Would adding a 5 or 10 gallon portable tank to my compressor be helpful?

I have a $99 (on-sale) Harbor Freight 10 gallon compressor that I have been really satisfied with for my home-hobbyist use -- it has more than paid for itself many times over.
I was wondering though whether I could effectively increase its capacity (at least for short intervals) by attaching one or more 5 or 10 gallon portable tanks to it. Would this give it the *effective* capacity of a larger tank allowing me to have a longer burst capacity? (though filling the combined tanks would obviously take longer)
Any issues with doing so?
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If your compressor have a 10 gallon tank, you could fill a 100 gallon tank to the same pressure and have a larger capacity. "Burst capacity" can be increased by using a shorter/fatter hose. I have a 30-gallon tank w/ 5HP, and so far (20 years) it has done a good job for all my needs. The 5-gallon portable tanks are great for filling tires, basketballs, etc. but rather limited for a nailer gun.
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Done all the times. Just be sure the tanks can handle the pressure and you have plenty of hose size for air flow.
Adds capacity. If pumped (takes longer) to a higher value than needed (normal) a larger capacity will last longer before it drops below the low set level.
You can find tanks in yard sales for this purpose.
Martin
blueman wrote:

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I can confirm this. I've got a 5 or 10 gallon tank that I use for my model air brush. At 40 psi, it ran out of pressure rather quickly. At 90 psi with a HF regulator set for 40 psi, it runs out of air quite a bit slower.
Puckdropper
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I would suggest adding storage in parallel rather than in a serial fashion. The cycle up time will be longer the first time it loads up - by a factor related to the capacity added.
Once the pressure reaches the cut-off point, the recycle times should be about equivalent in that,the machine is programmed to come back on when the pressure drops below a predetermined value.
If you put your pressure regulator at teh end of the tanks, before the connector for the "work" hose as it is now, the pressure "out" will not change. If the fittings are not enlarged and the hose diameter stays the same,the volume will not change at a given PSI setting.
What will change, is the total volume of captured air that can be dispensed, albeit at a diminishing pressure as the pump attempts to maintain the pressure and volume in the 'tank' (now three)
As one writer put it, the volume of air "out" is a function of the size of the pump and the HP applied to it. {Pressure is significantly increased using a two-stage pump as opposed to a single-stage pump)
Having said all this, I suspect there are smarter folks than I would have been paid to determine the optimum ratio if pump to tank and have shared these calculations the world over. And, I suspect, the Chinese have long since translated and adopted them to produce an efficient pump/tank combination for HFT and the like.
But, having said all this, I too must admit being intrigued by the idea that adding tank capacity to my little Porter Cble Pancaker might offer some benefit worth the thirty-odd dollar expense.
Carefully record and report back with your results!
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wrote:

When I couldn't get the air impact wrench to break loose the lugs on an elderly pickup, I added a HF air cylinder in series, right before the gun. The problem I had was the long run of 3/8" hose and the volume of air thus made available to the impact wrench. On one end of the tank, I put a ball valve and male adapter that connected to the shop/garage/house air hoses. On the other end was a Tee fitting with 1/2" female chuck and a 3/8" female chuck. (Both had integral stops to prevent leakage, so no ball valve was needed). I replaced the 3/8" fitting on the impact wrench with a 1/2" one and added a short 1/2" commercial-type hose to connect the wrench with the storage tank.
What the tank did was give me the rapid "burst" of air needed by the gun to break loose an encrusted nut or bolt. It didn't last very long, but the burst was enough to get the job done and the balance of the time, the impact wrench ran just as it had with the smaller line.
FWIW, the tank was also very handy for little jobs like blowing out the lawn irrigation system, where I'd have needed to lug a long hose to the fittings. Later on, I simply added an air fitting and connection to the incoming water, isolating the take-off for the irrigation system with valves so the house didn't get air in the lines, but that was later on.
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You might also consider "duty cycle" for your system -- it relates to resting time for the pump or electric motor allowing them to cool. If you exceed the duty cycle you could overheat the motor and burn the insulation or overheat the compressor pump and oxidize the oil, etc.
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