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I-R Compressor Recall...A Bittersweet Story

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Mark in Indiana

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#1
Hi Friends,

For over 30 years, I've had an Ingersoll-Rand 2/hp compressor. I bought it new for $200, and used it heavily for everything. Throughout the years, I've maintained it and made the few repairs as needed. Those repairs being rebuilding the pressure switch assembly and brazing the tank where a couple of pin holes rusted through from the inside.

A couple of years ago, I decided to upgrade to a 5/hp, but I didn't want a "home owner" quality compressor from HF or a big box building supply store. Yes, an industrial compressor costs many times more than the home owner type but they will last for ever.

So I came across a "twin" to my I-R compressor and bought it for $60. This is great because it gave me options to set up a "lead-lag" operation so I would use 2/hp or 4/hp as needed (there is also a 60 gal. accumulator tank in my set up). Also, if one compressor went down, the second one would keep me going.

So here's where the story changes: Being a tool junkie, I do a lot of tool research, and found out about a recall on my compressors that would give me $100/each if I send my compressors back to Ingersoll-Rand. The recall was for tanks that would rupture. I believe that 11 out of 450.000 tanks of compressors like mine have ruptured over the past 30+ years. Although, this is a fair price for used 2/hp compressors, I had no intention of following up with the recall...Until a neighbor stopped by and asked me if I wanted to buy his Campbell Hausfeld 5/hp compressor that he bought new around 22 years ago. I bought it for $200.

This upgrade was FREE!:biggrin:

Although it's painful to see a couple of good compressors fo to the scrap yard, it's farewell to my 2 faithful old friends (see first picture), and hello to my new friend (see second picture), which should be the last compressor that I will ever need.



Happy Trails!

IR COMPRESSORS.jpg CH5 COMPRESSOR.jpg
 

JeepsAndGuns

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So it was the tanks that were the issue and not the rest of it? I hope you were able to save the compressor heads and electric motors before you sent them off to the scrap yard! I could use one of those motors, and the heads coupld probably be sold on craigslist to someone with a worn out one.
 

george wilson

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Sounds pretty dangerous,having to braze little holes shut! Have you seen the pictures of a large air tank that blew up,and demolished the entire side of a garage? Compressed air is very dangerous. Lucky the owner was not nearby.
 

Mark in Indiana

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So it was the tanks that were the issue and not the rest of it? I hope you were able to save the compressor heads and electric motors before you sent them off to the scrap yard! I could use one of those motors, and the heads coupld probably be sold on craigslist to someone with a worn out one.
Unfortunately, the terms were to ship both of the compressors complete. I'v participated in other recalls where I only had to ship a main component. The good thing is that I wouldn't have gotten 100$ each if I tried to sell through CL.
 

Mark in Indiana

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Sounds pretty dangerous,having to braze little holes shut! Have you seen the pictures of a large air tank that blew up,and demolished the entire side of a garage? Compressed air is very dangerous. Lucky the owner was not nearby.
I can see that happening under the right conditions. Extra large tank, pressure jacked too high, PRV not working (or removed). My theory is that the brazing rod is softer than welding rod, so it would flex more without cracking. I might be wrong though. But, that issue won't be a worry in my shop. The first thing that I did to the new compressor was to assemble an easy drain valve to keep the tank bottom dry.
 

JimDawson

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I can see that happening under the right conditions. Extra large tank, pressure jacked too high, PRV not working (or removed). My theory is that the brazing rod is softer than welding rod, so it would flex more without cracking. I might be wrong though. But, that issue won't be a worry in my shop. The first thing that I did to the new compressor was to assemble an easy drain valve to keep the tank bottom dry.

This is not to say that brazing up a pinhole in an air tank is the right or wrong method. My concern would be that you fixed the one hole that showed up, what about the others that are about to break through? I'm guessing that the tank integrity was compromised by a lot of pinholes that had not broken through the surface yet.

My inclination would be to scrap any pressure vessel that showed external signs of internal corrosion. IMHO, the pinhole is a warning.
 

kd4gij

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I wouldn't wan't to be around a small tank that failed at 90psi. The results wouldn't be pritty. Glad you are getting rid of them. And was lucky that it didn't happen.
 

KBeitz

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#8
If you would ever open a tank that had leaks you would never again attempt to fix one. One look is all it would take.
 

9t8z28

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#9
So IR would give you $100 to return it but wouldnt the freight cost at least $100 ? What model #’s ? I have a IR and need to look into this
 
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