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Old 11-23-2005, 08:53 PM
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Compressed Air Question

I have always heard you should not use air from your compressor for fresh air in a closed hood like a sealed paint hood / sandblasting hood etc. I know there is a certain amount of oil mist in the air but is there something else i am not aware of. Sure don't seam like much oil mist could be in there, not anymore than breathing a bunch wd40 mist which i am sure we have all done.
DONZIE

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Old 11-23-2005, 09:44 PM
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Donzie, You have always heard right! Try Carbon Monoxide (yep, a compressor can produce Carbon Monoxide) for starters then a long list of other junk. Take a look at the crud that comes out of your tank when you drain it, do you really want to breath THAT? This has been discussed before and there is always a few die hards (they might!) that will do this but it is playing with fire. There are some systems out there for use with a compressor that filter the air and monitor for Carbon Monoxide but these are fairly complicated and usually quite expensive so most of the time it is better to just go with a dedicated breathing air system. Unless you have one of the systems built for compressors DON'T, BREATH COMPRESSOR AIR!
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:47 PM
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The buildup of oil in your lungs can cause infection and death!!!!don't do it without properly filtering the air. Most of all compressors that provide breathable air is from an oilless compressor.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:51 PM
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What about a shop vacuum?
Seems like the air output side would be safe air as long as the vacuum was perfectly clean inside and had a new filter.
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:09 PM
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Roger, The shop vac idea comes up quite often also but it too has some problems. First some junk comes from the motor which is slowly disintegrating from normal wear so that must be filtered, then there is the problem of pressure regulation. You would have to have a positive pressure in the hood or mask and regulation is critical since with too little it would let contaminates in and too much could cause lung damage, it don't take much! Most everyone dismisses the motor contamination problem but let the thing run for a while to warm up and then get a real good whiff of the discharge air. Would you really want to isolate that and breath it?
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:25 PM
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What about the kind of vacuums/dust collectors meant for bead blasters?
I don't think the air passes through the motor on those type.

I understand what you mean about the pressure. But it seems like it wouldn't be that hard to rig up a hood with an air bleed that wouldn't build up pressure.

Like you say too little air could be a problem but as long as the vacuum could produce enough air it seems like it could be done safely.
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:45 PM
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Roger, It would certainly beat compressor air but you would have to make sure the air coming in is clean because that filter is not much more than a screen and make darn sure that nothing from the motor gets in. The problem with regulation is that you are dealing with a huge volume of air and this will have to be vented somewhere. If you just have a vented hood then all that air flow could be a problem if you are using it to paint. If you vent it before it reaches the hood then you would have to have some sort of regulator that could maintain pressure at the hood while still dumping the excess, not as easy as it sounds. If you think about it by the time you buy a vac(don't use an old one!), the permissible breathing hose and all the gadgetry needed to rig up the regulators and vents plus the hood it self you are going to have a good sized piece of change in it anyway with no assurance that it will even do the job. With something like a Hobbyair unit available for under $350 why try to rig up something that might not even work?
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:57 PM
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Good points.

You have convinced me.

Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2005, 07:50 AM
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Compressed Air

Yeah but I'm young & strong! Man I don't need to worry none of that stuff! Ya'll just a bunch of old guys that don't know nothing. I ain't listening to Ya'll
MAN I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER !!!
--- about 30 years ago that is pretty much the way I & most my friends felt At 52 things & thoughts have changed just a bit. Life is viewed through a differant eyes now. Thanks a bunch guys my question has been answered.
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Old 11-24-2005, 08:37 AM
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OK, HOW is an electric compressor going to produce Carbon Monoxide??
I understand sucking IN CO from a "source" but not from just compressing "air".
Enlighten me.
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:56 AM
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May be that someone else can better explain the physics involved in this one since it is my understanding that two different principles come into play here and I remember at one mine safety class some years ago when two MSHA reps got into a heated argument about this very thing. The disagreement never was "IF" it occurs but "WHY". During the compression process, because of heat and pressure, even a tiny amount of oil vapor can contribute a significant amount of Carbon Monoxide but it is my understanding that there are other factors as well. You would probably never have the levels of Carbon Monoxide in compressor air that you would find in auto exhaust but even small amounts over a period of time can be dangerous. One of the most important parts of a compressor supplied breathing system is the Carbon Monoxide monitoring function which would be unnecessary if it were not present.
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee4Me
OK, HOW is an electric compressor going to produce Carbon Monoxide??
I understand sucking IN CO from a "source" but not from just compressing "air".
Enlighten me.
Well, there is always a little oil in the air of a oil lubed compressor, that will burn slightly ( from the heat created by friction, oil helps but there is still a little there ) and create co's, and also any sealents or RTV's that are used as seals in the pump, will burn and cause co's and ho's just like in a car. Never use a RTV sealent in a newer car that is not o2 sensor safe, it will foul the o2 sensor when the RTV emits co's and ho's that the sensor cannot handle.
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:58 PM
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Don't Breath IAr Compressor Oil Mist

Most compressors put out at least 2-3 ppm of oil downstream when new and much more as they age. That doesn't sound like much, but it amounts to gallons each year. Additionally a compressor is like a chemical combustion chamber- high heat, high pressure and oxygen- you don't want to breath this mix of air.
CompressorProfessor
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CompressorProfessor
Most compressors put out at least 2-3 ppm of oil downstream when new and much more as they age. That doesn't sound like much, but it amounts to gallons each year.
www.compressoroils.com
Since the crankcase oil level of my compressor doesn't drop at all over a year's time, where exactly do those gallons of oil come from?
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:53 PM
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Roger, Unless you have major mechanical problems your compressor will not put out "gallons" of oil in a year's time or ten years time for that matter. It is true that a compressor, with the exception of the oil-less models obviously, contain some oil in the air stream but on a properly maintained unit in good condition this is usually an insignificant amount.
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