Buying a used air compressor: tips?

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I'm thinking about buying a used electric air compressor for light use around the house.
I've owned a compressor before, but I've never bought a used one before. What should I watch out for, apart from the obvious points of avoiding anything that doesn't work or is heavily worn or visibly damaged?
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== I've seen new light duty ones made in China for $88 with 25 foot hose and various attachments. If you're not in a hurry watch the ads. New at that price complete with hose is a better deal than used. ==
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On 02/07/2011 02:09 AM, Roy wrote:

Only if he really is planning on "light" use as he says.
otherwise I would hold out for a quality one with a compressor built like a car engine, not one of those loud "oilless" things
nate
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wrote:

Those loud ones are about as obnoxious as a bitchy loud woman. But they're about all you can get now for the light ones.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. Download the book. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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On 2/7/2011 2:09 AM, Roy wrote:

Depends what a "better deal" means. I would prefer to have a quality used device over a cheaply made new one.
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Deal means cost divided by years owned. Some of the old ones have more life left on them than the brand new cheesy ones.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. Download the book. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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wrote:

My feelings exactly. For my intended uses I could probably get away with an $88 piece of junk, but I prefer to buy good tools and keep them as long as I need them.
"Measure twice, buy once."
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Smitty Two wrote:

Nonsense. The guy I bought my compressor from sold it to me because he wanted a bigger compressor (bigger tank/more air output). I got a good deal on it because the regulator was busted, which was no big deal to me (I used the regulator I had purchased for my previous compressor).
Like the fellow that I purchased my current compressor from, I sold my smaller compressor because it failed to deliver the output that I needed.
Some tools are sold because the owner grew out of them: it's the same deal with my drill press, too; I sold the little one once I bought a bigger one, and didn't have the need or space to keep the old one around.
Jon
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wrote

There is absolutely nothing on this earth that smells worse than rotten shrimp. If you ever want to get even with someone, a few pounds of raw fresh shrimp left to age for a few days in a sealed bag will do it. A friend of mine jilted a girlfriend. While he was offshore for two weeks, she went to where his car was parked, dumped about five pounds of shrimp inside it and closed the door. He set fire to the car. Lucky, it was a beater anyway. We could smell the car when we got on the dock.
Hell hath no fury like a creative woman who has been scorned.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Download the book $10 http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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On Sun, 06 Feb 2011 22:14:35 -0800, Jonathan Sachs

You really need to figure out what you will do with it to know what size you need. Just about anything will air up tires. Once you get into air tools, you need a big enough compressor to run them. Nail guns and such need 100 PSI or so but they don't need a lot of volume. Painting, OTOH usually needs a lot of volume. Things like air chisels are also air hogs.
I agree with the other poster. it is better to get a good used machine than a cheap new one.
Ignore "HP" rating stickers, they are usually just BS. Look at the electrical requirements and go from there. If it is 120v it will not be more than 1HP. A true "5HP" machine will be 230v 30a or so. 1HP is about the minimum you can take seriously if you want to use air hungry tools but you still need a big tank and you will have an intermittent duty cycle.
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Lots of tires today take more than the 32 psi than our father's cars and the ones we drove in our teenagerhood. But yeah, most compressors will put enough air in them to get to the tire store even if they do have to work a while. And anything will blow up bikes, motorcycles, those temporary plastic dates, etc.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. Download the book. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Nonsense. My compressor (Ciasons Industrial) came with a Magnetek/Century motor on it, rated 3HP SPL, 115V/15A. It will also run configured as 230V/7.5A, but it came to me wired for 115, and that's the way I've been using it since I purchased it a few years ago.
Jon
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On 2/7/2011 2:06 PM, Jon Danniken wrote:

Your motor is rated wrong. Some call it "peak horsepower". A real 3HP motor at 115VAC will draw 19.46 amps.
I have a ~ 35 year old 1HP Sears compressor. I also have a "2HP" craftsman compressor (someone gave it to me). The older 1HP one puts out over 2 times the CFM than the newer 2HP one. Forget the motor rating, the CFM is what matters.
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Tony Miklos wrote:

No, the motor is rated correctly; your confusion arises because you do not understand the nomenclature used on electric motors. especially those used on air compressors. As I stated previously, the motor is a 3HP SPL, and is rated 15 amps at 115 volts. 15 amps at 115 volts is 1725VA, or 2.3HP continuous duty.
Because this is a compressor, the 3HP SPL refers to the fact that the motor will safely deliver 3HP during an overload condition when it called on, namely for the last few minutes of filling the tank up.
Jon
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On Mon, 7 Feb 2011 13:13:11 -0800, "Jon Danniken"

I suggest you put a clamp on ammeter on your compressor some time. The last few pounds going in the tank is actually less of a load on the motor than the mid range. That means if you are using air about as fast as you are making it, that is continuous duty.
The fact remains, manufacturers played fast and loose with HP numbers and got sued for it. A HP is still 550 ft/pounds a second and any "peak", "instantaneous" or other quibble is simply a lie.
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On 2/7/2011 4:13 PM, Jon Danniken wrote:

OK,you got me. I didn't notice the SPL or I would have looked it up. It's all bullshit though. Different ways of rating them so it sounds like it's bigger than it is. It's comparable to stereo amps and speakers rated at 100 watts per channel. The old way of figuring watts was RMS, then someone got the idea of rating what its peak wattage is for a split second.
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On Mon, 7 Feb 2011 11:06:56 -0800, "Jon Danniken"

Look around, that may have been in the class action suit.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

No, it is still a current model, and there is no inaccuracy with the way it is being marketed or sold. Perhaps you might want to learn more about motors before you spout off about things you do not fully understand.
Jon
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On Mon, 7 Feb 2011 13:22:33 -0800, "Jon Danniken"

If you think it is 3HP, it is ... as far as you know.
What is the CFM at 90 PSI?
http://www.truetex.com/aircompressors.htm
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On Feb 7, 4:22pm, "Jon Danniken"

one horsepower *is equivalent to* 746W. (both HP and Watts are units of power, just in different measurement systems.) Therefore a 3HP motor, if 100% efficient, would draw 2238W or 19.46A @ 115V. IRL it would either draw slightly more, or put out slightly less than 3HP. Pesky laws of thermodynamics.
a 15A circuit by definition cannot provide more than 1725W @ 115V, and it would be a bad practice to expect it to do so. A load that large should really be connected to a 20A or larger circuit.
nate
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