Will air compressor's ext cylinders get too hot to casually feel

loger_gwDecember 8, 2012

Will air compressor's ext cylinders get too hot to casually feel them vs a slap-feel (as a small air cooled gas engine)? I feel this sound normal while using the air to winterize by blowing water from irrigation pipes (but I could smell signs of heat in my closet). Since 1970s I have never had a smell or seen sighs of heat (on cyls) or felt the ext area of the 2 cyls on the compressor. My check will be to pull it out of the closet to look for signs of heat or if something got on the cylinders. It builds pressure to specs (about 120 psi) stops until it drops and kicks on again.

Could the load of pushing the water (50'+ in 1" OD PVC Sch 40 to heads) vs a tool with less load contribute???

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If it's in an enclosed space maybe a medium size fan blowing air in the closet would help.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Running an air compressor in a confined space is a poor practice . Although normally the purging of water lines should only take a few minutes the potential for overheating your unit within this small area is valid. I would recommend that you ensure adequate ventilation for your compressor at all times while operating .

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 10:06AM
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They will get hot. I'm sure that you look over the maintenance items on your compressor judging from your quality of posts. One thing that I think everyone who does maintenance should have is one of those infrared thermometers. They are available for cheap on up. Mine I paid 15$ for, seems accurate enough. You can do things like check the head temp, compare exhaust pipe temps on twin cylinder engines, compare spindle bearing temps etc. Even if you really aren't sure what the temp should be, you can use it as a comparative figure against another similar unit or future readings- or for a how long should I run this thing. I have a Hitachi compressor which runs way cooler than the Harbor Freight coupon special that sits in the back shop. Loud, hot runner- but keeps up with the plasma cutter ...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Infra-Red Pyrometers have been used in industry for years fro diagnosis of everything from bearing failures to proper steam trap operation within HVAC Systems . As Tom has advised they have been down priced drastically over the yrs that they should now be considered a practical tool for all trouble-shooters of mechanical or electrical components.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Good Posts and Info Guys !

This post was edited by ewalk on Sun, Dec 9, 12 at 11:18

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Thanks For The Good info! The closet is approx 6' deep 8' wide (an extension of a two car garage) vented to the garage top and bottom. It is under an open counter top and most important the number of year this has worked w/o a smell. As I said, it will get a chance to smell in the open garage area tomorrow. It's probably telling me it's time to drain the moister reservoir also (where I need to add a glass bowl to show moisture).

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:16PM
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ANY number of varibles to consider if nothing has changed as to your usage . I understood that the closet was a small enclosure and something different than the
positioning of your unit that you now discribe . Ensure proper lubrication levels.If adequate ventilation if apparent over the cylinder head area.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:31PM
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1. The compressor cycled to 120 psi at least 4 times in the open "cold" garage w/o a smell.

2. I could hold or touch the cyls and head through all cycles, less at the head and no at transfer tube.

3. The transfer tube moving air from head to manifold to tank was hot quick with a fitting leaking slow moisture. The potential smell due to moisture w oil vapor on hot manifold/pipe. Naturally I cleaned the signs of moisture/oil at manifold and dust/grime on top of cyls head. Tightening the compression fitting will be another day since a snugging w/n work and the seep is so small.

4. The original 1972 serpentine belt is bouncing/deteriorating and needs changing soon.

5. The moisture reservoir needs a larger valve/hose due to restricting oil in 1/2 cup of moisture.

Too many tools to maintain keeps you working and behind at times!!!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:15PM
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