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Badder

Airbrush compressor tank holed and leaking

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I have an old Simair compressor which was bought brand new 20 odd years ago, but which I've only really used extensively for the past 4 years. Obviously, over the preceding 16 yrs or so, it was sat  unused and I was concerned that the tank may have rusted over that time. Well, yesterday my fears were confirmed when I switched it on and heard a 'puff', after which there was a continual hissing, and, moving it to see where the hiss was coming from, I found water pooling around the base and a jet of vapour coming from a small 'chip' in the tank's paintwork. Clearly, the tank has rusted and has 'blown through'.

 

My immediate thought was to get someone to put a bead weld over the top, but the local  'odd job man' said it would be better if I took it to professional welders. They are closed over the new year period so I am left compressorless for now. However, I have looked on t'internet and found that everyone advises that ALL 'blown' compressorss should be scrapped, citing deaths and serious injuries due to 'repaired' compressors exploding catastrophically. These were large industrial compressors though, and I'm wondering if a 6 litre 6bar compressor like mine would explode? Obviously the current pin hole was the weakest part of the tank and if it's welded another area might let go?

 

I've tried phoning the manufacturer, to query this or ask if they sell spares, but I got no answer... again maybe due to xmas/new year hols..... but possibly the company no longer makes these compressors. Their web page was extremely basic and searches for their compressors through other outlets gave no results.

 

Should I risk a weld, or just scrap the compressor? Or maybe I could  fill the hole myself somehow, block the leak but know that probably the repair will blow before any other part of the tank - a kind of safety 'plug', if you like. Any thoughts, please? Has anyone else 'plugged' a hole?

 

Badder

 

 

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Scrap it, as it will be rusty in other places and welding will only be welding on rust . Replacement  tank would be the cheapest  the option

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I agree, scrap it.

A patch could be welded on but you don't know what other area of the tank is ready to break out

 

Sorry to sound melodramatic, but a repaired welded tank could be like a time bomb. It might be ok for years or not

 

I once had associations with a small company which did vintage commercial vehicle rebuilding. They also spray painted any commercial job which came their way. They had an old compressor which had had welded patches on its tank.

One night the painter left it running so he could paint first thing in the morning. But the 150L tank exploded during the night, totally wrecking the inside of the paint shed, a shed big enough to take a 40ft container trailer. There was 'shrapnel' embedded in the brick walls and even the tin roof was dented. An insurance company engineer traced the explosion to a rusty part of the air tank which had blown out.

 

Compressed air, even in a small tank, has enormous force. Here terrorists used to use (actually still do) small 1 to 3 litre tanks of compressed air to launch mortar bombs. The bigger bombs can weigh 5kg and can go 1/2 mile

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Seems to me that you have had your warning, with a tank so old and unused your inviting trouble...…...everybody on here is right - scrap it

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You should thank your lucky star it didn't explode while fully "charged". A tire is filled up to 2.2 bar most of the time and I'm sure you've seen how those go off. Now imagine almost three times that pressure and steel shrapnel flying in your close proximity. 

Get a new one and bin the old one. Or if you have a bunch of money lying around get a stainless steel one made to order so it fits in your current compressor.

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