I thought I had posted a blog comment on this topic, but apparently it was only a post on a forum somewhere instead. So, I’ll mention what it was that I did to improve the efficiency and capacity of our Sears air compressor.
This particular Sears compressor is one that has been purchased and used by numerous members of the forums where I frequent. I haven’t seen anyone say they were unhappy with it. While I am happy with the compressor, I did have a desire to improve the use of it.
The Sears compressor I am speaking of is at this link:
For the most part, folks call it the 15309 model, based on part of the numbers in the link above. As seen in the post, it sells for $99.99 and has been around for a number of years. Some claim that they have problems finding them, even on-line, but I’ve never had that problem when I went to looking. On occasion, they mark it down to $89.99. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it at the cheaper price.
The one thing about the compressor that didn’t really impress me was the size of the tank on the compressor, which is only about 1 ½ gallons in size. The tires on our Mobile Suites are 17.5” and are to be aired up to 125 psi when cold.
While the compressor is rated at 150 psi, that is a maximum pressure and the actual working pressure is closer to the 125 psi. When airing up our coach tires, I will have to make sure the compressor is actually running at the time that I reach that 125 psi; otherwise, the tank just isn’t good enough to supply the air. It is all about volume in the tank.
So, for the times when I am airing up coach and pickup tires in preparation for travel, I took an older LPG cylinder for an outdoor barbeque unit and converted it to an air tank. I did have to buy some black pipe fittings, air chucks, and valves, but the connecting hose I use is the one coiled one that comes with the air compressor. That way, I don’t have two air hoses snaking around when airing up tires.
With the use of valves in appropriate places, when the LPG cylinder (bottle) is not attached to the air compressor, it can be used as an “air bubble” for those occasions when not a lot of air is needed, such as when airing up car tires. Also, with the valves, the air compressor can be used by itself.
Since the air compressor has a control knob controlling the amount of pressure that is sent through the hose, it is really helpful in airing up bicycle tires. With them, we set the output pressure to 60 lbs. psi and air up the tires until I no longer hear the air flowing. As small as bicycle tires are, if one uses an air tester, a wee bit of air is lost with each test of the tire’s air pressure.
One of the extra things I did was to use an old milk carton case to keep the cylinder in so that it isn’t falling over in the basement of the coach and rolling around.
Now, I will grace you with photos of the air compressor and the modifications that I did to it and to the LPG cylinder. With the two hooked together and the valves opened on both, instead of 1.5 gallons of air capacity, I now have 6.5 gallons of volume. It helps in that it doesn’t require the air compressor to run as much as with only the 1.5 gallon capacity.
This next photo is of the data sticker on the compressor, giving its volume and compressor capacities.
This compressor also has a valve on the bottom so that one can expel all the air as one expels the air from the tank. On the LPG cylinder, I turn it upside-down and open the valve to do the same with it.
In this next image, you can see that I used a tee, a valve, and male and female air chuck fittings to create the portion on the compressor.
The next picture shows how the cord is stored and it shows the safety valve for the compressor, should it not shut off at the appropriate pressure. The center knob between the gauges is the one that controls the output pressure from the compressor tank(s).
Now is the LPG cylinder with the coiled hose attached.
A close-up image of the fittings and hose on the cylinder.
And now a close-up of the fittings and valve. They are a black pipe 90-degree street “L”, a black pipe reducer, a valve, and a male air chuck fitting.
Not mentioned before now, but in honesty I must mention it now, it just goes to show that I can sometimes be “full of air.”