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Do you worry about your compressor freezing?

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 12-26-2010 06:53 AM 2793 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


12-26-2010 06:53 AM

I am the proud owner of a new compressor and nail gun set. But I was reading the instructions(Who needs those.. right..lol) and it said “keep from freezing”... Will the cold do anything? My garage gets down about freezing, but not much lower than 20-30.. ususally higher, but then again, we havent really hit the cold part of winter..lol..

So, do I have to move this thing, every day, into my living room, or will it be fine?

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."


15 replies so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4167 posts in 2321 days


#1 posted 12-26-2010 07:03 AM

I’ve never had a problem.
It will only be the moisture in the tank that will freeze.
That is normally just a wee bit and we have high humidity.

Your supposed to empty it daily.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Bob42's profile

Bob42

456 posts in 3255 days


#2 posted 12-26-2010 07:30 AM

I have had mine in the garage for years and it does get down to freezing but if you drain it once and a while it should be fine. Never had a problem and it’s been about 6 years. That doesn’t mean something can’t happen.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

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ajosephg

1878 posts in 3026 days


#3 posted 12-26-2010 12:36 PM

It may kick the circuit breaker if started when real cold.

-- Joe

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iamwelty

254 posts in 2580 days


#4 posted 12-26-2010 02:43 PM

Temp here goes below zero…. I’ve never had a problem with any of my compressors.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


#5 posted 12-27-2010 03:49 AM

Alright, thanks. Now Im not quite so worried about it. Also, I noticed, mine doesnt condense alot of water. I just opened the drain valve, and nothing is empting. But I did learn, 150psi, makes one helluva noise, when you hit the pressure release valve/piston. lol..

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View LeeinEdmonton's profile

LeeinEdmonton

254 posts in 3046 days


#6 posted 12-27-2010 06:26 AM

The amount of condensate will of course vary according to the humidity. Out of curiosity….what are you doing that requires 150 psig ? Better check your nail gun manual re pressure requirements. I don’t think I would want anything in my shop that required 150 psig.

Lee

-- Lee

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


#7 posted 12-27-2010 06:55 AM

Dont you know all of us Rhode Islanders do mining in our back yard…lol…just kidding..

Thats the compressor’s max PSI. I only use it at 75-100psi..

But before I drained it, the pressure tank had just refilled. So when I pulled the blow-valve, it released a gust of wind, at about 150…

Yea..any thing over 100, is dangerous… embolisms, impacting particulate matter… all that fun stuff… lol…

I also learned one can get quite a scare, when their hand covers the gun’s blow hole… I mistakenly put my hand on it… and got the scare of my life time…
—Tommorrow, I have to go return a quart of paint, got the wrong stuff, so I think I will pick up nails for my larger nailer, and use that to re-affix the trim/overhang to the wall… I hung on it(not really, just enough apparently) and it fell on my head…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Cerestes's profile

Cerestes

7 posts in 2679 days


#8 posted 12-27-2010 07:00 AM

The 6gal porter cable pancake compressors cut in at ~100 and out at ~150.
Regulator drops your line down to whatever your tools need.

It also has a pressure release valve that is once pulled stays out until maybe 30 psi.
If you pull that when its fully loaded, I imagine it’d make a heck of a racket.

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


#9 posted 12-27-2010 07:14 AM

Same with my lie-down DeWalt 2gal.. But yea… it also helps not to leave the drain valve open when you try to charge the tank… it was running for 5minutes…then it donned on me… oh…I forgot to close the drain valve…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3564 days


#10 posted 12-27-2010 07:38 AM

It depends more on if it is a compressor pump needs oil or if it is oil free.

As a contractor I use mostly the oilless compressors because they run better in the colder weather. Mine will start just fine at -10° or -15° but a compressor that uses oil starts having problems on startup in the low 20’s.

One way to overcome this is to keep it warm somehow and also to use a winter grade oil. When working with some of my friends in the winter, my compressor is the one that everyone plugs into because most of them use the oiled compressors.

The advantages of a compressor that uses oil is that they usually run quieter and they tend to last longer if you are good at keeping the oil changed and at the proper level.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View LeeinEdmonton's profile

LeeinEdmonton

254 posts in 3046 days


#11 posted 12-28-2010 06:03 PM

A compressor that uses oil bypasses some of that oil into the air hose & helps to lubricate your air tools as well.
This is also why the larger stationary compressors are also equipped with a low oil pressure shut-down switch because compressor oil level is often not on anyone’s priority list in many shops.

Lee

-- Lee

View CampD's profile

CampD

1475 posts in 2951 days


#12 posted 12-28-2010 07:10 PM

First off, the wording in the manual “Keep from freezing” is a”CYA” for the manufacturer.

I’ve had my oil-less compressor in the shop/garage for over 20yrs (temp outside today is 7) and never a problem.
My oil-filed would trip the breaker if I tried to start it with-out warming up the room first.

A word of caution and for years of problem free operation ”when you hit the pressure release valve/piston” This is an over-fill safety valve and is not ment to be used to empty the tank, use the Drain valve located on the bottom of the tank for this. All moisture would have condensed as a liquid on the bottom of the tank and will only drain thru this valve. Every time you open this valve you risk getting some forigen material logged in it possibly causing a leak and weaking the spring lowering the pressure release point. The drain valve is a much cheaper replacement part.

-- Doug...

View CharleyL's profile

CharleyL

197 posts in 2829 days


#13 posted 12-28-2010 08:46 PM

Pulling the pressure blow-off is NOT the way to remove condensate from your compressor. Condensate builds up in the bottom of the air tank and must be drained by opening a valve at the bottom of the tank. This is usually a winged type valve similar to the ones on the bottom of car radiators. Some pancake tanks have valves on the top of the tank with a straw type stem reaching down to the inside bottom of the tank for draining the condensate and these valves usually have a small round plastic handle and a spout located just under the handle. You should open the drain valve and drain all of the condensate water at the end of each day of use, before you drain the air pressure because it is needed to force the water out. A small amount of water left in the tank might freeze, but it will not cause any problems. If you haven’t drained the condensate for a while it could damage the tank when it freezes.

Charley

View newbiewoodworker's profile

newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2292 days


#14 posted 12-29-2010 01:49 AM

Charley: I pull the blow valve, but then open the valve on the bottom, per manufacturers instructions. It specifically mentions to do it in that order…I imagine the high pressure out a hole like that would be a penetration hazard, if your hand was infront of the valve..

CampD: It specifically mentions use of that valve for blowing the tank. There is a key-ring, specifically attached, so you can grab it. My guess is, that our compressors, being two decades appart, were designed differently. And that, yours maybe wasn’t designed to use that, but mine was.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View CampD's profile

CampD

1475 posts in 2951 days


#15 posted 12-29-2010 02:20 AM

I didnt say that was the only one I had, what I said was, the one in the shop has being running for 20yrs in the cold with no problem. At this moment, Being a contractor, I have no less then 6 running and many more in the grave yard.
The ring is designed to be grasped quickly in-case of the motor over running and it also acts as a safety pressure release if the tank gets over 150 lbp. I seen far to many of these valves fail and leak (the one in the shop is still the original) buy it being used in this fashion, but by all means, go ahead and use it any way you like.
The drain valve is still a Muuuch cheaper replacement.

-- Doug...

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