One question we get from customers is if they can hook their air tanks together in tandem to get more air output from their shop. Often times this is when a person has a small air compressor in their garage and want to get a larger reservoir of air before their compressor runs. In theory the idea could work where you could get twice as much air to use before you have to wait on your compressor to refill, but it isn’t always the magic answer. We decided to cover the details below.
Air Compressor Run Time- Connecting two or more air tanks together will in fact get you more air on reserve to use before your compressor runs, but it will also take your compressor longer to get the pressure built up in two tanks rather than one. This means the compressor will run longer, get hotter, and possibly overrun the compressor. This is especially true if your compressor is a low CFM output compressor that already runs quite a while to fill the tank it comes with. If you’re just filling tires or using low CFM tools it may not be a huge issue, but if you’re blasting or using air-hungry tools that are well above the CFM of the compressor you will just have to wait twice as long for the compressor to catch up and it may overrun the compressor causing premature wear or failure.
If you’re using a small pancake or similar size compressor we do not suggest bolting air tanks together. Some quick-recovery style compressors like scroll or rotary screw compressors will respond better to connecting air tanks together as many have a near 100% DUTY cycle and won’t drop their CFM while it fills the tanks up. These compressors also are more industrial and meant to run longer/more frequently so they won’t have an issue running longer and filling larger tanks. But again make sure that you aren’t running tools that far exceed the CFM ratings of your compressor. We don’t suggest to go much over double the tank size that the compressor came with to be safe.
How to Connect Compressor Tanks Together- If you’ve decided that your compressor is up to the task of running a reservoir tank we suggest that you make sure that the tank you’re adding is in good shape with no major leaks, cracks, or major rust that would cause it to be unsafe. The easiest way to plumb the second tank into your system is to disconnect your main air feed fitting at the compressor tank and run the line to the new tank connecting the two together. You can then run your air hose from the new tank to feed your shop or tools. Be sure to use Teflon tape or paste around all threaded connections and fittings to eliminate any air leaks.
We suggest timing your tank fill time before and after adding your second tank and reevaluate over time. If you start seeing a large increase in fill times your piston driven compressor could be worn out or needs a rebuild. Also note that longer run times could cause the compressor to put out hotter air than normal which will cause more moisture to get in your air lines. Adding a good water separator or filtration system to eliminate moisture at the air tool is highly suggested.
From small to large Eastwood offers a full line of air compressors to suit your needs. See our full compressor product line here: http://www.eastwood.com/shop-equipment/air-compressors.html