Carbon Vane Replacement TT6
Published on May 12, 2014

Carbon Vane Replacement
Tech Talk 6

Sweetwater® models AQ3, AQ5, AQ7, AQ73, AQ9 & AQ93


We recommend carbon vane replacement at nine-month intervals to ensure trouble-free operation of your compressor. The following tools are required: 3/8" and 7/16" socket/wrench, small hammer, anti-seize compound and 3/16 Allen wrench.

  1. Remove the two end caps from the front of the muffler box (if applicable) and the five muffler box bolts, being careful not to damage the gasket. If the gasket is torn, scrape it off and replace.
  2. Tap the box with a small hammer to loosen it. Do not pry with a screwdriver.
  3. Remove the six bolts holding the end plate to the body. Remove the end plate. Do not remove the rotor or loosen any of the electric motor through bolts.
  4. Check that vanes are moving freely in and out of vane slots by spinning the rotor with your finger and ensure that all vanes are sliding in and out of the rotor. Replace any vane if more than 50% extends past the vane slot. Notice the orientation of the vanes in regards to the rotor; if the vanes are installed incorrectly they will break. Top clearance (between rotor and body) may be adjusted by loosening the two body bolts (3/16 Allen wrench) and raising up on the body with one hand and tightening the bolts with the other hand. About .004 inches—the thickness of a sheet of paper—works well.
  5. Remove vanes and clean both sides with fine emery cloth. Clean the end plate with fine emery cloth.
  6. Check the body, rotor and end plate for scoring. If each part is clean and shows no signs of scoring, reinstall parts. If scoring is present, replace with new part(s) or contact Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems for service.
  7. Insert new vanes but be sure that the vanes are orientated correctly.

Reassemble by reversing the previous directions. We always recommend using an anti-seize lubricant on each bolt to ensure its easy removal for the next vane replacement. Bolts should be reinstalled and tightened in a similar manner to replacing the lug nuts on a vehicle wheel. Start with one bolt and move to the right, skipping one and tightening the next.

When reinstalling the muffler box (if applicable), be certain to install the center bolt first to ensure proper gasket alignment. Before replacing the muffler box, plug your compressor in for a quick sound check of the valve rotation. If an unusual sound or stopping of the rotor takes place, disconnect and recheck the vane replacement.

If you have any problems, contact Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems at 877-347-4788 for assistance.