Familiarise with High Pressure Terminology
Compressor Dictionary – F
Firstly, check the cylinder's general condition and appearance; keep an eye out for rust, corrosion and physical damage. Make sure that the valves are government approved and operate correctly. Check the cylinder's specifications (final pressure, approval for use with aqualungs or respirators, inspection stamp). In Germany, hydraulic pressure testing must be carried out every two years for steel or aluminium diving cylinders (only Luxfer cylinders have an extended testing interval of six years). For cylinders manufactured abroad, foreign norms and regulations apply. If deemed necessary, the German technical inspection board will perform a safety inspection and issue a proxy-certification in accordance with German regulations.
Lift the cylinder and shake it. Can you hear trickles caused by water or flakes of rust? Note that water cannot be drained from a flooded cylinder by tipping it since the intake nozzle reaches into the cylinder. Rather, the first stage valve has to be removed in order to dry and clean the cylinder. The condition of the inside walls must be checked carefully before reassembling the cylinder.
Before connecting the cylinder to the compressor, blow the valve briefly to remove water and grit from the clamp. Please note that cylinder must thoroughly checked from the inside if it has been depressurised entirely.
If the cylinder is equipped with an emergency reserve, open the J-valve before connecting cylinder and compressor. Place the cylinder in a well ventilated place - ideally into the compressor's stream of cooling air. Open the three-way valve on the filling panel. By checking the actual filling rate against the compressor's stated capacity, faults are detected early on.
Slowly purge the condensate valve, until only air remains. Check the » condensate for oil droplets (i.e. oils that have separated from the oil-water emulsion). If a considerable quantity of oil remains, please have the compressor checked by a qualified professional.
Do not refuel a petrol unit during filling. For large filling stations, we recommend that the cylinders be filled in a water bath.
Once the cylinder has reached final pressure, shut the J-valve (reserve) before closing the cylinder's main valve. Then cut the supply of compressed air by means of the three-way valve, depressurise the clamp assembly and disconnect the cylinder. A wax crayon mark will help distinguish full and empty bottles. Bottles must be stored clear of emergency exits.
Having completed the filling cycle, switch off the power section to detect potential leaks; these might easily be overheard if the engine or motor were still running. Then drain the residual condensate. Do not fully depressurise the unit as to prevent an internal vacuum from developing once the compressor cools down.
Record the filling data in the compressor's logbook and the filter saturation card. If the unit is out of service for a longer period of time, it needs special treatment to guarantee trouble-free redeployment (see » conservation). The required measures are listed in the compressor's operating manual.
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