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Old 02-20-2011, 08:24 PM   #21
Franco in Pa
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to scrap (cut a hole in) the old compressor tank and I'm just going to buy an inexpensive air compressor to take it's place. Franco
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:29 AM   #22
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

A pressure vessel like we are discussing should be welded to add fittings. However it is only appropriate for a 'code' welder to do any welding on such a vessel. Be very careful with these tanks or vessels. All official testing is always done with liquid (water), as any crack or leak will quickly lower the contained pressure. Obviously that is not the case when they are gas (air) filled.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:26 PM   #23
56 hotrodder
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

I agree with the posters advocating an experienced certified welder do any mods to preesure vessels. However I wanted to add that in the 60's I had a Formula Ford Racing car whose entire tubular space frame chassis was nickle-bronze brazed together. It was hit broadside by at least two cars going 100+ MPH and the actual tube members failed,not one brazed joint failed. The car was repaired ,with braze, and survived another crash (driver error) with no failure of a brazed joint. Properly done a braze joint seems to be adequate . My experience. I would guess I would rather have TIG now.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:39 AM   #24
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

Recently there have been several new posters on Fordbarn, so I just mention this as a reminder that air compressors need to be drained on a regular basis. This means drain the water off the bottom, not drain all the air from the tank.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:11 AM   #25
Steve Wastler
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

Not my compressor, but 30 years ago I was airing up an old tire/tube that came on a 21" rim. Checked at 10 psi, 20 psi looked ok so I figured I would see if it would hold 35. I was about 32, when it blew. My neighbor and fathe came running from different directions. Shook the garage door and blew out a window. My hearing was messed up for about a day and the garage was filled with a black dust. I was dumbfounded it was such an explosion.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:10 AM   #26
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

At work they just got a "new" air compresser, it looks new, the paint is perfect, but the date on the tank is 1988, the paint is so perfect that there wasn't even a chip on the paint of the drain plug for the pump oil sump---same for the drain petcock at the bottom of the tank, and when forced open nothing came out, there is also an automatic drain ---both drain pipes were so clogged with rust that I had to drill them out.

I modify the drains ---my idea is if they are made easy to use the tank will be drained, I get rid of the old style winged petcock that is normally used, I extend the drain with a street elbow,a pipe long enough that a modern small ball valve with the easy to use lever is in a position that there is no crawling around and fighting to drain it----just lean over and turn the valve
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:23 AM   #27
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

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Originally Posted by Kurt in NJ View Post
At work they just got a "new" air compresser, it looks new, the paint is perfect, but the date on the tank is 1988, the paint is so perfect that there wasn't even a chip on the paint of the drain plug for the pump oil sump---same for the drain petcock at the bottom of the tank, and when forced open nothing came out, there is also an automatic drain ---both drain pipes were so clogged with rust that I had to drill them out.

I modify the drains ---my idea is if they are made easy to use the tank will be drained, I get rid of the old style winged petcock that is normally used, I extend the drain with a street elbow,a pipe long enough that a modern small ball valve with the easy to use lever is in a position that there is no crawling around and fighting to drain it----just lean over and turn the valve

I would assume you could even use some type L copper pipe and plumb it from the bottom of the tank using a brass connector and run it up to a nice reach level, install valve and then run it back down to a bucket. Should still drain any fluid and would be really easy to open and close, no bending over!

I guess I just showed how lazy I am.



Thought I'd add this to the thread. Though its a water heater from the 1920s and not an air tank I feel they share the same dangerous in many ways.


Last edited by MrTube; 08-30-2012 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #28
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

I work part time in a hardware store, where we purchased a used compressor for small engine service. The age of the compressor is unknown, but looked to be in good shape. I drained the tank after every use, but who knows what the previous owner did with it.

One day, I had it running and under pressure, when I heard leaking air. Yup, you guessed it, the tank was leaking. To say the least, it was shut down, and the pressure was bled off. The tank was disconnected from the compressor.

Not having a spare tank lying around, and being on a tight budget, I improvised. Used an 8' length of 2" schedule 40 pipe and a few fittings for a receiver. Just moved the pressure switch, and relief valve over to the pipe and went from there. It does not have a lot of air capacity, but between the pipe and 50' of 3/8" air hose there is enough capacity there for our needs. There is enough air available to run an air ratchet and a small 40:1 chassis pump.

Chris
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:37 PM   #29
Russell in Tulsa
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

Here is a water heater explosion film from years ago. Watts brought the original film to one of our plumbing contractor meetings years ago. Quite impressive! Also guys why don't you go see if you have a temperature and pressure relief valve on your water heater and scrap those old air compressors that are questionable. Hope the link works for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pVQryuKMj8
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #30
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

Nice video!
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:12 PM   #31
jimvette59
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

I would not go near any tank or vessel with either water, steam, air or what ever without a working SAFETY blow off. JMO
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:18 PM   #32
Russ B
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

I have two IR auto releases in my compressed air system, one at the bottom of the tank and the other about 50 feet away at the end of the long very slightly sloped pipe run that feeds all my service drops.


the tank drop has liquid all the time in the tray below. the other one not at all.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:15 PM   #33
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

I had a Mexican taqueria owner, who believed in jerry rigging everything. Unfortunately he had no mechanical insight whatsoever. His water heater started popping off the relief valve, so he screwed in a 3/4" plug. Shortly thereafter, it blew. Went thru the attic, the roof, across kfc, across a 5 lane road, and landing in the middle of pizza huts parking lot. No one was injured. He moved up the street to a new location, because his building was toast. A year later, I went in to work on a fryer , and the fool had jumpered the hi temp limit. Oil will burst into flame at around 450/500 degrees.
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:23 PM   #34
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Question Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post


If you don't drain your air tank, there will be a BIG BANG.

I posted this a few years ago, but there are several new members here. I was in my basement working on the computor when I heard and felt an explosion. I went outside to see what happened, and found my neighbor standing in his driveway looking like he was in a state of shock. He was using his air compressor to blow the grass off his lawn mower when the air tank blew up.

He had a garage full of Harleys and expensive cars and only about 6 feet by 6 feet of open floor space. He had his compressor mounted up on a shelf about 6 feet off the floor. When it blew it knocked the outside lights off the garage wall, blew the shelf away and the compressor landed on the only open space left. He was lucky, but the cars and Harleys were all splattered with rusty water and oil slime.

He gave me what was left of the compressor, and I could see the rusty water line about half way up the tank. I also saw a sheet metal screw sticking inside the tank. Apparently a couple years earlier the tank had sprung a leak through a rust hole so he plugged that hole with a sheet metal screw and kept using the compressor and kept on NEVER draining the water.
The tank does not look like it blew out because of rust. It looks like the tank could not hold the pressure that it was subjected to and yes the rust could have contributed to the explosion. I would like to see the blow off or any safety features on the unit. JMHO
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:46 PM   #35
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Proof of the BIG Bang Theory

It was done in by the rust. The metal is very thin and jagged where it spit apart. The water that was in the tank sure made a big mess on his Cadillac and Harleys.
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