Breathing air from a compressor

Hi All I assume it's not safe to breathe air from an oil lubricated air compressor at sea level. But does anyone know if it's safe to breathe compressed air from an
oil free compressor? Thanks for your input.
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that's how they fill SCUBA tanks - after a bunch of filtering

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jay writes:

I do it all the time and so do my kids. We hook it up to a scuba regulator and practice scuba diving in the swimming pool. Never detected any irritation or as much as a scratchy throat from doing this for long periods. Boat and pool repair guys do this to work underwater.
The compressor consists of some metal and clean hydrocarbon oil, so there's nothing particularly toxic in low amounts. The amount of oil entrained into the air must be way below any OSHA limits for oil vapor, since the oil consumption of a well-running compressor is miniscule. I'm sure that running a lathe with kerosene cutting fluid and hot chips generates more oil vapor into the lungs via ambient air than this.
I was working with this every day I might add a filter canister.
Now in filling scuba tanks to 3500 psi you have to be scrupulously clean, but this is only 90 psi.
I'm more worried about microbes growing in the puddle in the bottom of the compressor tank. But the intake filter should keep out most of the nutrition for them, so there's just clean distilled water and rust in there.
http://www.truetex.com/scuba_lp.pdf
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I'm not considering underwater usage. Being a SCUBA diver, I've thought that air being compressed to 100+ bar for consumption underwater required special compressors, lubricants, filtering, dryers, scrupulous maintenance, etc. At this moment I'm just interested in getting a safe topside positive air flow to protect me from dust, diesel fuel & other nasty shit that affects my allergies. I despise respirators. I'm retired & I refuse work another day waring one. I'm considering a small 5 to 10 cfm compressor that I could use to do other stuff such as paint while bleeding off a small percentage of it's air to breathe. I'm considering a Sears or other brand @ around $300. I realize that oil free compressors don't last as long, but that's OK. I was concerned that perhaps even the oil free ones put out some hazardous gases. Thanks for your helpful words.
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wrote:

I'm not considering underwater usage. Being a SCUBA diver, I've thought that air being compressed to 100+ bar for consumption underwater required special compressors, lubricants, filtering, dryers, scrupulous maintenance, etc. At this moment I'm just interested in getting a safe topside positive air flow to protect me from dust, diesel fuel & other nasty shit that affects my allergies. I despise respirators. I'm retired & I refuse work another day waring one. I'm considering a small 5 to 10 cfm compressor that I could use to do other stuff such as paint while bleeding off a small percentage of it's air to breathe. I'm considering a Sears or other brand @ around $300. I realize that oil free compressors don't last as long, but that's OK. I was concerned that perhaps even the oil free ones put out some hazardous gases. Thanks for your helpful words.
You need either a very expensive filter or a carbon vane breathing air pump with a filter: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/3AM92?cm_mmc=GS:Partsearch-_-Safety-_-Respiratory-_-3AM92
You're going to need some type of hood or mask to feed the air to you anyway, so you'll sort of be wearing a respirator with a hose attached.
I wouldn't breathe air from a Sears compressor.
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Yes, I'm well aware of that, but there's a huge difference from a sealed (semi-sealed) respirator to a hood w/ a slight positive air pressure & fresh air circulating. My face comes out soaked w/ sweat, fatigued / hurting from the pressure of the straps of a respirator. My eye safety devices usually fogged. I've on occasion worn an air flow mask & I'll take it every time.
Thanks for you thoughts.
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Yes, I'm well aware of that, but there's a huge difference from a sealed (semi-sealed) respirator to a hood w/ a slight positive air pressure & fresh air circulating. My face comes out soaked w/ sweat, fatigued / hurting from the pressure of the straps of a respirator. My eye safety devices usually fogged. I've on occasion worn an air flow mask & I'll take it every time.
Thanks for you thoughts.
You're welcome. Have you considered a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR)? You can get them with Tyvek hoods, they are not uncomfortable.
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Are you saying that even an oil lubricated compressor is safe to breathe @ 1 bar (sea level). If oil lubed compressors are safe a 1 bar, that's great news for me.
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jay writes:

Yes, in proper working order. That's my opinion and my firsthand experience. It must be cleaner than the sidewalk of a busy city street breathing exhaust, diesel particulates, etc.
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Same here.
A couple of other things I have seen is coolers and charcoal filters. Cooling the air prior to filtering will help wring out oil and especially moisture. A floating dive shop I used to frequent actually piped the air down 15' and returned it through an insulated line just prior to filtering. The results were exceptional. The same could be done with a home-made heat exchanger. The charcoal filter will eliminate any taste or odor problems, if ever necessary.
You might visit some local dive shops, especially if you can find one using a self made compressing set-up. Most will be glad to share their experiences with compressing breathing air over the years.
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Great idea, Thanks
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wrote:

Are you saying that even an oil lubricated compressor is safe to breathe @ 1 bar (sea level). If oil lubed compressors are safe a 1 bar, that's great news for me.
Being a former SCUBA diver we were always told not to use an oiled compressor. Just need the oil to get by the rings just once to cause a really bad case of pneumonia. Since there are oil less pumps, why tempt fate?
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Calif Bill wrote:

Nearly all SCUBA/SCBA HP compressors are oil lubricated, pretty much the only breathing air compressors that are oilless are the little portable airline units for surface use. The two important points with the oil lubed units are proper filtration and proper maintenance of the compressor so it's running within spec. Poor maint can lead to excessive operating temps in the HP stages, combustion of the oil and resulting carbon monoxide in the output air.
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Thanks for the adapter drawing. I could use an old full face HOKA or SCUBA MASK. This is strictly top side usage only.
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Why do you ask? Telling us your application will give you better information. You need some positive pressure air for spraying nasty stuff under a hood? Maybe like Imron if that is one of the bad ones. Too late to look it up.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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Yeah, that's pretty much it. I'm allergic to a lot of stuff that I like to work with. See some of the other replies I made to other posters in this thread.
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jay wrote:

In addition to what everyone else mentioned, you might pick up a used CPAP from Craigslist. My local listing shows 6 machines available from U$ 200. and less.
--Winston
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