Pinhole leak in compressor tank, repairable?

Any questions about tools or supplies. Post your compressor/gun questions here.



Settled In
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:12 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:25 am
So about 15 years ago I gave my buddy a 120 gal, 3 phase 5hp compressor when I was moving out of town. He just offered it back to me knowing I am getting back into work with cars. It is an older compressor but worked like a champ. He told me it has a very small pinhole leak on the bottom of the tank. Is something like this repairable? Or has it just seen better days?



No Turning Back
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:16 pm
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:17 pm
that pinhole leak could be just starting to show what may have been going on for a long time- rusting from the inside out.
repairable? i think id do what i could to find out. any way to get a look inside the tank using something like a micro camera?



Settled In
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:12 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 3:50 pm
Thanks for the reply! Is there any concerns for danger with something like this?



Settled In
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 7:35 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 1:10 am
r91488 wrote:Thanks for the reply! Is there any concerns for danger with something like this?
Well yes, yes there is. Horizontal-cylinder tanks are prone to rusting on the inside along a line on the bottom where condensation collects. There is a LOT of energy stored in compressed air. It is, quite literally, a bomb. I've seen the damage done by a 20 gal tank exploding and it was pretty bad, so an 80 gallon tank blowing open would be horrific. Just google "air compressor tank explosion". If the pinhole is from rust, and it likely is, then there is probably significant corrosion along the whole bottom of the tank. Is there any way to inspect the inside of the tank with something like a borescope inspection camera?



Fully Engaged
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:09 pm
Location: Buffalo NY
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 9:17 am
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I bought a used 80 gallon, and sometimes I think about what if it lets go, should I get the tank inspected, and whats the process tank inspectors use, a tool?

User avatar

Site Admin
Posts: 3427
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:02 am
Location: New York
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:01 pm
Camera inspection internally and hydrostatic testing. I think some welding gas supply companies will do the hydro test for a fee. I've never had it done, myself.

User avatar

Fully Engaged
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:06 pm
Location: I live in a house
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 6:56 pm
r91488 wrote:Thanks for the reply! Is there any concerns for danger with something like this?


Very much so, and it is the same reason not to use PVC pipe with a 200 psi rating for air delivery.

Water is not compressible fluid, air is. Compressed air can store a LOT of energy that goes from potential to kinetic almost instantly.

Pin holes are usually due to rust.

You can drill some holes (empty tank!!) but if you have pin holes, you may also have thin metal near those pin holes.

A new tank itself is +/- $500 - not worth risking my life over.
Sent by the random thoughts from the voices in my head...



Top Contributor
Posts: 4063
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: Pahrump NV.
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 1:15 pm
All air compressor tanks rust all will rust out eventually just the way it is.
The only real fear is more Pin hole leaks developing.

Finding another tank shouldn't be all that hard or expensive even if you used a smaller Tank. Its the motor and pump that costs the most. 3 phase is the way to go IF you have 3 phase power available most people don't have 3 phase available to there home garages.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

Return to Tools and Supplies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 6 guests