubrication to moving parts:

Apply appropriate lubrication to moving parts. When lubricating these moving parts, it is essential to use the correct lubricating oil recommended by the manufacturer. Lubrication ensures smooth operation and reduced friction.

7. Reassemble your air compressor:

Couple your air compressor back together, following the disassembly documentation, and make sure all parts are properly aligned and tightened. You need to be careful about reassembling. Missing a disassembly process could make you start over again.

8. Test running of your refurbished air compressor 

Make sure to test-run the restored air compressor to ensure it operates perfectly. Check for proper pressure output, smooth operation, and any potential leaks or abnormal noises.

9. Give your ‘NewAir Compressor’ Finishing Touches:

Apply any necessary finishing touches, such as repainting the compressor body or applying protective coatings to prevent future corrosion.

Air compressor restoration requires mechanical skills, knowledge of air compressor systems, and access to appropriate tools and replacement parts.

It is often a detailed and time-consuming process, but it can bring an old or non-functional air compressor back to life, extending its usability and efficiency.


Identifying an old compressor is very crucial as it helps to prevent mishaps. Also, identifying an old air compressor will help to know its efficiency and to dictate where an update is mandatory.

Do not dash out or sell your old air compressor as they are even more efficient than the new ones. You can always refurbish them and resuse them.

This blog post should clear your curiosity about identifying old air compressors, and the benefits attached to the knowledge.