I have a harbor freight little oil filled compressor. I tried using it
today after a very cold night. It made a few trouble noises and stopped. I
reset the overload switch and tried again. Same result. Tried again, this
time it tripped the breaker. I reset the breaker (apparently not having the
brains I was born with...) and tried again. This time it made it and ran
This probably isn't a good thing to do to the compressor, and won't work at
all next month when it is even colder..
What do people do about this?
<< I tried using it today after a very cold night. It made a few trouble
noises and stopped. >>
What else do you expect? The unit doesn't have a multivis oil like your SUV
does. Besides heavy oil, you can get clogs from ice inside as the incoming
air's moisture load condenses.
Now do the poor thing a favor and keep it inside. If you need an outdoor
capable unit, go rent one. And don't forget to drain the air tank now and then.
<< What do people do about this? >>
Others may differ, but I keep a permanent commercial compressor tucked under
the stairs in a heated shop. Both 2 HP and 5HP poratable units are kept inside.
For outdoor work, we just run longer, larger air hoses with high flow
Use 20w oil in the winter instead of 30w, and/or keep the compressor in
a heated shop.
A few years ago my ancient Quincy compressor broke a connecting rod and
beat itself to pieces with it when I started it in the winter and it
must have had ice in the head or the cylinder walls. :-(
My new Coleman "6 HP" compressor is louder and barely produces half the
air that the old Quincy did, and the Quincy only had a 1.5 HP motor.
I knew the horsepower rating was wrong because you can't get 6 hp from a
15A 240V circuit. But I expected the CFM listed on the little metal
plate to be close to accurate.
The settlement was a joke. The companies admitted that they lied, but
basicly claimed they shouldn't have been expected to tell the truth
therefore it wasn't their fault. I'm sure the plaintiffs' attorneys
made a lot of money, but the actual customers got nothing -- well, some
of them got coupons but Coleman customers didn't even get that.
I used to have high regard for Coleman, but I don't buy their products
This is the same sort of thing they do with stereo equipment
now-a-days. I was an electronics hobbyist in my younger days. Back
then we used RMS and PEAK ratings. A 100Watt (per channel) stereo
amplifier was powerful. and equivilant to most guitar amplifiers back
in those days.
Now, they sell these so called "portable" stereos. The things are
ugly as sin, and are about the size of a boombox. They got speakers
that are 8 inch as best, and somehow, they rate them in rediculously
high power amounts. I saw one at Walmart rated at 5000W. I just
laughed. I used to know a guy that did sound for large Rock Concerts.
I went to several of the shows, and I still recall the one show that
was in a huge outdoor auditorium that seated 100,000 people or
something like that. The show was LOUD. Even way in the back. I
later asked this guy what they were running for power, and he said
10,000W. Those 10K W powered HUGE towers of speakers that took a
crane to lift into place.
So, now these idiots that "claim" these little boxes sold at Walmart
put out 5,000 W are completely full of crap. How they can legally get
away with that, I will never know. My guess would be at MOST, 50W RMS
per channel, and probably half that is more close to the truth.
Getting back to the air compressors, these new "pistonless" types are
Nice article. Now when will someone get on the case of the true output
of audio devices? Most 25 watt amplifiers from the 50's will blow away
a 50 watt or higher rated amplifier made today. They used to measure in
RMS (root mean square), now they normally rate the peak wattage. It's
been a joke for many decades.
What this has to do with a cold compressor I don't know. ;-)
And how about rating vacuum cleaner power in AMPS?
| Richard J Kinch wrote:
| > zxcvbob writes:
| >>My new Coleman "6 HP" compressor is louder and barely
produces half the
| >>air that the old Quincy did, and the Quincy only had a 1.5 HP
| > http://www.truetex.com/aircompressors.htm
| Nice article. Now when will someone get on the case of the
| of audio devices? Most 25 watt amplifiers from the 50's will
| a 50 watt or higher rated amplifier made today. They used to
| RMS (root mean square), now they normally rate the peak
| been a joke for many decades.
| What this has to do with a cold compressor I don't know. ;-)
I just happened to notice a compressor at Wal Mart. It is labeled 5 AMP
(and in small print is says "peak horsepower". Then it is also rated
for what I think was "continuous duty" at about 1.7 horsepower.
Five amps at 120V is less than 1 horsepower even with a very efficient
motor. An honest 5 HP motor draws something like 28 amps at 240V, so a
1HP motor should draw about 5 amps at 240V, or 10A at 120V.
Have an Emglo that is about 13 yrs. old. Book stated straight 30W. During
the colder months I had the same problem. Switched to 10W-30 year round, no
problem. Compressor never gave me a problem as far as lubrication. Beware
of running pneumatic tools outside during the extreme cold. Have
encountered a couple blown seals. Also, let the air out of the tank/s at the
end of the day, makes morning starts easier. If you are storing your
compressor outside (back of truck or similar), it is improtant to let all
the air out of the tanks. The moisture in the tank can freeze, causing
problems or permanent damage to the compressor.
It's detergent. Yes I know, going against manufacturers recommendation. As
I've noted, the Emglo is 13 yrs old. No problems in 13 yrs, and has seen
summer workouts running 2 roofing coil nailers going 12 hours a day.
I'm not advising going against manufacturers recommendation. Just stated
what I did. It's hard to argue with success, especially since I'm totally
surprised the old Emglo is still going strong after so much use and abuse.
If you search the net for car oils, manufacturers recommended detergent oil
for older cars. You will find lots of information where people swear by the
multi viscosity oil instead of detergent.
Detergent oils suspend debris in the oil, to be removed by the oil filter,
which air compressors generally do not have. Older cars and hachinery often
had bearings that were not compatable with detergent oils.
As for running detergent oil in a compressor, I probably would not do it,
unless I could not find suitable non-degent oil, but if you live in the
sticks and are unable to find compressor oil, sometimes you gotta do what
you gotta do!
Just curious. Would the "detergent" do anything in a compressor? The
reason I ask, is because the oil in a car engine gets hot. Air
compressors have no combustion, so they dont get hot. (Yes, I know
they get pretty warm, especially the older piston types, but most of
the heat is at the top of the pump, which is why they put fins around
the piston sleeve.
Part of the reason I ask this, is because air compressor oil dont
really get all that dirty. I cant think of the last time I changed
the oil in mine. I just check it a few times per year to be sure
there is enough.
I used to work for a company that had industrial compressors. The air
was used to control the heating zones in the building. In other
words, air operated valves at the hot water heat radiators. Anyhow,
we had some special "compressor oil". I never questioned it, but the
stuff looked just like any other type of oil. I always thought it was
just a way to charge more for a bottle of oil. Of course we didnt use
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.