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Author Topic: Air compressor leaking  (Read 1237 times)

scottydl

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Air compressor leaking
« on: March 17, 2016, 12:44:45 PM »
As much as I have promoted the cheap Harbor Freight air compressors over the years (especially on the forum, for RV use), mine is no longer holding air above 20psi.  It's a 3-gallon pancake type with max pressure around 100-105psi.  It worked fine last Fall when I was winterizing the trailer, and afterwards I left the tank drain plug open (as always) to prevent moisture buildup in the tank. 

Now when I have it plugged in and pressurizing the tank, at 20psi I can feel air pumping out the sides, from the gap where the compressor motor is attached to the tank.  When I open the tank drain plug, a bit of orange liquid sprays out that I assume is rusty water that built up somehow/somewhere.  Could some water from my RV plumbing system have backed up into the compressor innards during winterizing, later freezing and damaging a seal somewhere?  Or maybe this is just to be expected in cheap compressors after more than a few years.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

jagnweiner

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 01:08:24 PM »
It seems unlikely that water would leak in from the RV system.  I have a similar leak problem with a Porter-Cable, although it will pump up over 100 psi; it just leaks so it keeps running rather than shutting off.  Sometimes it works right, sometimes not.
-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

scottydl

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 01:28:32 PM »
I don't really know how the pumps are attached to the tanks on these small units.  I wonder if I could patch in some expanding foam to close up whatever leak there is, although any over-penetration of the foam might render the whole thing useless.  Right now, there's not much I can do with 20psi.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

MMW

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 01:39:57 PM »
I'd imagine the water is just condensation from humidity in the air as it gets compressed.

You *might* be able to take the compressor off the tank and tape or dope the threads.  *Might*

My general rule is I buy something the first time from HF to see if I actually get any use out of a thing and buy an upgraded model if I use it enough and it breaks*.   So maybe time for an upgrade?   8)


*(This doesn't work out so hot...I can't seem to break a couple of things from HF I'd like to upgrade...)

kdbgoat

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 02:02:33 PM »
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/61000-61999/61615.pdf

Looking at the manual, it seems easy to take apart a reseal.
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scottydl

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 05:12:03 PM »
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/61000-61999/61615.pdf

Looking at the manual, it seems easy to take apart a reseal.

I'll add to my neverending project list (that I rarely ever get close to actually finishing)...!  ;D   Thanks for the link.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Charlie 5320

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 06:49:39 AM »
You probably have a leak either at the regulator or the pressure switch. Take the cover off to find out where it's leaking.
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oldme

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 12:58:04 PM »
I have had a couple of different brands of compressors.
I seem that as long as I have any airline connected that will eventually lose pressure.

scottydl

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2016, 08:17:24 PM »
Well yeah, it loses air slowly just sitting with the air line connected... but that's not my problem.  Mine will not even pressurize at all past 20psi, and I can feel the air leaking out from somewhere between the pump and tank.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Stephen S.

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Re: Air compressor leaking
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2016, 08:46:13 PM »
I bought one of those HF compressors. It was hissing from the pump head area, so I took the whole thing apart, put gasket sealer on the gaskets, put it back together, and now it will sit for weeks without losing a pound of pressure.
Stephen S.
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'99 Winnebago Chalet
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Home town: Mableton, GA