Compressed Air Tanks

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large compressor air tank
(Last Updated On: August 26, 2020)

Air compressor tanks are very important because they hold the compressed air under pressure. There are many questions out there regarding air compressor tanks including ‘why do air compresor tanks need to be drained?’, ‘Can an air compressor tank explode?’ and so on.

In this article, we will answer your question and provide the complete guide for air compressor tanks!

Why Have A Compressed Air Tank?

To make the whole air tank issue a little more simple, consider the air tank on a compressor like the battery of a rechargeable flashlight.
Compressed Air Tanks
Buy this air compressor tank here.
When the battery is discharged, you have to recharge it. When the air tank on your compressor is discharged (zero pressure), you have to recharge it (run the compressor).

On the flashlight, the larger the rechargeable battery, the longer the flashlight will run without recharging the battery.

Compressed Air Tank
Compressed Air Tank

On the compressor, the larger the air tank, the longer the compressed air will flow to the tool before the tank has to be recharged.

When you are using compressed air continuously, you need a larger HP compressor AND a much larger air tank to ensure that air tools aren’t starved for air. For us DIY workshop type compressor users, a bigger tank provides some benefit, but usually the difference in tank size means only a few seconds longer supply of compressed air, and we still have to wait regularly and often for the air compressor to kick in and bring the charge of compressed air in the tank back up to a usable level.

 

Can An Air Compressor Tank Explode?

While it is unlikely, there have been cases whee air compressor tanks have exploded. This is normally due to manufacturing defects that cause corrosion of the tank from water condensate, improper usage or improper functioning of the device. It is important to always follow the proper safety guidelines when dealing with compressors. For more information, see https://understanding-air-compressors.com/yes-compressors-can-blow-up/.

 

Why Drain The Compressor Tank?

I just had a visitor pose that very question as to whether it was necessary to drain the compressor tank after every use.

One of the things you want to do after every use of your compressor is to open the manual drain valve located on the bottom of the tank and allow residual air, and more importantly, water to be expelled from the receiver.

Why Drain The Compressor Tank
Why Drain The Compressor Tank

The process of compressing air creates substantial water in the tank. The amount of water is relative to the length of time the compressor is used that time and the humidity of the air that day.

Regardless of the amount of water, know that you will have water in the receiver tank each time you use the compressor.

Depending on the quality of the compressor receiver, it will have varying levels of resistance to rust.

Draining the water each time you use the compressor will surely help prolong the receiver life and prevent rust buildup which, in time, may migrate down your air lines to your air tools.

drain air compressor tank

Compressing air generates a lot of water and water vapor. That all ends up in the compressor tank. You need to get rid of that water as it causes problems.

 

One tank, two compressors?

Question:

1. Can I use one air reservoir for two compressor? Or if I have two compressors, I have to have 2 reservoirs also? Because we have 1 compressor, and we will add one more.

2. Should I add the air dryer to for the new compressor?

Thank you.

____________

Answer:

Thanks for writing in.

Yes, you can use one air reservoir for two air compressors.

Since the two compressors will be generating air flow at different times and different pressures, it is necessary to put a check valve in each of the outflow lines to the reservoir, so that air cannot flow back down the line to the other compressor.

One tank two compressors
Buy a really awesome compressor by clicking right here
If you have an air dryer, I would install it downstream from the reservoir. Therefore, you would have two compressors both feeding air into the single reservoir, and the discharge line from the reservoir would then flow into the dryer, and from the dryer, to the plant.

There’s benefit in having the air flow into the reservoir before the dryer. It then has some time to cool naturally, to drop water out naturally, reducing the load on the dryer.

Make sure your reservoir has a auto-drain installed to rid the tank of water regularly.

Also, double check to ensure that the dryer will have the capacity needed to handle the outflow from two compressors.

 

How many gallons are in my compressed air tank?

For some reason that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, manufacturers of compressed air tanks – receivers – air pigs, etcetera, measure their capacity in U.S. gallons. However, you don’t use gallons of compressed air, you use CFM of air, at a specific pressure for your application.

So, is there a conversion between the two?

In his white paper #5 entitled Air Receivers, Thomas Kreher offers the following for us.

“Receivers, tanks, reservoirs are used to store a volume of compressed air. The sizes of these receivers are often rated in gallons. To readily convert from gallons to cubic feet, divide the number of gallons by 7.48 (7.48 gallons = 1 cubic foot) Wow! We could pour 7 ½ gallons of liquid into a 12” cubed tank. Also you may multiply gallons by 13.4% (.1337) to get cubic feet. 300 gallons = approximately 40 SCF.”

 

1 Gallon Vs 5 Gallon Tank On Your Compressor

Or, a small compressed air tank versus a big one?

It seems as though a lot of folks confuse the discharge flow rate of a particular compressor pump, and the size of the compressor tank. That may be because the retailers of compressors suggest that a larger tank offers a somehow more powerful compressor. Check the fine print!

air compressor tanks
Buy a tank here
You can put a really small compressor pump on a very large tank, or the reverse. You want to know what the discharge pressure of the compressor pump is, at the pressure your application requires. That’s how you size the compressor.

The purpose of the tank or receiver is to provide a ready supply of compressed air for an application. If that compressed air using application consumes less compressed air than is in the tank before the tank pressure reaches the compressor cut in point, then the application will run without the compressor head (or pump) from turning on at all.

Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor 1 Gallon air compressor
Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressor 1 Gallon air compressor

Buy a Cambell Hausfield Air Compressor by clicking here.
When the compressor pump works, it runs until the pressure in the tank reaches the cut out point, usually somewhere between 100 PSI and 150 PSI for most compressors. The compressor won’t turn on again until the pressure in the tank drops to the cut in point, perhaps 100 PSI, sometimes as low as 60 PSI. It depends on the type and purpose of the compressor.

Estwing E5GCOMP 5 Gallon Quiet High Pressure Portable Air Compressor
Estwing E5GCOMP 5 Gallon Quiet High Pressure Portable Air Compressor

Buy the Estwing 5 gallon compressor here
The larger the tank you have, the longer the compressor will run until it fills up that tank to the cut out pressure. The larger the tank you have, the more air you have available to use before the pressure in the tank, through using the air, falls to the point that tells the compressor to turn back on.

So, what’s better. A small tank or a large one? It really depends on what you are using the air for. As a rule of thumb, if you can get a larger tank rather than a smaller one for close to the same money, your default option is to the larger tank, in my opinion.

 

Task Force 10 gallon air tank

Question:

I need a part for this tank.

It’s the brass piece that attaches and connects the PSI gauge and drain valve. I damaged the threaded piece that connects the hose.

Task Force 10 gallon air tank
Task Force 10 gallon air tank

There isn’t much depth left on these threads but can it be unscrewed?

Can I get a replacement for this entire assembly somewhere? Any help is sincerely appreciated.

I also need the brass part for this air tank. Where in the great world of ours can a person get a new one???????

Larry

——————————

Hello Ken & Larry:

Further to your inquiries, here’s my advice.

If you know the store that sold the Task Force compressor, go there and ask.

If you don’t, go to any big-box compressor stores and ask them where they send their compressor warranty work. They will likely have a local vendor that works on all their compressors. Visit that local vendor, with your compressor, and show them the problem. With any luck, they will be able to help.

Good luck.

-UAC

Hello, I am Bill, the Compressed-Air-Man. I have years of experience in industrial and residential compressed air applications, air compressors and general pneumatics. I created this site to help professionals, students, and DIYers understand and properly implement and maintain compress3ed air systems.

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