Posted By: tom moore Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 01:47 PM
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

Posted By: Justhorsenround Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 02:23 PM
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.🛠
Posted By: MNSmith Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 03:19 PM
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.
Posted By: tom moore Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 04:15 PM
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.
Posted By: Mike B Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 05:01 PM
Originally Posted by tom moore
what investment would you make into a compressor? Type? brand? etc.

I've always been a Quincy 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
Posted By: klhansen Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 05:44 PM
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.
Posted By: tom moore Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 05:49 PM
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!
Posted By: tom moore Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 05:54 PM
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.
Posted By: tom moore Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 06:02 PM
Found this 3-4 part series...

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)

Posted By: klhansen Re: Compressor Woes - Fri Sep 06 2019 06:14 PM
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.
Posted By: Mike B Re: Compressor Woes - Sat Sep 07 2019 05:28 AM
This is what I it last year...right at $1400.

The compressor it replaced was also a Quincy...5hp two cylinder single stage that ran well for me for over 25 years and was used when I got it, but it was on a very old (1933) 60 gallon tank that I was getting worried about, so I treated myself to a new unit.

Mike B smile
Posted By: Grigg Re: Compressor Woes - Sat Sep 07 2019 11:19 AM
Quincy compressors are or were well regarded as excellent quality for many many years.
The QR series I believe is what earned that reputation. They are heavy, run slower than other brands might, so quieter and last longer because, and they have internal oil pumps and often external spin on filters. Industrial quality all around. They usually have unloaders too that work on oil pressure and before oil pressure builds at startup or if pressure is lost they unload and freewheel for easier starting, longer life, and to reduce damage if run out of oil or other oil system failure.

The QT series are a somewhat newer offering as their more affordable line with fewer of those good design features. They may not all be US made compressors?

The recent QR series are similar to the good ones of old but have fewer cooling fins on the cylinders and rumours of not being quite as good as the old ones.

I have about 6 Quincy compressors, two of the cheaper QT series, 3 older and one newer QR series with the oil pumps. All good compressors.
Posted By: tom moore Re: Compressor Woes - Sun Sep 08 2019 12:37 PM
Thanks for the information.
Posted By: Detroit Iron Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Sep 09 2019 06:34 PM
You didn't mention. So I'll just throw it in;
If your tank isn't emptied, that is, if you don't empty the water accumulation in the tank. It will limit the tanks (air) capacity, which also effects the run time for the pump -- seems to run constantly.
But in the end, even if you do find that there is a lot of water in the tank. It looks that if your wallet will support it, it's probably in your best interest to simply get a good (better) replacement pump for your tank. smile

Harbor Freight often has decent pumps on sale for a good price, and most of them offer a lifetime warranty -- and made in the US of A. smile

Posted By: tom moore Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Sep 09 2019 08:48 PM
I decided to replace the switch and sell this hobbyist level one and upgrade. By the time i upgrade to a better motor, pump, switch, wiring and plumbing - I might as well buy a new one with a new tank. This tank seems fine but its old.
Posted By: CASO Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Sep 30 2019 04:36 PM
If you have the room it could still make a nice reservoir tank .
Posted By: 59chevy36 Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 01:44 AM
Woah !! just posted about a sand blaster and read this post. Depressing. I looked hard at compressers when I bought this one but looks like I should have cashed in my 401k to get something much larger. But thanks for the knowledge
Posted By: tclederman Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 02:32 AM
Originally Posted by Detroit Iron
. .
. .

Harbor Freight often has decent pumps on sale for a good price, and most of them offer a lifetime warranty -- and made in the US of A. smile


"We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 90 days from the date of purchase. Limitations apply."

Chris, when did you buy a lifetime warranty air compressor from Harbor Freight? They used to provide lifetime warranty on all tools. I think their warranty now is 90 days.

And, I now see only one large compressor advertises?
Posted By: klhansen Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 03:28 AM
If you have a Lowes nearby, they sell a 5 HP 60 gallon unit (Campbell Hausfield pump) for about $550. Less than that HF compressor.
Posted By: tclederman Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 01:19 PM

What is the part number on the Campbell Hausfeld 60 gallon pump at Lowe's?

The only one I see listed is this single-stage unit. (135 psi)

This 2-stage compressor is available at Harbor Freight. (165 psi)

The H-F unit looks to be a better deal (20% off coupon is supposedly available)?
Posted By: klhansen Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 07:09 PM

It's actually the Kobalt branded one, but has a C-H pump on it the last time I looked at one.
Kobalt Air Compressor 10.7 CFM at 175 psi.
It's also $100 more than a friend bought one for. The $650 is an Alaska price so might be a bit less down in the Lower 48. (Yep, priced at $589 in KC). I think the $550 he paid was a sale price.

BTW, HF's 20% off coupons exclude compressors, welders, etc. frown
Posted By: tclederman Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 07:44 PM
Thanks very much, Kevin

Thanks also for the HF discount info.

That Kobalt unit looks good, but, my local store does not stock it.
3 year "limited" warranty (not clear on what)

they will not ship it to my store.

less 5% discount for new charge account
plus $79 for shipping/delivery (or, drive 50 miles to pick it up - I'll probably pick it up).
plus $150 for an added 4 years of warranty
Posted By: Justhorsenround Re: Compressor Woes - Mon Oct 14 2019 07:49 PM
When you read HF’s fine print on the 20% off coupon all the cool stuff is exempt. No jacks, compressors, welders, etc.🛠
Posted By: klhansen Re: Compressor Woes - Tue Oct 15 2019 03:51 AM
You're welcome, Tim. I think you'll be happy with the compressor. My friend likes his.
I wouldn't pop for the extra warranty, myself. Compressors are dirt simple, and unlikely to wear out/break on you within either the standard or extended warranty period. $150 down the toilet, IMO. But it's your choice.
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