What's better than canned air?

From: chris <cb_at_mythtech.net>
Date: Fri Jan 24 08:09:00 2003

>> At first I filled my tank at my fire house off our breathing air
>> compressor, but that got to be a pain, so I bought a small air compressor
>> (also at Sears, also about $40)
>You mean one of those small, tankless compressors? I went to Sears last
>night, and the cheapest tank-equipped compressor they had was $180.
>Considering the potential cheapness of used scuba gear, that's way too much
>to pay for air. Anyway, I'd always thought that those little compressors
>weren't all that great. Am I wrong?

Correct, a tankless compressor. The type sold for filling car tires or

The one I have is pretty good considering the price, but I can't use it
directly to run my blowgun. I have to fill my storage tank, and run the
blow gun off that. The reason is, the compressor will go to 250 PSI, but
it starts at Zero and works its way up. So if I attach the blowgun
directly to it, I never get more than about 1 or 2 PSI (whatever pressure
it builds up from friction going thru the hose).

But, the compressor works very well for filling my 12 gallon air tank to
200 PSI, which then works very well for running my blowgun at 10-60 PSI
(depending on where I set the regulator).

Although used SCUBA gear is a good cheap option, you have to consider how
often you are going to fill it, and how much that is going to cost you.
Remember, if you pay $180 for a tank/compressor at Sears, that's it. From
then on out, compressed air is more or less free (electricity to power
the compressor, and maintenance costs). With a SCUBA tank, you might buy
the tank and regulator for under $100, but you will pay for each refill
(unless you know someone that has a 3000 PSI compressor... if you are
friends with a fireman, ask if their department can do it, we do for
friends and the occasional resident if they ask nicely, but then not all
FDs have their own breathing air compressor, and fewer have the
attachments for filling SCUBA gear)

If you figure $8 each, your last $80 is used up in 10 fillings. Not to
mention the time/effort/annoyance to have to fill it when it runs out at
the worst possible time. But if you don't fill the bottle offen (those
bottles hold a LOT of air at 1 atmosphere), then SCUBA might be the
cheaper, and certainly quieter option.

Received on Fri Jan 24 2003 - 08:09:00 GMT

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