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Pneumatic Controls and a failing air compressor


Bryan
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Good evening, I know this is not directly related to home inspections; however, I am looking for some advice from knowledgeable folks. I am looking for some input on a Johnson Controls pneumatic system at our church, which used to be a small school building. The main air compressor is in the process of failing and will need to be replaced very soon. On top of that the air dryer is now plugged up and will need to be replaced also. My main questions are:

#1- Do I need a $1,700- 3,500 compressor (what the mechanical contractor is trying to sell us) for this application or can I install a good contractors grade oil lube unit plumbed onto the old 30 gallon tank.

#2- The air dryer we currently have is a refrigeration type. On a recent Internet search I see both refrigerant dryers and desiccant filters. Will the desiccant filter provide adequate moisture protection or is it worth the extra cost for refrigeration.

Thank you in advance for any input

Bryan

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#1 - I don't know the size of the building (length of air lines) or the complexity of the control system, but for a small to moderate size building, the price seems rather high. I regularly see rather common compressors, but not the type used by carpenters shootin' nails.

I would think a supplier could match the specs of the present model and if you could do the install, the church would likely save some bucks. You could also contact the manufacturer of the pneumatic controls for guidance.

#2 - I don't know about drier filters. I've only seen refrigerated dehydrators.

I wish Terry McCann was still around.

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Originally posted by Bryan

#1- Do I need a $1,700- 3,500 compressor (what the mechanical contractor is trying to sell us) for this application or can I install a good contractors grade oil lube unit plumbed onto the old 30 gallon tank.

Hello Bryan:

How did you end up with a $1,700.00 - $3,500 quote from one MC?

What you should do is get in touch with three temperature control contactors like Johnson Control, Barber-Coleman and Trane. Have them review your temperature control prints to correctly size a replacement compressor. Then you should have a good estimate for replacement. Stay away from residential contractors. Best not to try and buy a compressor through Granger and install yourself unless you like replacing receiver controllers.

Originally posted by Bryan

#2- The air dryer we currently have is a refrigeration type. On a recent Internet search I see both refrigerant dryers and desiccant filters. Will the desiccant filter provide adequate moisture protection or is it worth the extra cost for refrigeration.

Stick with the refrigeration style of air dryers as they work well. You should also have some type of filter for fine particulate as well as an oil separator. Not a big fan of oilless compressors either.

Hope this helps.

BTW, I've always stopped by here to read and learn - I'm pigheaded, not stupid (wouldn't cut the nose off to spite the face) [:P]

Mike runs a five star web site for home inspectors - it was never about Mike. Just my Irish and Dutch heritage shining through.

The definition of Irish Alzheimer's is you forget everything except a grudge.

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