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  • Check Your Air Compressor

    This happened in Denver over the weekend......
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Mine's still there. Must be someone else.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #3
      A good reminder to regularly drain your tanks. Probably the bottom had rusted out to the point where it couldn't contain the pressure anymore. How many tanks are internally coated to prevent rusting? Probably few, and probably none from China.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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      • #4
        Sure hope nobody decides to pass a law which prohibits air compressors from home shops!

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        • #5
          Do you really think this could happen with an average compressor that shuts off at 125 lbs.?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
            Do you really think this could happen with an average compressor that shuts off at 125 lbs.?
            Does seem unlikely. Simultaneous failure of the shutoff switch and the safety relief valve? There was a Mythbusters where they tried to get a water heater to do this. It wasn't easy.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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            • #7
              If rust is the culprit more than likely small pinholes will develop permitting slower, gradual leaks rather than one massive pressure release. ...I would think.
              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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              • #8
                I am calling Fake News.

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                • #9
                  It happens more often with hot water tanks. The expansion volume of superheated water to steam is outrageous. Something like 1600 to one. 20 gallon tank at 125 PSI and seal level air pressure is 14.7 psi, the contents of the tank will only expand 8.5 times to around 170 gallons. That's still a lot of expansion but it's a lot of weight too. I've opened the drain valve when it was at 125 psi and while it was loud the compressor did not move.

                  Dan
                  At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                  Location: SF East Bay.

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                  • #10
                    My fridge is making noises, should I worry?

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                    • #11
                      Volume can do more damage than pressure, if that tank let go at its rusted out bottom, then yeah, I believe it,
                      Some years ago, the manufacturer of underground tanks had a failed test. it was a large tank like 10' diameter an 40' long.
                      pressure test at something like 3psi, it let go.
                      it went out the side wall of the building, into the street, smashed cars around, finally come to rest.
                      Volume is quite powerful if it is allowed to let go all at once

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                      • #12
                        Tanks can pinhole, but also repture.
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUUxGG2UD50

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                        • #13
                          I once made a pulsation damper for a pump from two 4" sch80 PVC pipe caps and a short piece of pipe. With 100 lbs of pressure against the pump the glue joint on the top cap let go because I hadn't let it set up long enough. The cap went straight up past my left ear and made a clean hole through the drop ceiling and made a large dent in the corrugated metal roof! So yeah I think a weld failure in a compressor tank could easily do the damage shown.

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                          • #14
                            Here's an odd thing, when I was designing resistance welders back in the '70s compressed air storage tanks had to be ASME certified, with an inspection/certification plate attached. Tanks on air compressors don't seem to need that certification. Maybe it's a volume thing, above a certain number of cubic feet you need the pedigree papers.

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                            • #15
                              I had a 1 lb propane tank vent one day. Warm summer day, outside but in the shade. The tank didn't rupture, just the vent- but it sure freaked me out.
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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