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Could it, Should it, or Would it

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  • Could it, Should it, or Would it

    Gentlemen, I have a question. But first, my original quest. I've been wanting to upgrade my Air Compressor with a bigger system. I was about to pull the trigger when I came across something at a Thrift shop that I thought would work very well. Being that I'm a tinkerer and enjoy making something out of something, plus the price was right, I snagged it.

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    After I get it home and start looking it over and noticed what I had missed,

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    Apparently this is for a Fire System: Dry Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems - Lubricated Base Mounted Reciprocating Air Compressors | Fire Protection Products
    This is something that I know absolutely nothing about, other than what is in the link above which didn't help me any better to understand.

    To my Eye, it looks like it would do good as a compressor for a pressure switched, tanked system. But, my eyes have been cloudy before.


    So, Is there any difference (engineered) with this compressor. Would the motor have any influence on it's operation?
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    If it turns out that this can not be adapted, who, what, and where would I find someone who could use it in its proper installation?
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    In advance, Thanks for any and all input.


    Ron




  • #2
    Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

    These compressors are used for fire sprinkler systems where the pipes run through unconditioned space like parking garages and unconditioned attic space. As such, they are built to last but they lack an air storage tank as they fill up the piping system for the sprinklers to keep a clapper valve shut with more air pressure than the incoming water pressure can overcome until a sprinkler head is activated. So add a storage tank and you should be good to go for about 40 years.

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    • #3
      Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

      Looks a lot like my Westinghouse compressor, circa 1947. Mine has a 25 gallon tank mounted underneath it. Not very portable or easily moved. consider that when you build your contraption. Mine recovers a little slow, too. Belt driven, single stage, on at 145psi, off at 175.
      ~~

      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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      • #4
        Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

        I do not know this but looking at the label it says 50 psi, now this may or may not need to be re engineered, but one may need to put a smaller pulley on the motor, (you may just have to try it and see if it is over loading the motor,

        It may not be sized or designed for 50 psi, on the power range, most smaller compressors that I am familiar with are basically designed for about 1000 RPM max and usually about 700 on the low end, (if your pulleys put the pump in that range, I doubt if the unit would have to be any pulley changes,

        but put a safety pop off valve, a pressure switch and some type of unloader system on it to dump the air out of the compressor head for restarts, and a tank drain (I recommend a ball valve that is accessible so it is easy to dump the water out of the tank) (if you look at the picture of the unit I assembled the last few days, you will see a small ball valve that is the tank drain that is accessible and easy to reach.

        there are a number of unloaders some work off the pressure switch and some are in cooperation with the check valve

        on a single stage unit like It looks like it is, my suggestion is max of about 125 psi, if you want more go more psi, go to a two stage compressor,

        it looks like to me you have a good place to start,

        one more thing I do not think you would need #6 wire, for the compressor, (it may have more than the compressor original, I would size it to the motor, amps, (depending on voltage)

        I just assemble a unit the last few days, I had a tank, off an old Oiless compressor, and a pump off the old shop compressor that the tank rotted out on, and I wanted a gasoline powered compressor for the welding/work truck, so I had to build the deck the engine and pump bolted to, and make a mount taking off the wheels, and then assembled the unit.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by BHD; 11-15-2012, 08:16 PM.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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        • #5
          Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

          That particular lablel threw me off a little also,especially the 6ga wire statement, along with the 50 PSI Max.

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          But I think that label is for the overall application of the unit as a Sprinkler Compressor for Dry Pipe systems. According to their site, the L900150 has a capacity of 900 gallons of which means, to me, that any pressure higher would make the system inoperative. That's not saying that the compressor was not capable of higher PSI output. At least that's what I'm hoping it means.

          As far as the 6 ga wire, not an electrician, but couldn't figure out why you would have 6 ga wire connecting to the motors wires that are 12 ga, at best.

          The main thing is, I just needed to know if I could use this as a standard air compressor supply. Have no idea what they cost, for what they're made for, but for $75.00, I didn't think that I could go wrong snatching it up.


          Ron


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          • #6
            Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

            bhd is correct again. but what else is new

            the duty cycle or air delivery is what probably dictates the 900 gallon capacity system. i would think the 50 psi is just because of the application.

            i would also look up the pump specs or talk to the manufacturer.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

              The 900 gallon system capacity is a rating of the output of the compressor for a dry system, it has to be able to fill the system in 30 minutes or less and most times it is to a pressure of 35 psi. Dry pipe valves have two seats that the one clapper covers, this gives them a differential of 5 to 1, meaning 1 pound of air will hold back 5 pounds of water. So 40 pounds of air will hold back 200 pounds of water.
              The reason for the #6 wire is because it is designed for continuous duty of 30 minuets or more (you could have multiple systems on one compressor) and not the intermittent duty cycle of a tank mount.
              General is a first class compressor set up, that base mount would be in the price range of $350 my cost, but then some of that is because of the UL and/or FM stamp on it for fire sprinkler use. These are usually set up for volume more so than for pressure. Not saying the compressor will not pump to a higher pressure, it is just not needed for a dry system, it makes for a delayed response in the dry system since it would have to vent more pressure out of the sprinkler head before the water pressure would overcome the air pressure and tripping the valve.

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              • #8
                Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

                Most times compressors in a dry system see very very little usage, think of it only maintaining the air pressure in a relatively leak free system and operating maybe once a week and only pumping up to 50 psi.

                I would for sure check the oil, could be contaminated with water if the check valve in the air line leaked when the valve was tripped out (per code once a year, per insurance company could be as much as four times a year). This gets more compressors in dry systems that anything.

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                • #9
                  Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

                  UUMMMMM I lied to ya, my cost on that model is just a tad over $1,000

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                  • #10
                    Re: Could it, Should it, or Would it

                    Originally posted by G3sprinklers View Post
                    UUMMMMM I lied to ya, my cost on that model is just a tad over $1,000
                    WOW, pretty pricey. I really appreciate your input, being that you are familiar with these systems.

                    So, do you see any problems, as far as performance, for this unit being set up with a relief valve, pressure switch, and a 30 to 50 gal tank to be used as a shop air compressor? On another compressor I have (Two HP, 30 gal, oiled pump) has a 3450 RPM motor, whereas this motor's RPM are 1725. In what way might that affect the performance? Would that lower the CFM output by being slower RPMs?


                    I'm just trying to see if it's practical and worth it to put this all together and be happy with the results. Or, should I just try to re sell it.



                    Ron

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