View Full Version : Compressor Petcock Leaking. What can I do about it?


williaty
07-02-2011, 09:11 PM
I just bought a new 60gal compressor from Lowes. It took me a couple of weeks to get the wiring and plumbing ready for it and I fired it up for the first time tonight. Ran through the break-in procedure, tested the safety systems, etc. Played with it for a little bit and then shut it off for the night. I opened the drain petcock on the bottom to drain the water and it puked all over the place like it was supposed to. However, when I closed the petcock all the way, it's still hissing very slightly. Every other time I had closed it, it sealed properly. So I opened it a bit and then closed it again. Still hissed. Opened it all the way, let it vent a couple of seconds then closed it again. Still hissing.

Returning this compressor isn't really an option. I'd have to un-do the wiring I soldered together, find a way to lift it back onto my trailer, etc. Is it possible or even a good idea to replace just the petcock? Is there some other trick I'm missing?

Wesley B
07-02-2011, 09:13 PM
Teflon tape.

RivennHewn
07-02-2011, 09:13 PM
Replace it

williaty
07-02-2011, 09:14 PM
Teflon tape.

That makes no sense. It's leaking through the center of the petcock. How would teftape help?:headscrat

mrb
07-02-2011, 09:16 PM
I'd have to un-do the wiring I soldered together, find a way to lift it back onto my trailer, etc.

uhh....solder is not an acceptable method of splicing line voltage wiring.

Wesley B
07-02-2011, 09:18 PM
That makes no sense. It's leaking through the center of the petcock. How would teftape help?:headscrat

And how am I supposed to know it leaking through the center?

Buckgnarly
07-02-2011, 09:19 PM
Replace it.

williaty
07-02-2011, 09:22 PM
uhh....solder is not an acceptable method of splicing line voltage wiring.

The terrible wiring this was sold with has barely-crimped spade connectors on the motor and pressure switch wiring. I soldered the wire to the to the spade connectors (which are then screwed into the terminals, weird setup from the factory) on the advice of a professional electrician who was worried about the spades loosening due to thermal cycling and (because of the design of the inside of the switch) eventually being able to touch the hots together inside the switch.

ZRX61
07-02-2011, 09:24 PM
90deg street elbow, 6-8in nipple, ball valve. sorted.

Keep
07-02-2011, 09:28 PM
90deg street elbow, 6-8in nipple, ball valve. sorted.

x2 after replacing a few on my old compressor, this was the first thing I did on the new one.

KenS
07-02-2011, 09:31 PM
90deg street elbow, 6-8in nipple, ball valve. sorted.

Listen to ZRX61 + coming out of the ball valve attach a hose barb, and add a length of hose to allow you to drain the tank with less mess.

Stephenw
07-02-2011, 09:33 PM
Go to home depot and get a new drain valve. While you're at it, extend the drain so you don't have to reach all the way under the tank anymore.

j.c.whitney
07-02-2011, 09:41 PM
ZRX61, that is a good suggestion that merits further investigation. Are those just normal plumbing fittings or something specially rated?

Zrexxer
07-02-2011, 09:42 PM
Go to home depot and get a new drain valve. While you're at it, extend the drain so you don't have to reach all the way under the tank anymore.Just like that, except pass on the little knurled screw-thingy and just get a ball valve like ZRX61 said... quarter turn and it's open, quarter turn and it's closed.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v58/Zrexxer/Tools/ChampionElectric001-400.jpg

oilslick
07-02-2011, 09:44 PM
take it back or you could install a ball valve its a toss up!!!

ZRX61
07-02-2011, 09:46 PM
ZRX61, that is a good suggestion that merits further investigation. Are those just normal plumbing fittings or something specially rated?
Just regular plumbing stuff. I used brass.

fr0mastaj
07-02-2011, 09:50 PM
Definitley remove it and replace with ball valve, nipple, and street elbow as others have said. This was the first thing I did when I bought my kobalt 30 gal a few weeks ago. You can find all these fittings in the plumbing area. I used all 1/4 fittings for mine, not sure what yours uses.

melliott28
07-02-2011, 10:06 PM
90deg street elbow, 6-8in nipple, ball valve. sorted.

I agree, this is the best solution. The original drain valve on my very noisy Craftsman was leaky and I replaced it with a couple of street elbows, a ball valve, and a 6 inch nipple. By the way, when I took the original drain off, the only problem was that the o-ring had gotten pushed out of place and wasn't sealing properly. So you may be able to reuse your original drain valve. But, I wouldn't recommend it. Here are pics of mine:

welder4956
07-02-2011, 10:15 PM
Not worth returning it due to the cheap petcock. Replacing the petcock with the same type is not going to last long either. I have the same 60 gal. compressor from Lowes and had already planned to install the elbow, nipple and ball valve because I don't like having to get down on all fours to drain it. I hope you raised yours up off the floor enough to install the elbow. I did not and wound up having to raise it with spacers and change the piping connections to allow for the new height. Do yourself a favor and put the ball valve in. You will not regret the additional small cost.

ZRX61
07-02-2011, 11:17 PM
It also saves you from getting bitten by the BlackWidow living under the tank..

Motofixxer
07-02-2011, 11:24 PM
Or the Brown Recluse spider, those will leave a bite that kills your limb tissue and possibly requiring amputation. Nasty little buggers they are.

ZRX61
07-02-2011, 11:33 PM
Don't get Recluses here, but I have a metric buttload of BlackWidows around the place.

nate379
07-02-2011, 11:47 PM
Wow... 2 pages over a $2.65 drain petcock? :bounce::lol_hitti:bounce:

I'm never going to claim that I'm the brightest crayon on the box and I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you can't figure something like that out, how did you figure out how to wire and plumb the compressor??

williaty
07-03-2011, 12:35 AM
Because sometimes you post a question like this and the first response is "oh, you just need to use a 3/8ths Gripley to turn it a quarter turn and it'll seal right up.". It's always worth asking.

71flh
07-03-2011, 12:22 PM
Pretty funny. The question and responses are typical of discussion boards. Someone could ask what time it is and the responses would run from a GPS solution to look at the position of the sun.

Why not spend 2 minutes taking the petcock out, cleaning it, and putting it back? Sure a few elbows, nipples, and a ball valve are a better solution, but so is an automatic drain :)

nate379
07-03-2011, 12:39 PM
Understand, but seems like there was lots of confusion after someone said just use some fittings and pipe to extend it and put a ball valve. No way in hell I'd consider returning a 400lb compressor because of a couple dollar petcock. Perhaps remove the petcock and have them swap it out with a new one if you are really hard up on the $$.

Because sometimes you post a question like this and the first response is "oh, you just need to use a 3/8ths Gripley to turn it a quarter turn and it'll seal right up.". It's always worth asking.

I put a ball valve on mine cause the petcocks are a pain and almost always seem to leak after a while. Plus getting on my hands and knees to drain the compressor would mean I'd never do it.

PT Doc
07-03-2011, 01:20 PM
I guess it doesn't make a difference that the use of the elbow/nipple/ball valve will likely result in a horizontal run that won't likely really drain all that well. Sitting water does are ok? Would there be a way to put some drop into this plumbing run? I guess this could be solved by shimming the feet and putting the unit a tilt. But if you wanted to put some drop into the plumbing, how could you do it?

welder4956
07-03-2011, 01:48 PM
I guess it doesn't make a difference that the use of the elbow/nipple/ball valve will likely result in a horizontal run that won't likely really drain all that well. Sitting water does are ok? Would there be a way to put some drop into this plumbing run? I guess this could be solved by shimming the feet and putting the unit a tilt. But if you wanted to put some drop into the plumbing, how could you do it?

Not a problem. The air pressure blows all the water out. No chance for it to be trapped with high velocity air blowing it out.

Motofixxer
07-05-2011, 11:27 AM
Wow... 2 pages over a $2.65 drain petcock? :bounce::lol_hitti:bounce:

I'm never going to claim that I'm the brightest crayon on the box and I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you can't figure something like that out, how did you figure out how to wire and plumb the compressor??

That's easy,
Mr Big Box store employee "Do you have an air hose and the pipe fittings to connect your air hose to go along with your new compressor. Ok over here is what you need, a pipe nipple, elbow and reducing bushing and some tape. Have a nice day"
"Mr electrician can you wire this compressor"
"yes sir, here it's all wired and running, that will be $350"

Brings us to the petcock issue now. :beer:

ZRX61
07-05-2011, 11:47 AM
I guess it doesn't make a difference that the use of the elbow/nipple/ball valve will likely result in a horizontal run that won't likely really drain all that well. Sitting water does are ok? Would there be a way to put some drop into this plumbing run? I guess this could be solved by shimming the feet and putting the unit a tilt. But if you wanted to put some drop into the plumbing, how could you do it?

The water will just sit in the nipple until you drain it, better there than in the bottom of the tank..

I worked one place & the second day there I drained the compressor just through force of habit... They had 2 linked 60gallon horizontal tanks. Must have drained at least 40 gallons of water out...They were in a shed out back & the boss came over thinking there was a broken water pipe in the building owing to the flood of water flowing down the parking lot...

williaty
07-05-2011, 12:52 PM
That's easy,
Mr Big Box store employee "Do you have an air hose and the pipe fittings to connect your air hose to go along with your new compressor. Ok over here is what you need, a pipe nipple, elbow and reducing bushing and some tape. Have a nice day"
"Mr electrician can you wire this compressor"
"yes sir, here it's all wired and running, that will be $350"

Brings us to the petcock issue now. :beer:

In point of fact, none of the big box stores in the area actually had the stuff to plumb the compressor. I couldn't believe they were so incompetent at the task of selling things as to not have the (probably quite high profit) accessories right beside the compressors.

And grand cost to have an electrician wire it? Dinner. He's one of my friends. I figure why should I burn my house down myself when I can have someone else do it for free :lol:

nate379
07-05-2011, 01:17 PM
I'm glad you realized you weren't too sure how to wire it and got some help. I ask on here or give my Dad a ring when I get to that point as well.

I put an elbow on mine and drilled a hole in the floor so it will blow out to outside. My compressor is on a wood floor in my shed though.

williaty
07-05-2011, 01:29 PM
Yeah, I do small wiring for myself all the time. However, I figured a 100' run, 240V, 30A circuit probably was going to benefit from someone making sure it was done to code. Looks prettier than if I had done it too.

Major Ramifications
07-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Well, if your pet cock is leaking, then I'd say that you have been petting your cock too much!:lol_hitti

But seriously, what the other guys said about the ball valve and nipple is the way to go. I also put a street elbow, nipple and plug in place of the oil drain plug on the pump to make oil changes much less messy.