How to Adjust Air Compressor Pressure Regulator


Air compressors are rapidly becoming popular among professionals and DIY enthusiast. It is a very versatile tool that powers every kind of pneumatic tool. An air compressor is a handy tool, especially if you have a lot of tools. It can be used for both heavy-duty and small work, and it is straightforward to understand. Air compressors are of different kinds and brands; see Best Pancake Air Compressor in 2020.

The pressure regulator on the air compressor is one of the most essential features on the tool. The pressure regulator is a feature that needs to be proper handled. In this article, we would discuss how to use and adjust the pressure regulator.

What is a Pressure Regulator

A very important part of an air compressor is the pressure regulator; this is because it regulates the amount of air going out of the air compressor tanks. The pressure regulator is a monitor that can be easily recognised. From the monitor, you can see the exact pressure being used. Monitoring air compressor’s pressure is important because there is a specific PSI number for each tool. The pressure of the air compressor must be set to that particular number for the tool to operate properly.

A large air compressor can feature an extra pressure regulator. The extra pressure regulator is needed because the air compressor can be used with multiple tools at once, so you have to set each regulator to match each tool.

There is a high chance of damaging the tools if the pressure regulator is not set to the specific PSI of each. Take note that not all regulators have air compressors. This, however, does not diminish their efficiency; it just means they’ve been designed to work without a regulator.

How to Adjust Air Compressor Pressure Regulator

Adjusting the pressure regulator to suit the PSI for that tool is very important when using the air compressor. This allows the tool and the compressor to last long. Below are the steps to adjust the pressure

  • Turn on the air compressor.
  • Wait a little while for the air compressor tank to get filled. This requires patience because the air compressor needs to suck up air to power up your tools.
  • Some air compressors make noise when you turn it on, this is proof that it is ready to be used.
  • Pick up the tool you want to use and connect the air hose to the tool. There’s a part of the tool that accommodates the hose; check the user’s manual if you can’t locate it.
  • Search for a little knob on the right side of the regulator. The location may vary for different models. That knob is used to control the pressure.
  • To increase the pressure, turn the knob to the right side or clockwise and to decrease the amount of pressure, turn it to the left.

How to Read a Pressure Regulator

Reading the pressure regulator is an easy task; all you have to do is keep your eyes on the needle-like arrow that moves on the regulator. The arrow or pointer changes position when the pressure is increased or decreased. If you look at it when the air compressor is turned on, you should see it increase. When you see this, check the PSI of the tool you want to use and then adjust the regulator to match the number, make sure to do this while keeping your eyes in the arrow.

See also,

How to Use An Air Compressor?

Air Compressor Maintenance Guide

Maintaining the Pressure Regulator

Maintaining the air compressor requires time and care. If it’s an old air compressor, it may start to develop some problem. The pressure regulator is the first thing you check when doing maintenance checks on the tool. This is a vital thing to do because of the downstream pressure running through it. Due to the high pressure, the regulator may crack slightly, and if the air compressor has been stored away for a very long time, it may dry out. Cleaning or maintaining the air compressor, look out for cracks because this may cause air to leak out of the compressor reducing the tool’s performance; fixing or replacing it is not expensive. To avoid these problems, handle the air compressor with care and do proper checks on it.

How to Safely Use an Air Compressor

Wear protective gear

When working with any power tool, including the air compressor, you need to have personal protective equipment. This is made of your safety goggles and gloves and other safety equipment. You should have on this protective gear to reduce the risk of injury; wearing glasses with a shield or an impact glasses will keep dust and splinters from getting into your eyes.

Check for leaks

As earlier stated, it is possible for the air compressor tank to leak; this is because of the high pressure flowing through the tank. Leaks could also be an oil leak; this is equally bad for the air compressor. It is important to check for leaks before using the air compressor, especially when using it regularly. Inspect the machine for leaks before using it.

Drain the tank

If air is left inside the tank, it condenses and forms water. The water formed in the tank needs to be drained regularly to stop water from building up, which may corrode or rust the tank, which eventually damages the air compressor. You can get a timed auto drain that drains the water and saves you from stress. To learn how to properly drain the tank, see How to Drain an Air Compressor?

Also, see Air Compressor Safety Tips.


There are a lot of air compressors that have a lot of features; the pressure regulator is similar to all of them. It controls the air that flows out of the tank. Learning how to use the pressure regulator is very important when using the air compressor. It determines how well the tool powered by it is going to work. If your pressure is not adjusted to suit the tool’s PSI, it will damage your tool and significantly affect your work. Look out for PSI number on every tool and adjust the pressure to match that exact number.