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Rust particles messing up check valve in compressor. What can i do??

mmurray70

Stainless
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Hey guys I have an ancient Brunner compressor pump. Almost 80 years old. Still works amazing. I love it! So smooth and quiet. This is our main compressor at our shop.

But I get some occasional rust particles caught up in the check valve. Then check valve doesnt seal and it trips breaker trying to restart under pressure. I've cleaned it out a few times but eventually happens again. I've tried adding a screen before check valve but it was almost too fine, it got clogged up eventually and caused air to blow off. I tried a second check valve in series in hopes that at least one would seal. but the inline one wasnt meant for compressor use i guess and seal went in it from all the cycles.

Anything else i can do? I hate to tear the pump apart, it works soo well as it is. be a shame to break a bolt and ruin something. Is there any other type of check valve i can get that can work with a little contamination?
 
Is the check valve itself the source of the rust? If so, a non-rusting replacement would seem to be the best solution. Is the unloader for sure working properly? There shouldn't be rust forming upstream from the check valve on a frequently used compressor, and if there is I wonder why it's being lodged in that valve.
 
the rust particles seem to be coming from the pump. And occasionally they get caught up in the seat of check vavle. Very tempting to take head off the pump for inspection, but taking apart a 80 year old machine that still works perfect seems like a crazy move.

The valve itself is fine. Its your typical modern air compressor check valve. All brass with plastic piston inside.

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Looks like a ball check. A disc type check might work better and be self cleaning. I question why if it leaks pressure is building behind check valve. On my setup the pressure switch opens to relieve pressure and port remains open until compressor is up to speed again. If check valve leaks it does not build pressure in compressor discharge line but leaks air to atmosphere through still open port.
 
I'm dealing with an issue were a storage tank is letting go of a flake of rust every so often. And a pipe would clog up.
The solution was to Edfed it, phosphoric acid.
 
Put two strainers in the system, valved so you can clean one while using the other. Service them weekly.
I think this is best bet too. I ordered a Y strainer yesterday to try. I tried a small inline filter before (straight) but i think it was too fine and it clogged up after a month or so. Hopefully this will do the job. looks like this one can collect fair bit of junk before clogging up.

What screen would you guys recommend? Think I got one with 0.030" holes. If this is too big ill just order a finer screen. Think this is too big?
 
Rust or carbon?
Could be carbon, its little black specs. Did seem slightly magnetic so was thinking it must be rust scale, but its so small its hard to say for sure. Could be a mixture i guess.

Is is common to build up carbon particles on compressors?
 
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Particulate strainers will help. Particulate filter may be what you need to search for. Something in the low micron range 3 - 0.3 micron. And it will plug over time, so buy replacement elements.

Is there a way to easily mount something like this before the check?

Particulate filter
 
Could be carbon, its little black specs. Did seem slightly magnetic so was thinking it must be rust scale, but its so small its hard to say for sure. Could be a mixture i guess.

Is is common to build up carbon particles on compressors?
Only when there's a source of carbon. Our compressor oil shows high iron in our monthly samples. Sometimes alarmingly high. We've replaced every steel pipe on these compressors with stainless and we still get iron. From internal rust. Or steel parts upstream. The rust is coming from steel. You can either remove the steel. Or filter the rust.
 








 
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