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Air leaks and how to stop them...

Discussion in 'Compressors' started by Ryck, Nov 19, 2020.


  1. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    So my new regulator arrived today and being no stranger or noob to plumbing air compressor lines, I did the usual wrapping of Tef tape on all of the fittings before screwing them in. I had to use a brass right angle adapter from the tank outlet to the regulator so I used a little extra Tef tape on each connection.

    I see that I have leaks from every joint of that setup. And the pressure gauge that came with the regulator if screwed in tight not only leaks but faces downward where it cannot be seen.

    What do I need to use to fix this when certain connections require that they be in a certain position?

    Thanks.
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  2. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    try adding an O ring to the base of the threads, you may need addition teflon tape to make up for the O ring but you should be able to get the gauge to where you can see it.
    upload_2020-11-20_9-32-52.png

    Not a total expert on fittings but I believe there is a different between NPT and BSP so maybe the reg you bought isn't the same thread as your compressor if you have leaks at all the joints ? Like I said, I'm no expert and am just thinking out loud
  3. HellBird

    HellBird Love this place! Forum Supporter Very Likeable!

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    Thread tapers may be the issue like Jackie pointed out. Teflon pipe tape works great when you have NPT to NPT, etc. I would use a pipe sealant compound. It’s like a thick liquid you brush on the threads. Ought to keep those leaks from happening. Can get it at most hardware or home improvement stores.
  4. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    As far as the leaks go, check the manual/packaging for the regulator to verify the thread sizes. If it was made outside the US, as stated, they could be metric, which is not compatible with the NPT fittings you are going to find at the local hardware store. I have run into lots of people trying to plumb faucets and stuff from foreign manufacturers that had issues because of that. With water, you can sometimes get away with it because the pressure is fairly low. Air isn't so forgiving.
  5. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I just saw your other thread about the regulator. You mentioned 1/4" threads which implies they are NPT threads. Not really sure unless for some reason the threads aren't tapered like they normally would be. That's really what gives you a seal. The teflon tape just helps compensate for any manufacturing imperfections.
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  6. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Thank you all for the information and tips on how to fix this problem. I have some O rings around here somewhere and I will try them and I will look around for some liquid sealant as well. I was wondering if the combination of metals (steel, brass, plated brass and whatever the regulator body is made of had anything to do with the leaks. I will try the new ideas and get back to you.

    Regulator connections.jpg
  7. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Well, I think I have the problem solved. I took the regulator and all fittings off of the compressor tank and cleaned and inspected everything. I found an O ring kit and I decided to try using "Flex Glue" as a sealant. I installed O rings wherever I could and used a generous amount of the glue on the threads of each part and reassembled everything. I gave the glue about 2 hours to set up and hooked up my airbrush and fired up the compressor. It only took a minute or two for the compressor to build up the 45 or so pounds of air in the tank and shut itself off. There is still one very tiny leak that I am hoping will stop once the glue cures overnight. Thanks again for all of the help on this guys!
  8. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Did you manage to get the gauge visible ?
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  9. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Thanks for asking and yes, I did. Using a rubber O ring and a fiber flat washer to help the O ring seat properly. I also used the Flex Glue on it as well.

    Regulator and gauge.jpg

    Attached Files:

  10. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Awesome, I’d hate to think you had to do handstands whenever you needed to check the psi
  11. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    At my age, I would just have to lie on the floor and look up. :laugh:
  12. Crestluner16

    Crestluner16 Young Tutorling

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    Air leaks can be frustrating. I have been fighting that battle for about a year with my older compressor. Time for a new one. Glad you got it stopped.
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  13. BillRankin

    BillRankin Double Actioner

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    TC96T-1.jpg View attachment 65171 Ryck, I am wondering how you removed the fitting on the side of the tank (see picture), without removing the sensor (black cable). This has frustrated me to no end.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
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  14. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    I did not remove that fitting. Just the safety valve. Do you have an air leak from that fitting?
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  15. BillRankin

    BillRankin Double Actioner

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    Yes, air is leaking, from both compressors.
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  16. BillRankin

    BillRankin Double Actioner

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    Also, from the fitting leading to the regulator. I removed it so I could apply the sealant, but it was very difficult to remove and I damaged the fitting part that attaches to the regulator.
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  17. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    The tank I bought was used and the fitting to the 90 degree adapter to the regulator was broken off. I tried every way to remove it without any success until I realized that it had been sealed with RED Locktite threadlocker. The only way to loosen it is with heat, so I used a small propane torch to heat it up, set the screw extractor in it and gave it a tug and it came right out.

    It did not take a lot of heat to accomplish this task so you will know. As I previously mentioned, I used "Flex Glue" to reseal the threads and I laid it on thick after assembling it as seen in the picture.

    Taking that "T" fitting off of the side of the tank would be a chore. I recommend sealing the outside with something. JB Weld would do the job but it will make that fitting pretty much a permanent fixture but you will not have to take it off which will save you time and stress.

    Regulator connection.jpg
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  18. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Its ok to use the tape BUT Teflon tape is not a sealer use a small amount of pipe dope on the threads of your fittings that will curb the leaks and give you some leeway on where your fittings sit!
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  19. Electric Cat Dude

    Electric Cat Dude Gravity Guru

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    Two words: Teflon tape
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  20. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

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    That was used also. Thanks.

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