A new compressor question :)


Old 07-09-05, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: MI
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A new compressor question :)

I know that compressors are a hot and well used subject, but I have another question that I haven't seen asked yet. Here goes it!

I have a 60 gallon 6 HP Craftsman compressor, oilless. I don't use it a lot of the time, maybe once or twice a week for small periods of time. It takes awhile to air up when I do use it and so I was wondering if it would hurt it to leave it pressurized during times that I don't use it. A friend said that the mechanics he knows keep their compressor aired up all of the time and they seem to work just fine that way. I always assumed that having pressure all of the time would be hard on the internal workings of the unit. When not using the compressor I always open the drain to keep the tank from rusting.

So, would it hurt to keep this aired up?
How many of you keep yours aired up?

Thanks in advance, John
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Old 07-09-05, 09:31 AM
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I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference, John. Of all the garages we tow for, I think they are maybe 50/50 on those that turn theirs off and those that don't. I don't think anybody dumps the pressure even if they turn them off overnight, so they generally retain most of the pressure. You do need to ensure you periodically open the water drain to purge any collected water, but other than that I don't think the life expectancy will change significantly either way.
Old 07-09-05, 09:52 AM
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Keep it aired up 365 days a year. Unplug it when you leave on vacation in case it develops a leak and runs 24 hrs a day while your away.
Old 07-09-05, 11:40 AM
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If you used it constantly, I'd drain it once a week. If you seldom use it, draining it once a month or every other month would be sufficient, I would think.
Old 07-10-05, 10:58 AM
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I leave mine on.

One thing to keep in mind is most oilless compressors have a fairly low duty cycle.
If there were to be a leak, your compressor would be destroyed after several hours of non-stop operation.
The duty cycle of your unit should be on the tag or in the manual.

What I would suggest is if you leave it on, unplug the air line if you are going to be away.
This is the most likely part to leak.
Old 07-10-05, 09:10 PM
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Location: MI
Posts: 127
Thanks to all who answered. Looks like from now on I'll leave the tank full and the switch off. Seems to be the way to go. Thanks again and best of days to all!

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