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Compressor abuse, why not?

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Forum topic by CB_Cohick posted 06-05-2015 02:31 PM 761 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CB_Cohick

460 posts in 715 days


06-05-2015 02:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question compressor maintenance

I recently acquired a Bostitch pancake compressor, nothing fancy, and not the compressor I want. But, it was the best option available at the time. I understand that standard practice is to drain the tank at the end of the day and empty any condensation that has collected to prevent rust and extend the life of the tank. However, bearing in mind I don’t particularly like this compressor and would gladly sell it in its current barely used state for half price, why not leave the tank charged and ready to go instead of constantly draining and filling? Other than condensation in the tank, what else is wrong with leaving it charged?

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.


8 replies so far

View whope's profile

whope

137 posts in 1909 days


#1 posted 06-05-2015 02:45 PM

Depends on how often you use it I guess. I use my compressor sporadically. If I used it everyday, I’d leave it charged. I might vent it at the end of the day a little just to purge any moitsure from the day. A second or two at most. If your compressor is like mine, the vent really isn’t on the bottom, so unless I tip it, all the moisture wouldn’t be purged.

Of course you could throw caution to the wind and hope for an excuse to upgrade…

-- Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an axe.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1637 days


#2 posted 06-05-2015 03:08 PM

You don’t need to drain the tank completely of air all you need do is open the drain valve briefly and vent the moisture that condensed during the day.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tenfingers58's profile

Tenfingers58

96 posts in 2142 days


#3 posted 06-05-2015 03:54 PM

I vent the tank to loose the moisture, then shut off the breaker in case a leak develops.

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 715 days


#4 posted 06-05-2015 04:05 PM



I vent the tank to loose the moisture, then shut off the breaker in case a leak develops.

- Tenfingers58

I like this idea. The compressor I am abusing has an on-off switch .

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#5 posted 06-05-2015 04:12 PM

I have a 40 gallon Craftaman badged DeVilbiss compressor out in the garage that I plugged in and turned on something like 14 years ago. Only time it’s been off is when we have a power failure. I try to remember to drain the tank at least once a year, but even that doesn’t always happen.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 905 days


#6 posted 06-05-2015 06:49 PM

Other than condensation in the tank, what else is wrong with leaving it charged? – CB_Cohick

Moisture in the line will get into your tools, so accelerated deterioration there, in theory.

If the power stays on, and the tank rusts out, you could have an exploding compressor.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#7 posted 06-05-2015 06:57 PM

I drain the tank after every use, and it lasted 26 years. It finally rusted out despite my efforts, but I’d say 26 years is a pretty good run. If you spray finishes such as lacquer, shellac, or poly you will want to drain the tank regularly as well as use a good water trap.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

902 posts in 1500 days


#8 posted 06-05-2015 07:08 PM

You can always get an autodrain… but that might be more than the compressor is worth.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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