Stay from those old compressor--- - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Ouch I think my bad karma has been transferred to the group. I'm glad no one was hurt more than did happen. Real lucky there.

    This makes me think back to when I was younger and dumber. I built my first compressor and while driving by a junk dealer one day I saw a old roll around tank about that size. I stopped and bought it. I used it on the compressor. Then it started leaking and that's when I found that someone had patched the bottom (hadn't really paid attention to it before). I'm not talking about a small patch but something on the order of a 12" x 16" around piece of metal had been put in. I tried fixing it with little luck on the thin metal. One of the times I fixed it I brazed it due to the thin metal. It wasn't till later that I learned just how lucky I was that I didn't blow myself up with that darn thing. Later someone wanted to buy it from me and I wouldn't sell it. I think I finally cut it up and made a furnace out of it for a while. Now days after seeing pics like this one and hearing stories I'm super cautious of old air compressor tanks. Especially after seeing just how thin the cheap ones like this are.

    Good luck on the recovery.
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  2. #27
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    I have always heard stories of exploding compressor tanks but this is the first time I have ever seen one that bad. Your lucky to be alive after that hope you make a fast recovery.
    Vantage 300 kubota ,miller 304 xmt ,lincoln ln 25 pro , ranger 305 G, plenty of other tools of the trade to make the sparks fly.

  3. #28
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Holy crap!!! You're one lucky fellow, as is everyone in the room!

    I didn't think those small compressors were rated for 150 PSI, but don't know for sure. I have an old 20 gallon compressor that I did some repairs on a few years ago. I hydrotested before I put it back together.

    I also have an 80 gallon that I've equipped with an automatic drain. Even living in West Texas you can get a little water in the tank. Mine is set to drain every 45 minutes, which seems to keep it dry inside.

    Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery!
    America Needs AMERICA'S Oil!!!

    "Global warming is the greatest scam in history ...There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril."--John Coleman, Founder of The Weather Channel

  4. #29
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    That looks a lot like a sears twin cylinder compressor a friend had.
    It cycled between 80 and 100 PSI, and had a tank rated to 150.
    I've never seen a compressor that size cycle above 130 PSI. Sure, my 80 gallon goes to 180 PSI, but nothing that small.

    Any idea what the numbers are on the pressure relief valve? Could it have been the wrong one for that tank? Can you read the rating plate on the tank? On those, you have to look closely, as it is usually painted over at the factory and doesn't stand out much.

    All I have left to say is you're a lucky man.

  5. #30
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    Mar 2008
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    Greater Seattle, WA
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    593

    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    mla2ofus - Wow, that's brutal. Hope you heal as completely as is possible.

    It looks like the rupture started on the bottom, where the water would sit inside the tank and over time, rust the metal thickness down. Thanks for sharing those pics as I think it is a real eye-opener for us!

  6. #31
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    What do we think? Stuck pressure switch and inaccurate gauge? ...Doesn't look like a rust-weakened reservoir failure...
    "Built to last, all of our air compressors and reservoirs are proudly made in China by professionals using only the finest Neverlast welders."

    Glad you're here to tell about it; 8 lives remaining.
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  7. #32
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    WOW hope you heal up ok.
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  8. #33
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Thanks for telling your story. It might help someone else.
    I hope you do not suffer too much.

    Everyone should check some of those old pre 1981 oxy-actylene tanks sitting in the garage too.

    Take them in for testing. Soon. And the regulators.
    And some people leave the regulators un bled.
    Look out for that handle that can hit you in the face!!!

    Those WILL kill you and your neighbors too.

    We are all beginning a new year. Lets all be safe.
    Today i bought a new grinding face shield. Safety glasses WERE are not enough. Escaped serious injury to my face.
    Got slapped around though.
    Last edited by Donald Branscom; 01-05-2011 at 12:27 AM.
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  9. #34
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Quote Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
    That looks a lot like a sears twin cylinder compressor a friend had.
    It cycled between 80 and 100 PSI, and had a tank rated to 150.
    I've never seen a compressor that size cycle above 130 PSI. Sure, my 80 gallon goes to 180 PSI, but nothing that small.

    Any idea what the numbers are on the pressure relief valve? Could it have been the wrong one for that tank? Can you read the rating plate on the tank? On those, you have to look closely, as it is usually painted over at the factory and doesn't stand out much.

    All I have left to say is you're a lucky man.

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I thought air tanks had a 100% safety factor. Meaning a tank rated at 150psi working pressure was considered still safe at 300psi...


    I dont think this tank blew from too much pressure, it looks like rust or a weld seam failure....

  10. #35
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    Jan 2006
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    You saw 150 psi on the gauge but who is to say the gauge was even reading correctly?

    This one killed an operator. They started the compressor with the valve between the compressor and tank shut. An aftercooler tube ruptured. The water jacket relief valve was stuck shut.

    Last edited by 76GMC1500; 01-05-2011 at 02:03 AM.

  11. #36
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Glad you're OK.

    Thanks for posting the experience. It's another wake up call to brush up on Safety in the shop always.

  12. #37
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    Nov 2010
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Old compressors are nothing but a pipe bomb accident waiting to happen, as are alot of inferior cheepo compressors and other pressure vessels being mass marketed right now. This is an item where you need to spend the money... Those nice bargin garage sale compressors/ craigs list used ups/ and old models are just russian roulette. IF you ever get a chance to see actual distruction to a human body by one of these things, you will fear them for life. It's that simple.....Always Drain these things after each use!!! Always !!

    If you notice the majority of compressors , sand blasters etc are now made out of country, not only is it because they are cheap as hell to manufacture there, but price of litigation/responsibility costs and standards are not comparable... Sell your soul, buy cheap made pressure equipment.. Lotto on your life.
    Last edited by razorfish19; 01-06-2011 at 04:10 AM.

  13. #38
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Hey Mike, sorry to hear about the injury. I heard about this over at the garage journal forum. You are one of the few here that I shared common ground with in politics, so again, sorry to hear about it. Maybe others will start draining their tanks now.

    Steve
    Last edited by rookie_steve; 01-06-2011 at 09:44 AM.

  14. #39
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    Northern CA
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    For all of you wisely preaching to drain your compressor often - forhire linked me up to an automatic drain that works great. It comes to about $80 shipped but it is better than ending up like mla2ofus, or worse.

    http://www.ecompressedair.com/drain-...ain-valve.aspx

  15. #40
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    I am not trying to insult anyone- who are thinking they are "getting a good deal" by buying an old compressor or a "cheap" brand. Everyone wants a good deal in this world. But, Really think what you might be getting instead. The end result can be fatal, for those not knowing so.

    Spend your money on quality and avoid used here.. That is all I am saying.

    I don't make any money selling equipment, however the person selling you crap does !!

  16. #41
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    The old oil sump type compressors usually have a film of oil inside.
    I wonder if the new oil-less compressors will be worse about rusting out.

  17. #42
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Most tanks have to be hydrotested periodically, but not compressor tanks. As much as I would hate to see the government require it, I think it would be a darn good idea to perform periodic testing. As I mentioned, I tested my 20 gallon tank when it was about 20 years old. My 80 gallon is about 5 years old.

    Perhaps testing should be done after 10 years, then every 5 years thereafter. Your thoughts?
    America Needs AMERICA'S Oil!!!

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  18. #43
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Financially, I doubt that hydrotesting would ever be mandated. Financially I can't see many companies HYdrotesting older compressors on their own.. Good idea, but ain't going to happen.

    WE will Be lucky enough if they take care of/ follow the rules and requirements already in place.

    People tend to fight rules, especially the uninformed, naiive and plain stupid a$$es (read for profit)..

    As much progress as we've made, we are still about 20 years behind of basic safety...Bet we stay there to..

  19. #44
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Hydro testing tanks is cake. Fill it to the very top with water. Pressurize it by whatever means (I usually use a simple gauge test pump) to 150% of its max working pressure. Do this every 3-5 years for steel tanks.

  20. #45
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Wow, Hydrotesting is Cake.???? Do you really realize how unsafe Hydrotesting is, should something go wrong ? Perhaps you should do a bit of googling before you suggest anyone go out and perform this procedure. Perhaps you should think really how much you invited yourself into the possibility of litigation, if someone would get hurt following your just do it this way train of thought.

    Hydrotesting is not a piece of cake, Hydrotesting is a science and should only be done by people trained and authorized to do so. Hydrotesting is so damn dangerous that only people associated with the task are to be allowed on that site during testing. Hydrotesting is never recommended for someone untrained to do so.

    People you need to know your subject before you comment on it. The above post should be removed.

    This is not a do it yourself procedure!!!

    An example of how bad it can be on a large scale

    http://drillingclub.proboards.com/in...0&page=1#10219

    On a small scale.. it can be just as bad as the compressor accidents you are "wanting to avoid".. think about it...
    Last edited by razorfish19; 01-07-2011 at 07:10 AM.

  21. #46
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    A tank busting a seam with water pressure is a non event,that's why they test with water.

  22. #47
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Number #1.. Tanks don't always burst at seam, nice in theory....

    Number #2 It is going to burst at the weakest point, aka pinhole, area of erosion , defect welding etc

    Number # 3 It is a big deal when they fail.

    Number #4 The above statement doesn't take into consideration a number of facts and places the liability in the composer.

    1) You don't know the training of the person conducting the test
    2) you do not know the type of tank being tested
    3) you do not know the condition of the tank
    4) you do not know the condition of the equipment-- read faulty pressure gauge could be a big problem
    5) you don't know the length (time ) of test.
    6) you don't even you don't take into to condsideration what you will do with the waste water, which may or may not be a hazard waste... , depending on tank type, as that was not described.

    By the post , it just states to pressure a tank 150%, do you really you really want to be liable if someone or even better yet young person pressures up a tank and it goes flying apart. And they do. and misinformation about hydrotesting can get some killed and yes it is a big deal .

    I am witness to Hydrotesting about every other month, I have never not had precise and the complete rules. And there is a big reason for it. Ever see a hydro go bad? Ever worked for a client who just says go do it, test at 150% without any other criteria. Nope, and if you do quit instantly, even in best situtations HYdros do go bad and people do get killed (funny for a non event)

    You are adding to a foolish statement when you say testing with water is non event, it can be very dangerous , obvious you know little about hydro testing.


    WHy don't you atleast click on my link above and see how non event a hydro test can be , before you type to potentionally thousands of forum readers that could just go out in their garage , put press pressure on a unknown tank. and kill themsleves doing so.

    I sign off on alot of hydros, it's a big event.

    Yes, I have been a witness to hydros for Kinder Morgan, Trans Canada, Southern Star, Northern Gas, Elpaso Gas, just to name a few..

    I am not a guy trying to keepa perosn from testing their own , I am guy that makes his profession in testing, in welding and in construction.. not going and typing about a field I don't know jack about.

    The liability is in your court and this forums, in the event some person -- just pressures up to 150%... DON"T Perform your own Hydros...Don't even think about it.


    Know your subject before you type on it or agree about it... Just because your mom and pops shop has done it, or you have done it in your garage, does not make it safe, legal or right to do so. In fact, half the people I have watched Hydro have no idea about basic rules, including safety.. why should you??
    Last edited by razorfish19; 01-07-2011 at 12:53 PM.

  23. #48
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    48

    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Note..

    Throw away an old tank and give up on a failed attempt to keep some old junk.

    In most states it is not even legal to repair a compressor tank or modifiy it ( example adding mounting legs)

    One has to be qualifed , hence the famous " R " tag, from ASME.

    Why waste time and risk safety..

    IF Home Hydro testing or repair of tanks was the way to go the Factory manual would state just hydro every.(blank) amount of year. or weld whatever you want.( Or how to kill someone by your backyard repair.)

    Leave Welding on tanks for people certified on "that type of tank", leave Hydros for the professionals and don't just be a lemming following someone giving poor directions.

    There is a reason we have designers , engineers, and safety people.. IT is not just to justify a position.

  24. #49
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Razorfish19 - Worst case scenario, what do you suppose the catastrophic potential would be with a typical shop compressor reservoir, being first completely flooded with water, and then with a hand-pump having its pressure raised to burst?

    Good Luck
    Last edited by denrep; 01-07-2011 at 01:40 PM.

  25. #50
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    Re: Stay from those old compressor---

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    Razorfish19 - Worst case scenario, what do you suppose the catastrophic potential would be with a typical shop compressor reservoir, being first completely flooded with water, and then with a hand-pump having its pressure raised to burst?

    Good Luck
    Worst case scenario?

    Death and destruction. No joke, no laughing.

    Hydro testing of pressure vessels LESSENS the risk of catastrophy (on multiple levels), but does not ELIMINATE the risks.

    Even though the "working fluid" is non-compressible, there is still energy stored in the 'elastic' metal tank and such.

    Worst case scenario? Brittle failure producing shrapnel.

    Next worst case scenario? Complete and sudden (although ductile) metal failure that still launches metal around (maybe not shrapnel, but large flying metal tanks or pieces still can cause damage or injury or death).
    The best laid schemes ... Gang oft agley ...

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