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My "shop" is a small two car garage, and I cant really afford to have much on the floor. Any thing on the garage floor eats up parking space, mobility, and makes clean up difficult. I've been wanting to move my horizontal Craftsman compressor up into the attic for quite some time, but procrastinated because of how I wanted to run the electrical and plumbing. The recent cool weather motivated me to climb up in the attic and wrap up this project.

The electrical and plumbing is nothing special. One thing I had fun with was the switch panel. I wanted to know what kind of pressure I had in the tank. If I was going to run a remote pressure gauge, might as well add an air port also. I have a hose reel on the ceiling so this isn't my only air supply. I salvaged an old switch to make a second "support" for the switch plate cover. I hacked off one half of the "box" so that the pressure gauge could slip into that spot. I routed copper tubing through the soffit and down the exterior brick wall to have a moisture drain at ground level.

(Yes, I know I got carried away with the sheetrock saw. It is bothering me...)
 

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Tank drain?
No tank drain. There is no humidity in South Louisiana, so I shouldn't have to worry about moisture in the tank.:laughing:
I guess I could have been more specific, but I eluded to what I did above.

I routed copper tubing through the soffit and down the exterior brick wall to have a moisture drain at ground level.
I screwed a 1/4" tee in to the drain port. One side of the tee has the normal bleeder for local draining, and the other side has a 1/4" ball valve as an isolation valve before going to the drain line. The 90 converts the 1/4" NPT to 1/4" tubing, and from there, the 1/4" needle valve is now the drain valve at ground level just on the outside of the garage. Below is a picture from when I was conducting a leak test. The section of copper tubing between the 90 and needle valve is now about 30 feet long. I just have to walk around the corner outside and crack the valve to drain the tank.
 

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That is fawkin great. Id like to see the looks on peoples faces when they look at that and say wtf:confused:

How secure is the air fitting fixed to the box, it seems like it would break the plastic switch plate easily if you are rough with connecting or tugging on hoses
 

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How secure is the air fitting fixed to the box, it seems like it would break the plastic switch plate easily if you are rough with connecting or tugging on hoses
It isn't:laughing:
I feel pretty good about it left/right & up/down because the 3" nipple coming off of the back passed through the palstic triple gang box. It is like it is supported in two places, but the down side is that one of those places is the plastic wall plate. Right now there is a little bit of movement in and out, which is actually the wall plate flexing in a out. I am planning to control this movement by putting a hose clamp around the supply hose in the front and back side of the box where the hose penetrates it.
I don't plan on hooking up a long hose to this port and whipping it around the garage. At most this would be used with one of the light weight coiled hoses for quick work. I have a hose reel hanging from the ceiling that will see 99% of the duty. The only reason I put a supply port in this box was because I didn't want to go through all of the trouble of running this airline JUST for a pressure gauge.
The first picture kind of shows how I will be able to lock the hose to the box. You can also barely see how I secured the box. I didn't trust the small plastic clips that came with this style box, so I put 4 screws into the studs on either side. The other is an older picture of the hose reel, that I am just now hooking up, 9 months later:shaking:
 

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I like this a lot. Maybe a steel beauty plate would work better for durability? Probably break the plastic box instead though
 

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I like this a lot. Maybe a steel beauty plate would work better for durability? Probably break the plastic box instead though
They do have stainless steel switch plates and some horrible looking Aluminum diamond plate switch plates. The plate attaches to the actual switch (or the hatced up switch/support that I made). The switch could be through bolted to the plastic box or they do sell metal galvanized boxes. You can make this system as robust as you want, I just know my intended purpose. It is mainly to have a remote power switch and pressure gauge that matched the rest of the house. I just added the pressure tap for possible future use.
 

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If you want a machined .125 al plate pm me I could cnc you one out of scrap at work.
 

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Plumb an automatic drain valve into that drain line, then you won't have to bother cracking open the needle valve. :)
 

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Dude, once I get my garage cleaned up and organized I'm doing the same thing. Thanks for the idea!
 

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Your tank will still have nasty water in it, and so will your lines it doesn't matter where you live. Even out here in dry CA we get water.

Get an automatic drain, and when it cycles it drains. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Your tank will still have nasty water in it, and so will your lines it doesn't matter where you live. Even out here in dry CA we get water.
Get an automatic drain, and when it cycles it drains. :D
I was being very, very, very sarcastic when I said there is no humidity in South Louisiana. We dont really have a winter, and I'm not that far from the coast. Average year round humidity is almost 80%.

Plumb an automatic drain valve into that drain line, then you won't have to bother cracking open the needle valve. :)
I looked at this unit at HF , but I wasn't confident I can get it to work with my compressor. My cheap Craftsman compressor doesn't have a regular schrader valve as an unloader valve like I have seen on some nicer compressors. It was really my inexperience with automatic tank drains, that prevented me from buying it. I don't mind the $10 gamble, but from what I saw on the installation instructions, I didnt want to hack up my compressor just to test it.


While typing this response, I found this write up.
http://www.paragoncode.com/shop/compressor/
Seems like the same compressor design, so I might give it a shot. Where exactly is the liquid discharge on this set up? Is it the port on the center of the brass auto drain valve (front center)? If so, I should be able to pipe up to this unit so that the moisture is discharged outside.


I searched for a bit and these auto drain kits are either $10 from HF or $150 on the net. Is there another option beside the HF unit? Anyone have experience with it? Is it junk like some of there other stuff?

Edit: Maintenance free compressor air at the flip of a switch would be pretty nice.
 

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I have the HF auto-drain, and it works fine NOW. I had problems at first, but in the end (after the hassle) they're easy to solve.

The discharge is out of the 1/4" NPT port on the largest diameter section of the valve body.

Mine worked fine at first, for about 2 days--then started leaking, and draining the entire tank after the compressor shut off....or at least until the compressor kicked on again. My fixes:

I replaced the plastic air line they supplied with different/better plastic air line. Theirs is super-soft and flexible, and seems more prone to bursting when it gets hot---like when your compressor runs. :rolleyes: I just used some line I had laying around from a truck's airbag kit.

Opened up the valve and replaced the O-rings on each side of the movable piston. The originals were too large, so they didn't seat tight in their grooves...when they got off center, they no longer sealed. I picked up a metric O-ring assortment from HF also (like $3.99....useful for other stuff too) and replaced each with a smaller size. It's been working great since then, and I'm still into it less than $20.
 

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Almost two years later this setup is still working great. Putting the Crapsman oil less compressor in the attic drastically cut down on the noise. Nothing wrong with the way it was running, but I ran across a Kobalt 30 gallon oiled compressor for $160 and couldn't pass it up. The Kobalt unit has a max pressure of 155 psi instead of the Craftsman at 125 psi, so my impact has more oomph behind it, and the tank can hold more supply air. The oiled compressor is soooo much quieter than the oil less unit that you don't even hear it running in the garage unless you have the attic door open. I currently have two of the Craftsman ~30 gal oil less units (second was going to be a volume tank) so I should be able to sell both and be in the black with a more powerful and quieter compressor.

Kobalt 1.6-HP 30-Gallon 155 PSI
5.5 SCFM @ 90 PSI works great for my home garage


System now pressures up to ~150 and will hold it for a couple days before it slowly starts to drop due to system leaks.


This is how I drain the tank remotely. 1/4" copper tubing runs from the bottom of the tank, through the soffit, and down to the ground with an inline needle valve outside. Much easier than climbing up into the attic to drain the tank and easy to operate when walking though the side gate. I can really see how much water was at the bottom of the tank.


25' hose reel from HF is still working well and fits nicely in this little useless nook created by the overhead garage door tracks. I did have a small problem with the ratcheting mechanism, but a little bit of loctite fixed that. I recently replaced the hose, but I think that would be par for the course at 2 years and constant side loading.


Safety 3rd
The compressor was a little heavy to haul up the attic steps by hand, so I used a couple of 4" ratchet straps to make the lift. Surprisingly easy to crank that much weight off the ground. Used one at a time, took the slack out of the second one, cranked it until the strap filled of the spool, then released the other, removed the slack, repeat. My brother in law came over to help in case something went wrong.
 
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