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Old 05-23-2008, 05:05 PM   #1
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IS this a mistake?


I am building a new garage next to my house and have come up with an idea. I hate listening to the air compressor run when I am using it so I thought it would be quieter if I had it in the attic with a switch to it. My neighbor says that it being up their would get a lot of moisture in it and rust out quicker. I really dont think it would but I dont know alot about doing this. It is a single story heated garage and the ceiling is insulated. The compressor would be above that. I have the attic vented along the eaves and on top. Anyone know more about the right way to do this?

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Old 05-23-2008, 05:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by deere2440 View Post
I am building a new garage next to my house and have come up with an idea. I hate listening to the air compressor run when I am using it so I thought it would be quieter if I had it in the attic with a switch to it. My neighbor says that it being up their would get a lot of moisture in it and rust out quicker. I really dont think it would but I dont know alot about doing this. It is a single story heated garage and the ceiling is insulated. The compressor would be above that. I have the attic vented along the eaves and on top. Anyone know more about the right way to do this?
Hmm, I don't see how it would be any different then having it in an unconditioned garage ??

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Old 05-23-2008, 05:34 PM   #3
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There's nothing wrong with having it in the attic, but I have a concern. After every use, you MUST drain the compressor to remove moisture from it. I have a 35 gallon compressor that lets out 3 or 4 tablespoons of water in the summer when it is humid. That's a lot, but there is always moisture buildup in the compressor's tank even when the humidity is low. If you don't drain it often, it WILL rust out, and that isn't good.

I don't know about you, but there's no way I'd get in my attic each time I use my compressor.

I'd suggest building a closet to put it in, which will muffle the sound but leave it accessible. Or, you could pipe air lines from your basement or another area.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:39 PM   #4
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IS this a mistake?


well lets do you plan on going to the attic to drain it when it needs it,and have you ever spent any amount of time in a attic in the summer damm hot and humid.It may not rust out any quicker but one thing that will burn up a motor fast is the heat.I sure wouldnt want to climb into a hot attic to drain my compressor each time I used it either.If your builbing a garage why not bulid a niche for your compressor.It will still be with in reach and cooler and you could put a bit of sound insulation around to cut the noise
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:40 PM   #5
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There's nothing wrong with having it in the attic, but I have a concern. After every use, you MUST drain the compressor to remove moisture from it. I have a 35 gallon compressor that lets out 3 or 4 tablespoons of water in the summer when it is humid. That's a lot, but there is always moisture buildup in the compressor's tank even when the humidity is low. If you don't drain it often, it WILL rust out, and that isn't good.

I don't know about you, but there's no way I'd get in my attic each time I use my compressor.

I'd suggest building a closet to put it in, which will muffle the sound but leave it accessible. Or, you could pipe air lines from your basement or another area.
I guess you could put a pipe drop down into the work area for draining the tank. My bigger concern is what would be the life of the motor in an attic environment. In most of the country, attic temperatures are at a pretty high level. I'm in south LA, and attics are typically 110 to 140 degrees for at least 6 months of the year. I don't think the motors on compressors are designed for those kinds of ambient operating temps.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:20 PM   #6
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I guess you could put a pipe drop down into the work area for draining the tank. My bigger concern is what would be the life of the motor in an attic environment. In most of the country, attic temperatures are at a pretty high level. I'm in south LA, and attics are typically 110 to 140 degrees for at least 6 months of the year. I don't think the motors on compressors are designed for those kinds of ambient operating temps.
I totally agree. Here in Kansas they get mighty hot as well.
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:37 AM   #7
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I guess the heat of the attic would be a concern that I havent considered. I know a lot of people who own air compressors and dont know any that drain it after every use. Most havent ever did it. I guess I could build an insulated closet but if it is too air/sound tight wouldnt it be hard on the compressor. That was one reason I considered the attic. One thing to consider is that I dont use mine too often. It is probably lucky to be used every 2 weeks at the very most and when I do it usually doesnt run much.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:03 PM   #8
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. I guess I could build an insulated closet but if it is too air/sound tight wouldnt it be hard on the compressor. .
It does not have to be a completely sealed enclosure to dramatically lessen the noise. An enclosure lined with drywall, and with an inexpensive solid core laun door will do wonders. If you really want max quiet, install a screened exhaust cap (dryer vent or 3 x 10 rectangular range vent cap) throught the exterior wall for an air supply, and use an exterior type solid core laun door with threshold for the closet entry to the shop area. You could then install a typical ac register box in the ceiling for an exit, but to create the maximum natural convecton flow, I would run a duct from the top of the register box to either a roof jack (the type with a cap used for heaters) or a termination point just below a ridge vent if you have one. Want to get "high tech"? Replace the register box with a bathroom exhaust fan, and wire it through a switch with a red tattletale light right next to the shop light switches, or other obvious place.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 05-24-2008 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:16 PM   #9
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sounds like what I will end up doing. I just was trying to think of things to do to save space in the shop.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:55 PM   #10
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Build a shed behind your gargae and put the compresser there.
Put a switch inside to operate it Remove the drain plug, install a pipe with a sillcok close to where you can get to it without moving the compresser.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:05 AM   #11
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I know a lot of people who own air compressors and dont know any that drain it after every use. Most havent ever did it.
Poor tool maintenance, no matter how you look at it.

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