Air Compressor Oil

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I bought a new air compressor and received it today from HF. It's a Central Pneumatic 2 HP, 8 gallon, 115 psi. It replaces a CH compressor that went belly up. My main use for a compressor is to fill up tires and pool floats, and maybe blowing some dust around. I do have some air tools left here by my deceased F-I-L (hammers, chisels, paint sprayers), but rarely use them, other than for a framing nailer used to build a very small deck, or more correctly, a small porch deck. I discovered that it was not an oilless compressor. They put enough oil in it to test it, but did not fill it, nor include any oil to fill it. The oil fill viewer on the side is empty, but there are indications that some oil was put in there. Before I even assembled the wheels and air cleaner to it, I opened the valve and air came out under pressure. I looked up compressor oil on the web and found some sites that say you could use regular 30 weight motor oil instead of compressor oil, and other sites saying you can use 10w30 motor oil, and even other sites that say you can use synthetic motor oil. It appears that the only oils not recommended are salad oil and baby oil. :-) I have some 10w30 motor oil and some 10w30 Mobil1 handy. What oils have you used without destroying the compressor?
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 8/26/2010 6:37 PM, willshak wrote:

I would contact the manufacturer and ask them? You said it was brand new and had a partial fill of oil so it would seem they would be the most knowledgeable about what oil is in it and what is compatible.
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I have an Emglo bought 20+ yrs ago, which is still going. Book recommended 30 weight, however, during a cold start the compressor would trip breakers. When I say cold start, it was only 45 degrees. Which IMHO is not really cold.
Changed the oil to 10w30, never had a problem since. I know several people back in the day, I recommended what I did. They too never had a problem with the compressor, or with a cold start.
I can to this day, fire my compressor up in 15-20 degree weather without tripping a breaker.
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willshak wrote:

10W30 will work fine. Synthetic even better. It's just lubrication.
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LSMFT

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Engineers and mechanics the world around. Are rolling their eyes. JUST lubrication? Sacrilege, man! Heretic! I want him burnt at the stake! Better yet, dipped in freezing cold ND30.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 8/26/2010 5:37 PM, willshak wrote:

I buy my air compressor oil at WW Grainger. I bought my compressor from them 20 years ago and the first thing I did was to install a Solberg filter adapter which has a housing that accepts a round pleated paper filter element that looks a lot like a small automotive air filter. Dirt kills air compressors faster than anything else. The oil in my compressor stays clean for a very long time.
TDD
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My father owned a auto body shop many years ago. He had a (real) 5 hp, 4 cylinder air compressor. To improve performance and to feed it clean air, we piped the intake to outside the building. It ran for many years. We also only used automobile oil in it and changed it every few months as it was in use all day 7 days a week.
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If yor keep it where it will get cold the 10-30 mobil is best, a friend bought a nice 2000$ unit that came with 10-30 synthetic.
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It is illegal to ship a compressor with oil in it. They should, however, either include it or tell you up front that you have to buy oil.

I'd use the Mobil 1. Most any good oil will work though.
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First, don't run it till you put oil in it...
I've had that same compressor since Dec 02, and have been happy with it... however mine came with a quart of oil within the shipping box. As I recall, it was just a plain white bottle with a small crude sticker simply reading 'Oil'.
I pulled out the manual, and it says 'Only use a good quality machine lubricating oil' (whatever that means), and to change it after every 500 hours of operation.
After having said all that, most auto part stores carry 'Air Compressor Oil. Ask if you don't see it, it'll be in the same area as jack oil and all that. I also remember seeing the nondescript Harbor Freight oil in their outlets.
For the record, I much prefer a lubricated compressors over oilless... they last very much longer, and are quieter by a long shot.
Good Luck!
Erik
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wrote:

Personally, I'd strongly recommend 10W-30 Synthetic motor oil. Drain as much of the oil that is in there now out first. I suspect that someone poured the factory oil in and tested the compressor, as a new compressor will not have any oil in it, and the tank won't have any pressure. That worries me, as if they ran it for any time with low oil (bet they kept the oil so that no one would realize that they'd done that...) it may have been damaged.
But go with the 10W-30 synthetic, it will be the best choice, IMHO.
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I have yet to unpack a small oiled compressor that did not arrive with a bit of pressure in the tank and a previously filled and drained oil sump.
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You suspect wrong. It is not legal to ship a compressor with oil in it. It was tested at the factory as it should be, then drained. This is standard procedure with compressors, even the big ones.
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On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 23:21:30 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

Possible, but I got the impression that there was more than a residue of oil, more like it was partially filled. If there was just a residue of oil, then you are 100% correct. Actually you are correct in that they do fill and test at the factory then drain, but I think they do a good job of draining them--at least that's been my experience.
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PeterD wrote the following:

Sorry I wasn't more clear. The oil I observed was just enough to indicate that they had put some oil in it at one time. Just like when you empty a can of oil, there is still some oil clinging to the inside of the can. It looked wet inside the oil fill tube and the oil sight gauge. PS. I haven't gone to get oil yet.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I used regular 30W non-detergent oil that I found on the shelf at WalMart. It's sold by the quart and is cheaper than regular motor oil. I suppose if I wanted to spend more, I could have bought two smaller bottles of oil over the the air compressors, but I didn't see why when essentially it's the same thing.
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willshak wrote the following:

Just checking in.... I appreciate all the remarks so far. I'm still on the fence, but I may just take a trip to AutoZone and see what they have for compressor oil.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 15:06:34 -0400, willshak wrote:

30w ND on my Campbell Hausfield 3hp, 240 volt 26 gallon twin cyl oil lubbed horizontal. Had it for 10 years and used it with nailers, impact tools, air chisels etc... Maybe a total of 100 hours so far. Came dry, used Quaker State non-detergent 30 weight. Looks and runs like new.
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On 8/26/2010 6:37 PM, willshak wrote:

The factory fills them with oil, tests them, maybe breaks them in a bit, then drains the oil and ships them. It wasn't just filled enough to test it, and if you've run it like that, you may have done damage and it won't be covered under the warranty.
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Tony wrote the following:

Please reread my original message. At no time did I even hint at running it with whatever oil was left in there. My original question was what kind of oil, other than compressor oil, have others used with success. Yesterday, I did pick up some 30 weight ND oil at WalMart , as some had mentioned, filled it this morning,with the 30 ND oil, and lit it off for the very first time.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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