7 posts / 0 new
Last post
tylercc
air compressor repurpose
tylercc

I have a 6 gallon pancake compressor that has died and the part I need is no longer made, but still holds air well and I would like to try to find some way to reuse it as a air holding device. What are some thoughts as to how I could alter or repurpose it in to a air holding device. Or is there anything else useful that I could turn it in to or use it for?

A. Spruce
Re: air compressor repurpose
A. Spruce

The biggest problem will be the weight, which can be reduced greatly if you can remove the motor assembly without compromising the air tight tank. As for the various holes attachment holes, it will be easy enough to install bolts or plugs, whichever is appropriate, to those no longer needed.

When you plumb up the tank, you will have to install a schraeder valve to fill the tank, as well as installing a shut-off valve, gauge, and hose coupler. Unfortunately, by the time you've bought all these parts to convert a piece of junk into a semi-useable piece of junk, in all honesty, you could have gone to Harbor Freight for the same money or less and picked up an air tank that is set up properly, has handles, and weighs much MUCH less than an old air compressor carcass.

Another option may be to watch Craigs List for a similar compressor to strip for parts to repair yours, or go to several local air compressor repair shops and see if they either have the parts laying in a box, have a junker you could salvage, or find a work-around for the discontinued part.

tylercc
Re: air compressor repurpose
tylercc

So the part that failed was the pressure switch, are there universal pressure switches that I can buy? If so where can I find one? The compressor is a 3 year old Campbell Hausfeld, model number mw250000.

On another note when you were talking about setting it up as a air tank would I be able to hook it up to my new compressor of the same size and have twice the amount of air safely?

A. Spruce
Re: air compressor repurpose
A. Spruce

Find a compressor repair shop in your area, take the compressor in to them, they will have a pressure switch that will work, probably even better than the original. I had to do this with my compressor last year, while they couldn't get an OEM switch, they had one that was "universal" that is works great.

If you can't find a way to repair the compressor you have, I'd highly recommend throwing it away, rather than trying to repurpose it. Seriously, the expense of the parts to convert it are not going to be worth the minor gains doing it. If you need more tank capacity, get a larger compressor. If you do go with a larger compressor, make sure it is an oil style and not the oilless type, oiled compressors last much longer and are quieter.

tylercc
Re: air compressor repurpose
tylercc
A. Spruce
Re: air compressor repurpose
A. Spruce

Sorry, I do not have access to FB, so I can't see the link.

I'm certain that the pressure switch will be dependent upon the compressor capacity, which is why I suggest you take the whole compressor to a repair facility when looking for a new one, the shop will know what you need. You might be able to nurse a little more life out of the regulator by cleaning the high voltage contacts, which get burned from use, particularly on inexpensive compressors made for the consumer market, cheap parts = cheap machines = early failure. My compressor is on it's second pressure switch, but then it's been well used for the past 25 years.

The pressure switch is integrated into the on/off switch, it is what senses the tank pressure and regulates the motor to keep the tank full. It will have both electrical and tank plumbing connections.

A. Spruce
Re: air compressor repurpose
A. Spruce

I forgot to mention, changing the pressure switch is pretty easy and straight forward. If you are even slightly handy, able to follow directions, and have basic tools, you can do it yourself. The switch I bought cost $30 and took me about 15 minutes to install.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.