A Step by Step Guide to Fixing Pneumatic System Issues


For most people, a fine-tuning pneumatic system is like a form of art or science in a sense that it can be a bit tedious and challenging. For plant managers and people under the maintenance department, it could mean two things — downtime and lost hours.

When it comes to fixing pneumatic systems, it is important to take note of the step by step process that troubleshoots the functionality of the entire system in order to rebuild proper equipment operations.

Each circuit of a pneumatic system is backed up with logical order of operation that includes proper logic timing, pressure awareness, regulation of speed, and appropriate material position. Fixing comes when in circuit does not properly perform.

This article will give standard information on how to fix pneumatic system problems in a step by step order. Learn these steps so that you’ll have a better idea when it comes to troubleshooting pneumatic system issues.

First Things First: Safety

This is the primary concern when troubleshooting pneumatic systems. Safety should be the topmost priority. One erratic element in a pneumatic system is condensed air. Because of this, air tanks receiver has blown, causing intense amount of injury to the crew and property damage. It is crucial to remove pressure in an air tank receiver before doing any troubleshooting.

Another thing, the air is greatly compressible, another reason to be fully careful when it comes to repairing a pneumatic circuit/system. You also need to block the load prior to fixing the entire systems to avoid possible falling. This is when working with aerial loads that are backed with cylinders, but not positionally locked.

Several pneumatic circuits are regulated by electrical materials. Prior to repairing such components, make sure that the supply for electrical power has been switched off.

What, When, and Where

In the event of system breakdown, the downtime pressures tend to increase largely in the concerned personnel. Hence, prior starting system repair, make sure you have asked these three major questions:

  • What is happening in the operation of the circuit/ system?
  • When did the issue start? Was it unexpected or slowly recurring?
  • Where particularly in the system does the issue take place? Was it during the system’s ongoing operation or at startup?

If proper maintenance track records have been stored, issues that are recurring should have been monitored and listed. This will make it easier when it comes to the troubleshooting process.

Maintenance personnel who asks the three important “W” questions can lessen downtime. There will be no guessing or analyzing what could have gone wrong. Nonetheless, if the said questions do not lead to decent problem identification, then the maintenance personnel should commence the repair mechanics by scrutinizing the entire system.

Carefully Interpret the Schematics

There should be two documentation forms that will support in the repair process of every pneumatic system issue. One form contains a schematic illustration of the pneumatic system. It explains the function of the entire function components. Not to mention, it can be a great tool for diagnostic.

Machine Operation

Once you get to familiarize the different components and pneumatic system operation, proceed to operate the machine to get a direct insight into the malfunction first-hand. Determine if such malfunction has been recurring. Perform an ocular inspection while operating the system.

Re-evaluate the Entire Services

Prior to doing any troubleshooting steps on the system after its operation, re-check to see if the power supply has been switched off. See to it if there are any kept pressure remains in the machine since this can cause possible injury or risk to the personnel as well as premature system actuation.

Set-apart the Subsystems

If there is a malfunction in a certain part of the pneumatic machine, there is a huge possibility that what causes it is the malfunction on the subsystem of the machine. Setting the subsystem apart can help you target on a certain system separately. Isolating the subsystem will help you need a bit of precaution while operating the pneumatic system.

Any disconnected lines and any opened ports should be properly plugged in order to prevent unwanted contamination and air leakage. And, during the machine operation, you should keep an eye on the pressures located in the internal part of the system, so that the maximum required pressures will not outpace. Always remember to be extra cautious and safe.

Create a List of Likely Causes

The immediate issue may be pretty much apparent during the preceding step. But, this won’t be the case during the troubleshooting process; the obvious issue may not be the actual cause.

Once you’re done creating a list of likely causes of system issues, remove the items on your list that were already covered. This will help you save the time needed for system repair.

Determine Whether it Needs Repair or Replacement

Conclusion testing often leads to determine if it needs a component repair or replacement. In this step, there are a lot of factors that can affect your decision making. Parts that need immediate repair for reinstallation on the pneumatic system raises downtime, and this can affect your budget.

If the part needs replacement with a new component, this would decrease the downtime amount; but, the cost will become a contributing factor.

Another factor that can affect this step is the availability of the component. Apparently, if there is no component available, then troubleshooting is the ideal alternative option. Although, an inhouse repair can also be an option.

Once the issue has been fixed, you need to report every info you have gathered. This is the final step of the entire procedure.

Always Create a Report

This step can be taken for granted at times even though it is one of the vital parts of the process. By documenting or reporting what you did, it maintains a record of all changes, updates, issues, and solutions that have taken place to the system components. And, in order for the diagnostic to be accurate and timely, schematic updates are highly encouraged.


People need to stop viewing pneumatic system issues repair like an art or science, it’s neither of these two actually. It is a comprehensive process that requires proper and accurate steps to carry out. Also, make sure you have a better understanding of the entire pneumatic system — schematic usage is ideal — before doing any component repair. If doubtful with what to do, you can always seek the help of a professional like http://en.siovalve.com or maintenance personnel.

Hope you were able to find some valuable learnings today.

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