Cambell Housefield Quality?


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Old 02-10-06, 04:26 PM
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Cambell Hausfeld Quality?

I read through the thread here about air compressors, but still had a couple questions.

I've seen people mention Cambell Hausfeld a number of times, and I've seen them at stores, but am unfamiliar with the quality of their air compressors. When I've looked at them, they seem kind of cheaply built. Is this a brand I can trust?

My previous compressor was a Sanborn 20 gal, which served me well for about 15 years before giving up the ghost. Now it's time for something larger and Amazon has a couple of pretty good deals going on CH models.

If there's a brand you would go with over CH what would it be?

Any thoughts appreciated!

-Eric Gooch
 

Last edited by Eric G.; 02-11-06 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 02-10-06, 05:50 PM
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They're sold at WalMart - nuf said? Actually, I have a 5 gallon CH compressor. I inherited it a few years ago. It's been used and abused and it's still running although I don't use it often.
 
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Old 02-10-06, 07:22 PM
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Eric,

It is difficult to generalize with this or really any other maker as to the quality of its products.
Campbell Hausfeld has a very wide range of compressors from not worth buying to very good.
I have used their cast iron 5 hp twin cylinder compressor heads commercially with good success.
There are compressors that are made for the industrial market that will outlast a CH unit but the cost does not often make sense for a hobby/homeowner application.

You will be happiest with a cast iron belt drive unit.
 
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Old 02-10-06, 08:58 PM
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Thanks guys...Wayne, I know what you mean about the ones in WalMart...I am guessing these are on the cheaper side of what they make.

I'm looking at the CH VT6290 20 Gallon. Cast iron, two cylinder, oil lube, can be 120 or 240, 5.8CFM @ 90 PSI. This sounds about right for my needs.
Add a Campbell Hausfeld 20 Gallon Air Compressor to your cart for $370.
Add a 250 PSI Air Hose for $35. It is free with the Air Compressor.
Add a Dewalt Reciprocating Saw for $75.
Check out, and apply coupon code SAVON3OO to get $50 off of the Compressor, and apply FREEW3OO to get the Saw for free.
A $30 mail-in rebate is available on the VT6290 Air Compressor.
This is all with free shipping. Final price comes to $320, and a $30 mail-in rebate is available on the compressor, for an end price of $290.00


So here's my question...if I spent another $100.00, I could get the CHVT6275, which is a vertical 60 gallon tank, 10.3 CFM@90 PSI. However:

1) It's a single stage instead of a two cylinder
2) Because of it's size it's not at all portable.

Which sounds like the better deal? Also, if you have a unit that's not portable at all, how much airhose can you run before the tool just won't work anymore?

thanks..

-Eric G.
 

Last edited by majakdragon; 02-10-06 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 02-11-06, 05:12 AM
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Eric,

For a lot of folks, bigger is better.
If you start buying air tools and use air to its full potential you too would do well to have as much capacity as you can afford.
A larger compressor will run cooler and be less prone to generating moisture in the tank and air lines than a smaller one.
As long as you size your hose properly you can run your air a long long way.
I misplaced my link for air line sizing but you can generally feed a 5 cfm air tool with a 50', 3/8" id hose and go another 50' with 1/2" id.
I managed to buy a 75' length of 3/4" id airline at an auction for next to nothing and can run my largest air tools a great distance with minimal pressure drop.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 07:23 AM
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It's a single stage instead of a two cylinder



Single stage & 2 cylinder are different animals. 2 cylinder describes the fact that it has 2 pistons in the pump. Most all home owner type comp are single stage only the extra heavy duty type have a 2 stage pump - I don't know much about them other than they put out more air [cfm] and cost more

For what it is worth a friend of mine has a CH 2hp 20 gal that he purchased new about 20 yr ago. He uses it restoring old cars as a hobby and it has preformed well.

My first comp is a small portable unit and I have no desire to rid myself of it because of its portability but mostly I use a 60 gal 6 hp single stage which almost always meets my needs. Bigger is better unless you need to move it to different locations.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 08:45 AM
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CH also makes compressors which are then branded with other logos. My Husky compressor is made by CH. So far its a great unit that didn't cost much and puts out significantly more SCFM than others in its price range.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 09:06 AM
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Ya, good point wreckwriter!
In own a 6hp vertical Sanborn which are sold by DeVilbiss dealers and are made by CH. At least the model I have is.
My Sanborn is identical to models sold by HD and other big box stores.
These units happen to be quite a bit cheaper in the department stores that at the Devilbiss shops.
Only consolation is I like the Sanborn green color over the red of the deparment store compressors.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 12:35 PM
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shop for output not size. a large storage tank means nothing. look at delivered output (cfm) and at what pressure it's delivered. compare pump rpm's. i can give you really impressive output by spinning the pump at 6000 rpms but not for long. cast or lined cylinders are better, as is a cast head. two lungs don't always mean two stage. i have several Emglos but my favorite compressor came from a dental office. 30 gal tank, twin motors, twin two cyl pumps that will alternately, together, or just one only. purchased used, well maintained but out of date per code. at 300.00 it was the best unit i ever bought. it can run wrenches, sanders, even a rodac. so don't exclude the used equipment market from you search. one thing i've noticed, the more star wars looking plastic do-dads and gizmo's i see on something, the faster i run away from it.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric G.
I read through the thread here about air compressors, but still had a couple questions.

I've seen people mention Cambell Hausfeld a number of times, and I've seen them at stores, but am unfamiliar with the quality of their air compressors. When I've looked at them, they seem kind of cheaply built.
-Eric Gooch

Been there done that. AFter reading the replies to your question, I noticed that nobody mentioned power, so let me tell you the facts of life with respect to CH and all other compressors.

If the motor runs on 115 vac and you plug it into a receptacle that is some distance away (say, 50 or so feet) from that receptacle's circuit breaker, the pump will start, pressurize, and stop w/o problems. BUT, when the pressure drops, a switch inside the assembly will connect the motor to the power so the pressure can be built up again. Normal operation. However, the motor needs a lot more umpf to start when the tank is half full because the compressor now has 80 or so psi to overcome. The compressor had nothing to overcome when the tank was empty, that's why the motor will start right up.

So, if you have a 15-amp circuit breaker and 50 or more feet of electrical wiring to the motor, chances are good that the motor will stall because not enough current is delivered for it to turn the compressor. Then the circuit breaker pops.

Doesn't matter what the brand name is. The single cylinder, direct-driven pumps are notorious for this. Also the belt-driven dual cylinder pumps can pop the breaker if they do not receive the current they need to start.

The solution? You can install a dedicated 20 or 30 amp line to the compressor on its own breaker (30-amp for longer runs). Or, you can buy a compressor that runs on 240 vac, if you have some 240 ac laying around .

I'm not saying that you will definitely have these problems, but they are something to consider. I'm talking about any 115 compressor that has a 15-amp motor (about 2 HP).

By the way, same goes for all ac motors, be they compressor drivers, saws, pool filter pumps, or other.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 03:31 PM
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Pipsisiwah,

Good point about the consideration for powering up the compressor.
This is often overlooked .

One thing I might say though is that all compressors are equipped with an unloading device of some sort.
The most common is a check valve/unloader device.
On smaller compressors the unloader device is a part of the pressure switch.
When the tank is pressurized and either just after the compressor stops or just before restart, a lever on the pressure switch pushes a small valve and releases the air from the discharge line between the head and the tank.
After the restart the highest amperage the motor will draw is when the pressure is highest at shutdown.

If one is shopping for a compressor to use on a 15 amp 120 volt circuit, you should be able to find one that can produce around 6 cfm @ 90 psi and not trip the breaker.
Because mfr's use a great deal of imagination when stating HP ratings, cubic feet of air/min at 90 psi is the only reliable means of determining capacity.
 
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Old 02-12-06, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by GregH
Pipsisiwah,

After the restart the highest amperage the motor will draw is when the pressure is highest at shutdown.
I respectfully disagree. The highest amperage the motor will draw is when its rotor is locked, and with a single cylinder compressor, that occurs when the rotor is stopped and the piston is on the up-stroke with high pressure in the chamber. At that point, the motor must overcome not only its own inertia, but that of the pump. On my 120 garage circuit (20 amps), I measured about 85 VAC under those conditions. The motor started to turn, actually drove the pump a few revolutions, then just growled at me. The breaker blew after about 5 seconds, indicating 20 or so amps were flowing. But at 85 volts, wasn't enough to overcome those particular conditions.
 
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Old 02-12-06, 07:06 PM
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Pipsisiwah,

Sorry, what I said was not clear.
I said "After the restart, the highest amperage...".
What I meant was after the compressor starts with pressure in the tank.
You are correct in that the starting current of a motor is when a motor is at it's peak amperage.
My point is that when a motor on an air compressor first starts the compressor briefly has no load because the unloader will have released the pressure in the discharge line between the head and tank.
This allows the motor to come up to speed and the start winding cut out before the compressor has to work against a load.
The highest amperage I was referring to is the highest amperage the motor will see when not starting.
When sizing a motor or deciding on a pulley ratio, the amperage before shut down is what you use to determine how hard the motor has to work.

The problem you are having with your compressor could be caused by the unloader not working and the compressor having too much load on start up, or... the check valve not working causing pressure against the head, or...the wiring to the compressor could be undersized, or...other loads on the circuit could contribute to low voltage, or.... the start capacitor on the motor may be bad.
 
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Old 02-13-06, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GregH
Pipsisiwah,

The problem you are having with your compressor could be caused by the unloader not working.
Ha! What unloader?! Guess that wasn't available 15 years ago... and that's probably what my problem is.

I do hear a pressure relief after the motor stops though. Maybe that's the unloader? I don't hear a thing when the motor restarts.

 
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Old 02-14-06, 03:45 AM
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Pipsisiwah,

The only real changes to compressors in the last 15 years is that mfr's have found ways of making them cheaper and at the same time made it look like you were really getting something for your $99.00.

If yours is typical you will have a 1/4" copper line going to the side of the pressure switch that originates from somewhere on the discharge line off the compressor.
There will then be a check valve that is commonly threaded into the tank and is connected to the compressor head.
The unloader on the pressure swirch drains the line from the compressor and the check valve stops air from backing up.
After you have initially pumped up the tank you can check things by unplugging the compressor and CAREFULLY loosening the discharge fitting to see if the line has emptied.

There is another system where there is no unloader.
Some compressors have a plug in the head with a tiny hole in it.
When the compressor runs there is a small amount of air that puffs out of the hole and when the compressor stops running this hole bleeds the discharge line.

If the pressure in thedischarge line is being relieved then there is the possibility that your motor or some other electrical issue is the problem.

Look around and see how yours is set up.
 
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Old 02-14-06, 04:53 AM
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that hiss you hear is the pilot valve and the unloader of an on/off system. constant run mode compressors will just change pump sound while running but not producing air. so your compressor does have an unloader
 
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Old 02-15-06, 05:57 PM
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Yes, I remember the copper line because I grabbed it once (just once) and burned my hand...

Sometimes when the motor just grinds while trying to restart I can open the pressure relief valve and that often allows the motor to come up to speed.

The compressor is in the garage and blocked by my truck, so I'll have a look at it this weekend. I do know something bleeds off after the motor stops, but never paid much attention to it. Also, I know I replaced the pressure switch because the old one keeps poppin' up every now-and-then like a bad penny.
 

Last edited by Pipsisiwah; 02-15-06 at 05:59 PM. Reason: More Info
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Old 02-16-06, 04:49 AM
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"Sometimes when the motor just grinds while trying to restart I can open the pressure relief valve and that often allows the motor to come up to speed."

that means the unloader isn't working, or the check valve is bad.
 
 

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