Adding Auxiliary Air Tank Compressor

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Hello everyone, in this tutorial I’m going to show you how to turn that broken air compressor into a portable air tank, also known as an air pig. This little compressor is probably close to 10 years old and unfortunately has seen better days. I took the air compressor apart and found that the connecting rod for the pump piston had snapped. Some models may have replacement parts available, sometimes you can buy a new pump or even a different air compressor if you find a great deal. However, I now have a larger air compressor and instead of throwing it away, I can repurpose it for a new use for just a few bucks. A new compressor would have cost me about $75 compared to a pair (scraps I had laying around) that were about $10.

Adding Auxiliary Air Tank Compressor

Adding Auxiliary Air Tank Compressor

We’ll start with the disassembly first, breaking this down to the clean tank so we know exactly what we need and how to do it. Remove the four screws holding the plastic motor and pump cover. Disassembly procedures vary from compressor to compressor, so even if you just have an old air tank you’re reusing, you can still use this guide. Remove the handle so that the cover can be completely removed.

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Once the cover is rotated, the on/off switch and fuse must be disconnected, both using spade connectors. You can save the electronic components for a future project, the new air tank will no longer need them.

To remove the steel piping that supplies air to the tank from the pump, remove the piping directly from the tank. If you use an adjustable wrench, make sure it’s a better quality tool with stronger jaws, as they can bend and damage the hex on the clasp or connector.

Now to remove the motor assembly there will be four Phillips screws holding it to the tank mount. The disassembly process is quite simple, no special tools are required and most of these old components are discarded. Maybe I’ll save the engine for another project.

As you can see in the pictures, the connecting rod is broken near the piston. Part of it was already taken out earlier than I thought to fix the actual pump. I could make a new tie rod but that could take a long time.

Hp Portable Air Compressor With 4 Liter Tank

Removing these connectors can be a bit of a puzzle. If certain connectors are rotated, they may interfere with other components.

I will reuse the old relief valve, this is necessary so we don’t over pressurize the tank which could be a safety hazard. These valves will be rated, this one is rated at 115psi. Once the tank is inflated above 115psi, the spring-loaded valve will activate and release the excess pressure.

Wrenches of various sizes will be needed to remove the old connections, and as long as they are in good condition, you can reuse them. Some parts used liquid thread sealant from the factory, some fittings were reworked over the years and had a sealant called piping.

Adding Auxiliary Air Tank Compressor

Since we have three ports on the tank, the largest port will have the lowest restriction and is used to connect the main air line. The other two are the same size, one will be used to pump the tank and I want to reuse the regulator so that will be for the third port.

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Installing a Schrader valve, also known as a suction valve, which you can find in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. This one came with a cover that removes the inner valve as well.

I use teflon tape instead of a tube. I’m better off using it because then you don’t have a sticky mess. Looking at the fitting from the threaded side, wrap the Teflon tape 2 to 3 times in a clockwise direction. If you do it counterclockwise, the tape will unwind and not stick. After wrapping, break the tape, make sure it does not cover the opening and install the connection.

Teflon tape has two purposes. One is to help seal the threads and the other is to provide lubrication, ensuring that the fittings can be tightened, thus increasing the seal of the connection. I will briefly explain the type of pipe threads. Make sure the connection is tight, but don’t over-tighten to damage the wires in the connector.

I also had to buy a few more fittings, one is a rail that reduces the size of the threaded hole, and the other is a hex nipple that basically has two ends with an external thread.

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Now to make a quick pattern of everything before I put the teflon tape on so I know exactly what I need and how everything fits. This will also allow me to determine which parts need to be joined so that there is no interference during assembly. All the old pipe was cleaned, I let the joint soak overnight in degreaser and then cleaned the parts with a copper wire brush.

This can be confusing for thread types, so I’ll try to explain this as simply as possible. The thread used on this compressor is National Pipe Thread or NPT for short. This is an American standard that uses a tapered thread. This is not to be confused with nominal pipe size, or NPS for short, which uses a straight thread. If you look at the connector, you need to narrow it. So we will need MIP or FIP connections. MIP stands for Male Iron Pipe or Male International Pipe. And FIP stands for Women’s Iron Pipe or Women’s International Pipe.

Now for assembly, place teflon tape over each male fitting so the threads seal well. By trying to use as few fittings as possible, this will reduce the change of any leaks, as well as reduce costs if you have to buy all the parts. Again, only 2 to 3 wraps with Teflon tape are needed. Any access strip exposed on the outside of the fittings can be easily removed as I will show at the end of the video.

Adding Auxiliary Air Tank Compressor

The safety valve is placed on the largest port to ensure that there are no restrictions that could slow down its operation. When pumping the tank, we can also check the tank gauges to determine the current pressure.

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Now remove the access bar. When you have everything on, find the end of the tape and peel it off. The last threads were to help remove the tape from the outside for easy removal. Teflon tape is much easier to clean than duct tape.

I had to replace the quick release, for some reason the other one was open and couldn’t inflate the tank. Then reattach the carrying handle.

To test, inflate the tank with an air compressor and then let the tank sit under pressure for about 10 minutes. Check the pressure gauge for drops that would indicate a leak. The leak can be detected with a spray bottle containing a mixture of soap and water. Spray it on the joints and watch for bubbles. To fix the leak, first try to tighten the fitting. If that doesn’t work, unplug, clean off the old teflon tape, and check for damage. Replace the fitting if necessary, or apply more Teflon tape and reinstall the fittings.

The tire pump pressure gauge can be used as a guide, as you can see we also have accurate readings on the tank pressure gauge.

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Make a one-handed soldering tool | Hassle Free One Hand Soldering (How To) by RoboticWorx in Tools I got this 5 gallon portable air tank, but you can get it from Harbor Freight or Northern Industrial in the $30-$35 price range. It is filled with a tire valve (Schrader) and has a built-in pressure gauge, overpressure valve and tire inflation hose.

I have a small garage compressor. It’s a 1.3 hp supercharger that puts out 2.4 SCFM at 90 psi, which is reasonable if you need to blow stuff, hit the air button every now and then, or spray paint, but no very high power. It only has a 1.5 gallon tank, so if you start using a lot of air, it won’t last long.

Adding Auxiliary Air Tank Compressor

My plasma cutter requires 6 SCFM, which is more than the compressor can provide, but I only need about 10% duty cycle. (make the cut, then move the metal, tighten it again, adjust the ruler or jig for it

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