How To Adjust the Air Compressor Pressure Regulator Properly

how to adjust air compressor pressure regulator

If you need to pump high-pressure air to fill gas cylinders, run pneumatic machines, or regulate HVAC systems, an air compressor is an excellent investment. You may also use them around the house for vehicle tyres, balls, and bike tires. Today, more individuals are purchasing these tools than ever before.Unfortunately, some people who don’t know how to adjust air compressor pressure regulators, also known as air control valves, won’t be able to get the most out of them. They are having difficulty matching the flow of air to the demand of their air tools.

Have all the best materials, tools, and devices available, take the necessary precautions and follow the proper procedures to lower or raise the air input pressure to the correct level. The following article covers how to detect and modify a pressure regulator of air compressor.

What is an air compressor regulator?

The air compressor regulator is a device that adjusts pressure (PSI) for your compressed air demands, as its name indicates. It regulates air flow from the compressor to keep the pressure of air delivered to tools and processes consistent. You may also manually alter the pressure within specific restrictions.

Your compressor may have a single pressure regulator at the exhaust output, or each drop or tool may have its pressure regulator. The pressure regulator lets you fine-tune the air pressure into various equipment and applications.

Regardless of changes in input air pressure or downstream flow needs, it maintains a constant output pressure. The pressure regulator helps prevent overpressurization, which costs energy and increases the air compressor’s CFM needs.

How does the Air Compressor regulator actually work?

The pressure regulator is designed to reduce PSI pulses as your air compressor cycles on and off. The air compressor regulator comprises a pressure gauge (PSI), an adjustable valve that regulates airflow, and a knob or dial that allows the user to modify the airflow.

An internal spring in the regulator tightens or loosens a seal, enabling more or less air to pass through the regulator. When airflow is lowered, pressure downstream of the regulator is likewise reduced. There is no spring to overcome with pilot-driven (internal and external) regulators; they are more precise and hold the pressure to a tighter band.

It’s worth noting that the pressure regulator can only lower pressure from the air compressor; it can’t raise pressure over the compressor’s PSI.

The pressure regulator may either relieve or not relieve pressure.

  • A relieving pressure regulator discharges extra air into the atmosphere to alleviate downstream pressure. Even in dead-end lines, the regulator can reduce the pressure supplied by the compressor. As the surplus air is evacuated, you’ll hear a loud hissing sound.
  • A non-relieving pressure regulator does not vent the extra air. To relieve the extra pressure, a downstream valve is necessary.

What Is The Importance Of Using The Correct Pressure?


For reasons of safety.

We frequently strain our compressor to its limits, and if that compressor is poorly maintained or is an older type, it may go kaboom.

This is why you must first establish the proper pressure before beginning to work.

Why Should You Control Your Air Compressor Pressure?

Air compressor regulation allows you to regulate airflow across the whole system, one of the most significant features of an air compressor. Without a compressor pressure regulator, there would be no way to regulate and manage the pressure and intensity of the air flowing from the air compressor tank into your pneumatic tools.

Having a regulator in place will allow you to safeguard each tool from being overpowered or underpowered, protecting the quality of your pneumatic applications in the process.

Because different types of pneumatic tools require varying pressure levels, air pressure regulators are particularly useful. If you tried to power a fast-moving operation with the same pressure as a slow-moving instrument, the outcomes would almost certainly be disastrous. You would be dominating your instrument if you performed the reverse.

Controlling an air compressor can help you save energy while running your air-powered processes. Even though only a percentage of your applications require this much energy, if you don’t have the capabilities of a pressure regulator, you may wind up wasting large amounts of energy during each day of use only to satisfy peak demands.

The following are the primary reasons for regulating your air compressor:

  • Serve your air tools properly.
  • Streamline your software.
  • Conserve energy

Steps for How to Adjust the Air Compressor Pressure Regulator

It may be essential to change the pressure each time you connect a different pneumatic tool to your air compressor to match the PSI needs of each new tool. As a result, before you shift the tools around, I’ll show you how to modify an air compressor pressure regulator.

How to adjust the air compressor pressure regulator

1. Turn Air Compressor On

First and foremost, you must turn on the air compressor and allow it to warm up for a regular running cycle before making an accurate pressure gauge adjustment. Allow enough time (a few minutes) for the tank to fill up with its freshly compressed air.

The sounds your air compressor produces when it is turned on may indicate whether the air is filling up.

2. Check the tool’s PSI compatibility.

Check the PSI rating on the pneumatic tool you’ve placed aside to be used next once the compressor has been turned on and the tank is adequately full of air. If the PSI of the tool exceeds the air compressor’s capacity, you’ll need to set aside that tool for a compressor with a larger capacity.

If the air compressor pressure exceeds the tool’s requirements, you can continue with the adjustment procedure.

3. Connect the Air Hose and the Tool

You may now connect the pneumatic tool to the air hose and connect the hose to the air compressor (if it isn’t already connected). I’m assuming you know how to connect a tool, but if you don’t, or if this is your first time attaching a tool, check for the port on the instrument. Review the user’s handbook if you’re having trouble locating this function.

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4. The Pressure Regulator should be adjusted.

After you’ve secured the tool and hose connections, you may start adjusting the pressure regulator’s settings to fit the PSI needs of the tool. The pressure regulator will usually include a knob on the right side.

The knob on various compressors may be situated in a different location on the machine. If this is the case, examine the user’s handbook to locate the air compressor pressure regulator knob.

5. Unlocking the Regulator Knob

A locking mechanism on most air compressor regulators must be disengaged to spin the knob. The lock will most likely be engaged by pushing and pulling. Pull the knob outwards to release it from its locked position so you may adjust it. Push the knob back inwards to re-lock it.

Of course, this may differ depending on the brand and type of your compressor, so if this does not assist, reference the user’s handbook for information on the pressure regulator lock for your compressor.

6. Increase or decrease the pressure.

Turn the regulator knob clockwise to increase and intensify the pressure within the air tank of an air compressor. The sound of the machine and the readings on the pressure gauge should indicate a rise in pressure right away. Push the knob back in to lock the setting once you’ve reached the appropriate pressure!

Reduce the pressure in the same way, but this time in the other direction. Turn the regulator knob counterclockwise until the pressure is reduced to the appropriate level, returning it to the locked position.

However, the air compressor may not create pressure as expected; for more information, see our post on Why an Air Compressor Won’t Build Pressure & How to Fix a Compressor Not Building Pressure.

How to Read Pressure Regulator of Air compressor

The PSI rating is used to assess if a pneumatic tool is performing at its anticipated level of performance. If you have a tool built for a given rate, but the pressure supply is much lower than that amount, the tool will not work as well as it should.

The pressure gauge’s PSI readings on an air compressor will typically range from 0 to 250. The figures will vary depending on the air compressor’s capacity and the pneumatic applications the system handles. The PSI rating will inform you how much air pressure the compressor will produce per square inch. If your compressor’s maximum PSI is 150, the greatest volume of air pressure the device can produce is 150 pounds per square inch.

Aside from an air compressor’s maximum performance capability, various additional factors might limit the machine’s ability to attain a given PSI rating. Impurities in the surrounding air might infect the system, causing the pressurization to be less intense. Even if you have a good set of filters in place, the compressed air that your system produces might be harmed if the surrounding work environment isn’t conducive to it. If the surrounding air is extremely humid and full of moisture, your compressor’s PSI capabilities may be reduced.

Most systems come with two gauges to distinguish between interior and exterior air conditions that impact pressure. You should have no issue creating pressured air at the full PSI specified on the air compressor if the natural air in your workstation is at or near 14.7.

How to keep Proper maintenance of Pressure Regulators

It’s vital to maintain your air compressor’s pressure regulator to keep your air compressor in excellent working order. Due to a lack of maintenance, pressure regulators tend to develop various issues.

Cracks that develop in the regulator are one of the most common issues. The constant downstream pressure movement via the regulator causes these fractures to form. Once the fractures have formed, air will seep out of the air compressor system, dramatically lowering its capacity. As a result, air tool performance and end applications are affected.

If you don’t use your air compressor very often, perhaps only once in a while, you run the danger of the pressure regulator drying up. As a result, more occasional runtime should help extend the life of the pressure regulator.

If you have a problem with your pressure regulator, be assured that replacements are affordable and widely accessible!

Types of pressure regulators

Self-relieving or non-relieving pressure regulators are available. There are various options available.

  • An adjustment spring controls a poppet-style valve in a poppet-style valved regulator. This is the most basic and inexpensive pressure regulator. The poppet, which throttles the orifice plate to control airflow, controls the flow. This sort of regulator does not provide relief.
  • A diaphragm chamber regulator has a separate chamber with a pressure control aspirator tube. These regulators are bigger and more costly than poppet-style regulators, but they have better responsiveness and sensitivity and less pressure loss across the valve.
  • A balanced poppet regulator is similar to a diaphragm chamber regulator but with a bigger opening for more airflow. To increase reaction and sensitivity, the poppet is pressure-balanced.
  • There are multiple diaphragms in a precise pressure regulator. The flow capacity and connecting ports on these regulators may be restricted.

Choosing the correct pressure regulator can help you keep expenses down while ensuring optimal performance.


Each air compressor comes with various functions, and nearly all of them have a pressure regulator. After all, this regulator controls the airflow through the exit.

All you have to do now is make sure the regulator is set to the right psi for your air tool, as the latter’s performance is dependent on it.

Keep in mind that the compressor you choose should be optimal for your work, and double-check the manufacturer’s suggested psi.

FAQs related to air compressor pressure regulator

For an air compressor, how many pressure regulators do I need?

If you use numerous tools simultaneously, each one should have its regulator. You may use the same regulator if you only use one tool at a time and attach it to the same hose, as long as the tools demand the same PSI. Otherwise, you’ll have to change the PSI to meet the specific needs of each item you attach to the airline.

Is the Air Compressor’s Pressure Switch Used to Control the Regulator?

No. The pressure switch is configured to keep the air tank within an acceptable range of pressurization based on preset PSI specifications. You must monitor and adjust the pressure regulator to ensure that the appropriate air tool receives the required PSI. If you utilize various pneumatic tools, you may never need to modify the air compressor pressure switch, but you will almost certainly need to adjust the pressure regulator.

How can I raise the air compressor’s pressure?

Pull out the adjustment knob on your pressure regulator and crank it clockwise until you reach your desired pressure, then push the knob back in place to set the pressure.

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