Why I Put A Diaper On My Air Compressor

(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

I have had my small home workshop fairly cheap air compressor for some years now. And, for some years, the dang thing has leaked oil, which is why I put a diaper on my air compressor.

Yes, I have tried to stop the leak by re-tightening the bolts holding the end cap on the compressor. Found some bolt torque guides on line, tightened them down, but, to no avail, unfortunately. The darned oil sump still leaks.

Not a lot of leaking oil, mind you. It’s just that I was getting distressed by the little bit of oil leaking,  and the small oil patches appearing under the compressor if it had been sitting in the same spot for some time. Not to mention the oil on the surface of the tank being a dirt magnet.

Sure, I put a piece of cardboard under the compressor where it dripped. But then, I’d move the darn thing, forget to move the cardboard too, and next thing, another spot on the garage floor.

I try to be aware of what is leaking or dripping onto the ground where I live, as we take our drinking water from a well, and we all know, if you dump it onto the ground – eventually you drink it!

So, as you can see in the photo below, I put a diaper on my air compressor.

Air compressor diaper - www.understanding-air-compressors.com
The compressor “diaper” sits on the compressor tank under the oil sump of the compressor pump, right where the sump seals are leaking.

This end of the compressor does not get too warm when it is running, unlike the pump side. There was just enough room between the compressor tank and the bottom of the sump for me to slide this piece of toweling.

Now, when the seams sweat or leak oil, the “diaper” catches the drip, and when and if it gets saturated, I’ll simply replace it with a new one. And, the old one will be disposed of properly, I assure you.

An air compressor diaper - www.understanding-air-compressors.com
Checking the compressor “diaper” to ensure it’s not saturated also reminds me to check the sump oil level too.

Each time before I use the compressor I check the “diaper” to see if it needs changing. This also gives me a reminder to check the oil level each time as well. The correct oil level on my compressor is with the oil level with the center of the red dot. The oil is a little low, but not much. I’ll top it up next time I use the compressor.

I know, I could go through the aggro of draining the oil, pulling the sump apart, filing the surfaces smooth, trying to find or building a new gasket for the lid, or I could pay to get the oil leak fixed.

Nope, not enough time or money as far as I’m concerned.

It’s a cheap air compressor to start with, still works fine (except for the dripping oil), and I’m satisfied with this unorthodox solution and why I put a diaper on my air compressor.

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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