A guide to compressed air leaks

The man connects the pressure gauge

Compressed air leaks are a major pain point for many air compressor users, as they can lead to significant amounts of wasted energy and losses to operating efficiency.

Not only do air compressor leaks waste a large portion of the total air production capacity, but they can also cause operating losses through system pressure drops and a reduction to the working life of the system through increased running time and unnecessary added compressor capacity.

In order to reduce energy consumption, maintenance requirements and unscheduled downtime (all of which add unnecessary costs), it is important to understand how to prevent, detect and fix air compressor leaks.

Types of compressed air leaks

Some air compressor leaks are intentional and necessary for the functioning of the system (known as planned leaks). These types of leaks are part of the design of the air compressor and specific functions such as cooling, blowing or drying.

Unplanned leaks, however, are cause for concern as they are mechanical issues that can cause serious headaches. While unplanned leaks can come from any part of the air compressor, they are most commonly found in the following:

  • Valves
  • Couplings, fittings, hoses and tubes
  • Filters, lubricators and regulators
  • Pipe joints
  • Worn seals or gaskets.
Equipment for checking air compressor


Prevention is always better than a cure… and it’s no different with air compressor leaks.

The first step to preventing air leaks is to ensure your air compressor is operating to manufacturer specifications. Running an air compressor at an unnecessary capacity can cause premature wear and tear on components, a leading cause of air leaks.

Ensuring your air compressor is well maintained and serviced is also key to prevention and will save you significant amounts of time, energy and resource costs.

Pilot Air offers comprehensive service and maintenance, which includes scheduled maintenance and preventative checks to ensure your system is operating efficiently (and to eliminate any avoidable air leaks).

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Fixing an air compressor leak may be as simple as tightening a connection or replacing an O-ring. Some leaks, however, can be quite complex and require the replacement of several parts and components.

It is important that any compressed air leak is repaired by a professional to avoid any further damage to the system.

If you suspect your compressed air system has a leak, be sure to call the Pilot Air service team to arrange a maintenance appointment. Our service technicians operate from workshops in Sydney and Brisbane – and include a fleet of mobile technicians, ensuring quick response times. In addition to our in-house technicians, we have a service agent network of over 50 service technicians available Australia-wide, who are on hand to assist you.

We not only service and repair Pilot Air’s compressed air products, but most other leading brands, too!

Extensive product range

Our team of experts, plus our comprehensive spare parts inventory, ensure we maintain your compressed air system’s reliability and efficiency while reducing whole-of-life operating costs.

Learn more about our compressed air products.

Air Compressor Products

From air compressors through to compressed air storage, treatment and distribution, our extensive range of compressed air products ensures we have the right solution for your business needs, no matter the industry or application. We also offer custom-built packages and compressed air systems that are fit for purpose and tailored to your budget.

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