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Impact Wrench Maintenance Tips

Oct 29, 2007
Water contamination is the great enemy to your prized air impact wrench and other expensive air tools. The common misconception is that if you just drain the air supply tank in your air compressor of excess water, you are protecting your air tool from water damage. While draining your air supply tank is good, you are only preventing rust damage in the tank. The air outlet is generally at the top of the tank and the water in the bottom doesn't make it up there to damage your impact wrench. How then does water get into your air lines and then to your air tool? The answer is condensation. Water condenses and builds up in the air hoses and then travels to your air tool. Also, on a cold winter morning the water that has accumulated in your air lines will freeze and cause even more damage. Frozen water can break loose and damage your tools or even block the air flow in the line. The solution to this problem is install a water filter in your air hose. A good place to put it is midway down your air hose. There it will be out of the way when use your impact wrench under your car and you are trying to get into a tight space. A small investment in a water filter will go a long to prolong the life of your expensive air tools.

Some air tool users try to compensate for water that condenses in air lines by using an air tool oil designed to drive out moisture. Beware of air tool oils that claims to clean, degrease and eradicate water. These types of oils contain isopropyl alcohol or some other solvents. These will destroy or rot out all of the seals and o rings in the air tools. Marvel Mystery Oil and similar products will give a quick fix to gummed up air impact wrench, but the improvement will be short lived. Eventually it will eat the air tool apart and cost you a lot more money in the long run.

Contamination of dirt, grit, sawdust - is the second greatest threat to your air tools. Many contractors diligently clean or change air filters on their air compressors, but still suffer contamination damage to their air tools. Hose couplers are the weak link in the chain. You can have a air compressor delivering clean air and then have a dirty air hose ruin it before it gets to the air tool. Air hoses get dragged through dirt, mud, oily water etc. These contaminants then make into the air hose and then to the tool. By using an air hose reel instead of loose air hoses, you will keep them out of the muck and clean for the next job.

In line oiler Lubrication is critical to extending the life of your valuable air impact wrench and increase productivity. An air tool that has not been properly lubricated will result in low power output. The usual culprit is a dry motor starving for some oil. Your impact wrench is an expensive investment and you must take the time to properly lubricate it. The easiest and quickest way to make surein line oiler it is constantly lubricated is to install an in line oil lubricator. One of these will insure your air tools are receiving oil every time they are used. In line lubricators attach right into the air hose and you fill them with the correct lubricating oil. (see your manufacturer's specs.). You should also do routine external lubrication through the hammer case grease fitting. A well lubricated air impact wrench will deliver more torque, last longer, run quieter and increase productivity. Don't forget to add an in line oiler to your next impact wrench or air tool. It will pay for itself several times over.
About the Author
Jason has been in the construction equipment and industrial sales business for over 10 years. He owns and operates Red Hill Supply to better serve the automotive and industrial industries. - Automotive Tools.
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