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Old 04-03-2006, 11:50 AM
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Air Compressor Check Valve ?

I've been all thru the compressor posts & am wondering where the check valve is located on a 60 gal upright compressor. I bought one(Puma 5HP V twin 17.5 CFM) that had lost it's motor--then it's pressure switch & gauges.I put it all back in working order, but now I'm wondering if I overlooked the tank check valve. I didn't have any information on it I just used my common sense to replace the missing parts-- Just wondering if I might have forgotten the check valve.Anyone have any knowledge of this?--Thanks-DAVE

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Old 04-03-2006, 09:50 PM
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I'm not aware of these having a check valve. The compressor valves themselves act as great checks. Adding a check is redundant and just another doo-dad to fail. Do you mean a pressure relief valve? That is VERY important and should be installed in the inlet to the tank with no shutoff valve between it and the tank volume. Your compressor parts store can sell you the proper valve for your machine.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:26 PM
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I put a new pressure relief valve,but I thought there was a one way pressure valve to keep the tank pressure from returning to the compressor head.I may be wrong,just thought I read that somewhere. Thanks for the reply--DAVE
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:03 AM
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Both intake and exhaust reed valves in the compressor head are very effective check valves. No need for another.
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:58 AM
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The check valve on my Craftsmen 60 gallon compressor is at the bottom of the line that runs from the head to the tank. The valve screws in to the tank then the lines screws on to the valve, it just looks like a brass adapter at the tank but it is the check valve at least on my compressor.

gcrmcc
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Old 04-09-2006, 04:50 AM
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The check valve is screwed into the tank inlet. This is where the line from the compressor pump feeds into the tank.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:42 PM
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Yea, It a safety deal on the bigger compressor. But it was most likely add later. If you ever take the head off with out bleeding the tank off it will take off you head. A lot of people have got kill that way. Just something I learn when we pulled of head to rebuild them.

Craig
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:48 AM
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Chevy, Good point. Most people think the valve is only to keep the pressure from bleeding off but it is a double duty part. DON'T count on the valve to prevent an accident however, ANYTIME one takes ANYTHING off the compressor they must turn off the power and bleed the tank down to zero pressure. While this may seem like a no brainer this type of accident happens all too often. Most of the time it just damages parts but as you pointed out it can cause personal injury and even death. Probably the most common accident happens when someone decides to check the pump valves and unbolts the head with a small amount of pressure in the tank, that's all it takes. Always treat a compressor under pressure like the potential bomb it is!
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:40 PM
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Oldred, Very Well Said,
I happen to to see a training film of a mechanic checking the valves and did not follow the guide line and there was a small amount of pressure and well the picture said it all. The compressor was in an enclosure and the mechanic was leaning over the compressor when his coworker heard a loud bang and ran over and it was to late. So take care when working a round compressor.

I just remembered a story my cousin told me when he was serving on a sub in the Navy they had a air leak in a pipe, they could hear it but could not see it and him and his coworker went to find the leak. one thing you don't think of when you on a sub is high pressure, this guy was using his hand to check for the leak. my cousin saw what he was doing and said stop he said why my cousin said its high pressure. The guy still did not under stand so my cousin said watch he was using the end of a broom. he walk over to where the other guy was and with his broom went down the pipe about 2 foot more and the air cut off the end of the brooms bristle's the guy turn white and said that could have been my hand.
Never assume anything.

Craig
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:31 PM
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That's an interesting story about the high pressure air and it says a lot about why accidents happen, because someone simply didn't know and didn't take the time to think about it. I know about a fellow who nearly lost a leg because he walked into a high pressure stream of hydraulic fluid from a leaking steel line. This stream was less than 1/8" and nearly invisible and the accident was the result of not thinking about how dangerous the leak could be and checking for it without relieving the pressure first. While most people probably will never have to deal with ultra-high pressure hydraulic fluid or really high pressure air like in that sub almost everyone here either owns or works around an air compressor which can be just as deadly if not treated with respect. Compressor accidents do happen even if they don't always make the evening news but as that unfortunate incident in the safety film you mention shows they do happen!
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:59 PM
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I have seen a couple of times of guys take the pipe plug out of a heavy truck air tank with air still in the tank because they were too lazy to drain it, and every time that plug has launced across the shop, luckily no one was ever hurt, but its sure taught me to drain the tank the whole way.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:06 PM
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At a mine in Kentucky some years ago A fellow removed the plug on an air powered equipment greaser with pressure on it and over a hundred gallons of bearing grease was ejected from that thing in just a couple of seconds, it was amazing how so much grease could come through such a small hole in so short of a time. It splattered against the shop wall about 40 feet away and covered everything in there including him! As it turned out after he returned from emergency where he was sent to be checked (luckily he was not injured) we all got a really good laugh out of something that could just as easily been fatal. This thing was a 300 gallon tank with about 100 gallons of grease and no more than 90 PSI air in the remaining tank volume but the results of removing that plug was almost unbelievable. Now believe it or not less than two months later this same guy removed some kind of fitting (not sure what) from an air powered lift in the same shop with a truck sitting on it in the lift position. The lift remained in the lift position but the resulting discharge of air blew this guy back-wards and this time he was not so lucky having received several bad bruises and some broken teeth but again he was lucky just to be alive!
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:57 PM
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Oldred. Thats so scary, when your working a round people like that.I have live through a couple of wild deals kinda like that to long to tell but I do have two, that scared the heck out of me. I work for this guy that had the maintenance contracts to servicing U.P.S. conveyor equipment. Well we got to the Job Started setting up and I ask the new guy to set up the torch. Now the boss said to me the guy is a good worker and had done this stuff before. So I didn't think there was going to be a problem. So he was putting on the gauges and tightening them up and I walk around a big electrical panel to plug in a extension cord. Came back around the corner only to see guy use a cig lighter to check for leaks I jump back behind the panel because he caught the tank on fire at the valve As I was running for the fire extinguisher I said turn it off. he got scared and turn it the wrong way. I grab a Halon extinguisher and by some luck was able to but the fire out. I thought for sure I was going to die. turns out the guy had know real experience. Last time I trust the boss .
I had one other trained millwright do the same thing except he forgot to tighten the gauges, it blew off the gauge and we hada big fire I ranover an grabbed a large water hose and put it on the tank and went in and pulled the oxygen tank off to keep it from blowing up. I never trusted anyone ever again to set up the equipment again. My younger day were full of some really incompetent people.

Craig
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:27 PM
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Another thing about torches is someone just standing the tanks against a wall or even out in the open not against anything without bracing them so they cannot fall. A tank is just looking for the chance to tip over and it is hard to imagine what a tank of oxygen is capable of if that valve is knocked off. They have been known to go through block walls or even go airborne and travel great distances kind of like an un-guided missile. A tank should NEVER be used or left unattended without being supported, not even for short periods of time! I guess this thing about torches don't have much to do with air compressor check valves but like compressors they are still dealing with compressed gas and are commonly found in home shops so a bit of awareness can't hurt.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:20 PM
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True I did go off subject a bit but its funny how one thing lead to another. so I guess its all about being safe with you tools and people you work with.

Craig
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