From Jon – March 2019: Can 1/3 hp air brush compressor handle a 5 gallon tank? I bought a badger 480-2 airbrush compressor. The 4 liter air tank is shot…it is rusted through. Would like to piggyback the compressor on a new air tank. The 5 gallon tanks are easy to find and inexpensive. Would a tank this size put too much strain on this small compressor motor?
Jon, there are many 1/3 HP pumps on 5 gallon tank air compressors. If they come from the store or factory like that, they are properly sized for pump and tank.
The issue with putting a pump from a small air compressor onto a larger tank, regardless if it is an airbrush compressor or not, is always one of Duty Cycle. Duty Cycle is the designed in length of time that a particular compressor motor and pump can run before overheating due to run time, and length of time a particular model can run before it MUST be shut down to allow it to cool to an acceptable level before restarting it.
The 480-2 evidently has a thermal overload switch that will shut the compressor down when the temperature of the motor reaches 110C or 212F. That being the case, you may be OK as the thermal shut down will protect the motor from heat-related harm.
If you decide to use the 5 gallon tank, monitor the fill cycle to ensure that your 480-2 does not shut off on overload and start again over and over again as that type of cycle will ultimately damage the motor.
Badger’s site has the manual for this compressor and it can be downloaded from there or, I’ve taken the liberty of downloading it and providing it here for you to download as well.
You might also try contacting Badger directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Update: As for contacting Badger, I did so on you and others behalf asking the question about the duty cycle of the 480-2. “Rick” was kind enough to reply in July 2019 with the statement “As long as it’s in good working , and properly maintained, it should work out fine for you, best – Rick”.
Well, there you have it from Badger themselves though I’d have preferred a bit more information including what the actual duty cycle of the compressor is.