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Compressor Woes
#1325107 Fri Sep 06 2019 01:47 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 838
T
Shop Shark
I don't know much if anything about air compressors. I have a 60 gallon Speedaire single phase 220V vertical tank compressor without an operator or parts manual. Its been acting up and running poorly. I believe it is a single stage low buck compressor I bought used a few years ago. It does produce air - but the mechanics of it are worrying me.

The on-off switch has what looks like a small brass pressure release or check valve. This past winter, when the tank was full, that switch with valve just started blowing continuous air or releasing a constant loud hiss. Then the belt started squealing bad, and it now smells like it is really hot. And the compressor cylinder or piston clanks. It seems that the compressor then runs full time when this valve begins to hiss away. I suspect this is causing the overheating issue or belt slip because of time and wear.. or is the issue deeper than that and in the compressor itself? I should add that it takes a fair amount of effort and time for the unit to get up to full speed - to gain momentum - it seems to be bogging down and working very hard to get up to normal.

Oil level is full.

I need a tutorial about these issues - and about compressors in general. Can you help point me in the right direction to do some further research?

1. Is this brass item a pressure release? and is that part replaceable or, do I need to replace the entire switch?

2. I have found that I cannot use a random orbital disc sander without it over-taxing the compressor - meaning I don't think it is supplying the air I need for bodywork. It works fine for an air nailer or intermittent pneumatic air fastener tools, and for using my HVLP spray gun. But I want to acquire a sandblaster someday soon and run an inline sander or an orbital sander.

What would you recommend? Would an 80 gallon compressor be better suited? and how what type of compressor would be and more efficient?

For a guy that has several truck projects going, and moving into retirement - what investment would you make into a compressor? Type? brand? etc.

I'm open to learning more, as I said, help point me in the right direction and I can do further research...your opinions are welcomed.

Thanks. Tom


Last edited by tom moore; Fri Sep 06 2019 02:05 PM.
Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325109 Fri Sep 06 2019 02:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,795
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Answer to #1..... yes and yes.

#2..... I don’t think the single stage compressor you have is really rated for continuous use. Upgrading to the 80 gal unit will provide enough air for the D/A but you will have to open your wallet wide to get a good compressor sitting on top of the tank.
Good luck.🛠


Martin
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Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325116 Fri Sep 06 2019 03:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,928
"Hey! I sound like Darth Vader!!
D/A's use gobs of air. A single stage, 60 gallon will have a hard time keeping up. Trying to power a sandblaster with it is impossible, My way around the D/A issue, was to go electric. My Dewalt does a great job and probably ends up costing less in the long run.

Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325123 Fri Sep 06 2019 04:15 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 838
T
Shop Shark
Seems like the air coming from the switch is not the valve afterall, but the cast aluminum housing that holds the switch, valve and line together. Might be a crack or hole that ket go on it.

One problem solved.

Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325128 Fri Sep 06 2019 05:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,552
M
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by tom moore
what investment would you make into a compressor? Type? brand? etc.


I've always been a Quincy fan...by many they are considered to be the Cadillac of compressors (Northern Tool carries them).

Bigger tanks take longer to fill which means more run time...not always a good thing.

I think you'll need something in the 5 to 7.5 hp, two stage range with either a 60 or 80 gallon tank. I sand blast with a 5hp Quincy, 2-stage, 60 gallon vertical tank and yeah, the compressor runs while blasting, but I never run low on air pressure...stays at about 90 pounds all day long. I also like that it's made in the USA...I like keeping my neighbors working!

Mike B smile

Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325134 Fri Sep 06 2019 05:44 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,501
K
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
It sounds like your compressor is a bit worn out, or just undersized. If you've taken care of the leaking fitting, there's nothing to say that you couldn't replace just the compressor itself, along with the drive belt/pulley system (which possibly needs adjustment) and keep the tank. You didn't say how many horsepower the motor is rated for. If it's 5 HP, you'd be fine replacing the pump.
The critical thing is how many CFM the pump will put out at your desired pressure. The tank is really there to reduce the number of motor starts, and allow the pump to "catch up" with the air demand.
You can get an estimate of your current pump CFM by measuring the time it takes for the pump to raise the pressure in the tank to the rating pressure from a lower pressure. Your tank is 60 gallons which is about 8 cubic feet. So for example, if your compressor runs for one minute to raise the pressure from 80 psi to 90 psi, then it's approximate capacity is 8 CFM at ~85 psi.
I have a small sandblast gun (haven't used it yet) that the instructions say requires an air volume of 11 CFM. If you hit that, you'll be good.

Last edited by klhansen; Fri Sep 06 2019 05:48 PM.

Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325135 Fri Sep 06 2019 05:49 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 838
T
Shop Shark
Ok, Mike B. I've seen the Quincy compressors online and they appear to be well made. I agree a two stage is best. 5 - 7.5 hp should be sufficient knowing that its CFM's I'm after. Good to know that your set up works for you. Will look into after-all. Think I'll sell this single stage 60 gallon once I have a newer one delivered. There are a couple bigger ticket shop tools that I would like to acquire - a better compressor, and a gantry for starters. Then its a shop addition, a lift,, build a portable spray booth, will it ever end? Ha!

Re: Compressor Woes
klhansen #1325137 Fri Sep 06 2019 05:54 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 838
T
Shop Shark
Thanks Kevin. I may look into and was wondering about that. This was an early Speedaire made in 2001. Serial number 00069. 2Hp motor. It has worked but barely adequately knowing its limitations. Good for what I describe, filling tires, etc. But not to run tools that demand more air for longer periods of time. Its a clanker.

Last edited by tom moore; Fri Sep 06 2019 06:39 PM.
Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325138 Fri Sep 06 2019 06:02 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 838
T
Shop Shark
Found this 3-4 part series...

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...30F1749AB9816EC37DD&&FORM=VRDGAR


Leeson (higher quality motor ) 7.5 hp single phase compressor motor: $550.00
(others are as low as $215.00)

2 Stage 5 - 7.5 hp 2 cylinder compressor pump $815.00 (higher end pump other as low as 400.00 and upward of $2400.00 for industrial pumps)

Spec: 17 CFM @ 175 PSI (5 HP), 23 CFM @ 175 PSI (7.5 HP)

So... I can retrofit and upgrade this tank (assuming its good) for a 7.5 hp 2 stage 175 cfm compressor for about 1400.00.

Not including the unknows for plumbing, pulley etc.

Or as low as 700.00 for lower cost pumps and motors.

I('m beginning to think the tank is the cheapest part of a compressor)






Last edited by tom moore; Fri Sep 06 2019 06:49 PM.
Re: Compressor Woes
tom moore #1325142 Fri Sep 06 2019 06:14 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,501
K
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
With a 2 HP motor, you're going to be hard pressed to get enough air for what you need. The motor has to have enough power to run the pump. A 5 HP would be minimum for what you need.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
Busting rust since the mid-60's
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