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#3467799 - 08/28/14 07:36 PM Non detergent oil for air compressors?
SnowDrifter Offline


Registered: 08/24/14
Posts: 391
Loc: WA
So, as I understand it: Non detergent oil is used in air compressors because the moisture will settle to the bottom of the drain vs. emulsifying. Seems to make sense to me.

Now, here's the confusion. My compressor, a Kobalt 30 gallon compressor, has a sticker on the side that says non-detergent oil. In the product manual, it specs out either Kobalt's own oil, or Mobil 1 synthetic 10w-30.

So... This begs the question: Why would they recommend a passenger car oil while warning of "regular automotive oils" in the user manual? It still doesn't add up with the non-detergent oil labeling on the side.


What's different about Mobil 1 in this application?

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#3467833 - 08/28/14 07:58 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
zzyzzx Online   sleepy


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4359
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Walmart sells non detergent oil by the quart in it's motor oil section. Way cheaper than then little bottles in the air compressor area.

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#3467834 - 08/28/14 07:59 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
jrustles Offline


Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 2035
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Your compressor was engineered using Mobil 1 engine oil, the world's leading #1 synthetic oil. Tests have shown that more compressors run on Mobil 1 engine oil have their serviceable life extended two to seventy times vs compressors running the next leading synthetic oil. wink
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#3467865 - 08/28/14 08:19 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
the ch compressor i used to have said to use 10w40 engine oil in it.go figure


Edited by Chris142 (08/28/14 08:20 PM)
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#3467899 - 08/28/14 09:01 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 12893
Loc: Northern Kentucky
If the compressor allows for the synthetic 10w30, i would run it. I think they run forever on anything as long as it doesn't run dry!
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#3467960 - 08/28/14 10:22 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18842
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
When i bought the Quincy the service guy told me it only needs the most basic oil, the additives found in engine oils are of no benefit to it.
On the other hand he didn't say those additives would harm it either, i cant see how it would either but i deferred to their recommendation.
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#3467967 - 08/28/14 10:32 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: zzyzzx]
Cristobal Offline


Registered: 01/02/11
Posts: 2400
Loc: In The Region Between
Accel is the non-detergent oil I commonly see at Walmart.
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#3467969 - 08/28/14 10:36 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
joegreen Offline


Registered: 03/10/13
Posts: 751
Loc: NY
I use 30wt nd napa brand oil from napa. Its cheap and i have run my compressor hard and hot and the oil has never failed.
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#3467970 - 08/28/14 10:37 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: jrustles]
Clevy Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 9783
Loc: Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: jrustles
Your compressor was engineered using Mobil 1 engine oil, the world's leading #1 synthetic oil. Tests have shown that more compressors run on Mobil 1 engine oil have their serviceable life extended two to seventy times vs compressors running the next leading synthetic oil. wink






You can't be serious.



OP

I've got 16 5.5hp Honda powered air compressors. I've NEVER used a detergent oil in them. I use only amsoil compressor oil because of the conditions these pumps operate in.
From 30c to -40c we are working and amsoil stays fluid at those cold temps.
The engines get supertech because I need 5 gallon pails because I've got so many compressors to service.
Use only non-detergent oil in the pump. I've seen guys use regular oil and the stuff foams up once any moisture gets in the oil. Foam isn't a good lubricator.
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#3467993 - 08/28/14 11:05 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5622
Loc: South Florida
Detergent oils will foam up when agitated. Foam doesn't lubricate very well, and is why non-detergent oil is recommended.
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13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
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10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30



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#3468014 - 08/28/14 11:23 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
SnowDrifter Offline


Registered: 08/24/14
Posts: 391
Loc: WA
^^Makes sense. But I still don't understand why they say non-detergent and Mobil 1 in the same breath

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#3468036 - 08/28/14 11:50 PM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: Trav]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41767
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Trav
When i bought the Quincy the service guy told me it only needs the most basic oil, the additives found in engine oils are of no benefit to it.
On the other hand he didn't say those additives would harm it either, i cant see how it would either but i deferred to their recommendation.


I can understand that angle - only an "R&O" add pack is needed/desired because of the basis of operation. The fact that the detergents are the means of emulsifying water in the oil is news to me.

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#3469136 - 08/30/14 09:41 AM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: SnowDrifter]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20450
Loc: Upstate NY
I am on a 25 yr compressor oil change cycle. I changed it this year and last time was in the 1980s (give or take), actually that was when it was new. Its 5HP two stage that does not see a while lot of use.

The issue is I am 61 and thus the next oil change will be when I am 86.
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#3469138 - 08/30/14 09:45 AM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20450
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: Trav
When i bought the Quincy the service guy told me it only needs the most basic oil, the additives found in engine oils are of no benefit to it.
On the other hand he didn't say those additives would harm it either, i cant see how it would either but i deferred to their recommendation.


I can understand that angle - only an "R&O" add pack is needed/desired because of the basis of operation. The fact that the detergents are the means of emulsifying water in the oil is news to me.



I am not sure what the additive is or what oil has it, but Mercruiser gear oil has an additive to hold water with the gear oil and not let it settle out. I believe it just holds it in suspension. Not being a chemist, I am not sure of the difference between emulsify and suspension. Darn another question my Dad could answer. I miss him.
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2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
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#4453245 - 07/08/17 10:20 AM Re: Non detergent oil for air compressors? [Re: bubbatime]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Detergent oils will foam up when agitated. Foam doesn't lubricate very well, and is why non-detergent oil is recommended.


Sorry for creating a zombie thread.

How does the action of a compressor "agitate" oil and that of an internal combustion engine NOT agitate oil?

I must be misunderstanding something.

Don't motor oils have anti-foaming additives?

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