Saving a Harbor Freight low end air compressor?

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-15-20, 02:51 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Saving a Harbor Freight low end air compressor?

When I see something that 'just' needs a part, I can't toss it. Even if it's relatively cheap. I think I'm in good company here? For anyone that wasn't handy, yeah, it wouldn't be viable to pay someone else to fix it.

Anyway... for this low cost (it would cost $32 with coupons?) harbor freight pancake air compressor, I broke off the red pressure setting knob at the front center. It's several years old 'but still runs'. I took the piping off the out port of the tank. I tried removing the remains of the pressure knob but it snapped off.

Anyone have recommendations for the cheapest way to get this working again? Don't need the pressure adjustment. I was thinking either an adaptor from the straight threads of the tank into the quick disconnect for the hose. I'd lose the pressure gauge AND pressure release valve (is that needed?)

Or somehow cap that adjustment port? The compressor itself shuts off when the tank gets to max pressure? It's the exit pressure through the regulator that would be lower if needed?

I just use it at max pressure for blowing out the garage, etc. so losing the pressure adjustment would be fine for me?

Find a unit with bad motor / compressor not running and take the exit piping?

Thoughts?
 
Attached Images    
  #2  
Old 03-15-20, 03:09 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,426
Received 747 Votes on 686 Posts
I've never seen or worked on a compressor like that but I have broken the knob off regulators before. I use a bolt for adjusting the pressure. I somehow attach a steel or aluminum plate across the opening where the knob was. Then run a bolt with a jam nut through a tapped hole in the center. The bolt presses on the button in the center to adjust the pressure.
 
EdShnatter voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 03-15-20, 03:16 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 6,903
Received 425 Votes on 396 Posts
The only thing good about HF is using the coupons to buy a real tool!
 
EdShnatter voted this post useful.
  #4  
Old 03-15-20, 03:36 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,796
Received 252 Votes on 220 Posts
If the unit will shut off when it reaches a set pressure, then there is no safety issue of the pressure getting too high. You can just buy an air compressor regulator like this: https://www.harborfreight.com/150-ps...AaAlUzEALw_wcB and then add a short nipple and a quick connect for your air hose. You should be able to find what you need at any home/hardware store. Make sure to include the pressure relief valve shown on the left side in your picture.
 
EdShnatter voted this post useful.
  #5  
Old 03-15-20, 07:46 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
As always, thanks guys!

And as usual, I jump the gun / make assumptions that are wrong / slow things down.

After posting, I started playing with the piping on the exhaust of the tank.

I thought the regulator would leak with the knob / spring broken off. but no. It just was not letting air go through it to the quick disconnect.

So I unscrewed the pressure relief valve on the left, and screwed on the quick disconnect. so its got 100 PSI max coming out of the quick disconnect.

Good enough for me.

And yeah, the unit shuts off at 100PSI (the pressure relief mentions 115 PSI on it).

Nice to see Tolyn / someone more experienced saying it's ok to leave the pressure relief out of the loop, as I wound up doing. I thought people here would say how it was needed as a safety in case the normal shutoff at 100PSI fails. It would take a long time to get higher pressures anyway : )

and as much as I do occassionally make a point to open the drain plug while under pressure to blow out moisture, the inside IS rusty when I look down the exhaust connection of the tank. Makes me wonder what 100PSI would do if rust got really bad / caused the tank to rupture? Or it would leak out a small crack before any kind of big boom?

So like most of my things, it's jury rigged but working : )

A regulator for $6!? Wow! good to know but not needed here.

THANKS!

 
  #6  
Old 03-15-20, 07:52 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
By the way - Marq1 - are you putting down HF? I am 56 and since a young teenager I would (overpay) and get craftsman tools for their lifetime warranty.

I wound up losing tools more than getting them replaced under warranty (so why overpay just to lose it) and now with Lowes carrying craftsman, any kind of warranty replacement is a chore / I don't have the receipts / such a pain vs. vs. the ease with doing it as Seers.

Harbor freight lifetime AND cheap seems like a great deal..
 
  #7  
Old 03-16-20, 03:01 AM
W
Member
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 82
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I guess I would be a safety zealot, but only because my air compressor does not shut off via the regulator like it is supposed to. My air compressor is a cheap Porter Cable and something happened to the regulator. The relief valve works, but it pegs out at 180 psi before going into relief...yeah pretty high considering.

I really need to replace it.

It is 15 years old, and I am not sure how sound the air tank is, and that is incredibly high pressure for unsure tank worthiness.

It is your call, but if it touches off, just one broken window would pay for (3) new air compressors. Injury wise, you could buy a new air compressor for less than a co-pay to an emergency room, and that does not even factor in the lost wages and production from being injured.

I am frugal too, but there is more than one way to calculate what being frugal amounts too. But it is your call.
 
  #8  
Old 03-16-20, 06:26 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,796
Received 252 Votes on 220 Posts
Make sure to include the pressure relief valve shown on the left side in your picture.
If you read my post carefully it says to make sure you keep the relief valve! Removing it would be dangerous!

Just add a Tee fitting and a nipple for the relief valve.
 
  #9  
Old 03-16-20, 09:11 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 91
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks! sorry I misread the post!
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: