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  • #16
    Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
    So I was considering insulating the building... more for sound deadening but it would also help with temp swings. what im curious about is why the need for a heater or worry about the oil temp. The compressor oil is a synthetic oil for compressors so I cant imagine the viscosity is all that much different at 20* vs 80*. But I cant say ive checked.
    It's colder here & most wear occurs when things first start with all the oil in the bottom so I use block heaters plugged into temp cubes recepts. Maybe overkill but it doesn't seem to raise the electric bill & better safe than sorry IMHO.

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    • #17
      I may be in Beaumont TX and although they do happen, it has been several years since we had a hard freeze here. Last winter we had a light frost on the roofs and in the grass. But not cold enough for puddles in the street to freeze: too much ground heat.

      However, the OP is in Louisville, KY, not Beaumont TX. I was answering his question, not talking about my situation. I think he may have problems with an outdoor installation and no heat. A small heater near the drain valve and perhaps another one for the crankcase may be needed.

      I have my compressor in a utility room next to my garage which is heated and has AC in the summer. I have it on a switch and I only run it when I need it. And yes, I have lived in more northern climates and am all too familiar with the problems associated with freezing temperatures. In Iowa I had a shop in a travel trailer. I lived in one too. But Louisville will not be as bad as Iowa was/is.



      Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
      When was the last time you had a hard freeze in Beaumont?

      If you're using the compressor, the tank will stay warm enough to not freeze.

      Drain the water after each use or at the end of the day. You don't have to empty the tank of air. Open the drain valve until it blows air. I've had my drain valve freeze in the middle of summer while draining. You can hear it hissing then it stops. About a minute or two later you hear a pop from the ice plug blowing out and hissing starts again. Mine will do it several times while draining the entire 80-gallon tank.

      If you won't be using it for a while (days, weeks, etc.) then drain the tank of air.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.

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      • #18
        When I was working the compressor was outside in a shed. I did a daily water drain down and weekly oil level check, 3 months after I retired it seized due to lack of oil as no one could be arsed to do the checks. Out of sight out of mind, just be sure to keep an eye on it. We had a small tube type electric heater on ours for winter to keep the electronics pad from harm as well as oil temp up.

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        • #19
          At work we put a 10hp reciprocating compressor outside in its own little shed, this was for noise reasons. We were advised to put the compressor air intake outside of the enclosure i.e. extend the intake pipe through the shed wall. I think this was supposed to reduce the amount of water in the system. The enclosure used to get pretty hot as it was working hard all day. Is this because the hotter air carries more water?

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          • #20
            You can also put a rubber coupling in the supply air line before it enters the wall that will also reduce noice

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Arcane View Post



              So if im understanding this chart correctly I could grab the 10W-60 and be fine for the climate in my area. I do have a couple questions though.

              This chart seems to be for automotive type engines. An auto engine has a pressurized oil system and not splash like my compressor. Do you think it still applies? Also given the wide temp margin 10W-60 seems to cover why wouldnt 90% of people be using it instead of other blends ??? Seems it covers a majority of temps that the US experiences.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Peter S View Post
                At work we put a 10hp reciprocating compressor outside in its own little shed, this was for noise reasons. We were advised to put the compressor air intake outside of the enclosure i.e. extend the intake pipe through the shed wall. I think this was supposed to reduce the amount of water in the system. The enclosure used to get pretty hot as it was working hard all day. Is this because the hotter air carries more water?
                In general, the relative humidity of the air is similar between inside vs outside, having the intake outside recommended being outside is likely for noise control, so it's a little quieter in the shop.

                The process of compressing the air results in the air being heated up. When the air is in the tank, it cools off to room temperature, and some of the humidity in the air condenses out and collects at the bottom of the air compressor. And then the rusting begins.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Axkiker View Post
                  So if im understanding this chart correctly I could grab the 10W-60 and be fine for the climate in my area. I do have a couple questions though.

                  This chart seems to be for automotive type engines. An auto engine has a pressurized oil system and not splash like my compressor. Do you think it still applies? Also given the wide temp margin 10W-60 seems to cover why wouldnt 90% of people be using it instead of other blends ??? Seems it covers a majority of temps that the US experiences.
                  Thick oil reduces fuel economy, can normally pick up a few miles per tank by switching to lighter oil. It's one of the reasons manufacturers went with ATF in manual transmissions.
                  With splash lube and being outside, I think sticking to the lighter side of recommended would work better.

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                  • #24
                    Axkiker, don't forget...those are Celsius degrees, not Fahrenheit, and they are referencing ambient temperatures, not the operating temperatures of the oil and as kendall says, stick to the lighter side of what's recommended. Personally I think a GOOD quality synthetic 10W-30 or 10W-40 would work just fine.
                    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                    • #25
                      I'll almost guarantee that with no heat in the winter you'll get condensation in the oil & it will be milky looking by spring. The compressor head won't heat up like a car engine. That's why I use a block heater on a thermostat cube.

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                      • #26
                        The colder the intake air, the less power you need to compress it.

                        metalmagpie

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                        • #27
                          All of the above advice is OK, but I'll inject a bit of heresy:

                          My compressor is an old Gardner-Denver with a 5HP motor, feeding into a 30-gallon "water heater" tank. The tank is galvanized, riveted construction, of the type used with a "side arm" water heater on a coal furnace; IE: it's an antique. The entire outfit is outside my shop, where it's unheated and gets as cold as Zero degrees F. The drain is a 1/2" ball valve and is piped outside; I also have a couple of bowl-type filters in the system. There's an after cooler consisting of about 20' of 3/4" finned tube heat exchanger that drops almost all the water into the tank.

                          I run 15w-40 Diesel engine oil in the compressor, change it every few years when I think about it. The tank drain is hard to reach, so it gets drained maybe once/year. (which reminds me.....)

                          The compressor was installed in 1979, IIRC, and was originally used in a gas station, so was far from new at the time. It's splash lubricated, no oil pump.

                          It now gets only intermittent use, but some of that is running a grinder, so when it works, it works hard. I'm hoping that it lasts another 8-10 years, so I'll not have to worry about replacing it.

                          Also, some of my air piping is CPVC, but it is buried in the walls. That piping was done in 1968 and has given no trouble. Not saying that my way is right, but it's worked for me; some of the concerns are a bit overblown, IMO.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by jdunmyer View Post
                            All of the above advice is OK, but I'll inject a bit of heresy:

                            My compressor is an old Gardner-Denver with a 5HP motor, feeding into a 30-gallon "water heater" tank. The tank is galvanized, riveted construction, of the type used with a "side arm" water heater on a coal furnace; IE: it's an antique. The entire outfit is outside my shop, where it's unheated and gets as cold as Zero degrees F. The drain is a 1/2" ball valve and is piped outside; I also have a couple of bowl-type filters in the system. There's an after cooler consisting of about 20' of 3/4" finned tube heat exchanger that drops almost all the water into the tank.

                            I run 15w-40 Diesel engine oil in the compressor, change it every few years when I think about it. The tank drain is hard to reach, so it gets drained maybe once/year. (which reminds me.....)

                            The compressor was installed in 1979, IIRC, and was originally used in a gas station, so was far from new at the time. It's splash lubricated, no oil pump.

                            It now gets only intermittent use, but some of that is running a grinder, so when it works, it works hard. I'm hoping that it lasts another 8-10 years, so I'll not have to worry about replacing it.

                            Also, some of my air piping is CPVC, but it is buried in the walls. That piping was done in 1968 and has given no trouble. Not saying that my way is right, but it's worked for me; some of the concerns are a bit overblown, IMO.

                            Yeah I think im going to go middle of the road with all of this. Ill box the compressor in and also insulate. Ill also check the oil and possibly change to a different viscosity if it seems to warrant it. I dont think I need to go to the extreme of heaters etc unless I just run across something cheap. Ive been running it all these years in a non heated garage and the oil doenst seem to contain water at any point.

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