Author Topic: Looking for opinion from mechanically experienced on oil for air compressor  (Read 272 times)

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Offline DaleReid

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I'm going for the most bizarre question of the day.

Here's the background.  I have a piston type air compressor, with an electric one-phase drive.  I keep it in a shed that is unheated.  As the temperature falls, it is harder to get the initial start up to not trip the circuit breaker.  By turning it on for a few revolutions, then off, and repeating every few seconds, the compressor pistons seem to warm enough and have oil that is warmed to finally run until the tank is charged and it shuts off.

I have serviced it with oil for compressors, but don't know the viscosity.  I don't know if there is something 'special' about that type of oil or not.  I don't spraypaint or sandblast with air from this smaller tank, so I'm not worried about any oil into the tank, but never have seen any nor does the air dryer get any.

The question is, with synthetic oils for cars being very slippery and also very low viscosity as temperatures fall, for the winter can the oil in the compressor unit be swapped out with something like 0W10 fully synthetic just to allow the start up to be a little less difficult and have fewer (or no) circuit breaker trips?  Or is the oil something that must be used, no matter what the temp? 

BTW, when it is really cold I use the old, smaller, vibrator type air pump to blow up tires, etc.  Or I get the torpedo heater out and run it onto the compressor for awhile to bring it up to temperature when I can just turn it on and it does fine (like during the summer.)

Just asking.  I have a feeling there are a lot of skilled and time-taught mechanics out there.
Dale
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Offline davidmc36

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Offline DaleReid

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Unbelievable.  I haven't posted this for more than 20 minutes and a nice forum member has responded with a link to a few suggestions and discussion by real-world folks who have had experience, not just speculation.

Wow.  Thanks, David.  And I learned a lot in the other forum link.
Dale
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Offline davidmc36

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No sweat Dude. I'm just the type that reads a lot and something stuck in my head about that. And I am actually in the process of replacing the pump on my compressor so the topic piqued my interest right away. I just got a new V Belt sheave to match pump wheel and now I need to size up the belt.

Offline zeppline

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The oil should be 30W, but I think the problem is the unloader. Then the compressor stops it should let the air out between the compressor and the tank. The compress is trying to start under full load, you need to clean or replace the unloader.

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