REFRIGERATION TV: How To Check Net Oil Pressure

REFRIGERATION TV: How To Check Compressor Net Oil Pressure

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NET OIL PRESSURE varies from compressor to compressor. Net oil pressures usually range from 20 to 40 psi. Most oil pressure safety controllers will shut the compressor down if the net oil pressure falls below 10 psi. Variables that affect the net oil pressure are:

• Compressor size;

• Viscosity of the oil;

• Temperature of the oil; and

• Bearing clearance.

Larger compressors need more net oil pressure because they have more surface areas to lubricate. The oil pumps must also pump and carry the oil greater distances within the larger compressor. Also, as the oil gets hotter and its viscosity drops, the net oil pressure will also usually drop. As a compressor wears, its tolerances will become greater and easier for the oil to escape through its clearances.

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