I have a Curtis compressor with a 5 HP head, splash lubricated. I installed an hour meter that measures actual motor run hours. My question is, is there some guideline for oil changes based on motor hours. Thanks
My rule on the compressor is once a year, as I don't rack up that many hours. Of course, new= 1st 30 minutes. Since it only holds a qt or 2, frequent changes will only help it last. No point trying to stretch it out. In fact, I change the oil in my pressure washer pump after each use(about 2 hrs), and every 2 uses on the motor. Every 25 hrs on my 10hp genny. After every session on my home built log splitter. Excessive? For some reason, they all perform like new several years going. JR Dweller in the cellar
One thing I did on my stand up tank that sucks in water all of the time....
Live in rain and river area.
I left the bottom valve just a tiny bit open. Not that you can hear anything... I went to empty it and it was dry. The tiny open with pressure leaks a little all of the time - pushing out the water.
That is the start of my getting water out of my lines. I have a nice filter section but this really helps them!
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
I used to have a VERY fast Triumph Bonneville 650 motorcycle that I ran just on the lean side.. I replaced the oil once a week (about every 10 hours).... Friends were amazed at how long that motor lasted running that hot...
I own a Cessna 182... (think volkswagon on steroids for an engine).. It get's new oil every 25 hours...
I don't run my compressor that much, It gets an oil change once a year... probably in the 100 hour range...
I think that temperature is the crucial part of that equation. Cool oil lasts a lot longer. Oil IS cheap but why waste money if it is perfectly servicable and clean. How hot does the oil get? I strongly recomend synthetic.
My old (junk yard) compressor head came with very clean, new oil. I didn't change it right away, and regretted it.
Apparently, someone put a detergent motor oil in there, and within a couple of weeks it was turning milky, then became syrupy thick from condensation water over the next month of use.
It took draining for an hour and about three flushes with diesel fuel and the air hose to get all the "gunk" out and replaced with proper compressor oil. While I was at it, I fabricated a proper dipstick for it, because I never trust my eyes on an old, foggy sight glass.
I'm following this thread because based on the answers so far my compressor might be overdue for an oil change.
Compressor is a Curtis 3 x1 7/8 x 3 vertical two stage. The tank is dated
1946, and I have no reason to believe the compressor is any newer. It sat up on a shelf in the local Chevron station and ran 6 days a week. I can remember seeing it there in 1958. I bought it when they tore down the station in around 1997. Been chugging along in my shop since then. It had oil in it when I bought it, still has the same oil. So I can personally guarantee that it hasn't been changed in
10 years. Might be the original oil from 1946. Think it's overdue? The oil still looks fine.
Yes, it's due - if you don't know when it was done last, change it. If you can't find any other specs, I'd get some generic ISO 100 non-detergent compressor oil and have at it.
Then get a 240V hourmeter and hang it off the motor leads so you can judge when it's due again.
Campbell-Hausfeld calls for 50 hour oil changes. Just did the first at 20 hours.
I suggest adding a drain valve - pull the plug and let the oil go everywhere the first time. Then put 1/4" pipe nipples and an elbow aimed down, and a small ball valve, mounted so it's handle up when open. (NO street ells unless you want to bore out the street end, they have way too much restriction.) You can hang a little catch bucket on the valve handle, and the future oil changes will be much cleaner.
Take the plug that came out of the crankcase and put it in the end of the oil drain valve as a safety stopper - you do NOT want that valve to get opened accidentally, than have the compressor run without oil till it seizes...