View Full Version : Air Compressor Location

11-06-2012, 10:05 AM
I currently have my compressor in the garage. It is one of the 60 gallon upright style. Of course, it is taking up valuable floor space. Am I asking for trouble if I move it outside, and pipe the air in? I can easily build a small roof to hang over the motor/compressor to help protect it from the elements. The peace and quiet of not hearing it quite as loud would be a welcome benefit as well!

11-06-2012, 10:42 AM
If you'd put your location in you might get more reply's.

11-06-2012, 10:43 AM
People that don't have there location in a posting should have it deleted until they do

11-06-2012, 10:44 AM
Sure,best place for them IMHO.If you live in a cold climate you might want to build an insulated structure for it though.

Also bolting it down the foundation cuts down on thievery.

11-06-2012, 10:55 AM
Your shop will be quieter, but your neighbors will be angrier. ;)

11-06-2012, 10:57 AM
I find it ironic that duckman says I would get more replies to my post if I placed my location in my profile, and then posts two replies. RUDE replies at that! Some of us like to keep our private lives private.

I don't need to worry about the neighbors. I live in the country on thirty acres. I do get some cold climate in my area. Although, I don't see the benefit of an insulated shelter unless I put a heat source in the shelter. I suppose even a 100W light would help.

Nor do I worry much about thievery. My dogs are intimidating, although harmless.

11-06-2012, 11:09 AM
Would there be any more condensate buildup in the tank or lines, if the tank is outside?

Will you still be willing to go out in the dark/cold/rain to drain the tank at the end of the day? Consider piping the drain valve to a convenient location, to avoid reaching under the tank in the dark! (Learned in Phoenix, home of black widow spiders and scorpions...)

11-06-2012, 11:51 AM
An insulated shelter even without a heat source will help. The ground is a great source of heat. If you live where it freezes (hey, even a State or City or County might help!) you do want to protect your tank drain. Of course, you need ventilation when warm (or from compressor heat it it's large) also so a winter/summer removable panel can work. So.. what size compressor?

11-06-2012, 12:16 PM
Here is mine.
The RPC is outside also.
The big shop vac is next on the list to go outside but the details have not been resolved as yet.

Paul Alciatore
11-06-2012, 01:15 PM
Would there be any more condensate buildup in the tank or lines, if the tank is outside?

Will you still be willing to go out in the dark/cold/rain to drain the tank at the end of the day? Consider piping the drain valve to a convenient location, to avoid reaching under the tank in the dark! (Learned in Phoenix, home of black widow spiders and scorpions...)

It is the location of the air intake that determines how much moisture the compressor takes in, not the location of the compressor. I have used piping to place the air intake of compressors in an air conditioned area inside the building while the compressor is located outside of that area. Just use a size or two larger than the actual intake threads to keep that resistance to air flow low. As Woodman suggests, the drains can also be piped to another location but they must slope down for the entire run.

As for the statement about your location, your location has a big effect on a compressor's environment and hence on the possible problems it may face in an outside location. Around the Gulf Coast I would be worrying about heat and humidity. In the north I would worry about freezing or thickening of the oil. An auto drain may freeze up or condensate in the tank could freeze and rupture the tank. If near any sea coast then salt spray in the air may be a problem. Etc. As they say in the real estate biz, "location, Location, LOCATION!"

11-06-2012, 05:27 PM
Even in my garage I run my compressor at all temps from 90 to -20f. I have been thinking pretty heavily lately of moving mine outside as well, I already have the overhang for it. I leave my valve open ever so slightly on the bottom of the tank with a cup below it. When the compressor is working during the day it can drain the condensation in the cup, the condensation evaporates over night out of the cup. Outside the compressor would be over gravel, I will most likely still leave the valve just ever so slightly cracked open like inside but without the cup.

11-06-2012, 05:51 PM
Friend of mine, now deceased so I can't query him about it, had his outside but enclosed. I never heard him complain of issues with his set-up. He was "space poor" and had it moved out for room more than noise. No problems with his neighbors either. I don't know if the enclosure was insulated for sound or weather, other than to keep out rain anyway.
I, myself, would like to move mine out of the building. If I ever do, I would insulate against cold if only keep from freezing the lines and such.

11-06-2012, 06:16 PM
Before you move the entire unit outside try just running the air intake outside. You will be surprised at how much that reduces the noise. Also, get some rubber feet if you don't already have some. After that, build an enclosure. I would move mine outside but the amount of moisture would increase a lot given that I live in Mississippi about three blocks from the river. Relative humidity at night is regularly 95%.

11-06-2012, 06:49 PM
what about having it outside and shielded from the elements in -25c?

11-06-2012, 07:51 PM
My son's 60 gallon compressor is going up on top of the mezzine floor we built in his garage.

He has 14ft ceilings so there is a lot of storage up there.

Those compressors do take up a LOT of space, and yes the noise at times is not enjoyable.

11-06-2012, 08:13 PM
The thing to worry about in cold weather is condensate getting into control lines and safetys and freezing.Having a control or safety port blocked would make for a bad day.

11-06-2012, 08:14 PM
Double post

11-06-2012, 08:15 PM
what about having it outside and shielded from the elements in -25c?

Lots of foam board and a 100watt bulb.An automatic tank drain would be nice too.

11-06-2012, 08:27 PM
At -25C I'd be looking carefully are the oil in the compressor. Mine goes from 30wt at 60-F to 5 wt at -10F.

11-06-2012, 08:31 PM
It seems that some people may have bought a compressor without considering "noise" and perhaps are seeking to remedy a problem largely of their own making.

Mine is not too noisy at all and has wheels to move it if needs be. If I want to move it I just wheel it out onto the car-port slab - and back in again when I need it inside again. I can wheel it anywhere in the shop so don't have "long hoses" problems - but it rarely is a problem.

I sized mine for "noise" (79 db) as well as the requirements of the 3/8" x 10" (per minute) plasma cutter as my highest air demand machine. The cutter is portable too and I can have it and the compressor right alongside each other to minimise "line (pressure/volume) loss". The cutter works best out in the car-port too.



This will be my next compressor - when-ever .............................


11-06-2012, 08:52 PM
I have taken a different turn with the location of my compressor, a 220V 5 HP unit... kind of heavy duty, but not commercial grade.

I have installed my compressor in the basement. It has been there for 25 years. I change the oil every new years day, and have done nothing other than that since it was installed.

I piped a 1/2" copper line from the basement to the garage, installed a 20 gallon air tank in the garage ceiling to act as a reservoir close to where I use the air, and have a condensate drain piped to the floor from the tank.

The compressor only draws conditioned air during the summer, so the humidity is very low compared to the outside. That means less moisture in the compressed air. The oil is always at a constant temperature so lubrication is not a problem when it is cold out.

If you don't have a basement none of this will matter, but I would suggest that if you relocate your compressor outside that you pipe the air inlet from inside the garage or shop if you have an air conditioned space... no sense adding moisture to the compressed air stream if possible.