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Old 06-27-2007, 09:00 PM
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air compressor oils

So, if I can't find air compressor oil, I've read and heard to use SAE 30 weight, non-detergent. Why can't I use detergent oil, and since this is Michigan and I'll probably run the compressor once in a while when it's cold, wouldn't it be good to run 10w30?

I know there's no deposits for detergents to clean in air compressors, but I don't know why they recommend not to use detergent-ed (for lack of a better word) oil.
-Matt

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Old 06-28-2007, 03:27 AM
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The reason for the use of non-detergent oils is that they are harsh on the seals and rings of the compressor. Causing possible damage to them. I dont know how is it beeing so dificult to you to buy fixed grade non dtergent oil like SAE30 or SAE40 since I'm in Europe and all our fixed grade oil(the ones that are usualy used for air compressors) are made in USA and from USA brands.
I have a few can in the garage, I will check the brand and I will tell you if its any help.
Best regards,
Antonio Costa
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:42 AM
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One of the oils used around here is the amsoil pck (syntetic) http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/pck.aspx
The one that I use, for my air comp. is this one(in the pictures), since the recomended for my air comp is SAE40. Altough this one is expensive it's the most used around here and advised by most of the industrial maintenance tech's.

Best regards,
Antonio Costa
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:29 AM
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Non-detergent oils don't foam up as easily as detergent oils, that's
why they're recommended for motors like compressors and lawnmowers
where the crank splashes the oil up on the cylinders.

You can find 30wt non detergent oil at any stores lawnmower department,
like Sears

The rings and seals in most compressors are no different than your car.

Be careful about stnthetic oil if you paint, synthetics get by the rings
more easily

Last edited by jcclark; 06-28-2007 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:46 AM
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air compressor oils

My friend carl owns air technoliges, an always recomends synthetic oil because it works in all tempetures an there is no carbon build-up on the valves, witch is the number one reason for compressor failure. carl has been doing this kind of work most of his life. I spent $2,300.00 on my compressor an put amsoil in it when it was installed. good luck on your choice.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nissan
there is no carbon build-up on the valves, witch is the number one reason for compressor failure. .
You must be talking about a gas powered compressor, right?
There's no "carbon buildup" for an electric one.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:48 AM
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I believe, the reason for nondetergent oil is to leave the trash in the bottom. They have no filter, to catch the trash.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:19 PM
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I use the amsoil PCK compressor oil in mine & like it a lot. I also live in Michigan & last winter when I needed to change the struts on my wife's car it was like 5* F & my shop is unheated except for when I am out there, the compressor worked just like it was 70* couldn't tell any difference. The pour point on the non synthetic oil that came in the compressor was 45* F which means it would have been like tar at these temps where the synthetic would have to be below -60* F to get like that & if it ever gets that cold here using the compressor will be the least of my worries. Don't worry about the price per quart of a good synthetic, you will only need 2 qts max for any normal size unit, my 5 hp single stage Eaton uses about 40 oz & that is a big pump. When I priced things out the amsoil was cheaper per qt than the Mobil Rarus 427 non synthetic that came in it. I also use it for lubing the air tools so it gets double duty
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:15 PM
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Maybe not a lot to do with oil but another thing to watch for in really cold weather is the unloader tube to the pressure switch, or if set up differently the unloader itself, as these things tend to freeze (a tiny drop of water is all it takes) and thus fail to relieve the pressure on the pump for the start-up cycle. Combined with cold thick oil this is a recipe for disaster and I have seen several motors burned out because of the excessive start-up loads due to this problem, if the load is so high the motor stalls it can be better since this will usually trip the breaker but if the motor does run and draws excessive AMPs it could heat up and burn out. Something as simple as a high wattage light bulb placed close to the line or other parts in the unloader system can prevent this if the compressor has to be left in an excessively cold area.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:22 PM
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The only issue I had last winter during the cold spell was I had to point the salamander at the auto drain for a few minuites to get it to blow off. After that I blew it off when I was done in the shop & turned the air valve off & shut off the power so that it wouldn't make more water. I really believe that synthetic oil is the way to go unless your compressor is in a place that is always heated & even then I would use it because of the better protection it gives. Everything I have has synthetic in it mowers, cars, bike, compressor. Once winter hits I will take another reading on the current draw & see how much it changes from warm weather, definitly don't want to burn anything up. Never thought about that happening Oldred, thanks for the heads up.
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:50 AM
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You are always gowning to have water condensate. Consider building a small box around the compressor for extreme cold and put a light bulb in it. There will be enough heat to keep thing warm.
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