Air Compressors | GTAMotorcycle.com

Air Compressors

MLadin

Well-known member
Just wondering if any of you have oiless air compressors and if you run them in the winter cold? Have you had one fail in cold temperatures?

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
My dad has the loud porter cable pancake many years old with no issues. I upgraded him to a rolair jc10 as it is much much quieter. No problems with that one either.

What fails on oil less in the cold? Fractured piston seals? The compressor is only cold for a stroke or two.

I have used some oiled compressors in the past that were a prick to get started in the cold without popping breakers.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Used one for years, seems virtually unaffected by the cold.
I do agree getting some oil filled units going in the cold can be a bear.
 

TwistedKestrel

King of GTAM
Site Supporter
Used one for years, seems virtually unaffected by the cold.
I do agree getting some oil filled units going in the cold can be a bear.
We have a cheap Hitachi compressor we got on sale from somewhere, Canadian Tire maybe? Initially it did NOT want to run in the cold, at all (would trip internal circuit breaker/thermal protection after a few seconds). However, the manual said in that scenario you should try replacing the compressor oil with synthetic 5w50. After we did that, we never had an issue with it again
 

MLadin

Well-known member
Oilless compressors look like this inside. Bought a Mastercraft one and it worked til the cold weather arrived. I'm thinking it might not be a good idea to run these in the Canadian winter as the compressed air is colder than the ambient and likely broke the diaphragm inside. Also, from testimonials I read, Mastercraft compressors are pure crap...don't buy them. I found a Husky on sale at Home Depot.


 
Last edited:

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Oilless compressors look like this inside. Bought a Mastercraft one and it worked til the cold weather arrived. I'm thinking it might not be a good idea to run these in the Canadian winter as the compressed air is colder than the ambient and likely broke the diaphragm inside. Also, from testimonials I read, Mastercraft comoressors are pure crap...don't buy them. I found a Husky on sale at Home Depot.



Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
Huh? "Compressed air is colder than the ambient"???

Once the pressure starts to build, they should heat up quickly. Even free flowing, they have build a little pressure to open the check valve. I'm not sure if that's enough to ever really warm up though.

AFAIK the PC is a wobble piston like #3. Over time it leaks more and becomes less efficient but rarely suffers a catastrophic failure.
 

Bobo

Well-known member
I’ve got a 20 gallon, 5 horsepower Campbell Hausefield compressor I bought 25 years ago that still works great and I’ve never had a problem with it in the cold.I could have gotten an oil less compressor for much less but would it have lasted 25 years? I don’t think so.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I do some work for a company that sells oil and oiless compressors, in the home shop market they last about equally. What kills them is running on too small a gauge extension cord which burns electrics and not keeping the air intake clean. Dusty air is like grinding powder on the cylinder walls.
 

MLadin

Well-known member
[/QUOTE]
Huh? "Compressed air is colder than the ambient"???

Once the pressure starts to build, they should heat up quickly. Even free flowing, they have build a little pressure to open the check valve. I'm not sure if that's enough to ever really warm up though.

AFAIK the PC is a wobble piston like #3. Over time it leaks more and becomes less efficient but rarely suffers a catastrophic failure.
Moisture / condensation in the winter air can turn to ice in the compressor.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

Roadghost

Well-known member
I have an oil based DeVilbliss compressor. It's 20 years old. Still works fine. I was told not to buy the oiless ones. I think I made the right choice.
 

MLadin

Well-known member
I have an oil based DeVilbliss compressor. It's 20 years old. Still works fine. I was told not to buy the oiless ones. I think I made the right choice.
You absolutely did...read the compressor testimonials on the Canadian Tire app if you're ever bored....even their higher end Maximum are an absolute do not buy. Clearly they're all being made in China.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I have an oil based DeVilbliss compressor. It's 20 years old. Still works fine. I was told not to buy the oiless ones. I think I made the right choice.
The right Oilless compressor (such as rolair) can be very good. I think much of the bad rap with oilless compressors comes from them being sold as the cheapest option (and built to save every penny as a result). Rolair gives you a 70% duty cycle on the jc10 while a decent but not stellar oiled compressor (makita mac700) only gives you 50%. I'm not sure which one would wear faster if run at 100%.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
They have made significant advances in the materials in oiless compressors, the sleeve linings, material for diaghrams and seals and related metalurgy for cyl heads and pistons.
But as Greyghost points out, with a few exceptions (rolair) they are the product cheapest to get to market. There are some better engineered ones for specific jobs, diving and resporators for industry, but the CTC princess auto $129.00 jobs are pretty awful.
 

Allistonfjr

Well-known member

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Moisture / condensation in the winter air can turn to ice in the compressor.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]

On the vacuum side of the compressor, perhaps, although (unlike a carburetor where this used to be fairly common in cold conditions) the airflow/venturi effect through the intake side of a consumer grade compressor is unlikely to be high/fast enough to create the necessary conditions.

The law of thermodynamics on the other hand pretty much eliminates the possibility of ice forming on the compression side.

Where ice most commonly forms in a compressor is inside the tank where condensation will sit if not drained.
 

MLadin

Well-known member
Moisture / condensation in the winter air can turn to ice in the compressor.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
On the vacuum side of the compressor, perhaps, although (unlike a carburetor where this used to be fairly common in cold conditions) the airflow/venturi effect through the intake side of a consumer grade compressor is unlikely to be high/fast enough to create the necessary conditions.

The law of thermodynamics on the other hand pretty much eliminates the possibility of ice forming on the compression side.

Where ice most commonly forms in a compressor is inside the tank where condensation will sit if not drained.[/QUOTE]Freezing air rushing through an orifice will freeze even more...reaching (in the case of an oilless compressor), not a piston and rings (which can take the beating), but a diaphragm which is already cold and brittle from the winter freeze results in boom. Which is what happened to mine. Which is what happens to most oilless compressors in our climate. Lesson learned, keep an oilless compressor in your basement where it will remain at room temperature or don't run it in the winter. Or boom.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

Torren

Well-known member
Site Supporter
On the vacuum side of the compressor, perhaps, although (unlike a carburetor where this used to be fairly common in cold conditions) the airflow/venturi effect through the intake side of a consumer grade compressor is unlikely to be high/fast enough to create the necessary conditions.

The law of thermodynamics on the other hand pretty much eliminates the possibility of ice forming on the compression side.

Where ice most commonly forms in a compressor is inside the tank where condensation will sit if not drained.
Freezing air rushing through an orifice will freeze even more...reaching (in the case of an oilless compressor), not a piston and rings (which can take the beating), but a diaphragm which is already cold and brittle from the winter freeze results in boom. Which is what happened to mine. Which is what happens to most oilless compressors in our climate. Lesson learned, keep an oilless compressor in your basement where it will remain at room temperature or don't run it in the winter. Or boom.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]

That diaphragm is only cold until the first stroke, and will be up to full operating temp within the first 5. I've used a DeWalt oilless compressor outside in the winter on construction projects for years without issue. I'm on my second one. I just wore the first one out exceeding it's duty cycle. In fairness it probably had ~1500 hours run time on it with most of that being in 2 hour stretches.

There are 2 main downfalls to oilless compressors. Firstly they are much noisier than their oiled cousins and secondly they generally have a much lower duty cycle which for most home use won't be an issue.
 

Top Bottom