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Air Compressor OCI? #5162860 07/16/19 07:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
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Vern_in_IL Offline OP
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Every time I change the oil, there are always tons of metal flakes coming out.... (standard 5hp 20 gallon portable)

Now I know many people that change compressor oil maybe once in ten years or longer....

The last oil change I switched to a "synthetic compressor oil" by Milton, for cold weather performance.

How often should I be changing this oil?

Last edited by Vern_in_IL; 07/16/19 07:36 PM.
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5162875 07/16/19 07:51 PM
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JC1 Offline
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How long have you had the compressor? How many hours of use before you change the oil?

Maybe you should use this for a few short OCI on it. https://www.harborfreight.com/32-fl-oz-compressor-oil-68097.html

I personally would be using that HF oil if I was in your shoes and see if it clears up the metal bits inside the motor.

I just bought a used Sanborn 60 Gallon air compressor. Changed the oil with a Rolair semi-synthetic. Didn't see any bits of metal in the used oil, but my eyesight isn't the greatest these days.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/1-litre-synthetic-blend-air-compressor-pump-oil/A-p8436784e


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
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Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5162883 07/16/19 07:56 PM
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Vern_in_IL Offline OP
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I've had the compressor since 1997. CH "FarmHand" I usually change the oil after 10 hours, it gets used about 1 hour per year.

Last edited by Vern_in_IL; 07/16/19 07:57 PM.
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5162895 07/16/19 08:01 PM
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JC1 Offline
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That's pretty low usage. I don't think I'd wait ten years to change it. Buy that oil from HF, it's 6.99. Use the 25% off coupon it's $5.25.

Change it once a year. I'm thinking I'll do the same for mine a few times before winter sets in. I use my compressor every few days. How often do you drain the water from the tank?


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: JC1] #5162934 07/16/19 08:57 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Originally Posted by JC1
That's pretty low usage. I don't think I'd wait ten years to change it. Buy that oil from HF, it's 6.99. Use the 25% off coupon it's $5.25.

Change it once a year. I'm thinking I'll do the same for mine a few times before winter sets in. I use my compressor every few days. How often do you drain the water from the tank?

I drain my tank of water every time i use it. I dont usually get much out though. I put amsoil in mine and have not changed it since.


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Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Chris142] #5162940 07/16/19 09:05 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Originally Posted by Chris142
I drain my tank of water every time i use it. I dont usually get much out though. I put amsoil in mine and have not changed it since.


I do that too. I installed a ball valve on mine. What I do now is crack the valve open for 1 second a good blast of water comes out with the air.

The previous compressor I bought the guy never drained it. It had close to 2 liters of water inside over the years and it was a brown as gravy.


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5162973 07/16/19 09:51 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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I change mine once a year no matter what. I can't picture a 5 horse motor on a 20 gallon compressor?


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: clinebarger] #5163008 07/16/19 11:14 PM
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user52165 Offline
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Originally Posted by clinebarger
I change mine once a year no matter what. I can't picture a 5 horse motor on a 20 gallon compressor?



It would be interesting to see the motor specs on that unit. 5hp would require 220v and about 15 - 20 amps. Well, that's for a real 5hp motor.

I doubt his is.

CH Campbell Hausfeld? They are low on my list.

Last edited by user52165; 07/16/19 11:17 PM.
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5163056 07/17/19 01:51 AM
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Gasbuggy Offline
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Every 2 years.


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Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5163198 07/17/19 07:56 AM
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Kestas Offline
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Every 10 years here. I've had mine 40 years.

Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5163389 07/17/19 11:51 AM
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circuitsmith Offline
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I rub a little between the fingers. When it feels less slippery or a bit gritty I change it. 10+ years.
Re water drain I do it after every substantial use in the summer. I've learned it collects virtually none in the winter.


2017 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD
SuperTech synth, 5w-30, 5000mi/12mo OCI
Re: Air Compressor OCI? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5163397 07/17/19 12:04 PM
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A_Spruce Offline
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I've only changed the oil a couple of times in my compressor in the nearly 30 years I've had it. It's a compact portable Superior, which I was told at the time was an Italian made compressor. Don't know, don't care, the thing has seen extreme use and working conditions, and other than a little dirt and wear, it runs like new. The only problems I've had with it is having to replace the shut-off switch twice. I try to keep the tanks drained, but for some reason that gets neglected frequently. I don't use it as much or heavily any more, but in my construction days, it was used almost daily for everything from installing trim to framing houses to blowing drywall texture.

Oil still looks great, smells great, and is less filling . . . no wait, that's not it LOL feels great, no grit, no issues.

Last edited by A_Spruce; 07/17/19 12:05 PM.

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