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I cut open my air compressor... Take a look!

Big Bad Dad

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I watched a series of YouTube videos starting with this one:
It got me to thinking about my old air compressor in my shop.
image000000 (17).jpg


I got it several years ago. It was well used, and I didn't know anything about it's history. It has served me well for my purposes which is mainly airing up tires, occasional air impact gun use, and blowing off parts when cleaning. However, the video got me to thinking about a very bad thing I did...
A couple years ago, it developed a small pinhole leak at the weld where the front support bracket attached to the tank. So, I flipped it up and did a quick patch with the mig welder. (Yes, I know it's wrong, so I don't need the *** chewing I know you guys want to give...)
Anyway, the videos got me to thinking that I was in danger of having a similar incident. And, I usually have one of my Mopars parked right beside the compressor! So, I decided it was time to replace it. Not wanting someone else to use it, and possibly get hurt, I decided to have a look inside the tank. I performed "surgery"...
image000000 (16).jpg


I cut out the area where the front bracket was attached, and that I had patched with my weld. Here is what the tank bottom looks like from the inside. I point out the weld penetration for the pinhole I patched. More interesting is the deep rust divot just a couple of inches away. The metal there is approximately 1/2 of the original thickness!
image000000 (14).jpg

image000000 (15).jpg


I am thankful I watched the YouTube video, and am grateful to have dodged a serious potential problem! So, don't take chances with your compressors, guys.
Now I feel a little bit better>
image000000 (13).jpg
 
Good catch... a pin hole like you experienced is usually a good warning that things are deteriorating.

You can use an ultrasonic thickness gauge to evaluate these things too, but if you don't have access to one it doesn't make much sense to buy vs just getting a compressor.
 
I use these.
Easy to turn rather than the usual goofy pet cock.
Just loosen and push the plug up.
And I have them already.
Habit from draining pitot static lines.

1660911631539.png
 
I use these.
Easy to turn rather than the usual goofy pet cock.
Just loosen and push the plug up.
And I have them already.
Habit from draining pitot static lines.

View attachment 1330561
A 1/4 turn ball valve is what I generally use
On commercial air compressors I install auto drain valves. They work on a timer.
Have used these in auto repair shops, car washes ect.
Ed
 
I had my water well pressure tank blow a few years back, middle of the night of course.
What a mess!
 
For years I've been using an auto drain kit from Harbor Freight with no problems. Every so often I open the tank drain and nothing comes out so it must be working !!
 
Add an easy to use drain valve to drain condensation
Oh yeah. I had done that when I first got that old compressor. It still had the stupid, hard to reach, petcock way up under it when I got it. Probably why the bottom was rusty. I swapped the extension pipe with a 1/4 turn ball valve over to the new unit before I ever started it.

image000000 (18).jpg
 
Last edited:
You can buy drain valves that they use on big trucks. Add a lanyard up to compressor base and all you have to do is pull on it and it will vent when you release it will reset. They work well except for under a truck in the winter, not a issue for a inside air compressor.
 
I use this, I'm guessing most of the water is in the line vs the tank and it's easy to drain.
Powermate Vx 072-0023RP Extended Tank Drain Assembly https://a.co/d/6cd4MLu
 
I watched a series of YouTube videos starting with this one:
It got me to thinking about my old air compressor in my shop.
View attachment 1330533

I got it several years ago. It was well used, and I didn't know anything about it's history. It has served me well for my purposes which is mainly airing up tires, occasional air impact gun use, and blowing off parts when cleaning. However, the video got me to thinking about a very bad thing I did...
A couple years ago, it developed a small pinhole leak at the weld where the front support bracket attached to the tank. So, I flipped it up and did a quick patch with the mig welder. (Yes, I know it's wrong, so I don't need the *** chewing I know you guys want to give...)
Anyway, the videos got me to thinking that I was in danger of having a similar incident. And, I usually have one of my Mopars parked right beside the compressor! So, I decided it was time to replace it. Not wanting someone else to use it, and possibly get hurt, I decided to have a look inside the tank. I performed "surgery"...
View attachment 1330534

I cut out the area where the front bracket was attached, and that I had patched with my weld. Here is what the tank bottom looks like from the inside. I point out the weld penetration for the pinhole I patched. More interesting is the deep rust divot just a couple of inches away. The metal there is approximately 1/2 of the original thickness!
View attachment 1330535
View attachment 1330536

I am thankful I watched the YouTube video, and am grateful to have dodged a serious potential problem! So, don't take chances with your compressors, guys.
Now I feel a little bit better>
View attachment 1330537

What is the hole near the wheels axle?
 
I use a street ell and long 1/4" nipple with a ball valve. I can easily flip it open and closed with my foot so I don't have to bend my old *** over to do it every time.

IMG_2505.jpg
 
Skidmarks! Mine whips around, so I have skid marks allover.
 
I have a Craftsman 60 gal standing unit I always start and stop by keeping the drain valve open to release any condensation. Sometimes especially when it's humid, a good amount of water blows out. Tip I got from an old timer hope this is enough. Thanks for sharing the video, scary.
 
I've always left my bottom pet cock just slightly cracked open. Barely enough to make a hiss, but once in awhile a speck of water drips out. So there's never any real water build up inside in the first place. It takes about a full day to leak down to no pressure after turning it off.
 
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