How to Adjust Air Compressor Pressure Regulator?

(Last Updated On: August 28, 2022)

Despite using an air compressor for various projects, most people are confused about its regulator. There are many misconceptions about how this particular part functions and how to set up an air pressure regulator setting properly.

The purpose of the adjustment device is to reduce the circulating air pressure to your downstream tool application. And, understanding how to adjust the air compressor pressure regulator is essential.

It is usually located next to the pressure switch and connected to a line or air hose and has a gas gauge with an adjusting knob. These things might confuse you, but here you’ll get some easy steps to adjust the pressure controller.

Adjustable Air Compressor Pressure Switch

Misconceptions About Air Pressure Regulators:

People usually have the idea that the machine’s pressure controller can increase the pressure as well as decrease it, but this is a common misconception. This device cannot raise the pressure above the set point.

Air Compressor Regulator Setup

As a result, the controlling knob needs to be set at air pressure below that of the tank so that your machine gets a steady flow of air. When the generator is big enough to generate more air than the air tool needs to use, you can set the actuator to the minimum operating pressure of the tool.

This will allow you to use the gas tool most efficiently. Air tools require different pressures according to their functions, and proper adjustment is a must if you don’t want to damage the appliances.

For Example, If you are using a piece of equipment that needs 60 PSI to run correctly, a supply of 80 PSI will damage the machine as it can’t handle that much pressure.
Again, if you adjusted the actuator to such a low-pressure state that not even 60 PSI is supplied, the equipment won’t function properly. This is why the set range of PSI is so important to note before working on the pressure adjusting knob.

Some people wonder whether using multiple pressure regulators is a good idea or not. Moreover, if you want to use your power source for various purposes, use multiple ones, that will help you out.

In big industrial buildings, there is usually a machine with drop lines connected to the shop to power various pieces of equipment. This is the main unit that has the highest level of circulation pressure that the air compressor regulator can generate while the drop lines provide minimum operating pressure to different devices.

In that regard, if you do install multiple adjustment air tools, it’s good to install filters for each device too.

The Types Of Pressure Regulators For Air Compressors:

There are various pressure controllers available in the market nowadays. Some of those are high-pressure and low-pressure, air-loaded, and filter pressure regulators. There are also propane and CO2 ones which are usually two-stage. Besides, there are ones for purging or support applications like sanitary actuators.

Types of Pressure Regulators

What are the differences between a Pressure Regulator and an air Compressor Cut-off Switch? An air pressure regulator is quite different from a pressure cut-off switch.

Firstly, a cut-off switch is used to turn the air compressor off completely to avoid damage, unlike an adjustment tool that only regulates the pressure. Whenever the pressure drops too low, the cut-off switch signals the apparatus.

Secondly, it’s necessary to adjust it according to the downstream tool and the pressure in the tank. Although both of these protect the machine from damage, the process is very different. Cut-off switches usually don’t need adjustments, but a pressure regulator tool does.

Basic Work Process Of The Pressure Regulator:

The main parts of the apparatus are the adjustment of a knob or handle the pressure gauge and the body. There is a pressure adjustment T-handle attached to most controllers. It can be used to increase or decrease the pressure, but it can’t increase the pressure above the pressure point set in the tank.

On the other hand, the T-handle is turned clockwise or reverse. The main work gets done by an air compressor pressure regulator valve located inside the body of the machine.

When the lid is opened up by the springs inside the body of the appliance, the pressure gets transported inside the chamber through the small tube of the valve. This machine stores energy as air in a tank by converting power from gasoline, electric motors or diesel.

There is a monitor attached to the air compressor showing the pressure in the collecting tank. This monitor is used to adjust the pressure with the actuator accordingly. When the pressure inside the controller changes, the diaphragm sets into motion.

If there isn’t enough circulation pressure inside the regulator, the power generating machine can only circulate hot gas through it.

How to Adjust Air Compressor Pressure Regulator?

This entire process takes around half an hour. You can figure it out quickly with the help of the manual and by setting it up step by step. Don’t skip any of the steps because it is important to use the machine properly.

Adjusting the device’s regulator can be tricky, but with these easy steps, you can easily do it like an expert. Here are the tips for doing it easily:

  • First of all, check your device parts (the air hose, belt, and bolt) to see if they work accurately.
  • After checking all that, you need to turn the appliance on and let the tank fill up with compressed air. This will require you to wait for a bit.
  • You need to make sure that the generator tank is full and it makes the sound signaling this.
  • Keep the manual that came with your powering device. Check the manual properly to understand how to install and set up.
  • Read the pressure gauges properly and test out your machine before actually using it for your project. You need to listen carefully to squeals or hissing noises. If you do not hear a sound, it means the installation was a success.
  • Make sure that your tool’s PSI (pounds per square inch) is on par and compatible with your generator. The air tools, the connecting air hose, and the air compressor should be linked up. Its necessity in compressed air.
  • Check the ideal pressure regulator setup and range from the manual.
  • You can now begin adjusting the pressure controller. Locate the T-handle or knob on the right side of the tool. It might be on the left side in some cases.
  • Some knobs come with a lock-in feature so no need to get confused. Pulling unlocks the knobs and pushing it locks it again. To modify, you need to open the knob first.
  • You can then turn the pressure adjustment knob clockwise, and the pressure will increase. However, don’t higher the pressure above the setup range.
  • You can reduce the pressure by turning it anti-clockwise (counterclockwise)
  • Keep a close eye on the gauge as you turn the knob. The needle needs to point to the required pressure.
  • When you’ve set the pressure suitably, lock the knob by pushing it in again.

So, What do you think? It’s easy huh? Let us know your personal opinion about adjusting regulators on air compressors in real life.


In short, by following these easy 13 steps above, now you know how to adjust the air compressor pressure regulator like an expert and have your machine run smoothly in no time.

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Mitchel Shawn was a Co-worker and Engineer of a Gardening Tool manufacturing company since 2013 and a passionate researcher on Machinery goods. Picking the right tools for your work-station and making life easier is an untold helping journey by SHAWN. With this Reviewer Guides Blog, you'll definitely get help in revealing the accurate product spec which actually helps in real life works.