Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 64
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bellingen
    Posts
    587

    Default Fixing an air compressor! Is it worth it!

    Just a quick question.

    I have a cheap air compressor about 5yrs old $200 ish bunnies job
    Lately it was taking a long time to reach the cut off psi and now it won't make it past 100psi. It will dump almost all of the pressure in 24hrs and I can't hear a leak anywhere so I'm guessing it's deep in the pump?

    Anyone have any experience stripping one apart? I'm guessing it's the same setup at a high pressure water blaster maybe..I fixed one last summer and they have a whole lot of seals but I was lucky as I had a replacement set from the factory.

    Anyone fixed a similar problem with an air compressor?

  2. # ADS
    Google Adsense Advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    Posts
    Many





     
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bendigo
    Age
    49
    Posts
    662

    Default

    I would toss it myself. If it was a half decent unit like the Peerless, then different story.

    Broke my sml cheapy not too long ago. It fell over in the back of the ute and busted the reg off at the fitting. Oh well just went and picked up another elcheapo for site work. Worst bit was my old one was better wrt running stuff like the nail gun. Its seems not all elcheapos are created equal!!
    www.lockwoodcanvas.com.au

    I will never be the person who has everything, not when someone keeps inventing so much cool new stuff to buy.

    From an early age my father taught me to wear welding gloves . "Its not to protect your hands son, its to put out the fire when u set yourself alight".

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge SA
    Posts
    3,331

    Default

    I got an elcheapo also, takes 20 mins to get to 100 psi, touch spray gun 1 Min wait 20 mins etc...
    Anybody want it.
    Kryn

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    1,478

    Default

    Those cheap direct drive compressors are notorious for leaky head gasket - hence slow/no pressure.

    Pull off the head and add some silicone sealant to the gasket and see how it goes.

    10 minute job.

    Rob
    The worst that can happen is you will fail.
    But at least you tried.



  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    melbourne, laverton
    Posts
    1,469

    Default have a crack

    hay if your going to ditch it any way you may as well have a look.
    could be something that can be repaired.
    id pull the head of and have look
    aaron

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    164

    Default

    If it's a direct drive, I'd use that as an excuse to save up for an upgrade.
    If it was actually a really decent machine, then I'd probably give it a go.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Oberon, NSW
    Age
    62
    Posts
    13,113

    Default

    Worth it? Probably not.

    I'd still strip it down, purely out of curiosity.. it's not like it's particularly useful as it is. And you may be pleasantly surprised.


    I'd also run a few tests before proceeding, as it may not be what you suspect. Not all leaks are audible and it's possible it is just a leaking external connection. Pay particular attention to the drain port or any external fittings that protrude enough to be subject to knocking about.

    Good luck with it!
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    adelaide
    Posts
    295

    Default Ingersol Rand

    I bought an Ingersol Rand direct drive compressor back around 95 I believe. The el cheapo GMC and the like weren't available then. Perhaps the el cheapos copied the Ingersol Rand, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference, they look identical. Matter of fact, I replaced the plastic cover with a cover from one of the el cheapos I found at the local tip - it fitted perfectly. The Ingersol Rand was by no means cheap at the time - over $600. Parts for the el cheapos are plentiful at local tips and super cheap. I forgot to mention, not long after I bought it the dipstick started popping out. I replaced the O ring on the dipstick and never had any further problems. Obviously air bypasses the piston and pressurises the crankcase, so the leak may come from the the crankcase sidecover.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alexandra Vic
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,738

    Default

    There should be a one way valve at the point where the comp outlet connects to the tank. There is normally a finer tube running from that valve to the pressure activated switch. Once the tank gets to switch off pressure and activates the switch contacts to stop the motor, it also bleeds all air out of the compressor to tank plumbing so when the motor starts, it has a chance to wind up before facing tank pressure. The one way valve should prevent bleed back and and pressure loss via the pump.

    With regard to leakdown overnight, it is possible for there to be a leak at the water trap, outlet fitting, tank drain point, regulator or pressure switch mounting points. My 3HP 2cyl unit will leak down through the outlet Nitto (genuine) fitting in a couple of hours without making a sound if the outlet valve immediately before it is left open, but will hold pressure for at least a month if the outlet valve is closed. However the tank should be bleed down and drained regularly (daily for regular use) to clear condensation from the tank.

    Check the inlet air filter for dirt, and all plumbing connections for leaks with soapy water (look for bubbles) to try and track down the slow pumping issue. I know of a few comps that have had a short run in dusty conditions without the inlet filter and suffered permanent damage to cylinder bore and piston allowing internal leakdown and substantially poorer pumping.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    67
    Posts
    1,417

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Dono View Post
    .....................
    Lately it was taking a long time to reach the cut off psi and now it won't make it past 100psi. It will dump almost all of the pressure in 24hrs and I can't hear a leak anywhere so I'm guessing it's deep in the pump?
    .....................
    Is it worth your time? To be honest, no. But....


    There is a one way valve between the compressor and the storage tank. It usually sits inside the angled fitting where the pipe from the cylinder head enters the storage vessel. I would start checking that, give it a clean. If that one way valve does its job, no air can leak back from it into the compresor. Buy a beer bottle and drink its content. Now fill the empty beer bottle with water and add a spoonful dish washing detergent into it and shake. Pour this over every fitting attached to the pressure vessel whilst under pressure - the pressure regulator, the one way valve, the drain, the air outlet including any regulator attached. If you see bubbles you have found a leak. You can also buy the soapy water in a fancy plastic bottle with pull out tube to apply, it is called "Snoop" and made by SwageLock and costs much more than the beer ... That should fix your pressure dumping problem overnight. If you found a bad one way valve or a major leak, this may also improve the "not reaching 100psi" problem, possibly to the point to last a few more months. This may give you some time to look for a new unit.

    I assume you do top up the oil in the compressor and change occasionally? And drain the water in the receiver tank regularly?

    If looking for a new smallish unit, I think:

    - for occasional home use a Chinese unit can last for 5-10 years or several hundred to maybe a few thousand running hours. Better models come with 3 year warranty. If that is all you need, spending more money would be a waste.

    - good brand name units have better quality motors, and usually an Italian made compressor, and better pressure switch, and "real" pipe fittings. Made to run continuously for long times, and to last for more than 10,000 hours. And can be rebuilt. Well worth the 2-3x higher price tag if you need it to earn a living. Note that 10,000 hours is about the equivalent of 13 Months of nonstop running day and night 7 days a week.

    - good brand name units sold second hand are usually either totally worn out, or grossly overpriced. 10+ year old units seem to sell for what the better Chinese models sell mew. IMO not a bargain, if it turns out you have to spend extra time and money to fix it before you can use it.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    27,253

    Default

    Your problem sounds exactly like what happened to my compressor.

    I have an el-cheapo also from Bunnings for $149 about 6 years ago. I was hoping it would die so I could upgrade it but nothing I could seem to do to it would kill it.

    The motor stopped working and when I pulled the cover off and the motor fan had come loose and fallen off causing the thermal overload switch on the motor to turn the motor off.
    Put the fan back on hit the reset switch and away it went again.

    Then it started losing pressure way quick than usual. It would reach pressure ok but have to kick in sooner than usual - that turned out to be a leak around the cylinder which some teflon tape cured.

    Then your problem happened and I thought - at last I can give it the flick but wanting to know why it was like it was I pulled the head off and I found the head gasket was cracked in 3 places. The gasket was some sort of Al foil which I replaced with some thin ally plate and it was good again. That was 2 years ago still going great.

    BTW a couple of drops of dishing liquid in 250ml of water painted on the joints/fittings will reveal leaks that your ears cannot hear.

  13. #12
    Ueee's Avatar
    Ueee is offline Blacksmith, Cabinetmaker, Machinist, Messmaker
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Age
    38
    Posts
    4,467

    Default

    I have a repco unit with an ingersoll rand pump. Some months ago it developed a leak in the pressure switch. A small bit of crap had gotten into the smaller line that runs up to the switch, and stopped the little valve in there closing. Same symptoms, had trouble reaching full pressure (150psi in this case) and having to cut in regularly. The worst bit was it was all but silent, I would have thought loosing so much air would have made a bit of noise but no....

    Ew
    1915 17"x50" LeBlond heavy duty Lathe, 24" Queen city shaper, 1970's G Vernier FV.3.TO Universal Mill, 1958 Blohm HFS 6 surface grinder, 1942 Rivett 715 Lathe, 14"x40" Antrac Lathe, Startrite H225 Bandsaw, 1949 Hercus Camelback Drill press, 1947 Holbrook C10 Lathe.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Syd
    Posts
    232

    Default

    If you want something decent, have this for sale ~ 2k Also have a 2 cylinder Pilot that was pulled down thinking there was something wrong with it....if wanting something more nimble for 600...turned out to be a dud contactor.

    Certainly wouldn't waste my time on the disposable imports, little one we have for rivet guns, can barely keep up with that use without running continuously.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bellingen
    Posts
    587

    Default

    Thanks fellas!

    Lots of good advice! I will have a poke around with it sometime this week!

    It might be time for an upgrade soon anyway as I wanted to run some bigger air tools in the shop. Maybe a paint setup as well. As always money comes into it!

    Anyone had a look at the Aussie 'Airmac' brand? Gasweld sell what appears as exactly the same line with a Toolex badge a fair bit cheaper. Did gasweld skimp on parts or is it all AirMac with a new sticker?

    Are belt drives really that much quieter?

    When I strip the old compressor down I will take some pics for the next guy!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,951

    Default

    While I'm a tight a**e when it comes to some things, I did buy a reasonable air compressor about 10 years ago. It's a belt drive with a fini (Italian) compressor. I bought it from All Tools. I looked at the direct drive units but decided on a belt drive since I had the money. I have never looked back. I have since seen direct drives in use and they are terribly noisy compared to a direct drive. Not much of an issue if you house them outside from the shed and plumb in the air but if they are in your shed then they would be very noisy.

    It's still worth taking your direct drive apart to have a look. It may be a 5 minute fix. Why replace something if you don't need to. We still have a CRT television in the lounge because the bloody thing refuses to die! I see better TV's on peoples natures strips!

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. is it worth fixing an old leather saddle up?
    By shedbound in forum LEATHERWORK
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11th March 2014, 11:36 PM
  2. Homelite 10045a - is it worth fixing?
    By PhilthyMills in forum SMALL TIMBER MILLING
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23rd June 2013, 09:24 PM
  3. Turn your $99 GMC compressor into a $1200 compressor for $85 aud
    By honda900fz in forum GENERAL & SMALL MACHINERY
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 7th October 2009, 08:29 PM
  4. triton 1400 - worth fixing??
    By old_picker in forum ROUTING FORUM
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30th April 2008, 09:06 AM
  5. Fixing a f#*k up
    By Cass in forum FINISHING
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17th May 2003, 12:40 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •