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Air brush compressor needs a tank

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Main issue is attaching a tank to a small diaphragm air brush compressor?

by Mike
(Stevensville, MD USA)

I currently own a small 1/5 hp diaphragm type, tank-less air brush compressor.

It works OK, but I really want the smooth supply of a tank.

I just ordered a 2.5 gal tank with 7 female 1/4″ NPT ports in hopes of using it as a storage tank. It is designed for use with air horns, but I thought it might work for my purpose.

What do you think? Will it work OK?

How would I go about hooking it up?

Thanks a a lot!, Mike


Attaching a tank.
by: Bill

Hi Mike….

That’s the problem with the low cost diaphragm type air brush compressors. They provide a pulsed air supply which is a problem in that the paint flow will change with pressure fluctuation.

Diaphragm compressors are also deliverers of fairly low pressure as compared to their higher cost, and noisier, piston type cousins.

Adding a reservoir will help remove pressure pulsations from your air supply, provided your regulator is set below the pressure set points of the compressor.

I can’t see any reason why adding a tank to your compressor will do anything but help your air brush painting.

Make sure that when the compressor is running to fill the tank, that it doesn’t exceed it’s duty cycle.

Just run an air line from the compressor discharge into the tank’s supply receptacle.

I’d put a check valve into the line from your compressor to the tank so that higher pressure in the tank can’t get back to the compressor as it starts and stops.

Is your unit an auto start, or do you use a foot switch? If you use a switch, how will you control the compressor on/off cycle to fill the tank?

A picture of your tank would be useful to help understand what connecting equipment it came with. Here’s a link to a page with information about someone that has done what you’re thinking of doing.

In this example, the tank is detachable from the air source. Nevertheless, it is a remote tank filled from a compressor, and can be used to supply air to a number of different devices.


Air Brush Tank
by: Jim G


It should work great.

Hook the compressor to one end and output to the other.

I suggest a ball valve on tank in and out line to lock off pressure between jobs, as compressor will now have to fill tank.

A low pressure regulator on output line set lower than compressor output but works good on the spray unit would help as well.

Some states require safety blow offs (PRV’s) on tanks.

(I know Jim G personally, and let me tell you, he’s forgotten more about compressed air than I’ll ever know. I’m delighted that Jim has found this site again and is adding comments and more complete answers to your questions.

New comment? New question? Please add it here along with photos to help others help you with your compressor and equipment problem!

By Bill Wade

About Air Compressors has been helping folks with their Air Compressor Problems since 2002 online. We're a community of DIY and Compressed Air professionals who are keen to support everyone across the globe with their air compressor issues and troubleshooting. Whether you're trying to identify an old air compressor, or troubleshoot an error code on a sophisticated new industrial air compressor - the community at About-Air-Compressors.com is here to help you

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