View Full Version : clanking, ringing sound from single stage compressor?

02-29-2008, 12:21 PM
My compressor recently started making an odd sound when cycling, a clanking, ringing sound like something was rattling around in a can. It gets up to pressure but it's scaring me a little. It's a 10 year old Campbell-Hausfeld, USA made, cast iron, single stage 6hp, 60 gal. I've done very little to it but check the oil reservoir regularly and add a H-F automatic drain.

Any ideas? I'm too busy right now to strip it apart it just for fun, but I do need it running.

02-29-2008, 12:29 PM
Yup. Check to see that the set screws on the drive and driven pulley are tight. If not, they may have chewed up the key...and (hopefully not) the keyway.

The other possibilities that I can think of, you don't want to hear about (like rod bearings) and I would think are less likely. The loose pulley thing happened to one of mine, too.


02-29-2008, 12:45 PM
Oh yeah - thats a good thought. I've heard loose pulleys on grain grinders and air compressors make some goofy noises. You'd swear there was something majorly wrong with it. On a small grinder unit, i thought there was a rock rattling around inside but it was a loose pulley on the input moving about. Not sure if it would make that noise in a cast aluminum pulley but these were iron.

02-29-2008, 01:42 PM
No luck, pulleys are tight. Rod bearings? Sounds bad.

Should I be using my little oiless 1hp to charge up the tank on this and not run it till I can service it? That would work for blowing off tools, I just couldn't run die grinders and such for long. The damn thing would take an hour to get up to pressure.

07-01-2008, 09:35 PM
I made a call to Campbell-Hausfeld today, after a long wait the tech was very nice & helpful. He suspected either the rings or valves, and the clanking could be the valves gouging the cylinder requiring grinding or pump replacement. My choice is to rebuild, potentially spending up to $100 on gaskets, rings and a valve kit, or simply replace the whole pump for $190 and have it over. A new unit of this type is $450 at the big boxes, perhaps 10-20% less with coupons. With an 11 year old unit should I be considering just replacing it rather than wait for the motor or tank to go? My time is pretty tight these days, but boy does it seem wasteful to pitch the pump, never mind the whole unit.

doctor demo
07-01-2008, 10:40 PM
My choice is to rebuild, potentially spending up to $100 on gaskets, rings and a valve kit, or simply replace the whole pump for $190 and have it over. does it seem wasteful to pitch the pump, never mind the whole unit.
For the 90.00 dif. between doing a rebuild, or a hasle free bolt on I would go with the bolt on replacement especialy if you could better use your time elsewhere. Order the replacement unit and some ear plugs so you can keep using yours while waiting for new pump to arrive. Then on some rainey day satisfy your curiousity by tearing down the old one, if you can fix it you have a spare for the future.

07-02-2008, 12:21 AM
Yep... buy a replacement. For 190, thats a pretty decent deal. Even if the motor goes bad, you can buy a replacement down the line for cheap from a place like HF. (Don't buy HF brand motors, obviously, but the one by us carries Baldor and they are very competively priced)

The tank will likely last many more years, provided you are careful to drain the water from the tank and take care of it a bit. Even if you don't, it will still last years.

The only major rust damage I've seen in tanks are the ones that are in hostile environments. There was a compressor that sat in a hog building on the farm for a long time to operate some cylinders that would automatically open the windows if the power went out and the fans stopped moving air. With all of the ammonia in the air from hog waste, it corroded the tank pretty bad. It developed a pin hole leak, but no explosion. :)

07-02-2008, 09:03 AM
I have a little compressor at the moment...Sears paint sprayer type...that I got free for nuttin'. It has a pin hole in the bottom from the previous owner never draining it..so now it not only self drains, but empties itself of air within an hour of being turned off. Oh, well...