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  1. #1
    Platinum Member retiredmgn's Avatar
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    Default air compressor repair

    My 25 year old, 30 gallon air compressor developed a rust hole. I ground down to clean metal and used a brazing rod with my torch and produced a what appeared to be proper repair. Not.
    Air is seeping out of the repair. Three attempts have produced the same result. I removed all obstructions from the tank so air pressure would not be blowing out my brazing. I have only one remaining option. Grind off my brazing and try my stick welder. Just don't get why the brazing isn't sufficient to plug the hole.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: air compressor repair

    Junk that tank before it kills you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
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    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: air compressor repair

    if its that thin in one spot, it cant be great in quite a few other spots as well. i don't know how anyone could feel comfortable with that sitting within a 100 yards of them.

    cut it open and scrap it.

    fwiw, i would imagine its the oil on the inside of the tank that's contaminating your braze, you would have to patch to get a good seal, trying to fill the hole would not work very well.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: air compressor repair

    I agree with the others. No way I'd try to repair a hole in the tank, since that just can't be the only thin spot. I'd either want to replace the tank, or the entire compressor.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Ohio
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    GC2310,

    Default Re: air compressor repair

    I was in a similar situation 2 years ago.

    A small hole had developed in the end cap, next to where it was welded to the tank. I was puzzled, because I have always had an automatic drain on it. When I stood it up on end to look at it, I realized, a bulge in the way they formed the end, had caused it to be slightly lower than the rest of the tank, trapping water there.

    My compressor is a small, 30 gallon horizontal heavy commercial version, rather than the thin walled, throw away versions, they generally sell homeowners.

    I used a pointed pick hammer to determine if the adjacent area was thin from rust, and also checked the rest of the tank, and found it all sound. The hammer only damaged, and penetrated the tank in a very small area, about 3/16", where the hole was.

    A friend who is a pressure pipe welder, offered to repair it, but I made the decision to weld it myself. Took about 15 seconds. The compressor has been fine ever since.

    My compressor has it's own room, and I have no children, or family that could use it, or can be inadvertently injured by it. All factors I would also consider before welding it.

    If, and when it develops a new leak, I will replace it.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member retiredmgn's Avatar
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    Default Re: air compressor repair

    OK. You guys have given me pause. Thanks.
    Please enlighten me why the danger here. I removed the valve that allows water to drain - better late than never - opened the air outlet. These actions would prevent pressure building up in the tank while brazing. What could blow up here?
    It seems simple enough, fix the hole, put the plugs back in, pump it up to see if it holds...
    2 HP, twin cylinder Sears horizontal. Seems this thing should outlast me.

    The 'oil contamination' comment seems most likely here. The brazing went well and while I'm fairly new to welding/brazing I've been soldering all my adult life. Rules are the same - clean, clean, clean.

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: air compressor repair

    It's not a question of it blowing up while you're welding or brazing. It's a matter of whether it will spring other leaks in the future and the possibility (not a certainty) that it might blow pieces some distance with considerable force. In some cases, when a compressed air container (tire for example) blows, the force of the air coming out on one side, propels the container the opposite direction. In other words, if that compressor has a blowout on the side next to the wall, the whole thing may fly across the room, and you would not want to be in the line of fire.
    Bird

  8. #8
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: air compressor repair

    Quote Originally Posted by retiredmgn View Post
    My 25 year old, 30 gallon air compressor developed a rust hole.
    The very first line of your post lead me to my decision.

    With a rusted out tank you can chase pin holes until the cows come home. Plus with it rusted the integrity of the tank has been compromised.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Central, OK
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    jd 1050 LS I3040H. CASE SC

    Default Re: air compressor repair

    The danger is not to you doing the repairs. Our concern is for you grandchildren sitting beside it airing up a bicycle tire when it has a large rupture and causes injury, blindness or death to the innocent.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    John Deere

    Default Re: air compressor repair

    I have 2 commercial air compressor in the shop and one of them developed a leak about a year ago..I just put a screw in it and no problem since..I have another tank to mount the pump on, just have not done it.
    JD 2011, 2520,61 200CX loader,imatch,pallet forks,54 front blade,4 Yanmar Tillar...Life is good!!!

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