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Kaeser Compressor lemon - Which brand to buy next?

Joined
May 26, 2004
Location
Paradise, Ca
Everybody says how great Kaeser compressors are, so I bought an SX5 rotary screw. Kaeser inspected my usage demands,inspected my exhaust ducting for proper design, and I have them do the service every year.

It is 3.5 years old with 3500 hours on it and it has already had a bad solenoid valve (warranty), a bad vent valve (warranty), the entire motor was replaced (warranty), and now the air end is shot, of course it's out of warranty and it's going to cost $5600 to fix a $7500 compressor. I think I have enough evidence to definitively call this thing a giant piece of shit.

The theory is that the compressor is not being utilized enough to cook water out of the oil. I don't know how much air we are using, but my old IR 18cfm piston compressor puts out very close to the rated 18cfm (tested by me, and yes I know the volume of compressed air is larger than the physical tank size), and that thing runs damn near all day long to keep up. So I'm not sure how we are under utilizing a 25cfm compressor bad enough to roast an air end in 3 years.

The Kaeser salesman even admits that this should not have happened, but so far Kaeser doesn't seem to want to give me any concessions toward either a replacement compressor or the repair bill to get this thing fixed. I'm told we should have a final answer to what Kaeser is willing to do 'before the holidays'. That would be nearly 2 months since I first brought up the problem. For a company that claims to be the king of reliability and service, this is piss poor performance.

--------------

So! What brands should I be looking at to quote my next rotary screw?
 
Joined
May 26, 2004
Location
Paradise, Ca
Sounds like bad electrical power feeding it
Our 208 just measured 210, 211, 210. It's on the same service that two Brother CNC machines are on, and they are picky about power. We are the only building on our transformer. I don't think it's the power.

The main motor was replaced on the compressor because the bearings failed. I have no idea what went wrong with the solenoid or the vent valve that went bad.
 

DouglasJRizzo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Location
Ramsey, NJ.
Dad used a Sullair for years with nary a hiccup.
And this was with an alcoholic foreman who flat out refused to ever check the oil or anything else on it.
 

MotoX

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Location
Enid, Oklahoma
+1 on Kaeser being garbage. I bought a SM7.5 air center(compressor,dryer,tank) in 2015 based on the acclaim from people here.

I've spent more hours working on that junk than I can count. From popping fuses, melted belts, disintegrating insulation that blocks flow to the oil cooler, also the fan coming apart.

To top all that off, the built in dryer developed a large leak in the heat exchanger. No big deal i thought, Ill just call with a part number and have them send a tech to repair. Wrong. Corporate policy doesn't allow parts to be sent without a tech diagnostic.

In the end it really didn't matter anyhow. Parts for that dryer are NLA(6 year old unit), had the buy a whole new dryer unit to the tune of around 5k. 5K for an 18 cfm refrigerated air dryer? No thanks.

Bought a stand alone dryer instead. Went with Kaeser again because they said they could have the new dryer here by the end of the week. Wrong. Didn't get the order though because "my" salesman went on vacation.

Total time from major leak to fixed compressor(fixed by me) about 3 weeks. Who has that kind of downtime to play with? I sure don't. When my other machines go down, I have parts on the way same day and a tech meets the parts here.

Needless to say my next compressor will not be a Kaeser.
 

Kingbob

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 1, 2009
Location
Louisiana
I've had 2 Quincy's over the last 15 years between 2 different shops and never had a problem that wasn't operator error.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Dad used a Sullair for years with nary a hiccup.
Same here with a Made in China Sullair, three years that I know of without a single hiccup. And way cheaper than the US one. Personally, for the price difference, I'd take the risk and import one myself.

And this was with an alcoholic foreman who flat out refused to ever check the oil or anything else on it.
I did check ours twice daily (no air = no shop) but never had to do anything to it, just the yearly service. Maybe added oil once, and built a deflector because the prevailing wind blew directly into the fan the wrong way but otherwise, just turn on and have air.
 

wmpy

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
I've been happy with our Gardner-Denver that we bought new two years ago. Ours is a 40 hp variable speed, so it's a bit of a different animal than what you need. It might be worth a look anyway. We chose it because it is what our local compressor service company was selling and suggested. They have a good warranty, and I am cautiously optimistic that the dealer will stand behind the product should any issues ever come up.
 

cnctoolcat

Titanium
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Location
Abingdon, VA
If you want to set a compressor out back and pretty much forget about it, the Quincy QR series piston compressors can go 100k+ hours with only oil changes.

The QR series has been made for decades, the things are just ridiculously simple and overbuilt.

They run slow rpm's so make a nice, deeper thump. Put her undercover out back, and you will never hear it in the shop.

I've had a QR-340 (20hp pump, but I've got 10hp motor) outside for 12 years. I do two things since it's outside: use synthetic oil, and use a small (100w) stick-on electric block heater mounted to the underside of the compressor block, controlled by thermostat.

ToolCat
 

Stirling

Cast Iron
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Location
Alberta canada
where you checking your oil for water contamination?
i was wrned the same problem ma ybe an ssue with mine, i don trun i enough. but needed the quiet and capacity.
300 hours a year runnning intermitently on 1 mill. so far so goo tho. i do open the air gun every feew weeks to let it run solif dor an hour or 2 to heat it up. and i live in a very dry place
 

dkmc

Diamond
Everybody says how great Kaeser compressors are

And a certain number of people such as yourself complain about them.
Why mess with a system that has the internal parts operating at 5000? RPM when you can enjoy the benefits of No Pistons and have the internals run at motor RPM...1800.
Hydrovane's pitch is, screw compressors wear out, Hydrovane compressor's wear-IN. And that's true.

Check out Hydrovane....Vane compressors. If you find anyone saying anything bad about them on the internet, please report back here.
Rotary Vane Air Compressors | V series | Hydrovane.

And, yes, Quincy (QR25 series, not the box store China junk) fan, user, and collector here as well.
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Personally I am glad to hear a cpl neg reports here about Kaeser.

Not that I wish them harm, but just glad to hear they aren't perfect either.


I have a cpl of largeish screws these days, but I don't (quite have need to) run them.
My (US built = grey paint) 10hp IR T-30 [thumper] is dead reliable and has a "continuous run" feature as well.
I have had an import, and I'm not saying that it had the easiest life, but it died a long time ago, and I bought it when my US built one was 5 yrs old, and I'm sure the grey one hasn't had life any easier, and it's still here, and the other'n is a surge tank.

In all honesty, it seems that the simple thing that an air compressor is, has gotten completely poluted with modern gizmo BS, and what used to be cheap and reliable has turned into expensive and short life cycle. If you are only using a 5 or 7hp unit, does the fancy gizmo ability even have a chance of ever saving any $?

The T30 is available from 7.5hp up to 30, and it's all about the size of the motor and the pulley speed there of.
So the smaller units with the big head should last nigh forever.... ????



-------------------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

rb07565

Aluminum
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Western Nebraska USA
Everybody says how great Kaeser compressors are, so I bought an SX5 rotary screw. Kaeser inspected my usage demands,inspected my exhaust ducting for proper design, and I have them do the service every year.

It is 3.5 years old with 3500 hours on it and it has already had a bad solenoid valve (warranty), a bad vent valve (warranty), the entire motor was replaced (warranty), and now the air end is shot, of course it's out of warranty and it's going to cost $5600 to fix a $7500 compressor. I think I have enough evidence to definitively call this thing a giant piece of shit.

The theory is that the compressor is not being utilized enough to cook water out of the oil. I don't know how much air we are using, but my old IR 18cfm piston compressor puts out very close to the rated 18cfm (tested by me, and yes I know the volume of compressed air is larger than the physical tank size), and that thing runs damn near all day long to keep up. So I'm not sure how we are under utilizing a 25cfm compressor bad enough to roast an air end in 3 years.

The Kaeser salesman even admits that this should not have happened, but so far Kaeser doesn't seem to want to give me any concessions toward either a replacement compressor or the repair bill to get this thing fixed. I'm told we should have a final answer to what Kaeser is willing to do 'before the holidays'. That would be nearly 2 months since I first brought up the problem. For a company that claims to be the king of reliability and service, this is piss poor performance.

--------------

So! What brands should I be looking at to quote my next rotary screw?

I've had good luck with Kaeser? This surprises me. We do industrial maintenance and repair services as well as machining. I have spec'd out and helped purchase 3 of them for other plants so far and haven't had any problems. As far as support and standing behind a product I've found that who the dealer is matters more than anything. Some dealers don't care after you've bought something, when there's a problem they just say "oh the factory wont do anything about it" when in actuality they never even called them.
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Vane pumps?

You change the vanes often?

I blow through a set of [carbon fiber?] vanes on my pond pump every cpl years.
Runs 24/7, but at little pressure. (10 psi at the bottom of the pond?)


--------------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 








 
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