How do you clean the inside of an air compressor tank?

by Francisco
(Salem ,Oregon)

I have a 60 gal compressor that have been setting there for about 2 years, but now i finally want to install it.


I want to know if there is a liqid that i can put in the compressor to clean it or what it is that i have to do to make sure the compressor is clean and ready to be install.
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Hi Francisco, nice to hear from Oregon. Thanks for stopping by and writing in.

By liquid into the compressor, I understand that to mean that you want to put something into the air tank to clean it out?

Not necessary.

If the compressor is new, you'll want to run it for a while (say 15-30 minutes) with the tank drain open to allow the compressor head components to settle in, and for the seals on the piston(s) to seat properly.

After that, drain the tank after every use.

If the unit has sat for a couple of years unused, I would be inclined to change the oil before I started it up.

If I've misunderstood your question, write back in would you?

Cheers,

Bill

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Jan 06, 2013
Tank sitting outside 6 years
by: Daniel

I inherited a 60 gallon air compressor that has been sitting outside a barn in open weather for 6 years. The pump is still on it, but does not work and I don't care about that. Before then the owner ran it 3 years and probably drained it 2 or 3 times. Is it salvageable?
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Any parts on the air compressor that work are salvageable. You say you don't care about the pump, but that's likely the most valuable part of the compressor. I'm curious as to how you know it doesn't work? Is suspect the motor may be corroded to death, but other parts may not.

Of course, 60 gallon is the tank size. Knowing the motor HP and voltage would help determine if it would be worthwhile working on salvage.

If the question is to do with the integrity of the tank, the only way to know is to add air pressure in increments, and monitor the tank pressure with the tank gauges to see if it holds at the pressure. If the pressure decays, that may indicate a pin hole, and if there is a pin hole, in time, that will become bigger and you will need a new tank.

B.

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My pipe attaching the regulator and manifold to the tank broke off at the tank inlet pipe.

by David M
(Newport, Maine, U.S.)

I have a Speedway Series air compressor with 2 HP and 6 gallon tank.

The manifold and regulator appear to be made from cast aluminum or white metal.

Something dropped on the regulator/ manifold and broke it off at the joint where the manifold is attached into the tank.

How would I remove the remaining portion that remains in the pipe welded to the tank.

I have found the replacement for the regulator/manifold, but I am not sure how to install it into this metal pipe on the tank.

I am wondering if I will have to just dispose of the compressor and buy a new one. I would appreciate any advise.
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If the pipe from the manifold was threaded into the tank, then you have a challenge. Getting a tool that will "grab" the outsides of a broken pipe to allow you to generate enough torque to thread it out is the issue.

You might be able to cobble something with a couple of slot screwdrivers fitting into small slots cut into the pipe inner surface with a hacksaw blade.

If you can get purchase on the pipe, heating the surrounding metal with a propane torch might help in the removal of the old pipe.

Other suggestions are welcome.

The white metal is cast, and cheap. You can fabricate a manifold to fit almost any compressor needs by using standard brass and copper fittings available from any decent plumbing supply shop.

Gold luck. Maybe keep us posted if you wish. If the compressor is running well, saving it would be my option.

Bill

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Nov 17, 2013
broken pipe
by: Doug in s.d.ca

Nice work.

Nov 16, 2013
Thank You for your help.
by: David M

I successfully got it out. I thank all of you for your suggestions. Based on Bill's suggestion, I tried to get a hack saw into the hole, but the hole inside the pipe was too small. I did find a triangular file that would go in, and also fetched up against the side of the pipe. By driving it in securely within the pipe, I was able to heat the pipe with a heat gun and slowly turn it out. As soon as it moved the smallest bit, it was easy from then on. Hurray for me as I was afraid I would have to buy a new compressor. By coincidence, while I was looking for some parts for a new manifiold, I did find a 3/8 " internal pipe wrench that may have worked if I could have drilled the hole out a little more. Thankfully, it was already out. Thank you all.

Nov 14, 2013
EZ-OUT
by: Anonymous

use an ez-out workes super match the right size to the hole just tap it in and screw it out easy be carful not to brake the ez-out in the nipple

Nov 13, 2013
broken pipe
by: Doug in s.d.ca

There are tools for just this purpose of removing broken ends from female pipe threads.

Use your fave search engine to find "nipple extractor"

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Here is how I built my Brad Nailer Tank

by Mongo
(Upstate NY)

Thanks for the nice article. I have several 5 and 7 gallon tanks, and frequently use them outdoors. Here's how I adapted them.

-installed a ball valve on the fitting meant for the hose. Then mounted a quick disconnect (female) on the other side of the ball valve.

-disposed of plastic chuck hose (chucked the hose)

-made a hose with a tire chuck mounted on it, out of rubber welding hose. It stays flexible in -40F weather, which is colder than I have seen here. Works great topping tires at -20F, which is a point where I worry about tires popping off of rims.

-made a hose with a male and female quick disconnect, which allows me to have a blow gun, brad nailer or whatever, used with the tank

-made a male/male adapter, which is used for filling the tank. Use the ball valve, and install the fitting into the quick disconnect on the tank first. Tanks fill in seconds.

Cost? The ball valve, threaded, was $4.88 at a plumbing supply house. The quick disconnect and several male fittings were $3 at HFT. The welding hose was about $5 for 3 ft, with NPT fittings on each end. I used 1/4" welding hose.

All my tanks have this setup, and while it does not have all the desired attributes of the brad nailer tank, it is simple and well suited for general use.
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Thanks Mongo.

Cheers,

Bill

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