Tips on Buying an Air Compressor or Generator

Compressors

When you are deciding on a new compressor there are several things that you would be wise to consider.  Before you can decide on how large a compressor you need, you must consider what you are going to use it for. Let us assume you need an air compressor to operate your pneumatic tools. Consult the documentation for your tools and obtain how much air is necessary for each tool. The documentation for a nailer for example might note “air consumption – 3.0  10 nails per min at 90 psig” This means that the nailer should have 3.0 cu. ft. of compressed air to hammer 10 nails/min at 90 pounds /sq “. So you should buy a compressor with this minimum capacity. If you could be using two or more air driven tools at once (for a larger workshop for instance) you will need to add together all the individual requirements of your tools.

Different Types of Air Compressors

Portability and Power Sources

If you will be using the compressor in an outside location away from an electricity source you will, of course, need a gas powered compressor. For use inside, in a workshop for instance, a compressor that runs on electricity is clearly more appropriate. A stationary model would probably be much better for permanently installing in a workshop.

Compressor Features

Modern piston driven compressors are oil free and do not require much maintenance. There ought to be a pressure release valve, a pressure gauge and both automatic and manual switches. Make sure that any portable units are easy to move around with a convenient carrying handle. Stationary units should have firmly fixed mounting brackets.

Electricity Generators

Electricity generators are calibrated in watts and when considering the one to purchase you will need nto be sure that it will provide enough power for your needs. For occasional needs if the power is cut for a short time and you need to power lights and small appliances, a 2000-3000 watt side valve generator would be plenty. For longer outages you will need an overhead valve with 4000 or higher wattage.

Features of Generators

  • Low oil level automatic shutdown helps prevent damage to the engine
  • Spark arrester for when you will be using the generator near to combustible material
  • Look for the easier pull start.

Size of the Generator

To make a decision on the wattage needed you should decide what lights and appliances you need to run from your generator during a power outage. This could include fridges, boilers, water pumps and lighting etc. In addition any electric motors, for instance water pumps and sump pumps, while using a certain wattage while running, will need as much as 3 times the same wattage on starting.

Types of Generator

There are 2 types of generator, portable or standby. As its name suggests the portable generator is able to be transported around as needed, for use when camping or for using tools etc when away from a current supply. A portable generator can be used to power lights and small appliances in a power outage by being connected temporarily to your home’s power supply and operated manually. The standby generator is fixed in place, typically on a concrete base, and permanently wired into the the electricity circuit of your house. An automatic switch will automatically turn it on when there is a power outage.

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