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California quiet air compressor leaking

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Frances M., Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Frances M.

    Frances M. CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    My 2-year-old California compressor has been trouble free until recently - it's drain valve has started slightly leaking air when closed. Can't find any information online about the issue and wonder if anyone has dealt with this issue?
     
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  2. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Test it by brushing some soapy water on it while pressurized, to see if the air is leaking from around the outside or from the outlet. If the outlet, it could have some grit in it, keeping it from closing completely. While the valve is open, use a pipecleaner or similar to clean it and then test again. If bubbles form around the outside, the valve may not be screwed securely into the tank. Tighten it. If the valve has gone bad, you could likely find a new compressor valve locally. I think they are pretty standard.
    :cool: Rick
     
  3. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    The drain valves are pretty common replacement parts on compressor tanks. If you don't have a local repair shop, you might look at Grainger on line.
    All the one's I have are made of brass which will corrode. And they also get build up from the condensate. You might try removing the valve and soaking it in LimeAway and see if it doesn't work better. I think you use a bit of teflon tape on the threads when replacing the valve.
     
  4. Frances M.

    Frances M. CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Thanks to you both!
     
  5. monkey

    monkey CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    How do you like the California Quiet Air? Would you recommend it or if you had to buy another compressor would you buy it again?
     
  6. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I just bought my... third or fourth California Quiet Air. But I only need 1.

    One of them caught on fire after a few months, as we were pressurizing it for the morning.

    The other 2 or 3 stopped being "silent" and started being "chainsaw sounding" after a few months. Like so loud, you'd think a train was next to you, from several rooms away.

    This summer I looked up the cost of parts to repair, vs buy a new one, and I just decided a month ago to buy a new one... again. So we'll say my 3rd one in 7 years.
     
  7. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    ...Compared to the economics of a $1200 Jun-Air still running quietly after 23 years (never turned off),
     
  8. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've probably spent (assuming 3 compressors, since the one that caught fire I returned) about $500 or $600, as they are about $160 to $200 per unit.

    Aside from major tools like my Pistorius saw, Pistorius v-nailer and VacuSeal 4468h press which are all top-of-the-line and were bought new, items like compressors I've felt are actually less expensive to purchase and throw out every 2 or 3 years, rather than buy one 5x to 10x the price, but have the cost of maintaining them to offset that high expense.

    Fire is the main concern, which I hope is rare. I've set a protocol after that fire (which luckily my employee caught in time) where we keep the store keys by the master-off switch for the compressor, so we don't accidentally leave it on overnight, to prevent it running when we're not here (to prevent a fire when we can't stop it).

    The new one we just bought, its darn quiet, it cost me about $160, and I anticipate having to throw it out in 2020. For $6 per month, that is an acceptable loss, in my opinion.
     
  9. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    HERE is another ultra-quiet compressor sold at Menards. If you go to their main site and search on "quiet compressor" you'll see that they also carry quite a few different California Air models.
    :cool: Rick
     
  10. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Dollars don't come just out of your bank account. What is the value of your time and peace of mind? Since those are intangible, some will ascribe higher value than others.
     
  11. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Indeed, totally agree. I am a "spend higher now to save time later" kinda guy on almost everything. I switched to Mac computers personally and at work for that reason. If its quality, nowadays, I just get it just because "I want it to work". Something not working causes incremental problems which may or may not translate into lost revenue, but being able to rely on equipment is important in our businesses.

    But I have to have a metric to know.

    My concern is that I am unable to discern a "good but expensive" compressor from an "inexpensive but disposable" compressor.

    If I had previous great experience with a reliable compressor, and if I had the knowledge and inclination on how to service it to make it a good long-term investment, then I would look at it much differently. And I think there are many shops on The Grumble who have mentioned their positive opinion of California Air Tools' Quiet Compressor, so it very much could be something I'm doing wrong with the compressor, which might also harm other more expensive compressors.

    So, I'd never choose a $150 mitre saw over my $10k pistorius double-bladed saw, since I know the quality difference is massive on the final product, as well as production efficiency difference. But on a compressor which I don't know how to measure the difference is where I'll skrimp, to spend on the things I do know the difference.
     
  12. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm on my second California Air compressor. The first one lasted about 5 years. This one is about 2 years old at this point and is working fine, but it is actually not as quiet as the first one. It generates quite a bit of vibration, which shakes something creating a chatter above the hum of the motor and unit itself. If I hold onto the handle while it is running, that muffles the effect quite a bit.
    :cool: Rick

    BTW, I am using this to run my v-nailer. I have a SilentAire for my Wizard, and at the fitting table I have a very small Senco compressor which is very quiet and perfect for pneumatic hand tools like stapler, brad gun, pin nailer, etc.
     
  13. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    So.... what's the problem?
     
  14. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Maybe in a previous life it was a rabbit ears TV antenna that you needed to hold to get a clear signal. :)
     
    Rick Granick and neilframer like this.
  15. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jun Air all the way - 16 years on my Jun Air I purchase used and it is running perfectly. I now have 2. I purchased a new Jun Air for my CMC and my 2nd, which is my original used compressor, I use for the underpinner, pneumatic point drivers, and air lines.
     
    Mike Labbe likes this.
  16. monkey

    monkey CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I bought my Jun Air used, 11 yrs ago and it's running strong. It runs my Wizard, v nailer, staple and nail gun, not all at the same time.

    I'm looking to get a quiet compressor for home but can't justify the cost of another Jun Air. Thinking about a Cslifornia Air, but the motor catching on fire is a concern.
     
  17. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Check out the used equipment at this site...
    http://www.skylinepictures.com
    They often have used Jun Air and Silentaire compressors at good prices and they might have one near your area that you could pick up.
    I used a Jun Air for over 14 years at a previous business and then we sold it to another shop.
    We have a Silentaire in the shop now.

    These silent compressors are not meant to run an entire shop.
    They are excellent for a fitting area or for a Wizard but they are not designed to be run continuously.
    They have very tight tolerances and they need to rest or they will run too hot and shut down.
     
    monkey likes this.
  18. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Look at the specs on the SENCO I mentioned above to see if it would meet your home needs. I love mine. Plus, the contractor who remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago had one just like it for his air tools. It's very quiet and light weight, but the tank is small.
    :cool: Rick
     
    monkey likes this.
  19. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A contractor may say "It's very quiet and light weight, and the tank is small" :)
     
  20. monkey

    monkey CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Thanks Neilframer, That's an interesting website.
    Thanks Rick, I've heard great things about that SENCO compressor.

    The one thing I don't like about the Jun Air compressor is the oil. The cabinet I have it in is full of oil. I shut it off and vent every night. Also the oil reservoir is in need of being replaces. Anyone know of a good source for Jun Air replacement parts?
     
  21. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hmm... I've never had any oil showing outside my Jun Air. I've never shut mine off, nor vented it. It doesn't run overnight because my air system doesn't leak. As far as water draining, I periodically just open the drain valve enough to slowly drain it into a bucket (never used any of the bottle/valves that came with it).
     
  22. monkey

    monkey CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Interesting... It was told that I should always turn off and vent the Jun Air every night.
     
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