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Oil Analysis

Oil Analysis:  Compressor’s Routine Physical

Your compressor is your one of your plant’s greatest assets.  We all go in for our yearly physical exams and as much as we may or may not like them, we all know how important the blood work and physical can be especially as a benchmark for years to come. Such is the same with your air compressor. Oil Analysis gives you a detailed understanding of the well-being of the third most utilized utility in the industrial market. Oil analysis is more than just an ‘oil test’.  It can uncover an issue that can lead to failure from an otherwise undetected cause. Uncovering problems early on will lead to reduced down times and indicators for preventative maintenance that could turn into a costly repair if ignored. 

At US Compressor we keep a PDF of all your oil analysis reports easily located in one place! All reports are easily accessible online when you log into our site under ‘My Account’.  You can review all your oil analysis reports and analyze trends, note changes in your oil, and keep a watchful eye on your plant’s largest asset. This allows you the ability to keep up with the status of your compressor and take immediate action. These indicators might suggest maintenance or service...know how your compressor is running before a shut down costs you time and money.


Oil Analysis Reports: What They Tell You

3-Types: Proactive, Reactive, Failure


Proactive Stage I: Detecting an issue that can lead to failure from an undetected root cause.

  • Oxidation, temperature, debris, particles, moisture, viscosity, additives, AN/BN, soot, glycol, FTIR, RPVOT

Proactive Stage II: In the early stages, an unnoticed fault that exists.

  • Wear debris, density, particle count, moisture, temperature, elemental analysis, viscosity

Reactive Stage: A problem is identified. What is the cause? Where is it coming from?

  • Elemental analysis, wear debris, moisture, particle count, moisture, temperature, viscosity, vibration analysis.

Failure Stage: Why did the machine fail? Was this a root cause that could have been avoided?

  • Analytical ferrography, ferrous density, and elemental analysis.

Oil Analysis FAQs


  • Be Proactive: Uncover problems early on, reduce downtime. 
  • Baseline Reports for new oil added to your system.


  • Sampling Frequency depends on: machine age, oil age and target tightness, hours run time, temperature, and plant’s economic penalty of failure. 
  • When you add new lubrication to your system always get a new oil sample for a baseline.  Frequent rechecks within the first 10 percent of its expected life is recommended.
  • More frequently sampling gives not only better trending data, but also a quicker indication of failure or necessary adjustments, maintenance, and analysis prior to a failure occurring.


  • If there is an easily identifiable location for sampling oil take the sample from your “sample point”. However, be sure it’s a good sampling point.  Not an inactive location or from the sump.  Sampling from the sump isn’t a good indicator of what’s actually taking place within the active portion of the machine.
  • Take a sample from a primary active location on the compressor.  You want to sample oil that is actively being used and sent through the greatest portion of your machine.


  • Ask a representative at US Compressor to send you FREE oil sample bottles and let us help you monitor your total compressed air system’s quality and keep your plant operational.  Call or email us: (800) 973-3196 [email protected]