Worried that your Ford AC compressor pressure relief valve keeps opening?
Pressure relief valves are an essential part of your air compressor. When it comes to controlling the pressure going on inside the compressor, the pressure relief valves are the last resort. So, once they fail, no safety measures are left.
This is why it is important to know why your pressure relief valve keeps opening and what you should do about it. Let’s go right ahead and discuss this issue.
Ford AC Compressor Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening
The pressure relief valve ensures safety of your compressor. This prevents explosions that are likely to occur when the air tank gets to a very high level.
This component reacts automatically each time the pressure gets very high. Hence, the system pressure causes the disk seal to move until the spring is hit. This will then keep the valve closed. The valve only opens when the compressed air force is greater than the air force of the spring.
Overall, the pressure relief valve only opens depending on the amount of pressure. However, if the valve remains open, then the pressure switch may have an issue. The switch is designed to cut the power to the motor whenever the tank gets to a certain pressure level. In case this does not occur, then the pressure switch is faulty.
There may be an instance when the pressure relief valve stays open even with a normal or below normal pressure. In case this is the situation you are experiencing, then the valve is the one that has a problem.
For instance, the air in your tank gets too much water or oil in it, and these materials enter the pressure relief valve. These can lubricate your pressure relief valve’s interior components that the pressure building up overtakes the spring’s force. Hence, the pressure opens the valve even before the normal air level is achieved.
An easy way to fix this issue is by cleaning the pressure release valve thoroughly. Shut the compressor off and allow the air to vent out of the tank. Remove the pressure relief valve and rinse this component in hot water and a clear solvent or detergent. Allow it to dry well before reinstalling.
If you notice that the problem continues to persist even after cleaning, a valve replacement will be needed.
Other Reasons Why The Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening
There are a few other reasons why your pressure relief valve opens constantly. One is that the spring may have gotten loose or there is too much lubrication to the valve. You can fix the latter by pulling the pressure relief valve piston to release it.
However, if it fails to retract to the original position, then the spring is the issue. Clean your entire valve well. It may need replacement when the problem persists.
You can also try to clean the pressure relief valve if it is between cylinders and there is an issue with the line. It could be that there’s an obstruction that blocks the airflow, so this needs to be removed.
Do keep in mind that there are dangers involved with a faulty pressure relief valve. Thus, you need to test and inspect this component annually or even more often. In case you need to have it replaced or reinstalled, check the component manually before you operate the air pressure.
Here are some ways to test your pressure relief valves functionality:
- Turn the system on until it has reached its operating pressure
- Depressurize by pulling the pressure relief valve’s ring
- Inspect for venting air
- Shut the airflow off by pushing down the pin
- If you detect air venting, it means that the pressure relief valve is fine. Otherwise, you may have to get it replaced.
You can perform this test with an empty tank. However, do take note that it is not quite effective when done this way.
Safety precautions need to be put into place when you test the pressure relief valve. First, make sure that you alert the people around you prior to testing. You may need to wear some ear protection devices to protect your ears from any high-pitched, unpleasant noise that may occur as you pull the valve.
When working with the spring, be sure to wear gloves and watch out for torn wires. Check the pressure gauge to make sure that the pressure build-up maintains a reasonable level and not too high.
When the pressure relief valve of your AC compressor keeps opening, it could be that the pressure is at a dangerously high level. The pressure switch may also be faulty, and in some cases, the entire pressure relief valve needs to be replaced.
This is why it is best to have these components inspected and tested annually or more often, especially if these symptoms persist. By doing so, you can prevent safety issues from happening that can lead to greater problems.