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  • Silence a loud compressor

    I have an oiless air compressor that is very loud. I have been wanting to build a small shelter outside my shop to put it in. I also live in a neighborhood and do not want any noise complaints from the neighbors. I know I will need to insulate the small structure do deaden the sound. I also know the compressor will need some air circulation to cool the motor and compressor. Has anyone figured out how to do this. I hope I am not posting too many of my problems on this site but I have recently moved to a new area and all of my old machinist buddies live 6 hours from here. I have not met any new friends here. I work a rotating shift and have odd hours it is hard to meet people like that. The experience of the people on this site is great and everyone is so willing to help.
    Thanks again Mike

  • #2
    I sold mine and got a belt drive!

    My friend built an enclosure with drywall in his garage. Deadened the sound quiet well... I did get hot inside, but he rarely uses more than a couple of tanks worth of air at a time.

    Someone mentioned condensation would be wors e with the compressor in a hot environment like that, but I don't know if thats a valid concern or not.

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    • #3
      Mike. There's no noisier gadget than a cheap oilless compressor. A soundproof enclosure that allow circulation of cooling air isn't impossible but it can be a little tricky.

      You have to have a noise contaiment and you have to have air circulation. The containment has to be rigid and either massive or sound absorbant. The circulation requires that you have a cooling air inlet and a cooling air outlet and that the air passages either have several turns in them or constructed of sound absorbant materials.

      The simplest and cheapest noise containment is sandbags tightly stacked. A wood frame enclosure lined with two separated layers of drywall ia also effective. The lid to service the compressor and the enclosures construction must be tightly fitted to minimized sound leaks.

      The air inlet and outlet should be at least 4 feet long and have three 90 degree bends. It can be made of 3/4 plywood lined with two separated layers celotex but it should have minimum inside dimeension of 6" x 6" for adequate air flow. Install a centrifugal fan in oneof the ducts to force ventillation.

      I built such a compresser enclosure of sandbags and plywood for a potter I know. Her workshop was just below her kid's bedroom. The sandbag enclosure was so effective you couldn't hear her cheap Sears oilless compressor running from the bedroom. Not even a murmer.

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      • #4
        Mike, I had a similar problem a few months ago. I purchased a large horizontal air compressor and run it in my garage. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all concrete. It was much too loud to operate when I was in the shop. The first fix was pneumatic tires to isolate the compressor from the floor. Next I built a plywood box to cover the sides and top. To combat the heat problem I made one hole in each side. The holes are about the same size as the pulley on the compressor. I did this because the pulley has blades to cool the compressor. Inside the box I stapled a layer of fiberglass insulation. Extruded polystyrene foam may also work, but I'm not sure how well. Over the vent holes home built wood louvers were placed. The lovers allow air to pass through, but they help to deflect sound. A furnace filter was also installed on the back side of each louver to keep dust out, and deaden the sound a bit more. The last thing was hooking the compressor to the air lines and electricity. A piece of SO cord was used instead of flexible conduit to prevent sound from traveling into the walls. To hook up the air a hydraulic hose was used for the same reason. It has worked out pretty well so far. Hope this helps.

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        • #5
          Not sure if this idea will work with and oiless....but belt compressors can be made less noisy in the shop if you plumb the air intake to the outside with the filter on it there. The popping noise is from the intake
          Walt

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          • #6
            We have a large greenhouse which is heated with a waste oil furnace that runs the air compressor alllll night in the winter. I can relate to compressor noise. 2 years ago, the motor died and I put a much bigger one on cause that's what I had. Guess what? much less noise! The knock noise comes from the stress of forcing the air pump over TDC and overpowering it greatly reduces the strain. Uses a little more power, but its worth it.

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            • #7
              Anyone of you with outdoor enclosures have any experience with temperatures below freezing? Things like oil viscosity or breakers popping on startup etc.

              Bob

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              • #8
                My shop in unheated and when it gets below freezeing the compressor sometimes pops it's breakers...probably should change oil as it's old and fresh oil would possibly help
                Walt

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                • #9
                  Piping the air intake outside will help. rubber feet of some sort will help. I shut my compressor off when I leave the shop, I do this because in winter the breakers will pop when trying to start, I only heat the shop when I am in it. To prevent the breaker from poping I installed a ball valve between pump and tank that just vents to atmosphere and I open this valve first then start comp so there is no load on the pump and it starts easily, I let it run for a minute then clost the valve. I should note that there is a check valve in the line just before the tank so as not to drain it when opening ball valve.

                  ------------------
                  Paul G.
                  Paul G.

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