Air Supply UK: Specialist Compressed Air Engineers

Published: 04/01/2024

5 Questions You Might Have About Air Compressor Tanks

An air compressor tank or receiver is an essential component of any compressed air system. They’re used to store compressed air, which can be used during peak demand. 

However, although air compressor tanks are vital, not everyone knows how they work and what they do. That’s why we’ve compiled this blog with the answers to five of the most common questions people have about compressed air tanks.

1. Why are air compressor tanks important?

A tank is a crucial element if you have an air compressor or a compressed air system. Here are three reasons why:

  • Stores compressed air. Air receivers are available in a range of sizes depending on your compressed air needs and the specifications of your compressor. A tank ensures you have a continuous supply of compressed air to use, even during peak demand. 
  • Provide a steady flow of compressed air at a constant pressure. Uniform airflow makes it easier to use air tools and reduces the stress on your compressor.
  • Reduces wear on your compressor. Without a tank, your compressor must work excessively hard, putting unnecessary stress on the system. 

2. What are air compressor tanks made of?

Air compressor tanks are usually made from mild steel with an exterior coating to prevent corrosion. This is because steel is cost-effective but still tough and durable enough to hold compressed air. Steel tanks are common in most commercial and industrial compressed air systems. 

3. How long do air compressor tanks last?

Air compressors are made to withstand high pressure and can last for many years. However, over time, the tank can wear down, making the machine unsafe. This usually occurs due to a build-up of condensation, which leads to internal rust. 

Compressors designed for home use typically don’t have a formal expiration date, but they’ll typically last 10 to 15 years if stored correctly and maintained regularly. Larger tanks used for industrial applications often come with discard or expiration dates. If it doesn’t have such a date, you should use common sense and watch out for signs of poor performance, which could indicate an issue. 

4. How to inspect an air compressor tank?

In order to inspect your compressor tank, you’ll need to measure the wall thickness using ultrasound. Condensation usually accumulates in the bottom third of the tank, so the ultrasound checks this area for possible corrosion and deviations. 

If your air compressor system operates at 250 bar litres or higher, you’ll need to have a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) in place in accordance with the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR 2000). This must be carried out by a competent person (such as a chartered engineer), and if they’re in-house, they must be independent of the operating functions of the organisation.

The scheme of examination is designed to ensure that owners and users of pressure systems know the safe operating limits and that the system is inspected and examined according to a written schedule. 

5. Can you add a second tank to an air compressor?

The short answer to this question is yes; adding a second tank to a compressor is possible, provided you have the right equipment and qualifications to do it yourself. If you’re wondering, ‘Can I put a bigger tank on my air compressor?’, this is also possible to boost the capacity of your machine.

To connect your second air compressor, you’ll require some additional fittings and an extra length of hose. You’ll need to connect the discharge hoses through the tee’s straight ends and the outlet hose to the tee’s side connection. A wye fitting will make the system more efficient.

Adding a second tank creates greater compressed air storage for you to use to power larger pneumatic equipment and tools. It also allows the compressor to run longer before it reaches its cut-out pressure, and you’ll have more CFM available. An air compressor’s second tank can also reduce the stress on the machine, allowing for higher efficiency. However, you’ll need to consider the compressor’s duty cycle and ensure it operates within its limits, even with a second tank.

Adding a second air receiver tank is mainly suited to intermittent use of air tools rather than continued use. This allows the compressor time to refill both tanks. 

How Air Supply can help

We’re experts in compressed air systems, air compressors and tanks. Air Supply was first established in 1995, so we have years of experience selling, servicing, and repairing a wide range of air compressors and compressed air equipment. We stock both new and quality used air equipment for sale and hire. You can rely on us for all your compressed air needs!

Air Supply have a range of rotary screw compressors, piston compressors, oil-free compressors, or silent compressors, so you can choose the right machine for your requirements. We also stock air treatment equipment, including air dryers and filters.

We also offer servicing and maintenance and a comprehensive repair service. Whether you need regular compressor servicing to ensure your machine is in top condition or a specific issue that you need fixing, we can help. Our expert technicians will always work to get your machine up and running as quickly as possible if there’s a problem. If you require a compressed air system designed, we can help with this as well. 

If you have any further questions about compressor tanks or would like some advice on your compressor, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team!


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