Question about Air Tools & Compressors

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I have a Black Max 5hp 20gal air compressor that is making me go nuts.. The problem is when trying to use air ratchets or grinders or pretty much any air tool the presure in the tool is terrible. I can hold it and it would just spit out air. If I let it go then it would spin than stop... Here's the catch!! Both gauges are reading good the presure gause shuts off at 125lbs and the regulator is set at 90lbs.. I just put a new regulator on it and the air tools don't have any torx... Why is that???

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  • shost0 Apr 10, 2011

    I checked all the fittings and hoses. Everything looked good no blockage.. Should I try a larger pipe the leads to the regulator and from the regulator out.. What makes no sense is it was going good for all these years and then this happen.. Why would I have 90-100lbs of pressure reading in and out the regulator if there is a problem with it.. When I put a small blower on there. There is good pressure. When I use a tool it sounds like air going from the tank to regulator after I release the trigger. Like blowing through a straw???



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Hi and welcome to FixYa, I am Kelly,
This is going to sound so generic but it is so true. You need to inspect all of your hoses and fittings in your air supply for the smallest fitting. Air Tools have a CFM rating and if they do not have for example 3.6 - 5.6 CFM of required air flow; they have no power at all. What your describing are restricted air flow VOLUME problems. You can have 200 PSI but if you pass it through an 1.8" fitting you do not have the volume of air necessary to power any air tool properly. SIZE matters. All it takes is ONE smaller fitting some where in line from the Air-compressor to the tool and you have a pooly performing tool.

Your statement: I just put a new regulator on it and the air tools don't have any torx. Something tells me the restriction may very well be in the new regulator or plumbing to and from that regulator.

Thanks for choosing FixYa,

Posted on Apr 09, 2011

  • Kelly
    Kelly Apr 10, 2011

    Everything you just described is as you stated... like blowing air through a straw. It seems that the problem is actually inside that new requlator you installed. There absolutely has to be a restriction in the regulator itself. It could be the regulator manifold has small air passages or the. Just for grins... unhook the regulator and connect your quick disconnect where the regulator was. Then test your air tools. If it works you know for a fact the regulator introduced the problem. That would mean you either replace the regulator (Again) with one that can handle higher volumes of air or.... get an Air-peen tank that you can connect after the regulator with larger air capable fittings to use when your using Air-tools. I don't see any other way around the regulator issue. Worked fine BEFORE the regulator change... and now you have air volume issues. I am pretty sure that the regulator can not be returned but.... might be able to carefully drill out the passages unless the diaphragm passages are the actual restriction. Then you have no other alternatives but to replace the regulator or use an Air-peen after the regulator.



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