Can Air Compressor Explode?

Air compressors are used in many industrial projects. It is also famous for home projects, garages, and automobile workshops. If you are a regular user of pneumatic tools, then an air compressor is essential. But every machine has advantages and disadvantages. Air compressors can be hazardous, and explosion is one of them. Many air compressor users have the question, “Can an air compressor explode?”. Air compressor explosion is rare, but sometimes it can explode. It depends on the circumstances. Here I will discuss the reason for the air compressor explosion. 

When you use any machine, you need to take care of it. Otherwise, it will not provide better service. Many issues are related to air compressor explosions. So you need to know the reason for the blast and adequately maintain the Compressor to prevent the outbreak. Follow the article, and I will discuss it elaborately.

Reasons for air compressor explosion

Air compressor explosion is not a very common thing. But it’s not impossible. There is some reason for air compressor explosion. Air compressor users should consider these factors-

Excessive Heat

When you run your air compressor, heat produces. If you need more cooling systems for your Compressor, it can explode by overheating. Larger machines in a commercial organization depend on the cooling system to maintain compressor functioning at a safe level.

Large compressors need regular supervision. To keep your compressor system all right, you should monitor it regularly. Routine servicing is also suitable for machines.

Corrosion problem

One of the common reasons for air compressor explosions is corrosion. Corrosion damages the Compressor’s tank slowly. When water can sit for long in the Compressor’s tank, it causes extreme levels of pollution. That can be the reason for the structural damage to the tank. If your Compressor’s tank is not in a sound condition, it can not carry compressed air pressure and explode.

Too much pressure

Each Compressor has a pressure guideline. If a compressor crosses its maximum pressure guideline, an explosion can occur in different ways. If the Compressor’s tank is damaged by corrosion, excessive pressure can cause an explosion. Or, if there is any problem with the pressure release valve, too much stress can explode the Compressor. 


Generally, an air compressor is used around different types of heavy machinery, so there is a chance of puncture from wreckage or parts of damaged tools. An air compressor tank is made to stand against high pressure, but it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect the Compressor from flying metals. Otherwise, that can damage the Compressor and explode it.

Installation problem

The manufacturer provides a guideline with their air compressor for appropriately using their product. When installing the Compressor for personal use, follow the maximum psi level and the manufacturer’s instructions. 

If you purchase the Compressor for commercial use, professionals will perform the installation. The installer should follow all the protocols strictly if they make any mistake that will cause severe damage or explosion.

Lacks of Lubrication 

Oil-lubricated air compressor needs proper lubrication to run and process air. Insufficient lubrication can cause friction in compressors moving parts. It can cause an explosion. 

Manufacturing Defects of Air compressor

An air compressor is made with components that can withstand extreme pressure. So, explosion for manufacturing defects is rare in the case of air compressors. If any parts of the Compressor do not fit properly, don’t install the air compressor and contact the manufacturer of the Compressor because the unfit Compressor can not perform adequately at a peak moment and fail.

Any defective part of the Compressor can hamper the compressed air system. Airflow blockage can create overheating and explode the Compressor.

How to avoid air compressor explosion?

Air compressor explosions take place for several reasons. But overall, lacking maintenance is responsible for the outbreak. To prevent air compressor explosions, following guidelines will help. 

Drain the compressors tank

Drain the compressor tank after each use. When you will finish work, disconnect the Compressor. Every Compressor has a different location for the drain valve. If you do not drain the tank, condensation will cause corrosion inside the tank.

To ensure the longevity of your hoses and attachment, you should bleed the air. Turn off the air compressor and pull the wand’s trigger to bleed the air.

Check oil

If you have an oil-lubricated air compressor, then ensure the proper lubrication. Check the oil level regularly; if needed, add more oil.

Check the lubrication for oil-free compressors also. The synthetic gel used some parts of the oil-free machine. It would help if you cleaned the dirt to prevent premature wear and tear.

Follow manufacturer guidelines

The most important thing is to follow manufacturer guidelines. They mention precisely how to handle and install the air compressor. Please do not push your Compressor above its limit. Excessive pressure will damage your tank, and it can cause an explosion.

Check all components properly

Check all the connections of the air compressor, valve, hoses, and tank to find out any damages. If you find any damage, replace them before using them again.

How often do air compressors explode?

The Air compressor compresses air and holds it inside the tank. The Air compressor explodes, but it’s very rare. When the air compressor operators don’t look after the air tank properly, an explosion occurs. 

The main reason for the explosion is corrosion. Users should drain the accumulated water from the tank regularly. Otherwise, pollution will damage the tank. The rupture of the tank explodes in high pressure.

 Another reason for the explosion can be the manufacturing defects of the air compressor. Using a reputed brand’s product can prevent accidents or soft material will damage soon.

Ensure your air compressor is safe to use

Each machine has different operating rules, so as air compressors. Manufacturers provide complete guidelines in detail to operate the machine. Following the manual will protect you and give longevity to the device. To ensure the safe use of air compressors, you can follow basic guidelines-

  • It would help if you drained the air tank regularly. Usually, this valve is located under the air compressor. After every use of the air compressor, drain the air tank. At least once a week, do the ritual.
  • Lubrication is essential for an air compressor. Make sure your Compressor is lubricated enough to run smoothly. Change your air compressor oil once a year. 
  • Experts say changing the air filter at least once a year is exemplary. It’s straightforward; you can do this at home using your toolbox. It protects your Compressor from pollution.

Overall, taking care of air compressors is a must for safe use. Regular servicing and maintenance are essential.


What would cause a compressor to explode?

An Air compressor is an essential machine for its users. It helps to run different pneumatic tools. Small sizes are often used in home projects and garages. Air compressor explosion is rare but can happen under clumsy circumstances such as overheating problems, excessive pressure, puncture, installation problem, corrosion of the tank, etc. sometimes manufacturing defects are responsible for compressor explosion. But you can resist any accident by taking some necessary steps. Regular observation, servicing, and maintaining a proper cooling system can save your Compressor. Contact the manufacturer if you notice any abnormal or unfit parts before installing a new compressor.

Can an air compressor explode from a fire?

Oil-lubricated compressors have an oil chamber to keep the machine lubricated. Sometimes oil leak through the air filter, Compressor’s piston chamber, or head. We know oil is flammable; if oil leak from a machine is hazardous and can cause a fire. Fire can explode the Compressor.

Are air compressors safe?

Air compressors are effective machinery and make so many complex tasks easy. It helps to run power tools. But when you have a fear of explosion, you may ask whether air compressors are safe or not. Air compressor explosions are rare. If you maintain it properly and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, air compressors are safe. Like other tools, air compressors can damage by regular or rough use. It requires proper care. If you use it at home, maintain it as a manual or use it in commercial settings, then make sure to retain it by experts.

Can you run an air compressor 24/7?

Users of air compressors use a pressure-activated switch. Compressors start and stop by this switch. If you left the Compressor connected to electricity and turned it on. It will run continuously When the pressure drops under a preset point. But when the pressure reaches its maximum level, it will stop.¬†Usually, the Compressor can produce air continuously 24/7, but it has to stop to perform maintenance at intervals. Here the air compressor’s maintenance interval varies from unit to unit according to the operating system and manufacturer’s recommendation.

Can an old air compressor explode?

An old air compressor can explode with too much pressure. An old air compressor motor may only support a little pressure, and the tank explodes by itself. An explosion can occur with an old machine for corrosion, puncture, and other common issues.


Air compressors are used in industrial projects to small projects. It has versatile uses. But air compressors can be hazardous. If you are not maintaining it properly, then the air compressor can explode. Every machine needs regular care so as an air compressor. Poor maintenance and negligence can occur explosion. 

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