Can An Air Compressor Explode And How To Prevent Explosion?

An Air Compressor Explosion

Air compressors are a staple in both the home and the workplace. Like any other machine, the compressor needs regular maintenance to ensure its safe and efficient operation. Otherwise, there is a possible risk of air compressor explosion.

But how can an air compressor explode? The explosion happens for several reasons. In most cases, an air compressor will explode because of too much corrosion in the tank. If the tank has already started to rust, the pressure of the compressed air can force it to burst or explode.

However, there are other responsible reasons why an air compressor might explode. And to inform you of all the causes and prevention techniques, we have compiled this article. Let’s give it a roll!

Why Do Air Compressors Explode?

Image Source:

Explosions in compressors are incredibly uncommon but not impossible. Many different things can go wrong, leading to an air compressor exploding. The following are some reasons: 


Compressors can explode if the working temperature goes outside of a safe limit. Extreme heat can cause metal fatigue, valve failure, and over-pressurization of the air compressor’s internal supply, all of which can result in an explosion if the compressor is placed in a location hotter than the maximum safe storage temperature.

Industrial-sized compressors need a cooling system that needs to be checked regularly so that the compressor doesn’t get too hot and explode.


We use air compressors for various work, such as around heavy machinery, construction sites, and different work zones. These sorts of work cause a high risk of inflicting sharp-force harm to the pressurized components of the air compressor tank.

When the air compressor is operating at its maximum capacity, even a little puncture will cause an immediate explosive discharge of all pressurized air through the hole. As a result, it can destroy the tank and scatter hazardous metal fragments into the air.

Even though compressor tanks are designed to resist high pressure, it is preferable to take precautions to shield the compressor from flying objects or anything else that can harm it and trigger an explosion.


RUST is the primary cause of air compressor explosions Corrosion of a tank’s structural integrity can develop slowly over time if water is left to sit in the tank for a lengthy period. Also, the extreme pressure of the compressed air may cause an explosion if the tank’s fragile structural integrity falls.

As water is present in all air, keeping water out of an air compressor is difficult. However, you can take precautions to eliminate the possibility of rust explosion due to corrosion caused by water. 

Excessive Pressure

Explosions can occur in a compressor in a handful of distinct ways, but both involve exceeding the maximum pressure limitations. Over-pressurization can increase the likelihood of an explosion in a tank compromised by corrosion. Otherwise, the tank can explode due to the pressure buildup or the failure of the pressure release valve.

Lubricant Problems

Keeping a compressor well-lubricated is crucial for its safe operation. Inadequate lubrication of the equipment increases the risk of explosion because of friction in the working parts.

Manufacturer Defects

Explosions caused by manufacturing flaws are quite rare. But occasionally, a compressor will produce flaws like broken valves that could result in an explosion.

5 Tips to Prevent an Air Compressor from Explosion

Accidents happen, and we can’t stop them. but we can prevent accidents from happening by taking precautions. Here are some tips to prevent the explosion from an air compressor.

1. Regular draining of a compressor is recommended for frequent users. At a minimum, the compressor has to be drained once a week. Doing this will protect the tank against corrosion caused by an excess of water.

2. Beware of having other tools puncture it accidentally by taking the necessary measures.

3. Avoid using the compressor at temperatures higher than what is prescribed in the manual.

4. Maintain enough lubrication by monitoring oil levels and topping them up as needed.

5. Avoid operating the compressor if parts do not appear in proper working order.

Related: Type of Oil for Air Compressor and Why is it Important?


Can an air compressor kill you?

Compressed air can be dangerous in several ways and can even be fatal. A compressed air embolism is caused by air blown into the skin and blocking an artery. Also, inhaling compressed air can be highly harmful to the respiratory system and digestive systems. Compressed air can cause catastrophic brain damage if forced into the ear, rupturing the eardrum.

Can an air compressor explode in heat?

Yes, extra heat generated by the component causes oil deposits to be forced into the valves, which in turn causes them to stick. Over time, the accumulated heat might cause a part to malfunction, leading to a leak or an explosion.

Can a refrigerator compressor explode?

The rear of the refrigerator may get relatively warm when the gas used to cool it circulates bottom through the compressor and gets stuck inside. As a result, the trapped gas can cause an explosion as it builds up in pressure inside the refrigerator compressor.

How to know if the compressor is failing?

1. There is absolutely no activity from the compressor.
2. This system is just blowing hot air.
3. Third, the system is constantly tripping the circuit breaker.
4. There is a slight shaking of the outside unit upon power-up.
5. The outdoor condensing unit is making some strange noises.

Can pressure tanks explode?

If the tank is over-pressurized, various things may occur. The intake or release valve may become stuck, the metal could burst into flames as it is weakened by humidity, or a pinhole of metal fatigue can cause an explosion.

Can air compressors catch fire?

Yes, inadequate wiring in either the air compressor’s engine or pressure switch poses a fire and explosion hazard. Extreme overheating within the air compressor owing to clogged vents is another potential source of the fire.

Final Verdict

An air compressor can explode, but it takes a lot of time. I hope the above information has prepared you to find the solution and stop it from exploding.

Remember that how much attention you pay to your compressor will determine how well it performs and how safe it is. Your compressor will probably burst if you don’t take proper care of it. To prevent an air compressor explosion, you can best understand and follow the safety instructions in the compressor’s owner’s manual.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top