How to Use an Air Compressor

Whether you are using your machine to spray paint, inflate a tire, or connect to a pressure washer, don't just plug it in and go. Follow these important steps for safety and to keep your garage appliance working for years.


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You Will Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Air Compressor
  • Instruction manual
  • Oil
  • Power tools
  • Power supply


  1. Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools.

  2. Step 1

    Assemble the compressor

    Assemble the air compressor to the manufacturer's installation instructions. Connect the hose to the regulator valve.

  3. Step 2

    Check the oil level

    Check the oil level and add oil if necessary.

  4. Step 3

    Supply power and check the relief valve

    Plug the compressor into a three-pronged, grounded outlet. Check to ensure the system relief valve is set correctly.

  5. The system relief valve is a safety feature that will pop open if the pressure builds to more than the compressor can handle, preventing system failure.

  6. Step 4

    Turn on the compressor

    Turn on the compressor to pump up the tank and then close the tank drain valve.

  7. Step 5

    Connect the power tool to the hose

    Connect a power tool to the hose. Adjust the compressor's pressure to the tool's specifications and the project you are working with.

  8. Never exceed the pressure recommended by the power tool's manufacturer.

  9. Step 6

    Shut off the compressor

    Turn off the compressor and unplug it. Disconnect the tool and then the hose when you're finished. Finally, open the drain valve to drain the water from the tank. Store your compressor away from the elements so it'll be in perfect working order the next time you need it.

  10. Approximately 70 percent of all manufacturers have a compressed air system.