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Thread: New frontiers in stupidity
07-13-2006, 09:46 AM #1
So, I've been compressor shopping for about a year. I'm looking for something 5-7hp, 50-80 gallon vertical tank, cast iron, 2 cylinder, 2 stage. I've been looking on Craigslist, eBay, used machinery dealers, government auctions. Ideally I'll find something that needs a motor or a pressure switch, or has been left behind someplace that's being renovated so there's some urgency to get it out of where ever it's occupying space.
I've looked at some, bid on a few, and have been making do with a 5hp oil-less C-H that I really don't like.
Finally, I thought the search was over. On my local Craigslist, an Ingersoll Rand T30, 5hp, 80 gallon, removed from a dry cleaner. Need it gone now, you pick it up for $250.
I could barely make it through yesterday due to the anticipation. I got home from work, my wife and I jumped in the truck, and we made the drive to the seller's place 35 miles away.
We arrived, my wife was suitably horrified with how big an 80 gallon compressor is, and I started looking it over. It had sat outside, which is why the seller said it needed a motor and switch. It looked quite nice, though. Upon asking the seller how long it had been in service, he replied "4 years"
I looked at the builders plate on the tank to verify the date, and realized there was no legible stamping.
"did you paint this thing?" I asked
"how did you prep it first"
"I used a grinder!"
Making a using-an-angle-grinder gesture I asked;
"You used an angle grinder???"
My shoulders sagged in resignation. I thanked him for his time, told him that I was sorry, but I was going to have to take a pass on his compressor, and calmly informed him that when the tank fails and it's new owner is killed in the explosion, that he's going to be responsible.
He only meant well, but what a knucklehead, and what a waste of a nice compressor.
07-13-2006, 10:11 AM #2
Not only that, but if it had been left outside, who knows how much water had been standing inside it. You did well to pass on it.
07-13-2006, 10:15 AM #3
give him 50 bucks for pump
build your own system
07-13-2006, 01:30 PM #4
Angle grinder with stone? Or flap disk? Maybe wire brush? If it was a stone, I would think that it would show the typical flats and valleys from grinding. If he did use a grinding wheel, sheesh... But I would go with WB's suggestion.
07-13-2006, 02:57 PM #5
If he'd used a wire wheel I'd have a big, honkin' compressor hulking in the corner of may garage as we speak.
From the looks of things he used a 4-1/2" depressed center wheel of about 40 grit, applied liberally to the circumfrence of the formerly nice tank.
I'm looking at a new 5hp 60 gallon cast iron I-R for about $1200 shipped. I'll be the first person who ever flips the switch, and it'll have a known service life.
07-13-2006, 03:05 PM #6
MM -- Tanks aren't that expensive. I also have a T30 (which I got from our mutual friend Dano) and restored it to running condition, new motor, pulleys, pressure switch, all for under $700.
Go back, talk nice to the guy, you won't regret it!!!
There is are several companies in Baltimore that sell & service commercial air equipment, and they have all the repair bits you'll ever need. Jim's Air in Tuxedo MD is a LOT higher than the Balto joints.
For $250 for all the other bits, I figure that you have a $500 budget for a new, 120 gallon tank. Why not upgrade while you're at it?
07-13-2006, 05:05 PM #7
Yeah, if your wife was impressed with the 80 gallon tank she will be practically estatic over the "BIG" 120, LOL
07-13-2006, 06:18 PM #8
I see IR compressors in that size at HD for about $600 all the time. And at Lowes, I've seen closeouts under $400.
Anything wrong with those?
And BTW, I have an extra 60 gallon tank in excellent shape. But it's in Fort Worth
07-13-2006, 07:04 PM #9
Rex in TX, you see IR compressors at HD that are the illusion of "that size" in the sense that what Moto is looking for is real 5 to 7 hp and industrial duty 2 stage pump.
What HD has are "fake" 5 to 7 hp and home shop duty 1 stage pump.
07-13-2006, 07:18 PM #10
Over the last several years I've heard a number of tales, from people that I know well enough to trust, of the declining quality of smaller I-R reciprocating compressors that I wouldn't spend my money on one. Let me suggest that you take a good hard look at Quincy, Saylor-Beall, Curtiss-Toledo, and Champion compressors before you commit to an I-R.
07-13-2006, 07:44 PM #11
Actually, the HD models are 5-7 PEAK hp motors on 3hp compressor pumps. The size motor on a compressor means NOTHING. It is the pressure and CFM that makes compressor hp. 5CFM at 90 hp is basically one hp. Go look at these numbers on those HD compressors instead of the motor rating and you will see that they are maybe 3hp.
As for passing on that deal, I must say you probably should have bargained for the pump, but with it needing a motor and switch, plus the trashed tank, that's about all there was in the deal. I don't know who is finding the cheap tanks, but point me to them. Last I checked it was cheaper to buy a HD compressor, replace the pump and use the rest vs buying a tank, switch and motor. Seems like 80 gal tanks were running about $1200 plus shipping. Switch was $100 or so and a 5hp motor will kill you.
07-13-2006, 11:26 PM #12
I have a 80 LPG tank removed from a pick up, would that make a suitable tank? I was thinking of using it for a resevoir
07-14-2006, 12:03 AM #13
I think you might have passed up a deal. If it's a qualified pressure vessel, and I would be surprised if it was not, mebbe with a Hartford tag on it, you probably had a good tank in the rig.
"Good" tanks are over engineered. Have a hydro test done if you want.
If it has been standing outside, there will be no more water "standing inside it" than there was the last time it was shut down. If it was a relatively modern system, it may have had an automatic drain system on it, little water left in the tank.
Regardless, whether they sanded it or ground it, they probably did not go deep enough to compromise the integrity of the tank.
Will probably cost you a lot more to buy any replacement you decide on than the one you passed on.
07-14-2006, 01:38 PM #14
If you look at the I-R units at home improvement stores and the T30 series units, there's no comparison. T30 is a big, honking cast iron V-twin. The home version in a parallel twin with iron liners in a cast aluminum block.
Re. the condition of the tank, it had deep, obvious grind marks all over. There's no way I'd risk the safety of myself, my house and family to save a few hundred bucks on a compressor. The cost isn't SO much an issue, but I do always try to find the deals.
Considering I've gotten by with hand-me-down compressors for the last 15 years, I shouldn't begrudge buying something nice for once, and for good.
A used machinery dealer in Baltimore has an 80 gal Champion at the asking price of $1100.
A new I-R 2340L5:
can be obtained from Grainger's down the street for a bit over $1100
07-15-2006, 06:21 AM #15
Those I-R compressors you see at Home Depot are NOT even close to a Type-30. (That's what the T-30 stands for, btw). An 80-gallon T-30 is big enough to run a 6-8 man shop easily, and probably for 20 years or more without a rebuild if maintained. I would've given the guy his dope slap and $250, pulled the compressor pump off the tank and put it in my truck, and been on my way. A T-30 like that in perfect shape is probably around $2,000 or more in the used market I think. Those little dinkos you can get at Home Depot (just like the Grainger's model linked above) are wussies. Not even close to the same league. Here is a T-30 used on Ebay. Note the 15 HP motor. With that motor the T-30 pump can put out about 50 cfm compared to maybe 17 or so on the Home Depot model.
Edit: Just noticed the O.P. said "5 HP T-30." Do they even make a 5 HP T-30? Maybe it wasn't a T-30 and the guy just said it was?
07-15-2006, 08:55 AM #16
T-30's are coasting along on reputation, IMHO. At a place where I used to work we had 3; a 15 and two 5 hp's. At least once a year one or more of them would be out of service. Valve problems each and every time. We had a monthly service contract so the oil and filter changes were always current. These were not old units either; bought in the 80's and this was in the early 90's. Just as I left, they replaced all with a 30 HP Screw. They might work just fine in a home shop, but don't imagine that they are the 'best compresser money can buy' or anything like that. If I-R's newer, cheaper line has solved the weak valve problems, then they will be better units than the T-30 line, while still cheaper. Find a 5 HP Emglo with the V-4 pump or anything by Champion. You can't go wrong with those brands. The C-H industrial line are good pumps, too. They rarely came with a C-H badge though; usually Speedaire.
07-15-2006, 06:28 PM #17
There needs to be some clarification on exactly what a Home Depot "IR style" two stage compressor really is....
It is a Campbell Housfeld knockoff of a IR T-30 pump. With a small 4 hp motor. I know....because I just got one here in Fort Worth for $630 from Home Depot with full warranty.
This was two weeks ago.
It is a true two stage, solid cast iron pump. With a smallish electric motor.
It's no IR T-30, but its not bad at all.
07-15-2006, 07:50 PM #18
07-15-2006, 08:10 PM #19
Northern Tool has free shipping on their compressors. You may want to consider spending an extra $100 for the 2340N5 with 80 gallon tank:
Gaining 1/3 more air storage capacity for that little cost is a bargain. With compressors, it's impossible to have too much storage or too many CFM's. You'll appreciate the extra 20 gallons whenever you run a high consumption tool.
07-16-2006, 02:46 AM #20
jimbo, that may be, but the few I've run up against have been stellar examples then. I've got one at the shop with a 15 horse motor and it's been running strong every day for over 12 years with nothing but routine maintenance. Got another in my garage that's been doing the same for about 5 years. And the one pictured above sure doesn't look like a T-30 pump to me. Looks more like the lower-end Ingersoll compressors.