Before we go on, let me acknowledge that this will NOT take the place
of a good 240 volt, 60+ gallon, oil clubbed compressor! That's not
the intent here. <G>
I have a PC 2 HP 6 gallon pancake unit that came with my brad / finish
nailer kit. It's a handy tool for nailing, blow guns, and other small
draw devices, plus it's very portable.
Looking for a cheap alternative to buying a portable mid-sized
compressor to power a touch up gun, I had an idea. I added a brass
tee fitting between the pressure switch and regulator. To the tee, I
connected an extra quick connect, so that I can connect my 11 gallon
air tank. For regular nailing, I can leave the extra tank
It works GREAT! I use a small regulator set to 40-50 psi at the gun,
set the compressor regulator to 75-80 PSI, and I can pretty much spray
all I want without waiting for the compressor to catch up! The
initial charge does take quite a bit longer than without the extra
tank, and I know I'm adding extra wear to the machine, but it's a lot
cheaper than a decent 20-25 gallon portable. Inserting the extra
capacity between the switch and first regulator makes the system
behave quite differently than if the tank were after the first
Now I can use the big compressor for regular spraying, the PC, in two
versions, for portable applications, or even the 11 gallon tank alone
Since I already had the spare tank, the total cost of the mod was
I have a monstrous IR T-30 compressor; was supposed to be 5HP, but the 5HP
filter won't come close to fitting - it needs a ten inch diameter filter.
The motor I put on it to replace the 5HP 3ph motor is a 5HP TEFC 220/25amp
single phase unit. I suspect 15HP would be closer to was original.
Anyway, due to my own lazyness, I added an automatic drain to the tank.
These units are available at Grainger or MSC, and will open a 1/4 inch
valve for 2-10 seconds every hour. The output on mine goes to a small
hose barb with 25 feet of 1/4 inch tubing on it. It ends up outside.
Now I never have to worry about "Did I drain the tank?"...
A final piece of maintenance - I checked the safety valves (overpressure
valves) and found one solidly stuck closed. Grainger had several
different replacement units for about $10. Cheap at ten times the price!
A stuck-on compressor with a frozen safety valve could blow your house
to small pieces if you have a large tank. Mine is eighty gallons and the
people in sci.physics claim the energy storage at 200 psi is about the same
as a pound of TNT.
Just a word of warning, I have the same compressor and I like it also.
However, the unit is not meant to exceed a 50% duty cycle (the motor should
not be running more than 50% of the time while in use). If the larger draw
air tools are causing the motor to exceed the 50% rating, then the life of
the motor will be greatly reduced.
Agreed. It's not. Extended run times would probably also raise the
air temp and moisture content considerably.
I like to charge any compressor at the very beginning of a spray
session to allow the air to cool, and moisture to settle out. This is
the first thing I do, before I even take out the gun, prepare the
finish, or prepare the work area.
It takes 10-12 minutes for the initial charge on this thing, and
things do not get overly hot. I could probably spray a typical
vanity, end table, or maybe a nightstand, without the compressor
kicking in until I'm cleaning the gun. In reality, It might run 5-10
minutes of 30-45 minutes of work time, exclusive of the initial
Remember, I have a larger unit, this is for quickie touch up gun, or
extended Critter use, with portability in mind. I'm not looking to
power a conversion gun and spray wall units or kitchens with it.
If the thing eventually toasts, I'll replace it with a 20-28 gallon
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