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Old 12-13-2009, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Air Pressure Regulator Woes

I switched from a cheap Craftsman oiless compressor that I had for 10 or so years to an oiled compressor, it's the Campbell Hausfeld from Lowes.

I've had the compressor since March and I've gone through 2 regulators so far. I picked the first one up off the shelf at Lowes, the second was a Craftsman regulator/filter combo. Both quit regulating in short order (within a few uses), so whatever pressure was in the tank was making it to the hoses.

WTH am I doing wrong, or am I just having bad luck? That last compressor, the regulator on it lasted 10 years without a hiccup, but now I can't seem to keep the things working.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Bad luck I guess on your part.

i had them start to leak after a few years never so soon.

Just how is it failing that it allows full tank pressure into the system??

You are not trying to use a regulator rated for less then the tank pressure that would cause a early failure.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are different quality units.

The one I use is NOTICEABLY heavier than the crappy ones...

I don't recall make and model but it's not light.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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get a parker or i think a norton or somthing with an N.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Bad luck I guess on your part.

i had them start to leak after a few years never so soon.

Just how is it failing that it allows full tank pressure into the system??

You are not trying to use a regulator rated for less then the tank pressure that would cause a early failure.
They were both rated for 150 psi, the compressor shuts off at ~140 and "bleeds" back to 135.

The "failure" is that they won't regulate anymore, in other words - no matter how much you loosen or tighten the regulating knob, the pressure in the system is the same as what's in the tank. Not sure why or how, I'm not familiar enough with regulators to start tearing into them and troubleshooting.

The only thing I can see that may affect them is that they are mounted to the compressor right now. I have 3/8" pipe coming out of the output on the tank to a shutoff valve, then a pipe from that valve to the regulator/oiler/connects. Could vibration be killing them? Surely not....

So, I can't run my tools at 90 psi (like they are rated for), if the tank is topped off, the tools run at 135 psi. Makes my little air ratchet scream...

The Craftsman regulator looked like a nice unit, it was much heavier than the Lowes one, was a good bit more expensive too.

I guess I'll grab one off of McMaster and see if I have better luck...

Last edited by jmcbroom; 12-14-2009 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i'd look for a Coilhose or Watts regulator. they both make quality units.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They seem like they will either fail within a few months or they last forever. A couple of years ago we were replacing them like crazy and very few since. When we were replacing a lot of them it was a very hot humid summer, I don't know if it was a contributing factor. As is our usual practice we turned the compressors off every night and drained the tanks so there wasn't a moisture problem in the tanks. I don't really like the idea of the regulator being attached to the compressor, I don't think the vibration is beneficial to them. On my own compressor I run a flex hose and my regulator is remotely mounted.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't really like the idea of the regulator being attached to the compressor, I don't think the vibration is beneficial to them. On my own compressor I run a flex hose and my regulator is remotely mounted.
Me either,but I really don't have much of a choice right now. My little garage shop is pretty much maxed out as far as space goes. Eventually I'd like to get a line ran to the front of the garage, but for now it is what is it...
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've got an IR/ARO unit. It was one of the few reasonably priced ones I could find that was set up for 3/4" NPT. I still had to order it as no one locally stocks anything that large.

Just a couple months ago, after about 3.5 years in use (wall-mounted), it started leaking badly. I found that the plastic top had cracked, at the base of the hex which allows you to thread it on. Very odd failure, but it did fail at a 90 degree bend in the plastic, so obviously some sort of a stress riser.

As with anything else that's quality, I was able to find an exploded diagram and order just the part I needed at a cost of $40, vs ~$120 for the whole regulator.

http://www.irtechpubs.com/ir_pdfs/Fl...3X1-60X-EN.PDF
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Its because you are in Galveston.

Seriously - check northern tool and get a quality unit. They have IR/ARO, as well as others. Dont bother with the HF junk.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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what do you need a regulator for? i run 155psi through every thing,i dont paint.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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what do you need a regulator for? i run 155psi through every thing,i dont paint.
If you try that with woodworking nail guns and you will blow the insides all to hell. I had a lot of problems at 110psi with my pneumatic grease gun until I went down to about 70psi
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i do agree that it is no doubt a good idea to mount the regulator in a remote location.

i also have mine mounted to the compressor 7.5 hp big red I have had 2 regulators fail since 1989 and would have been able to rebuild one except for dropping it in the cold and breaking the plastic housing..

I can except this as normal wear and tear
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