Question about air compressors

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Forum topic by PawPawTex posted 02-22-2016 06:29 PM 908 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 2958 days

02-22-2016 06:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Can anyone tell me whether adding another air tank to my air compressor system will help my compressor not run as much? I’m currently running a 6hp 60 gal single stage compressor. I have an opportunity to acquire a compressor tank from a nonworking compressor that’s approximately 40 gal capacity. If I were to add it into my air system would I gain alot or wouldn’t it be worth the trouble? Thanks in advance.

9 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4951 posts in 2458 days

#1 posted 02-22-2016 06:38 PM

It will run the same amount, just in a different cycle. It will run longer to fill, and less often…which might be a good thing. Think of it like this: what ever you’re doing takes X amount of air, the compressor must run X minutes to provide that amount…whether it’s in shorter bursts or longer ones.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View HokieKen's profile


4737 posts in 1103 days

#2 posted 02-22-2016 07:53 PM

Like Fred said^, it will run less often but it will run longer. It’ll take longer to use enough air to fall below the pressure switch low limit, but likewise, it’ll take longer to compress enough air to reach the switch high limit.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bigblockyeti's profile


5092 posts in 1685 days

#3 posted 02-22-2016 08:01 PM

You might also want to find out what kind of duty cycle your 6hp compressor can sustain. Many consumer grade compressors do not have the ability to continually dissipate the heat generated from running constantly and will usually have a maximum on time accompanied with a minimum off time. If you can do this without overheating or otherwise harming your compressor, it could work well for you as you’d be able to let the tanks charge while you’re not in the shop and use the air while not having to listen to the compressor when you are in the shop.

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1972 days

#4 posted 02-22-2016 08:35 PM

I did it … here’s mine

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View tomsteve's profile


771 posts in 1184 days

#5 posted 02-22-2016 09:24 PM

might want to consider a 2 stage pump upgrade.

View Bill1974's profile


124 posts in 2950 days

#6 posted 02-24-2016 08:55 PM

Pretty much what others have said. Generally compressor sizes are matched to the tank size based on what the expected use of it is. Basically the larger the compressor the larger the tank so compressor does not have to start and stop on very short cycles. Adding an additional tank most likely won’t do any harm to the compressor. It will just cycle less often but run longer each cycle.

If you use your compressor in a way that some point it can not keep up and really just needed a little extra it might help but it’s not going to increase the cfm output of the compressor, you would be gaining the extra cfm that the second tank has stored in it.

View industrialguttersma's profile


5 posts in 788 days

#7 posted 02-25-2016 08:53 AM

tomsteve isright. You may want to consider a 2 stage pump upgrade because adding another air tank won’t totally give a big difference just realign the cycle or change it.

-- Indsutrial Gutters MA -

View OSU55's profile


1630 posts in 1954 days

#8 posted 02-25-2016 12:49 PM

If the compressor uses oil, then the added tank won’t hurt anything, it will change the cycle as others said. An oilless compressor would be much more susceptible to overheating, but I doubt a 6hp compressor is oilless.

View Tennessee's profile


2860 posts in 2479 days

#9 posted 02-25-2016 01:29 PM

Back when I worked for a mechanical contractor as the sales rep, one of the things we sold were air compressors. It is true that almost all compressors have duty cycles. Only the highest quality, pressurized oil units can run continuously. (Those with oil pumps, oil filters, coolers, etc., much like an automobile engine)

All others have some sort of duty cycle, even if they do have oil in them. That oil is more likely to have a simple splash unit inside to protect the main bearings and rods, and the piston rings can still scorch if it runs too long at one or more cycles.

In my mind, adding another 40 gallons to a 6HP 60 galllon is not going to do much of anything, unless you are running air tools constantly, like sanders in body shops. Then it will provide constant air for a longer time, but will take almost twice as long to come back up.
To me, it is not worth the time or money for what you will get, and if your duty cycle is less than 50%, you are only going to shorten the life of the head.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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