Portable Air Compressor Recommendations

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Old 03-18-14, 07:53 AM
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Portable Air Compressor Recommendations

I'm in the market for a "portable" (meaning able to be moved if necessary) air compressor, primarily for occasional (once a month) light to medium automotive use (impact wrench, grinder, cutter). Something that can deliver up to 250 ft-lbs of torque. From what I've read, belt-driven, oiled, and cast iron is the way to go. I figure I need something with a CFM rating of greater than 5 at 90 psi. I'm willing to spend a little extra if needed so I'm not waiting around for the compressor to catch up. However, I don't want something too large. An upright 30 gallon seems appropriate, and I'd like a 230V unit assuming it has significant advantages over a 110V unit (e.g. quicker recovery). I plan on locating the compressor in the utility room in my basement (conditioned space) and it will be stationery, but I don't want it to be permanently installed because I won't be in this home forever.

Regarding oiled compressors--It will likely be located in an unconditioned garage at my next home (in Northern Virginia). Are occasional below freezing temperatures during the winter going to be an issue with an oiled compressor?

Also, when looking at air tools, are the specified CFM requirements no-load values? Reason I ask is because I found an Ingersoll Rand impact gun that says it has an average air consumption of 4 CFM, but an air consumption under load of 17 CFM. Am I going to need a 60 gallon tank just to power an impact wrench? I'll be doing more than taking off lug nuts and want to be sure the power is there when I need it, and for more than a few seconds.

Brands I'm looking at:

Porter Cable:
Ingersoll Rand: Sears.com
Campbell Hausfeld: Campbell Hausfeld® 2-HP 30-Gallon (Belt Drive) 120 Volt Cast-Iron Air Compressor - Tractor Supply Co.
 

Last edited by mossman; 03-18-14 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 03-18-14, 08:55 AM
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The picture and specs for the Ingersoll Rand compressor don't match. The picture shows a two cylinder compressor while the specs say it's a single cylinder. I do like that the video says it's less than 80db when running which would be nice.

In the size you are considering I would stick with a 120 volt model like the two you've picked. Being able to plug it into a regular outlet comes in handy when you need to use it elsewhere as there are few 240 volt outlets in most homes & garages.

It would be nice to know the weights for both. The IR is 190 pounds but they don't list a weight for the Campbell Hausfeld.

There will be no real issue with an oiled compressor other than you don't want to lay it down on it's side when you move. If you do the oil may leak out.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 09:24 AM
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In the size you are considering I would stick with a 120 volt model like the two you've picked. Being able to plug it into a regular outlet comes in handy when you need to use it elsewhere as there are few 240 volt outlets in most homes & garages.
The compressor will only be only for home/garage use, so it won't be moved around. No problem installing a dedicated 240V outlet. If there isn't a significant advantage to having a 240V over a 120V, then 120V is fine.

There will be no real issue with an oiled compressor other than you don't want to lay it down on it's side when you move. If you do the oil may leak out.
So below freezing temps isn't an issue? Several advertisements for oil-less compressors mention not having to worry about ambient temperature because there is no oil.

Here are the specs for the Ingersoll Rand Garage Mate compressor from their website: Garage Mate Portable Reciprocating Air Compressor by Ingersoll Rand (link directly below description).

Is it an accurate assumption that the spec'd CFM requirement for air tools is typically the free-running CFM? If so, the 30 gallon compressors I've been looking at won't be much good for anything other than torquing lug nuts. On second thought, maybe portability isn't necessary at all. Maybe the SS3L3 is more along the lines of what I "need" (want).
 

Last edited by mossman; 03-18-14 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 03-18-14, 12:31 PM
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Another contender: Shop Kobalt 3.7-HP 60-Gallon 155-PSI Electric Air Compressor at Lowes.com

May have to wait until I live in a house with a garage
 
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Old 03-18-14, 01:20 PM
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Nothing beats having a bigger compressor and from what you've said, it doesn't really need to be portable ..... right? Just because it's installed somewhere and can't easily be moved, there is no reason you can't unhook it and bring it to your new home when that day comes.

I have 2 compressors, a little 11 gal, 1hp and a 60 gal, 6hp. I really wouldn't want a small compressor bigger than my little one for transporting to different jobs but I also wouldn't want a smaller one dedicated for my shop.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 04:17 PM
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Also, when looking at air tools, are the specified CFM requirements no-load values? Reason I ask is because I found an Ingersoll Rand impact gun that says it has an average air consumption of 4 CFM, but an air consumption under load of 17 CFM. Am I going to need a 60 gallon tank just to power an impact wrench?
The most common method of advertising the air consumption of pneumatic tools is the "average air consumption" method as it gives an artificially lower consumption figure. What "they" do is time the tool usage over a minute and then use that fraction of a minute to compute the air consumption per minute.

Example: A tool is actually used for 15 seconds out of every minute. The air flow necessary for that tool is 16 cubic feet per minute. Since 15 seconds is one-fourth of a minute the CFM is divided by 4 to compute an "average air flow" of 4 CFM. BUT, although that IS mathematically correct what the vast majority of people fail to realize is that EVERYTHING from the compressor inlet to the tool itself MUST be sized for the actual air flow and NOT the average air flow. That means the compressor, the receiver (air tank) the water trap, the pressure regulator, the air hose and even the quick disconnects must be of an appropriate size to pass 16 cubic feet of air per minute with minimal pressure loss or else the tool will not perform as expected. This is why you will often see tools that have a 1/4 inch inlet but the recommended hose is a 3/8 inch inside diameter.

Another issue, or perhaps an issue that is parallel to the air flow, is the air pressure AT THE TOOL. Using too small a pressure regulator or water filter will reduce the pressure when air is flowing. Too small a diameter of hose or a much longer length than necessary will cause a pressure drop. Poor quality or too many quick disconnects will severely impede the air flow and cause a loss of pressure at the tool. Pneumatic tools are most commonly rated with a pressure at the inlet of 90 psi. Using fifty feet of 1/4 inch hose along with a 1/8 inch "mini" pressure regulator could drop the pressure at the tool from the required 90 psi to maybe 60 psi when the tool is in operation.

So below freezing temps isn't an issue? Several advertisements for oil-less compressors mention not having to worry about ambient temperature because there is no oil.
Below freezing temperature most definitely IS an issue and not just for oil-lubricated compressors. A "by-product" of compressing air is water. You WILL have liquid water in the receiver and it will freeze. You can also have water vapor throughout the system and it too can freeze if enough collects or the temperature is low enough and THAT will cause problems. Cold oil in the compressor crankcase may keep the motor from even being able to start the machine.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 08:49 PM
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Sounds like it is a bad idea to locate a compressor in an unconditioned space then. Whenever I get a house with a garage, will be an attached garage and ill just have to put it in the basement and run a copper line up to the garage.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 04:34 AM
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It's a good practice to drain/bleed off the water in the bottom of the tank every day that you use the compressor. My big compressor is in my tool room which is also where I store latex paint and adhesives so I always keep that room above freezing but I have used my small compressor when it was below freezing [or sat in the truck overnight in the cold] and never had any big issues. It would start a little slow when extra cold and sometimes the pop off valve would go off until it warmed up.

Air compressors are kind of noisy so it's nice to have them in a separate room. If you installed one in the basement would the noise travel thru the house and upset mama? We all know what happens when mama ain't happy
 
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Old 03-19-14, 09:48 AM
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Well hopefully if I get a large enough tank (60 gallon) it won't be running very often, so mama should be fine.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 10:29 AM
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I don't think the occasional below freezing outside temperture will translate into below freezing in the garage, unconditioned or not. I have temperatures in that range outside on occasion during the winter and have never seen my garage get any where near freezing, even though it sure feels like it sometimes, and have had no issues with my oiled compressors.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 11:04 AM
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I don't think the occasional below freezing outside temperture will translate into below freezing in the garage, unconditioned or not. I have temperatures in that range outside on occasion during the winter and have never seen my garage get any where near freezing, even though it sure feels like it sometimes, and have had no issues with my oiled compressors.
You're probably right. There's enough leakage from the home to keep the garage above freezing I suppose. I had a garage in my childhood home and I seem to remember it staying above freezing.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 02:39 PM
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This thread reminded me that I hadn't drained the tank on my 60 gallon in a long, long time. I've got a bucket of oily mayonnaise and I think there is more in there. I'll let it settle overnight and drain it some more. What a nasty, snotty mess!
 
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Old 03-19-14, 08:21 PM
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That blows. Hopefully it's okay.

Regarding voltage, I have come across a couple compressors that can be wired for either 120V or 240V. However, the two compressors I've looked at only have a CFM rating of 5.5--not quite enough. Does the HP or CFM increase for the 240V connection or does it just draw less current? And what's the deal with the different outlet sizes (1/4", 3/8", 1/2"). Do the outlet sizes typically correspond with the CFM rating? Is there a particular size that is the most common?

Is this one any good? Chicago Pneumatic RCP-226VP 2 HP 26 Gallon Single Stage Reciprocating Portable Air Compressors - Amazon.com
 
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Old 03-19-14, 09:37 PM
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Motor voltage has absolutely no bearing on the CFM output. Higher voltage means lower current (amperage) for any given size motor and that can, under certain circumstances, reduce voltage drop over long wire runs from the source of power. A motor operating with excessive voltage drop will not develop full power and it will run hot which will decrease its life.

Smaller outlet sizes will severely restrict the air flow. I personally would want nothing less than a 3/8 inch pipe3 thread outlet from the receiver into the pressure regulator. Nothing smaller than 1/4 inch out of the regulator although bigger on both is usually better.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 05:36 AM
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I hadn't drained the tank on my 60 gallon in a long, long time.
IMO bleeding off the water is something that should be done religiously! I don't know that I've ever completely drained my 60 gallon tank but I almost always bleed it from the bottom after every use [or end of day] Occasionally you hear of an air tank exploding and I can't help but believe that rust plays a part ..... and if you get rid of the water in the bottom of the tank it's less likely to rust.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 07:33 AM
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Any feedback on the Chicago Pneumatic RCP-226VP, or Chicago Pneumatic in general? The RCP-226VP is spec'd at 7.1 CFM at 100 psi, which seems adequate for light to medium duty automotive work.

I'm assuming I'll need to add a water filter and a pressure regulator downstream of the compressor or is that only needed for stationery compressors?
 

Last edited by mossman; 03-20-14 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 03-20-14, 10:54 AM
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I guess if that was necessary, it wouldn't be portable, so I answered my own question.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 12:55 PM
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Some portable compressors come with a water trap and regulator, some do not. The specifications on the Amazon site do not specify so I would assume that a trap and regulator are NOT included.

Chicago Pneumatic INDUSTRIAL equipment is good, I have no idea concerning their home-shop/consumer grade equipment.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 01:45 PM
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My shop compressor is a 60 gallon 6hp, 240 volt and it is not enough for some tools. It does fine with impact wrenches, butterfly wrench, nail & staple guns but is not enough for continuous use of a die grinder, cutoff wheel or air powered HVLP spray gun. For the few times I use those air hog tools taking a break occasionally is a better option than spending twice as much for a monster compressor.

The 6hp 60 gallon is movable but not what I would call portable and it about all the bigger I would go for a home shop. At home I have a 4 gallon 1.5hp model that is fine for airing tires or running a nail gun or air wrench. It is way too small to power a continuous use tool like a cutoff wheel.

I don't have water separators or oilers on any of my compressors. I think a water separator is needed when spraying paint but not really needed with air tools. I run without an oiler so I can easily use a air sprayer to clean things off and not mist everything with oil. I just give the tools a drop of oil in the inlet before plugging them into the hose.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 01:52 PM
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PD, I have the same/similar compressor in my shop. Mine has never run out of air with any of my spray guns including several HVLP conversion guns. Like yours, mine doesn't always keep up with a grinder, sander, etc. but the older I get, the more value I see in break time

I also pre oil my tools [no oiler] but I do have a water separator/regulator at the end of both of my hard lines ...... but then I am a painter first
 
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Old 03-21-14, 07:28 AM
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Any feedback on the Pulsar brand? Sears.com
 
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Old 03-21-14, 09:02 AM
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IMO you are better off with a belt driven air pump.
 
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Old 03-21-14, 11:28 AM
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You're right, it isn't. It looks different than other direct drive pumps, so I just assumed it was belt driven. Oh well. I decided to go with the Ingersoll Rand P1.5IU-A9 compressor. Bought it on Sears.com and will be picking it up tomorrow.
 
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Old 03-22-14, 03:11 PM
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Just picked up my new compressor and I have a few questions on how to best set it up. Even though the compressor is technically portable, I want to configure it as a semi-permanent setup since it will be stationery underneath my stairs in the utility room.

The outlet on the compressor's regulator is 3/8". I plan on attaching a short piece of 3/8" rubber hose (less than 6') to the outlet and connecting it to rigid pipe attached which will be secured to the adjacent wall along with a water filter and pressure regulator. The compressor already has it's own regulator, but I will be leaving it wide open and making adjustments using the new regulator that I will be installing). I plan on using rigid copper pipe, which comes in 1/2". Therefore, I will be going from a 3/8" hose to a 1/2" copper pipe, to presumably a 3/8" inlet on the air filter, back to a short section of 1/2" copper (between filter and regulator), back to a 3/8" inlet on the regulator, back to 1/2" copper for a few inches and then eventually back to 3/8" quick disconnects (I will be installing ball valves as well--see question 3 below).

1) Is 1/2" copper the way to go, or is there a different type of pipe I should use that is available in 3/8" that won't require a bunch of reducer/adapter fittings (and a bunch of soldering)? If copper is ok, should I go with Type L or is Type M sufficient?

2) Can someone recommend a decent water filter and regulator that won't break the bank? I'd like to keep it under $100 for both but am willing to spend a bit more if it's worth it.

3) I will be installing a tee a few inches off the outlet of the pressure regulator. One line will be used in my utility room/workshop and the second will run up to the ceiling and out through the rim joist so I can have air outside at my driveway. Is it a good idea to have a ball valve on each line downstream of the tee, or should I just install one ball valve upstream of the tee?
 
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Old 03-22-14, 07:52 PM
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Turns out the outlet is 1/4", not 3/8". I checked the IR website and it says 0.25". The Sears specs are incorrect. Regarding the pipe, the documentation says to use high quality steel piping or extruded aluminum piping, so it looks like I'll be using steel. Fine with me because that means no soldering.
 
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Old 03-22-14, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
This thread reminded me that I hadn't drained the tank on my 60 gallon in a long, long time. I've got a bucket of oily mayonnaise and I think there is more in there.
You might try swapping the hard-to-reach petcock for a 3' whip hose and ball valve.
Makes it much, much easier.

I have "T" fitting at the drain,
one side has an automatic tank drain which "burps" the tank each time the compressor stops,
other side has a 3' whip hose, quick connect and air gun. Add in a segment of yellow coil hose and it's great for blowing the grass clippings off the lawnmower or blowing the dust out of the garage.
 
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Old 03-22-14, 08:10 PM
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One more question for anyone that cares to respond. The shutdown procedure described in the IR manual says to turn off the compressor, close the "service valve" (not sure what this is), disconnect the tool, then open the "service valve" slowly until the pressure drops to 20 psi, then open the drain valve on the bottom of the tank to drain any condensation. I have no clue what this service valve is that is mentioned. I adjusted the regulator until the pressure dropped to 20 psi, but the tank pressure is still at 125 psi. How do I decrease the pressure in the tank safely?

Update: there's another valve on the inlet of the regulator that has a small ring attached to the end. I pulled the ring and it started to relieve the pressure. Once it dropped to 20 psi, I opened the drain valve and a tiny bit of moisture came out (I only did an initial startup and ran an impact wrench for a few seconds). Still don't know what the "service valve" is and how it would decrease the pressure in the tank, but I think the method I used should be fine (I think).
 

Last edited by mossman; 03-22-14 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 03-23-14, 12:24 AM
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Sounds right to me. The ring you pulled is a pressure release...prob what they mean by service valve, though...sometimes the manuals are kind of generic. Unless you are using it a lot at one time..doubt you need to do this every time. Heck...when I'm done with my DeWalt....I just wheel it back in the storage space and let it sit, even if it's still at full pressure. I drain it every few uses...but it's an aluminum tank...so I'm not too worried about rust.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 03:47 AM
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The "valve" with the ring is the safety valve to relieve excess pressure if the pressure switch fails and the motor keeps running. The ring is to manually test the valve which should be done every couple of months or so to ensure it works.

The "service valve" would be a manual shut-off between the receiver (tank) and the regulator. Your compressor may not have one.

I plan on attaching a short piece of 3/8" rubber hose (less than 6') to the outlet and connecting it to rigid pipe attached which will be secured to the adjacent wall along with a water filter and pressure regulator. The compressor already has it's own regulator, but I will be leaving it wide open and making adjustments using the new regulator that I will be installing).
I urge you to NOT leave the current regulator in place but to run the flexible hose direct from the receiver outlet to the fixed piping system. You CAN install the water trap at this point OR better install it near an outlet just prior to the regulator. I would suggest using a 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch hose providing the receiver outlet is this size and also install a shut-off valve at the receiver. If you have multiple outlets on the fixed piping then it is best to use a properly sized (for the expected load) water trap and regulator at each outlet. Use ball valves on any outlet and make sure to keep the horizontal piping pitched slightly downward in the direction of air flow to facilitate the draining of any water collecting in the piping. All outlets from the horizontal piping should come from the top of the pipe and then down although a few strategically placed drain pipes from the bottom of the pipe should also be installed. Remember also that it is real easy to have piping too small but impossible to have it too large as anything larger than absolutely necessary simply adds to the receiver capacity.
Regarding the pipe, the documentation says to use high quality steel piping or extruded aluminum piping, so it looks like I'll be using steel.
Copper is okay, except for the cost, but the joints should be silver-soldered. Never even consider using type M copper. Also NEVER, NEVER, NEVER consider using plastic (PVC or CPVC) piping in any compressed air system as it cannot stand up to the lubricating oils and WILL explode blowing shrapnel everywhere. This is even true of buried piping.


Ebay is a good place to look for water traps and regulators. Here are a couple of combination units I found in just a couple of minutes.

New 3 8" Compressed Air Filter Pressure Regulator Combo w Gauge Bracket Nut | eBay

New 1 2" Air Compressor Compressed Air Filter Pressure Regulator Combo w Gauge | eBay
 
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Old 03-23-14, 05:42 AM
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make sure to keep the horizontal piping pitched slightly downward in the direction of air flow to facilitate the draining of any water collecting in the piping.
There will only be one 3ft section at of horizontal pipe at chest height between the rubber isolation hose-to-compressor and the water filter, and another 5 ft horizontal section at ceiling height 8ft) leading to the outside. Would it make sense to have the 3 ft section run downhill toward the water filter and the 5ft section run uphill so that condensation falls down the vertical section to the drain valve below? Here is a rough sketch of what I was planning on doing:

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Last edited by mossman; 03-23-14 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 03-23-14, 06:00 AM
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I rarely ever completely drain the tank on my big compressor [just drain off the water under pressure] although with my portable compressor it's usually simpler to just drain it. Generally the further you install the separator from the tank, the more effective it is. Compressing air heats it up so the further you are from the pump, the cooler the air will be.

Your sketch didn't post
 
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Old 03-23-14, 06:33 AM
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Updated diagram (added dimensions for driveway feed):

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Should I install another ball valve just after the rubber hose connects to the rigid pipe?
Should I remove the tank's regulator and directly connect to the tank?
 
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Old 03-23-14, 06:39 AM
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The regulator at the tank could be used as a cut off valve although a ball valve [in conjunction or replacement] would be easier. Personally I don't see a need for a cut off beyond the tank.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 06:48 AM
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The regulator at the tank could be used as a cut off valve although a ball valve [in conjunction or replacement] would be easier. Personally I don't see a need for a cut off beyond the tank.
I'd rather not remove the tank's regulator. Not sure it could be easily done anyhow. Looks like the power cord and the compressor are in the way. I'd have to disassemble the regulator, which I don't want to do. I'll likely just leave it as is.

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Old 03-23-14, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mossman
Just picked up my new compressor and I have a few questions on how to best set it up.
Even though the compressor is technically portable, I want to configure it as a semi-permanent setup since it will be stationery underneath my stairs in the utility room.
I would highly suggest ---- doing nothing just yet.

You've JUST gotten the compressor,
I can guarantee that you'll find yourself making changes, tweaks and adjustments.

Use it for a few months, figure out what works, what tools you use, what tools you want.
THEN sketch out a system, the lay out the system with air hoses and try it.

When you have a system that works for you,THEN start drilling through joists, soldering copper and making permanent changes.

I do have two "start up" suggestions.
First suggestion, convert to 3/8" connections on hoses and tools as much as possible.
Most air tools come with the smaller 1/4" connections. You can usually just unscrew the small fittings and put in bigger fittings. The heavy duty tools will run better. The low draw tools will be compatible with your air hoses. You can easily make a 3/8" nipple to 1/4" quick connect reducer.
I'd invest in 3/8 hose, a 50' and 100', with 3/8 connections.

Originally Posted by mossman
I'd rather not remove the tank's regulator. Not sure it could be easily done anyhow. Looks like the power cord and the compressor are in the way. I'd have to disassemble the regulator, which I don't want to do. I'll likely just leave it as is.
Second suggestion, go ahead and take that regulator off the tank.
Right now, looks like you've got
QC fitting - whip hose - nipple - QC fitting - regulator - adapter - switch


That entire regulator-switch-pop valve assembly should pivot counter-clockwise,
enough to unscrew the regulator (that how they assembled it in the first place...)
Unplug the power cord, disconnect the whip hose, grab the regulator in the left hand,
the blow off valve in the right other, and twist counter clockwise- it should move fairly easily, enough to move it 45 degrees, just enough to allow you to unscrew the regulator.

Get some white tape, dis-assemble it and re-arrange it to be
QC fitting - whip hose- regulator - nipple - QC fitting - adapter - switch

Here's why

#1 - Running air through TWO regulators will needlessly slow down your high-CFM tools.
#2 - It's much easier to have the pressure regulator at the END of the work end of the hose
first, because it lets you adjust the pressure as you go, e.g. to make sure a nail gun nails flush,

second because if you want to use high CFM tools at a distance, running hoses at 120 psi from the tank to the regulator, THEN stepping down to 90 psi allows you to use the hose volume as storage - sorta like high voltage wires, when you go long distances, there's less loss at higher "pressure".

Here's my setup



I'm using the side port on the tank for working air.
In my example, the fitting at the top of the tank is used to trigger an automatic tank drain.

Working air goes from tank through elbow, blue ball valve to a "T" fitting.
Pair of 3/8 quick connects.

Right side has a 3/8 coupling. I put ball valves at the end of my hoses; no whoosh when you disconnect. Also I can close the valve, disconnect a hose, and it holds enough air to run about 10 shots from my little crown stapler, which frees up the line for an air sander.

Left side has 3/8 coupler. That's currently connected to a regulator-separator with 2 outlets.
One outlet has an auto-oiler to whip hose and 3/8 coupling for high CFM tools.
Second outlet goes to 1/4 coupling for smaller tools, which is the yellow spiral hose you see.

- Yes, it's better to have the water separator as far from the compressor as possible to let
water vapor condenses, but I found that just leaving the tank pressurized works as well.
When you fill a tank from 0 psi to 120, it's going to be hot. If you start with a cold tank, the air is cool, the moisture drops out.
Filling the tank each time makes to motor work for, what I see, as no good reason.

The black hose in the center with a QC fitting and air gun are connected to the bottom drain to make it easy to drain the water out of the tank. There's a "T" fitting on the drain that goes to an auto drain.

The water separator had the standard annoying petcock drain; replaced that with a ball valve so it's easier to drain. Added a QC nipple so the black hose to the auto drain can be connected. When the auto triggers, it purges the water out of the tank and the hose separator at the same time.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 03-23-14 at 10:58 AM.
  #36  
Old 03-23-14, 11:40 AM
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Second suggestion, go ahead and take that regulator off the tank.
Right now, looks like you've got
QC fitting - whip hose - nipple - QC fitting - regulator - adapter - switch
I'm not quite following you--from left to right, I have a 3/8" whip hose-1/4" nipple-QC fitting-regulator-adapter-switch.


Get some white tape, dis-assemble it and re-arrange it to be
QC fitting - whip hose- regulator - nipple - QC fitting - adapter - switch
I thought I was going to remove the regulator and just have the one at the end of my run (filter/regulator combo)? Or are you suggesting I re-use the regulator from the tank and put it further down stream? If so, wouldn't the upstream sequence be QC fitting-regulator-whip hose-nipple-QC fitting-adapter-switch?

Regardless, sounds like the objective is to have only one regulator as downstream as possible with an easy way to disconnect the whip from the tank, and use 1/2" steel pipe with 3/8" hoses, adapters, nipples, etc. Is this correct?
 
  #37  
Old 03-23-14, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mossman
From left to right, I have a 3/8" whip hose-1/4" nipple-QC fitting-regulator-adapter-switch.
Eh, is there a QC fitting on the business end of the whip?

Originally Posted by mossman
I thought I was going to remove the regulator and just have the one at the end of my run (filter/regulator combo)?

Or are you suggesting I re-use the regulator from the tank and put it further down stream?
Yes, I'd take the original regulator, add QC fittings, and use it on the end of the line until you can find a good 2 in 1 regulator/separator.

Initially, instead of getting multiple regulators, get a quality one and move that around.

I'd keep the original regulator as an inline for when you're working with 2 tools.
With a pair of regulators, if you're switching between a air sander and a nail gun, you don't have to re-set the PSI each time.

The original regulator looks small enough to clip onto the hilt of a tool without too much trouble.
So, if you're using a pressure-sensitive tool like a small nail gun or a spray gun, it's easy to make fine adjustments to pressure to get the result you want.



Originally Posted by mossman
wouldn't the upstream sequence be QC fitting-regulator-whip hose-nipple-QC fitting-adapter-switch?
I found that having the whip after the regulator worked better,
lets you click the regulator assembly onto the tank at the end of the day.
Other way leaves the regulator flopping around at the end of the whip.

My compressor is right beside a work bench, so it's convenient for me to have the regulator click into the tank that leaves the whip free with just enough reach the work bench with tools.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 03-23-14 at 12:42 PM.
  #38  
Old 03-23-14, 03:25 PM
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So it's ok to go with all 3/8" fittings even though the outlet of the tank is 1/4"? And if I do need to go to 1/4" for certain tools, it's best to do it right at the tool correct? Does that defeat using 3/8" fittings and 1/2" pipe everywhere else? The impact gun and other tools that came in my Craftsman kit take 1/4" MNPT fittings, but it looks like there is an adapter nipple that can be removed to switch to 3/8". Is this advisable to do? Why wouldn't Craftsman make them 3/8" if that would benefit the tool? Is it because 1/4" is more standard? I'm just full of questions huh?
 
  #39  
Old 03-23-14, 04:36 PM
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That entire regulator-switch-pop valve assembly should pivot counter-clockwise, enough to unscrew the regulator (that how they assembled it in the first place...)
Since I will be disturbing the seal between the fitting and the tank when I pivot it counter-clockwise, it's probably a good idea to remove the switch all the way and re-seal the fitting with pipe dope.
 
  #40  
Old 03-23-14, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mossman
And if I do need to go to 1/4" for certain tools, it's best to do it right at the tool correct? Does that defeat using 3/8" fittings and 1/2" pipe everywhere else?
Going to 3/8 fittings will make a difference for high CFM air tools that derive their power from air flow- - impact wrench, rotary tools, paint guns.
Staying with 1/4 fittings is fine for air tools that derive their power from air pressure -- nail guns or pop riveter. Most air tools can be swapped to take either sized fitting, although occasionally you'll find a tool where the nipple is built into the tool and can't be changed.

Originally Posted by mossman
Since I will be disturbing the seal between the fitting and the tank when I pivot it counter-clockwise, it's probably a good idea to remove the switch all the way and re-seal the fitting with pipe dope.
You shouldn't need to re-seal it.
Most compressor pipe connections are wrapped with teflon tape, which is reasonably forgiving.
The white tape basically forms a conical gasket between the two sets of pipe threads.
In my experience, a teflon taped pipe junction will usually stay air tight despite several
back-and forth turns, as long as you don't turn the pipe more than about 1/3 of a turn.
 
 

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