Retiring an old compressor

by Angela
(Illinois, USA)

Old compressor in the woods behind my house

Old compressor in the woods behind my house

I found an old compressor in the woods behind my house (on my property). It is completely covered in mud and starting to rust; was laying on its side. It is so heavy that two people cannot lift or move it. I would like to know how to safely retire it. I would like to remove the hardware off the tank, and possibly keep the tank. I would like to know how to do this safely, and what the dangers are. If the tank can be rendered somehow safe, I would like to repurpose it by painting it with Rustoleum. Any information you have would be very helpful. I don't want any explosions!

Comments for Retiring an old compressor

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May 31, 2016
Seating
by: Doug in s.d.ca

Angela -

I don't think there's anything to worry about.

As Bill said, there could be perhaps a pint or two of oil in the pump and maybe some in the tank, but unless you smell pretty strong fumes for more than a few minutes, it poses no immediate hazard, even if you smoke.

You could probably remove the stuff using a skyhook (helicopter), but that'd be a tad expensive.

Anyway, have fun, enjoy your coffee.


May 31, 2016
original poster
by: Angela

Thank you Doug and Bill. I was thinking of removing the hardware on the top (it says it is a Wagner induction motor), and then painting the tank to use as a seat (the tank says it is from 1957). There are already two old hot water heaters and a large fuel tank next to it that could not possibly be removed without a great expense and cutting down some beautiful hickory. I have painted those and we sit on them and drink coffee. Anything I should be worried about (paint being flammable, y'know...)

May 30, 2016
Retired old compressor
by: Bill

The pump base may have oil in it, as may the compressor tank.

I think what Doug is alluding to in his post is that you likely don't want to consider using this compressor tank as a pressure vessel.

May 30, 2016
retiring the compressor
by: Doug in s.d.ca

It's unlikely there is any pressure left, so it's safe as-is. You can look for a valve on the bottom or the PRV which appears to be on the outside end near the motor.

What are you thinking of for the tank? Some kind of liquid storage or maybe a planter?

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