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View Full Version : My "new to me", not so new Worthington air compressor



cuemaker
10-17-2009, 10:01 PM
Motor is only 1.5 horse 10.6amp.... but its single phase...Owner said that it will run the pump... Was in a shop setting used for spray painting...

I have a 5hp Allis Chalmers motor that would probably work much better, but its 3ph.. have to work on that...

I only paid $125 for it...

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa129/xringx/aircompressor001.jpg
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa129/xringx/aircompressor002.jpg
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa129/xringx/aircompressor004.jpg
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa129/xringx/aircompressor003.jpg

rockrat
10-17-2009, 10:15 PM
Nice score. Did you plug it in yet?

rock~

cuemaker
10-17-2009, 10:17 PM
Not yet..as soon as I got it home had to run to inlaws... Also need to run a 220 line to the garage... should get that accomplished tomorrow...

NzOldun
10-18-2009, 03:24 AM
Not yet..as soon as I got it home had to run to inlaws... Also need to run a 220 line to the garage... should get that accomplished tomorrow...

WARNING!!!

Hydro Test that cylinder before you use it!!

Test to 1 1/2 times DESIGN Pressure

It may be badly corroded inside.;)

cuemaker
10-18-2009, 08:53 PM
Well, it runs... The little 10.6amp 1.5hp motor had no trouble starting it up.... Bearings in the motor squeal something fierce...

The fly wheel ran backwards I think.. the front scoop part of the blades of the fly wheel were running backwards, so the air blew away from the piston... Could this be why the little motor ran it so easily??

Otherwise, only took it about 2-3mins (wasnt paying attention to time) to get to 65psi... then the noise became so bad I had to turn it off... will see how long it will hold at 65psi...

Other notes, the tank says its a Curtis, made in 1946 in St. Louis, MO. Max WD is 200lbs, Max temp is 400deg F... Plus other info which I think are model numbers..

So a few questions...

1. Can bearings be replaced in a motor and is it difficult?
2. Does it matter which way the fly wheel turns?
3. I really didnt expect the motor to turn this.. could it be that backwards is easier than frontwards (sounds like a stupid question to me, but I am not very knowledgeable)

Oh, and big thanks to Rockrat... gave me good advice.. Had to install a sub panel to get this all going....

Thanks

cuemaker
10-18-2009, 10:50 PM
Well, down to almost 55psi... found 2 leaks at pipe joints... easily fixable...

No one can help me with my question?

wierdscience
10-18-2009, 10:50 PM
Well, it runs... The little 10.6amp 1.5hp motor had no trouble starting it up.... Bearings in the motor squeal something fierce...

The fly wheel ran backwards I think.. the front scoop part of the blades of the fly wheel were running backwards, so the air blew away from the piston... Could this be why the little motor ran it so easily??

Otherwise, only took it about 2-3mins (wasnt paying attention to time) to get to 65psi... then the noise became so bad I had to turn it off... will see how long it will hold at 65psi...

Other notes, the tank says its a Curtis, made in 1946 in St. Louis, MO. Max WD is 200lbs, Max temp is 400deg F... Plus other info which I think are model numbers..

So a few questions...

1. Can bearings be replaced in a motor and is it difficult?
2. Does it matter which way the fly wheel turns?
3. I really didnt expect the motor to turn this.. could it be that backwards is easier than frontwards (sounds like a stupid question to me, but I am not very knowledgeable)

Oh, and big thanks to Rockrat... gave me good advice.. Had to install a sub panel to get this all going....

Thanks

#1 Yes,you will have to remove both endbells and pull the bearings off the shaft.Be careful of the centrifugal switch which should be in the rear endbell.Those are usually made from Bakelite or other brittle plastic and don't like to be yanked,dropped,bumped etc.

#2 Yes,there should be an arrow cast into the flywheel telling you the direction.The flywheel should rotate so the fan blades blow air over the compressor cylinders.Motor leads to swap should be 5&8 to reverse the motor.

#3Probably,but it depends on what the HP requirement is on that model pump and what speed it is turning at.2hp may run it very well if your not expecting 175psi and 20cfm from it.

It's a Frankenstien compressor,the tank is from a Curtiss compressor,the Pump is a Worthington and the motor is a Layingaround.

The unloader is plumbed wrong(the line connecting both heads and the tank together)it should connect both heads and then on to an unloder valve on the side of the pressure switch.If there is no unloader valve on the switch simply connect the two heads with one piece of line and drill a #65 hole in the line.That will unload the heads after cutoff while not losing significant air.

Is there a tank drain?

I also don't see a check valve in the tank.

With some work you'll have a jam up good compressor.

HSS
10-18-2009, 11:00 PM
You have a two stage pump, that is why the cylinders are two different sizes and they are not piped correctly.:confused:

Patrick

Also what the 2S is on the plate.
From all the views we see the motor should be running CCW.

cuemaker
10-18-2009, 11:06 PM
The unloader is plumbed wrong(the line connecting both heads and the tank together)it should connect both heads and then on to an unloder valve on the side of the pressure switch.If there is no unloader valve on the switch simply connect the two heads with one piece of line and drill a #65 hole in the line.That will unload the heads after cutoff while not losing significant air.

Is there a tank drain?

I also don't see a check valve in the tank.

With some work you'll have a jam up good compressor.


I thought it was plumbed weird.. but wasnt sure..My pictures show everything that is there. Also, I have no clue what parts you described, I do better with that thingy there needs to go over here, etc. Or at least a definition of my parts...

No tank drain but would like one.....do they have to be welded in?

Check valve... While I am not sure, I thought it was the thingy on the end under the plastic box (pressure switch?)

wierdscience
10-18-2009, 11:14 PM
I thought it was plumbed weird.. but wasnt sure..My pictures show everything that is there. Also, I have no clue what parts you described, I do better with that thingy there needs to go over here, etc. Or at least a definition of my parts...

No tank drain but would like one.....do they have to be welded in?

Check valve... While I am not sure, I thought it was the thingy on the end under the plastic box (pressure switch?)

Okay,the tank drain usually threads into a threaded bung located on the bottom of the tank.There definately should be a bung there or at very least a hole tapped for pipe thread.

The line running from the HP(smaller) cylinder to the tank is where the check valve should be.It will thread directly into the tank and the line should connect to it.It should look like this-

http://www.wholesalecompressorparts.com/12-comp-x-12-mpt-p-3728.html

The thing directly bottom from the pressure switch is the pop-off valve AKA saftey valve.It's installed very wrong.Those should never be installed upside down like that,they fill up with crud and cease to function.They should be installed vertical or at least horizonal.

HSS
10-18-2009, 11:24 PM
It looks to me that they were sending air from the 1st stage (big cylinder) to the tank and to the second stage at the same time. I guess they didn't need as high a pressure as the pump was capable of. You will have to change that or you will need 2 check valves.:mad: Also the intercooler is connected between the high stage and the tank to help cool the air before it enters the tank.

wierdscience
10-18-2009, 11:25 PM
Okay plumbing in general.

The fittings on the left side below the compressor pump should be removed and the large hole plugged like the one on the right.Those two big plugs are actually inspection ports.

The fitting in the end of the tank where the pressure switch is now should be the service port(where the air is tapped off for use.)

The top port where the line heads into the tank.That should have starting at the tank a check valve MNPT on the tank side FNPT on the pump side.Then a NPT cross.In the top of the cross should go the air line from the compressor head.In the two branches of the cross one should have the pressure switch and the other the saftey valve.

Pressure gauge can be mounted anywhere after the service port that is convenient for you.

HSS
10-18-2009, 11:29 PM
What about the tee in the 1st stage head?

cuemaker
10-18-2009, 11:38 PM
Okay plumbing in general.

The fittings on the left side below the compressor pump should be removed and the large hole plugged like the one on the right.Those two big plugs are actually inspection ports.

Ok, understand that.


The fitting in the end of the tank where the pressure switch is now should be the service port(where the air is tapped off for use.)

Ok, so remove the pressure switch, move to as you describe below..


The top port where the line heads into the tank.That should have starting at the tank a check valve MNPT on the tank side FNPT on the pump side.Then a NPT cross.In the top of the cross should go the air line from the compressor head.In the two branches of the cross one should have the pressure switch and the other the saftey valve.

Ok..let me re-describe to make sure I understand.....Remove the junk that is there. Starting at tank, install a check valve, then a cross. The air comes in from the compressor head to the top of the cross. On the arms of the cross go the pressure switch and on the other side the safte valve (a new one?)


Pressure gauge can be mounted anywhere after the service port that is convenient for you.

Kind of lost me on the last one...install it on the end of the tank where I would plug in the hose's??

Also, checked the arrow, for sure running backwards....would it be easier to switch the motor and the compressor heads ?

For sure not holes on the bottom of the tank, anywhere.. all smooth

Is everthing else plumbed ok?

Thank you so much to both of you for helping..

Willy
10-18-2009, 11:42 PM
Yeah the plumbing has been hacked pretty bad.
Good advice so far to correct this problem.

Just wanted to add that looking at the third photo, and looking at the angle of the pulley/flywheel fan blades, the direction of rotation should be clockwise as viewed from the pulley side.

Shouldn't the unloader valves be at the top of each head?

wierdscience
10-18-2009, 11:51 PM
Here's a pic-

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/wierdscience/aircompressor001.jpg

wierdscience
10-18-2009, 11:53 PM
What about the tee in the 1st stage head?

Maybe trade places with the Elbow on the second stage and then run the Tee's open branch to the unloader valve if it has one on the switch.If not plug it and drill the plug for a #65 hole.

1937 Chief
10-18-2009, 11:55 PM
As for the bearings, you can find them on ebay for a lot less than the bearing store. Plus you don't need to drive across town to find them, just stick lwith brand names, and stay from bearings from China. If you are in a hurry ebay will not do you any good. Stan

wierdscience
10-19-2009, 12:10 AM
Ok..let me re-describe to make sure I understand.....Remove the junk that is there. Starting at tank, install a check valve, then a cross. The air comes in from the compressor head to the top of the cross. On the arms of the cross go the pressure switch and on the other side the safte valve (a new one?)

Correct,new valve,well they aren't much,be on the safe side????You won't need a very big one,maybe 1/4" NPT and 145psi.




Kind of lost me on the last one...install it on the end of the tank where I would plug in the hose's??

You can install the gauge anywhere it's convienient for you to read.Ideally you would have a close nipple,water trap/filter then a gauge and finally on to a hose.I like liquid filled gauges since they tolerate vibration and pulsation better.


Also, checked the arrow, for sure running backwards....would it be easier to switch the motor and the compressor heads ?

Won't reverse,unless you rotate the motor 180*.


For sure not holes on the bottom of the tank, anywhere.. all smooth

Bummer,sure it's not hiding under paint or between legs??


Thank you so much to both of you for helping..

No problem at all.

cuemaker
10-19-2009, 12:15 AM
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa129/xringx/paintcompressor.jpg



Will check again tomorrow after work for a hole on the bottom, with a wire brush.

Otherwise.. I think i am pretty straight if my picture describes it right... I am sure that I will have questions later...

jdleach
10-19-2009, 12:18 AM
I've got an ancient Curtis compressor of that vintage, all original except for the motor. Looking at the size of the compressor itself, and it being two-stage, I would suggest a 3 HP motor. The original Curtis, and yours looks to be the same capacity tank and roughly the same size compressor, was originally a 3 HP, 3 phase.

Regarding the tank drain, Curtis did not mount the drain on the bottom, but on the opposite end of the tank from the air outlet. What was used was a steel pipe screwed into the end bung that gently tapered, or was bent, to go from the bung to the bottom of the tank. The idea was to make it easier to drain the water without groping and fondling the belly of a greasy, crusty vessel.

The bad part was that over time, the tube would either clog, or corrode away, such that you could not get all the water out. There are two choices for a fix (this is after you determine which bung was the drain), you can plug the bung, and install a drain in the more typical area of the tank (the bottom), which is not a very good idea as properly welding pressure vessels is difficult. Or you can do as we have done with our old Curtis, and remove the tube and clean or replace it as the case may be.

cuemaker
10-19-2009, 12:33 AM
I've got an ancient Curtis compressor of that vintage, all original except for the motor. Looking at the size of the compressor itself, and it being two-stage, I would suggest a 3 HP motor. The original Curtis, and yours looks to be the same capacity tank and roughly the same size compressor, was originally a 3 HP, 3 phase.

Regarding the tank drain, Curtis did not mount the drain on the bottom, but on the opposite end of the tank from the air outlet. What was used was a steel pipe screwed into the end bung that gently tapered, or was bent, to go from the bung to the bottom of the tank. The idea was to make it easier to drain the water without groping and fondling the belly of a greasy, crusty vessel.

The bad part was that over time, the tube would either clog, or corrode away, such that you could not get all the water out. There are two choices for a fix (this is after you determine which bung was the drain), you can plug the bung, and install a drain in the more typical area of the tank (the bottom), which is not a very good idea as properly welding pressure vessels is difficult. Or you can do as we have done with our old Curtis, and remove the tube and clean or replace it as the case may be.

While I didnt take a picture of it, your description fits the other end..its has a 90 something with a broken piece of pipe in it...

Can you describe the replacement that you have done? just run a new tube down to the bottom of the tank? How does it drain? Tilt the compressor and suck on it?

J Tiers
10-19-2009, 12:52 AM
Check the tank very closely........ best if you hydro test it.

Recently bought a small used compressor (3/4 HP motor, 3 or 4 gallon tank didn't pay much for it), with the intent to run it in a location with limited power. Roll-around job, Dayton tank replaced the original one....... Tank appears in VERY good condition, paint perfect, looked really good once the grease was washed off.

had a lot of pipe leaks when I bought it. Hissed at the drain bung and at the water trap for sure, also at tank check valve.

Anyhow, never did hydro it, after it ran a bit to trace down the other leaks, a little piece of rust popped out the bottom........ THAT hissed a lot......

I scrapped the tank. one pinhole means more, just not worth the risks. Drilled a biggish hole in it so that nobody would try to use it.

jdleach
10-19-2009, 01:19 AM
You can suck on the tank if you want, and the tank may even enjoy it, but that is not how the water is drained.

You do need to replace the broken pipe with a length of new tubing such that the bitter end reaches the bottom of the tank. If I recall, it took a little trial and error, some fitting to get the new pipe trimmed to the correct length. Also, it may be a little difficult to remove the old pipe from the fitting at the bung due to corrosion. I think I had to apply the hot wrench (torch) on mine to break it free. Once the old pipe is removed, just screw on the new length. The thread should be a standard tapered pipe thread. Just make sure that the new tubes' open end is not mashed into the tank bottom, but just above it. Trial and trim.

As for the water magically issuing forth from the drain, its all a matter of pressure my boy. After you have the new tube installed, and some type of petcock in place on the other side of the bung, just open said petcock and let the air in the tank push. Simple hydraulics.

Regarding the wisdom of hydro'ing the tank, that is really a pretty good idea. On the other hand, also be aware that some of the old tank manufacturers, Curtis being one (one of the reasons they are still in business), took great pains to over-build their vessels, and seal the metal as good as possible from corrosion. Evidence of that quality is the inspection bungs on the side, something that is not found on your cheaper, more modern tanks. That being said, with a tank of that vintage, it is a roll of the dice.

jdleach
10-19-2009, 01:22 AM
Let me clarify: after the tube is installed, THEN start the compressor to let the pressure build in the tank. Go ahead and let it build to 100 PSI or so, THEN open the petcock.

cuemaker
10-19-2009, 01:22 AM
Check the tank very closely........ best if you hydro test it.

Recently bought a small used compressor (3/4 HP motor, 3 or 4 gallon tank didn't pay much for it), with the intent to run it in a location with limited power. Roll-around job, Dayton tank replaced the original one....... Tank appears in VERY good condition, paint perfect, looked really good once the grease was washed off.

had a lot of pipe leaks when I bought it. Hissed at the drain bung and at the water trap for sure, also at tank check valve.

Anyhow, never did hydro it, after it ran a bit to trace down the other leaks, a little piece of rust popped out the bottom........ THAT hissed a lot......

I scrapped the tank. one pinhole means more, just not worth the risks. Drilled a biggish hole in it so that nobody would try to use it.

How do you hydro test?

I have performed the soap bubble test twice now...no problems... I even took a wire brush to the bubbled paint areas and a rusty spots to be sure after reading this... no bubbles what so ever....

I will for sure get rid of the rust and spray paint the tank...

jdleach
10-19-2009, 01:36 AM
Cuemaker, you misunderstand the complexities of hydro testing. You have to take the tank, sans motor, compressor, piping, and all the other appurtenances (in a stripped state), to a certified testing facility. You will have to scope around for companies that do that sort of thing. Your best bet is to phone your local welding supply house (Airco, Linde, etc.) and ask them where to get it done. Since federal and state laws require oxygen, acetylene, and other tanks to be periodically tested, they would know of such firms that can do the test.

If I recall, the test is basically plugging all the orifices in the tank, dumping it into a large tank of water (hence the name hydro), and pumping the bugger to the correct test pressure (given the tanks' size and usage, they will consult a chart to acurrately determine what that pressure is, if it doesn't so state on the tank tag). If the vessel doesn't pop, or exhibit leaks, the tank passes. I believe they will also scope the insides of the tank through the inspection bungs.

As far as cost, I haven't a clue.

J Tiers
10-19-2009, 01:44 AM
home hydrotesting.... which will not cost more than the device does new......

http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?t=79868

Please direct any comments or whatever to that site and thread, not to me or here.

jdleach
10-19-2009, 02:06 AM
Let me expand upon the dangers of pressurized vessels, and put things into better perspective.

We have all seen or heard of spectacular ruptures in pressure vessels. In the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds", there is a scene where a large pressure tank spews out its' contents as it races helter skelter around a dock area wreaking havoc. A small air compressor tank won't do that. We also have heard of oxygen cylinders falling from the back of trucks, breaking the valve off, and propelling themselves through 2-ton automobiles two blocks down the road. Reciprocating air compressors don't do that either. The shop kind anyway.

You see, the tanks that go ballistic in movies, and real life, tend to be high pressure tanks. High pressure meaning their contents are squashed into them on the order of several thousands of pounds per square inch. Your lowly shop huffer only builds up to maybe 160 to 200 PSI before shutting off. With that sort of low pressure, when they fail, they tend to do it rather slowly and without great fanfare. The hissing and pinhole leaking is the norm. The danger of rupture is pretty small. Too, if there is an actual rupture, say a split or chunk blows out, it is the flying debris one has to be concerned with. But as I said before, that is rare indeed.

The real concern is to make sure that the tank doesn't overfill. Ensure that the mechanical relief is funtioning properly, and that the pressure switch does shut the motor off at somewhere south of 200 PSI. If you are unsure of you tanks' health, you can dial down many pressure switches to a lower PSI. Just remember that the lower pressure means that the motor will kick on more frequently, and run longer, if you use much volume. To check your relief valve, you only need to occasionally pull up on the key ring attached to the end of the relief piston to make sure it is not sticking. Doing this every couple of months while the tank is pressurized releases large volumes of air through the valve, thus evacuating any collection of dirt and debris that may cause sticking.

Willy
10-19-2009, 11:28 AM
If I recall, the test is basically plugging all the orifices in the tank, dumping it into a large tank of water (hence the name hydro), and pumping the bugger to the correct test pressure....

Well not exactly.

The reason it's called hydro-testing is because a liquid is used to pressurize the vessel in question rather than a gas.
Liquid being essentially non-compressible is much safer to use than a gas. You can imagine the the facility required when trying to contain an oxygen cylinder under test for example if it ruptured.

Years ago I used to do hdro-testing of 5-10,000 gallon underground gasoline and diesel storage facilities. The tests were accurate enough, if done properly to track a two oz. leak leak in four hours on a tank of that size.

Much safer and more indicative of small leaks when using liquid rather than gas as the test medium. Compressed gas, or air if you will, represents stored energy, and if released suddenly can do a lot of damage, not necessarily Hollywood style, but still a danger, it's the reason compressor tanks need to be certified when manufactured.

The test that J Tiers refers to is an acceptable procedure for home testing of a compressed air vessel. I can almost say for sure that around these parts a commercial hydro-test will cost as much if not more than a new tank of the size you have.

/

jdleach
10-19-2009, 11:43 AM
Obviously my memory is seriously flawed, or I received the wrong info. It was many years ago that I was described the procedure, and have never witnessed it myself.

Your science is correct. If a fluid filled vessel is pressurized to some given number, then ruptures, the "pop" will almost instantaneously release all pressure. I have blown a few hydraulic jacks under high pressure, but since the force contained within the cylinder was static (no pump continuing to force fluid into the cylinder), the oil just oozed out, and did not stream.

Gosh...just call me Homer

Doh!

Willy
10-19-2009, 11:47 AM
Don't feel bad...I just spent fifteen minutes looking for my glasses...I had them on.:D

HSS
10-20-2009, 07:18 PM
Hey cuemaker, If you are not sure about plumbing your compressor, don't run it until you post some pictures after you replumb it. It looks to me, after further review, that the outlet of both heads are connected together. If so you may break the valves if you start it up and it is plumbed incorrectly.:rolleyes:

Patrick

cuemaker
10-20-2009, 08:31 PM
Have no fear...I shall do a rough plumb and take a new pic...its going to be awhile as i need to repaint the tank and stuff...

J Tiers
10-21-2009, 01:04 AM
I can almost say for sure that around these parts a commercial hydro-test will cost as much if not more than a new tank of the size you have.

/

I'm not so sure..... priced new 2 wheel tanks with handle and platform..... $300 to $400. NOT what I had in mind at all.