TIP: Does replacing the air diffuser make a difference?

Depending on the brand of your aerobic treatment unit (ATU) there might be the possibility to replace the air diffuser or at least clean it. If you do have the possibility to replace or clean the air diffuser or the air stones it is a worth while maintenance item that should not be overlooked. By performing this task the effluent should smell better and your air compressor should last longer.  As the diffuser or air stone becomes soiled the ability to pass air into the aerobic treatment unit will diminish and the back pressure on the air compressor will increase. The air compressor has an optimum and maximum pressure for normal operation and the goal is to stay within these limits and therefore prolong the life of the air compressor.

This unit had an air compressor that no longer worked (the rotary vane motor no longer operated) and could not be rebuilt. After replacing the rotary vane air compressor (very costly) an air pressure measurement was taken showing almost 9 PSI.  Then the air diffuser was replaced and a second air pressure measurement was taken.

Air pressure before the diffuser was replaced

Air pressure before the diffuser was replaced

Air pressure after the diffuser was replaced

Air pressure after the diffuser was replaced

The drop in back pressure was substantial and should allow the new air compressor to run cooler and last longer. Different manufacturers recommend changing or cleaning the air diffuser or air stones at different intervals. Check with the manufacturer of your ATU to find out what they recommend.

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