The compressor is only a couple of months old and I drain the tank after
each use. The other day I noticed the water was rusty. Is there a way of
stopping rust or is this just par for the course ?
I think if you added a pre filter to remove moisture it would help.
Once, I tried adding a motorcycle gas tank sealer in the tank and made a
real mess. The solution is for the manufacturers to coat the inside or use
non ferrous tank material.
Despite what the others have said there is the fact that
when the compressor is compressing the act of compressing
causes the air being compressed to become very hot. When
the compressed air goes from the piston chamber to the tank
it cools. This heating and cooling causes condensation so
no amount of doing things on the outside of the tank will
Draining the tank only empties what has settled to the
bottom of the tank. There will still be condensation on the
tank sides and this will continue to rust the tank from the
inside out. Not saying draining is worthless, just that you
aren't getting all the condensation.
My advice (advise in wreckspeak) is live with it.
Now, keeping the condensation from entering the lines,
that's a whole nudder kettle of fish and can be dealt with
by adding a separator.
It's par for the course Gordon. Moisture is a byproduct of compressing air.
Your tank is the perfect environment for moisture to collect as water. It's
going to happen. Drain your tank frequently, or install an automatic tank
drain that pops off every time the compressor cycles. Those cost around $20
(I believe) at Harbor Freight. FWIW, your tank will last for years and
years and years if you drain it on some regular basis. It does not have to
be every day. Drain it weekly or even a little longer and that tank will
last almost forever. You'd be surprised how many compressors have never
been drained and they still pump air 15 years later.
Are there any safety issues with a rusty tank, such as a situation where you
can't tell that the integrity has been compromised to due to rust, and it
explodes? I worry about that with my compressor.
Your tank will NOT explode....at least because of rust.... at some
point it may blow out and loose all the air, making a lot of noise
etc. BUT it will not explode...
I use my compressor almost daily and I drain it and leave the think
open when not in use... lasted me 40 years now...no signs of rust
YET... Figure my grandchildren may be using it when it finally rusts
thru...long after I am pushing up weeds..
No, I think it's safe. Have had several compressors fail. Generally you get
a pin hole leak and the thing won't shut off. Each time it has been at the
weld on the very bottom of the tank. Tanks are usually certified and very
I have tried welding the leaks. Doesn't work.
I have done both. If it is a high quality compressor I will try and find a
tank. Usually parts are more expensive than the whole thing. You have to add
in the labor of moving everything over. I usually sell the old compressor
with the bad tank and it makes it economical to buy a new one.
In my experience, the motor/pump will go before the tank does. I base
this statement on the surplus of tanks from used compressors, and the
absence of surplus pumps for same. Maybe it's a local, isolated thing
in my area, but I don't think so.
I doubt is a local or isolated thing, probably more in line with how much
the compressor is used. One used daily will probably wear out before the
tank rusts through.. If the compressor tank rusts out first it may have
only been used occasionally and the water not trained.
On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 08:51:35 -0500, "Buck Turgidson"
This is possible, but it's incredibly rare. Mainly it can be avoided
by good design. You can tell where the cylinder will begin to rust,
and the design should ensure that area is strong enough that you don't
get a "zipper" failure. A pinhole leak can be so small that you hear
it whistling before you notice the leakage.
I've seen the aftermath of a couple of explosive compressor failures.
One was enormous (a compressor big enough to have its own building),
but the other was a small paint-sprayer, assembled from scrap parts.
This had a flat-ended tank which had been stood on end. Pooled water
had caused rust around most of the welded seam, so when it failed, the
whole end of the tank came off. No injuries, but there would have
been if anyone had been near the tank when it went.
Not saying it is impossible, but usually when a steel air tank rusts
out, it gets pinoles or small cracks near the bottom, where water
accumulates. I've seen a few where this happened, but have never seen
or heard of a tank exploding because of rust. As long as you drain the
tank regularly you should be OK. Sometimes consumer-grade tanks have
a "stop using on" date marked on them.
My first tank I never drained. 7 years later it got a pin hole leak. When I
finally drained it nearly two gallons of rusty muck water drained out. I
replaced the tank (not that expensive, repairing air tanks is a real
dangerous thing to do I am told), and now I drain it every week or so.
AFAIK, it's PFTC. OTOH, you might ask these guys if the stuff
works on compressor tanks. Tank expansion might be a problem.
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