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Old 02-07-2010, 11:34 PM   post #1 of 31
littletractorguy
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Default Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

So, I was sitting down for my bi-monthly head shaving this morning, and I got to thinking about keeping my teeny-tiny Craftsman air compressor out in my garage for cleaning off/maintaining my teeny-tiny tractor (its not a big leap from trying to sweep my curly locks off the floor to thinking about blowing grass clippings/snow/dirt off various parts of my tractor is it?). However, right now, its probably -15 C. in the garage (that's like, 5 f). Is that going to have any ill effects on my compressor? Am I going to need to do anything special, like drain it each time I use it, so it doesn't get damaged? I just dunno, 'cause while I've used compressors, its always been either indoors, or the compressor has been indoors and the hose has run out to a cold zone....
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:40 PM   post #2 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

I se a leaf blower to clean my equipment. Doesn't matter what the temp is.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:45 PM   post #3 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by slip knot View Post
I se a leaf blower to clean my equipment. Doesn't matter what the temp is.
'Course, I ALSO want to use it to keep the tires inflated on the tractor, the bikes and the car.... Sorry, forgot to mention THAT bit...
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:11 AM   post #4 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

A lot depends on what kind of compressor you have. If it's an oil less one like the little one I use a lot then the cold won't make much difference. At least mine tolerates cold weather well. The bigger compressor in the shop is a different story. Like anything with a crankcase and oil to splash or pump around it gets kind of stiff in really cold conditions. I have a valve on the compressors output line I can open to relieve any back-pressure on the compressor and just let it run and freewheel until it's had time to warm up. If the system is down to zero pressure I don't bother to open this valve as the results are the same. I do this as much to protect the five HP motor running the compressor as anything. A frozen compressor and high pressure in the system makes for a hard start.

It's always a good idea to be sure the storage tank gets warm enough to liquify any ice that may have formed and drain the tank well.

Mike
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:10 AM   post #5 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

Never gave it any thought till now. I've have a 10 or 12 gal. with the little wheels. ( oil type ) been out there for 10 years and never had a problem.

Just bought a new one ( 13 gal.) last week ( oil-less) I use it to blow off the Snow Blower. Seem okay so far.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:12 AM   post #6 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

I have to store my oil pancake compressor in my basement because it does not like to work when it is all below freezing. (I can bring it out into the cold and run it fine for a while) I suppose if I changed the oil to synthetic, it might do better..
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:41 AM   post #7 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

My sixty gallon lives in the shop which is not heated when not being used. It is always "on" and I 'm sure it starts often at or below freezing. Never thought about it much, but they do seem to last ten or so years. They are used frequently.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:07 AM   post #8 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

I have a 30 gallon in my garage that is not heated and have never given it any thought. I keep the power off when not needed, and it will loose most of its pressure over a month or 2 when not used. I have had it for 8 years with no problems though, It is an oilless unit I believe.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:13 AM   post #9 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tencubed View Post
A lot depends on what kind of compressor you have. If it's an oil less one like the little one I use a lot then the cold won't make much difference. At least mine tolerates cold weather well. The bigger compressor in the shop is a different story. Like anything with a crankcase and oil to splash or pump around it gets kind of stiff in really cold conditions. I have a valve on the compressors output line I can open to relieve any back-pressure on the compressor and just let it run and freewheel until it's had time to warm up. If the system is down to zero pressure I don't bother to open this valve as the results are the same. I do this as much to protect the five HP motor running the compressor as anything. A frozen compressor and high pressure in the system makes for a hard start.

It's always a good idea to be sure the storage tank gets warm enough to liquify any ice that may have formed and drain the tank well.

Mike


While mine is only an 8 gallon and not as much HP, in the colder temperatures I also have to let mine warm up first. My compressor has a motor/pump combination that is oil filled. As Mike said, the oil less pumps seem to work better in the cold temps.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:17 AM   post #10 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

Just make sure you drain the tank, and you should be fine.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:57 AM   post #11 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

Shouldn't be a problem thats where I've kept mine for the last 17 years and in the winter it works fine. slkpk
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:45 AM   post #12 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

My garage isn't attached to the house. I always had trouble with my compressor in the winter and had to store it in the basement. It's a twin tank portable unit... or it used to be. I say that because my back no longer lets me carry something that heavy up and down stairs. So I bought a length of hose (galvanized pipe would be better) and ran it across the ceiling, drilled a hole through the 2X8 box and siding, then used a short length of 1/2 inch pipe to get to the outside. I put an elbow outside (facing down) with another short pipe nipple, and then an air hose coupler. If you use hose, like I did, instead of the galvanized pipe, you'll need to clamp the pipe and hose coupler in some way. My house has wood siding, so I just used a spacer behind the downward facing pipe on the outside of the house and secured it with a conduit clamp. It works great and didn't cost much to get the job done.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:00 AM   post #13 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

My garage is not always heated and my compressor does fine. It has some slow starts when it is -10C to -20C but so do I at those temps. I just try and keep tank drained.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:07 AM   post #14 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

I have a 25 gallon oil pump type.I drain mine after every use year around.Because that gets the water out of the tank and because I have seen what happens when a compressor tank blows out and took out a friends wall and damaged a car.

Also because I do not want it cycleing on and off with the switch on.Local guy went on vacation and his gas heater pilot light went out and filled the shop with gas.His air compressor kicked on and there was a massive explosion.Cracked windows in my house 1 mile away.Blowed them out of his.

Also I start my compressor in colder weather and let it run to warm up before closing the drain valve.Puts less stress on the motor.I do not start mine when its that cold.But if I had to I would warm it up with a heater or a heat lamp.But if mine was small like yours I would just take it in the house and let it warm up first.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:20 AM   post #15 of 31
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Default Re: Storing/using air compressor in cold garage...

Pretty sure ours is an 8gal...I use it when it's real cold but never leave it full of air. Why? ...I dunno.
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