Hole in air compressor tank

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by ihedrick, May 29, 2005.

  1. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I picked up an air compreessor that was headed for the dump because it has a leak in it. The compressor is a metal Sears model. Can the leak be patched? I know where it is and is probably from rusting through. The guy said he had left air in it and didn't drain it after use. Is it truely trash or is there hope for it? How would I patch the hole?
    Thanks for any tips/suggestions.
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Get rid of the tank before it explodes and cause damage to someone, a tank that leaks is also damaged elsewhere via the rust. Do not take the chance of creating a bomb. Retired propane tanks work very well for this purpose, they are 1/4 inch thick and very safe to use even if they are propane retired. Just remount the air pump and motor elsewhere.

    Now if the leak is at a threaded portion of the tank thats a different story, but if it is in a flat open space do not even try to repair it. All please remember to drain the tank everytime you use your compressor, daily is enought to prevent the rusting.

    USMC 2391135
     

  3. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    The hole was on the bottom of the tank, so I guess it'll go to the dump or something. How would I salvage the motor and put it on the propane tank?
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Weld two pieces of 90 degree angle iron to a flat plate that will straddle the tank when it is horizonally mounted, cut out the space for a threaded pipe that will carry a short piece of pipe up to the pressure switch. Drill and mount the air pump directly to the flat plate, drill and make space for the motor to be adjusted for belt length on the flat plate, via slots. Add a 'blow off' valve for safety if the switch does not chose to stop when it needs to. Add an air bleed to support the discharge of air in the ends center. Add a threaded port to the bottom to drain the condensed water and moisture daily at the bottom of the unit. Auto radiator valves work well in this manor as the daily drain valve.
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Find the hole, drill it out with the appropriate size drill bit, and screw in a boiler plug.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Before you take the rusted tank to the dump, smash it up--punch the rusted area out-- so no fool takes it and tries to patch it. If there is enough rust to let it leak in one small spot, there is more rust waiting to break through nearby.

    It would be a bomb waiting to go off.

    Jim
     
  7. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Well-Known Member

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    I had the very same problem with my Sanborn. It was hard to drain so left it and rusted a hole in bottom. I unhooked the line going into tank and plumbed it to a 30 gallon prpane bottle mounted up in the roof trusses of my shop building. Setup uses same pressure switch and hose hookups. Now I have more capacity and run pvc lines thru trusses and down to where ever I need a air hookup. I actually like it better than the original tank. Might note that I never move my compressor. Of course--it's not portable anymore.
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If there is a rust hole, the whole bottom is pitted, & you will never get it sealed up worth a hoot. Get rid of the tank. Don't bother with the boiler plugs - while that could seal the hole, there are many others just waiting to show up. The whole bottom of the tank is honeycombed with pits.

    As well, PVC is not a good idea for air lines. It will shatter & send lots of shards moving at top speed. Not a good thing. I know, more & more folks are trying to get away with this, and you even see it in supposedly pro shops a time or two. Just mentioning it, for what it's worth, that is still isn't a good idea.

    --->Paul
     
  9. Sparkey

    Sparkey Well-Known Member

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    I did the same as Farmer Brown. Mounted the tank upside down & plumbed in a drain also. After 22 yr. it still works fine. I do drain tank & lines 3-4 times a week, especially in damp weather as we have this time of year.
     
  10. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I've seen the results of an air tank that exploded. The guy that was running it was on the other side of the truck body fixing a tire, otherwise he wouldn't have escaped without injury. The thing sounded like a dynamite blast when it went off. The cab of the truck in front of the compressor was mangled. The diamond plate under it was bent into a bowl shape.
     
  11. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    if someone is going to run air lines of a compresser i sugest to use black pipe
     
  12. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We use copper pipe with soldered joints to run hundreds of feet of compressed air lines, where I work. Black iron pipe is used for some of the larger straight runs especially in older areas. Be sure to slope the runs of pipe or tubing slightly back towards the compressor, and arrange a drain before the tank at the compressor, so that any water in the lines will accumulate and can be drained without running back into the tank.

    Jim
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Jim
    I think you would want the main line to slope away from the compressor with a drop leg for condensate on the far end and a drain valve or steam trap to handle the water. At each point along the main delivery line where you want a drop, install a tee with the outlet up. From that tee install your drop by going up first. This prevents the water from running down your drop out of the main delivery line. The farther you get from the compressor the cooler the compressed air will be and the more the condensate will accumulate. This method also prevents the condensate from being blow black up the main delivery line each time there is a major demand for air along the main line. :)