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Starting an air compressor up after a long period of shutdown

With factories and production lines beginning to start up again after a period of closure or reduced production, we have put together some advice on how to safely bring your compressed air equipment back into operation. 

Ross Madison social distancing

Before returning the compressed air equipment back into operation, a visual inspection is needed.


First turn off the power supply to the air compressor, remove the drive shaft protection guard and turn the drive coupling to check that the compressor is free to turn. If the compressor turns freely, re fit the guard and turn on the power supply to the compressor; turn on the cooling water and air blast cooling system if the compressor is water cooled.


Slowly open the compressor air discharge valve until the air pressure equalises between the compressor and the air net. Start the compressor. The compressor is now back online. If the air compressor is connected to a sequence controller, make sure the compressors are integrated onto the controller/ Optimizer.


For adsorption dryers and gas generators never start up against an empty air-net. When starting close the outlet valve behind the dryer or generator and pressurise the system. Then slowly open the outlet valve to pressurise the air-net. This is to avoid high air speeds damaging the adsorption material.


For variable speed drive (VSD) compressors where the power was turned off to the unit over a period of time.

After reinstating the power, leave the VSD compressor for at least one hour before starting it. If in any doubt, please call the contact number below to book a factory-trained Atlas Copco Field Service Engineer to assist in bringing your VSD compressor back into operation.

If any of these checks highlight a cause for concern, please contact us for advice before restarting your compressed air equipment.

If you require any further assistance in bringing your compressed air equipment back online, we will be happy to help. Our contact details are: 

0845 60 50 630              compressor.service@uk.atlascopco.com

> Check how we operate safely on your site or request a copy of a Risk Assessment

Atlas Copco Compressor Technique Service