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Tools & Supplies: Compressors
Talk about compressors.
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Compressor Problem
snodipous
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 03:07 PM UTC
I have started having a specific sort of problem with my compressor. It's a Medea TigerShark that I sort-of inherited from a friend who got out of airbrushing. As you can see in the linked video, after I have been using it for a while I can hear this increasing hissing noise coming from a brass valve. It builds for a bit and sometimes just continues at that level, or sometimes it releases the pressure with a loud pop/hiss that makes me jump every time (it's loud in real life). Other than this the compressor works just fine.

Is it toast? Should I keep using it despite what looks like some kind of emergency release happening? Will it eventually blow my legs off, Saving Private Ryan style?

https://youtu.be/4zZLdwZIaHY
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 04:39 PM UTC
It sounds like a pressure release valve is opening due to overpressure in the tank. It shouldn't be a problem, but it's being caused by something either in the regulator or in the tank itself-- have you drained the tank lately? It could be building up water in the tank, which causes it to "overpressure" by compressing the water inside. There should be a plug or drain valve somewhere on the bottom of the tank. Disconnect all your hoses and unplug it, then get a bucket ready to drain it before opening the valve or removing the plug (what comes out will be nasty looking water). Is the regulator holding pressure on the needle gauge or does the needle drop when the valve "pops"?
VR, Russ
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 07:52 PM UTC
Does the pressure switch turn off the compressor after a while?

Is it this one ?

If it is then the light grey box is a pressure switch which starts the compressor when the pressure in the tank goes below a preset limit and stops the compressor when the pressure has reached to upper limit.
If this switch does not work the compressor will run until something fails, that is why there is a safety valve to release overpressure .....

The pressure switch should turn off the compressor before it hits the release pressure in the safety valve.
Going by your description the safety valve works as designed, unless it has been tampered with so that it opens too soon.

If the pressure switch does not work I would suggest replacing it. Those are a bit complicated to service/adjust properly ...
There should be a connection, or maybe two, from the backside of the pressure switch to the tank or the plumbing connecting the tank and the compressor. This connection allows the pressure in the tank/plumbing to influence the pressure switch. If the connection is blocked then the switch can not function as intended.

/ Robin
Scarred
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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 04:32 AM UTC
It could be the pressure switch not working thus over filling the tank until the safety valve opens.

Or it could be the safety valve is worn or damaged and opens too early before the pressure is high enough to trip the cutoff switch.

If you can hold the safety valve closed long enough to allow the pressure switch to activate then you should see on your gage what the pressure is that tripped the switch. If the pressure is at the normal point for a filled tank that would mean your pressure relief valve is toast
snodipous
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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 05:23 AM UTC
Thanks for the info. Part of the reason that this is such a pain is that almost no info exists online for this series of compressors, which is surprising given that they are made by a fairly large and well-known company. I had to email Iwata to get a copy of the manual, and all they had to send me was an incomplete scan of a photocopy of an old manual.

The Iwata rep referred me to Silentaire if I had any other questions, so I sent them the video and asked if they have parts.

_(ツ)_/ Here's hoping.
Vicious
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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 09:16 AM UTC
You can try to have a check on Sparmax web site or contact them ,they do some of the compressors for Iwata
Scarred
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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 10:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the info. Part of the reason that this is such a pain is that almost no info exists online for this series of compressors, which is surprising given that they are made by a fairly large and well-known company. I had to email Iwata to get a copy of the manual, and all they had to send me was an incomplete scan of a photocopy of an old manual.

The Iwata rep referred me to Silentaire if I had any other questions, so I sent them the video and asked if they have parts.

_(ツ)_/ Here's hoping.



Yeah I was looking for a manual online to look for parts list but there is nothing online. I'd start looking for a new compressor because if something is failing it may be cheaper and less expensive to replace it. Plus some of these things aren't made to be repaired just tossed when they get old.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 07:53 PM UTC
A new pressure switch and some plumbing work is cheaper than getting a whole new compressor.
By the sound in the video this is a silent compressor and they cost a lot more than the noisy ones (machine gun nests ...)
The pressure switches start at 10 bucks on ebay .....
https://www.ebay.com/p/Single-Phase-Air-Compressor-Pressure-Switch-4-Port-Manifold-175psi/24013611047?iid=232464055391
I would probably recommend spending maybe 20 bucks on the switch to try and get a little better quality
/ Robin
snodipous
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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 04:50 AM UTC
It's a really good compressor, aside from this new venting problem. I would really rather fix it than throw it out over this one issue and either get something less good, or spend $ridiculous to get something equivalent.
snodipous
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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 08:21 AM UTC
After some investigation, I got in touch with a person from SilentAire, who did a bit of over-the-phone troubleshooting with me. Very helpful guy, who agreed that it's probably a degraded/faulty safety valve, and I have a new one on its way to me. Here's hoping...
Scarred
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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 10:34 AM UTC
Good that you got some customer service, I'm kinda surprised. Post here if that repair works.
snodipous
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Posted: Wednesday, September 05, 2018 - 02:33 PM UTC
I got the new safety valve from Silentaire today and installed it, and my compressor seems to be back to its old self. Top points to Warren at Silentaire for being very helpful in diagnosing the problem and selling me a replacement valve.
Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, September 05, 2018 - 04:49 PM UTC
Good to hear. Cheap fix means more money for plastic.