12 April, 2016

Custom compressor tank drain, and output valves installed, but not all is well...

So I am officially calling myself an idiot. I started out to do something good for my compressed air system after suffering a stupid loss of a host due to me keeping the system pressurized too long, not dumping the tank enough etc... More on the idiot part at the end...

So I managed to install a remote tank dump valve, and a matching 1/4" NPT ball valve on the compressor output.

The remote dump was pretty simple, but with one minor misjudgement on my part as far as parts went...

Unlike my Central Pnuematic 12 gallon 2HP horizontal air compressor, the 29 gallon compressor tank doesn't have a 1/4" threaded hole, but instead it's threaded 3/8"! No big deal. Plenty of spare parts in my toolbox to solve the problem. But let's take a check of what I had to get for the job...

For starters, after removing the original valve, I found the 3/8" thread instead of 1/4", So I fished a 3/8" M x 1/4" F bushing from my toolbox. Not the actual one photographed, but one I had previously pulled from use.

My parts pile came from a combination of Home Depot, and Harbor Freight Tools. I was going to get most of it from Lowes, but the Lowes near me doesn't carry the 1/4" brass they used to, and I found 1/4" iron at Home Depot...

So the haul was...

From Harbor Freight.

  • 3/8" x 5-8' Rubber Air Hose (Remnant). (I think mine is 8'
  • 2 @ 1/4" full port Ball Valves (I had already unpackaged one prior to shooting the pic)

From Home Depot.

  • 1/4" galvanized iron street elbow.
  • 1/4" galvanized iron coupler FxF
  • 2 @ 1/4" x5" galvanized iron nipples.
  • 1 tube Rectorseal yellow pipe dope. My old jar of Ace Hardware PTFE pipe sealant got broken and dried out / thrown out.

So all was going I took the F quick connect off of the compressor, pipe doped my male threads and male threads on the ball valve, and then installed the ball valve inline between the compressor and the F quick connect.

Next, I go and apply the pipe dope to the male threads, and assemble the nipples to the coupler,and ball valve.

I then go to CARFULLY lean back the compressor to remove the tank drain.

That's when things got away from me.

Simply put, the compressor tipped over and went to the concrete floor.

Good thing it was the handle side of the compressor.
Bad thing the handle doesn't curve back any.

Apparently the pressure gauge DOES protrude beyond the handle on the back of the compressor.

I am not sure about you guys, but just looking at that pic, makes me cringe.

Good thing, Harbor Freight has them, cheap. Bad thing, I have to go get one.

Sadly they don't have an exact replacement in inventory, but rather one with a 1/4" NPT fitting, good thing I have bushings!

I know there are a couple of guys that are crying about the 200PSI filled gauge being labelled in metric on the outer ring, and SAE in the inner. I can handle Metric readings and convert on the fly in my head so I am not terribly worried about it.

So soonest possible, I go to HF, and grab one of these http://www.harborfreight.com/200-psi-14-in-npt-filled-gauge-68251.html

Lesson to b learned? Even if it is short, get help tiilting back / over an air compressor! Now I can't QC my job until I have that dumb thing replaced.

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