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Thread: Expand air compressor capacity?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Expand air compressor capacity?

    Hi everyone

    I've got a pancake air compressor, Sears 2 HP, 135 psi 6 gallon. I'm thinking of putting some piping around the garage/shop and wonder if it would make sense to T in a larger tank to act as an air reservoir to reduce the pump cycling. Anyone have any experience with this idea? Anyidea on sources for the tank? All I have been able to find are little portable ones that are designed to be topped up at a gas station.

    Thanks

    Jay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Yes, you can add capacity by adding a reservoir. (in addition to your piping...) How well the pump is going to work with that setup may be of concern, but I'm not an expert in that kind of thing. (I have serious doubts that you really have a 2hp motor, for example...)

    Check out places like Northern Tool and Granger for tanks...they may or may not have what you need.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

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  3. #3
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    Sep 2003
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    I have a couple of the freon bottles that the HVAC guys recharge ACs with. (Not what it was intended for ). They sell a hose and valve conversion kit,
    Rigged quick disconnects so it works a a reserve or air to go.
    I have a requlator on it and can get about 100 staples or brads or one truck tire.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=9731
    Last edited by Tyler Howell; 09-21-2006 at 10:00 AM.
    TJH
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Mpls, Minn
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    A reserve tank will get you more capacity, but longer run times.
    I might be concerned as to getting the compressor a bit warm, make sure the air filter is clean and if it has a oil system that the oil is at the proper level and clean.

    I also might install a shut off to keep the air in the reserve tank when not using, may save some comperssor run time next time you use it, most systems I've seem will eventually bleed down (leak) during non use time.
    Also the shut off you allow you not to use the reserve tank when not needed, saving compressor run time.

    Freon tanks work well, but another 6-8 gallon tank would be better.
    Kinda depends on how big a tank you want to add.

    Al

  5. #5
    I have two 60 gallon compressors hooked together.
    One in the front part of main shop, the other close to the rear.
    The rear one currently isn't running, as it needs the compressor overhauled. [It will run though] I wore that one out, but use it as a reservoir to have more air in the rear of the shop. The rear compressor also serves as a backup


  6. #6
    I have been thinking along the same line and have found a suitable old air tank. I am convinced that it would work. The only problem could be that many compressors are not designed for a 100% duty cycle because they will become too hot. Filling a large extra reservoir might then lead to heating of the compressor. However, my experience is that in practice my compressor works ok even with a duty cycle near 100%, it hasn't burnt yet at least. So I believe that it would be ok.

    Let us know what the result of your plan is...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Good to see you safely home Jay!

    Over the years I have tried several times to hook two aircompressors togeather to keep up with my demand when one would not do the job and have always been disappointed with the results. I would think that an inline aux tank would have the same problem but even more so as when you run out of stored air your compressor has to work double time to fill both tanks and is probably not designed to work that hard.

    I finally bought a compressor that will more that keep up with my needs and am so glad that I did. You might want to check into the cost of a new compressor as they are not really that costly anymore. It seemed to me that the best price vs quality for home shop type compressors were the Ingersall Rand single stage units. Tractor Supply had the best price when I bought mine.

    Good Luck!

    Allen

  8. #8
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    Oct 2003
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    Vero Beach FL
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    Allen

    Thanks for the observations and the welcome home. Yeah, I was figuring that that would be the problem, but I'm kind of stuck for space and I figured I could tuck an aux tank up in the garage attic and leave the little pancake down in the garage where I could drain the tank. Oh well, guess I'll limp along for awhile with the pancake.

    Jay

  9. #9
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    I think you would need to be able to bleed the tank in the attic as well??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Carmichael, Ca
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    Hey Tyler love your avitar, good likeness.

    DK

  11. #11
    jay, the issue with a larger tank and a small pump is like al said, longer run times. you will use "x" number of cfm regardless of tank capacity. the smaller pump will have to run longer to charge/recharge the system. there`s pros-n-cons to this type of set up, the pros are being able to run high demand tools for a little while, untill the pressure drops to an unacceptable level.....the cons are waiting longer for the system to recharge once the pressure does drop and premature pump death from longer cycle times.......in the end there`s really no inexpensive way to have a moderate to medium demand compressed air system....02 tod
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

  12. #12
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    Tod

    Thanks for the information, I'm only using the system for nailers and a little dust blowing, might add a HVLP spray unit but that is about it, not planning on running sanders or power drivers.

    Jay

  13. #13
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    Jay, based on your current usage, the pancake is probably just fine to stick with for the moment. When you move to spraying finishes, you can then consider something like an IR GarageMate (30 gallon vertical and runs on 120v) which isn't a major space hog...if you use an efficient gun...or the 60 gallon vertical unit.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Knoll
    Tod

    Thanks for the information, I'm only using the system for nailers and a little dust blowing, might add a HVLP spray unit but that is about it, not planning on running sanders or power drivers.

    Jay
    jay, if i where you i`d just pipe your garage normally as you would for any compressor, continue to use your little unit and if you find the need for more stored air then add a spare tank by hooking one up with regular air hose off one of the drops that way you can remove it when you don`t need it. when your smaller compressor dies the plumbing will allready be intact for the next unit. .02 tod
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; I ACCEPT FULL LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POSTS ON THIS FORUM, ALL POSTS ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH CONTAINING FACTUAL INFORMATION AS I KNOW IT.

  15. #15
    Here local dumpsters won't take 20 pound propane cylinders, you know the ones with the old style valves. The valves use 3/4" NPT fitings. If using one or more as an aux. tank, I would place them downstream on piping system, and mounted so outlet is at the bottom. This makes them self draining. They wiil more than stand pressure you are talking about. But still using pancake comp. is like putting lipstick on a pig- It is still a pig!

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