Air Compressor Tank Cleaning


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Old 02-15-06, 09:58 AM
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Air Compressor Tank Cleaning

Hey Greg! Long time no see

I usually drain the tank on my compressor after 10 uses but I was wondering if there was a way to clean the tank? Cause you know how you get that buildup or rust/oil in there? Maybe it does not matter, but that is why I am asking you.
 
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Old 02-15-06, 12:40 PM
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I think I read here once about someone using a pressure washer with an angled tip to blast the rust and grime from inside the tank. Do you have inspection ports on your tank? Are you getting crap in your lines? Cos I don't know if it's really worth the effort...
 
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Old 02-15-06, 04:50 PM
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Regular draining of the water in the tank should prevent any rust build up. In high humidity climates that might mean draining off the tank more than once a day. In a dry climate I would still drain at least once a week.

The only time I have ever had a noticable amount of oil drain off was when I went to work for a contractor that new nothing about maintaining equipment. I drained is 20 gal tank [hadn't been drained in 1+yr] it left an oil slick on the new plywood sub floor
 
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Old 02-15-06, 05:00 PM
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Hello there Chris!

Do you have a reason to think there is a lot of crud on the bottom?

It would only be worthwhile to stir up the bottom if there was a build-up of large particles.
The problem with grunge on the bottom of the tank comes when water becomes trapped under a layer of sludge.
These spots are often the first places to rust through.
If you are regularly draining the tank and not getting any flakes coming out I wouldn't worry about it.

Out of curiosity, how much water are you getting after ten uses and how much running time is a use?
My compressor is on all the time and gets the odd tire filled or a couple of air nails driven.
The last real "use" I made of my compressor was around twenty hours of running time to do the body work on my 4x4 project which generated plenty of water in the tank.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 08:43 AM
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I usually run it mabie a total of 2 to 5 minutes per use. Usually when I drain it there is about 2 ounces of watter mixed with oil and possibly rust. I was thinking that I may have a rust problem and I was just wondering if there was a good way to clean it out better than just draining the tank.

I ran it for 30 minutes one time when I was painting the lockers.

Nope, I have no port holes and I have infact never heard of port holes nor seen port holes on a air compressor. Do you think I should worry about this Greg or just keep draining after 10 uses like I always do?
 
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Old 02-17-06, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminator20
Usually when I drain it there is about 2 ounces of watter mixed with oil and possibly rust.


I would drain it more often - maybe every 5 times.
 
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Old 02-21-06, 02:48 PM
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You will get dirty looking water out of the tank but even though you may be seeing rusty water, the amount of metal lost to oxidation is insignificant.

At the hospital I work at, a co-worker was concerned about an air compressor with a tank that is over forty years old.
He called the boiler inspector and he said "it's probably ok but get it tested if you're unsure."

If you look you likely could find somewhere in the world a defective or rusted tank has exploded but I have never heard of it.
Where I have heard of tanks exploding is when over-pressurized without safeties or improper tanks used for home made compressors.
You should see an inspection mark or tag that should reasure you your tank will be ok.

Why don't you drain it after every use? It won't cost anything.
 
 

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