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Compressed Air Alternative


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At my new apartment complex, you lease a garage separate from your place. As a result, the garages have no running water or electricity (besides the light, of course). This is a problem because I can't have an air compressor plugged into the wall, and I'd rather not throw down the money/inconvenience for a gas powered one. Is there another decent alternative?

Mainly I would use it to help clean little areas (e.g. spark plug well), so I'm not concerned with having high pressure to fill tires, for example. I thought maybe a little can of computer compressed air would be OK, but is there some industrial/automotive high powered version? Having trouble finding one.

Thanks,

Zeke

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Do what I did to my storage unit; I installed an adapter in the light socket and ran an extension cord across the ceiling and down the wall. I have power for flouerescent shop lights and small power tools. Get a low power electric compressor with a tank from Home Depot or Lowes that does not draw more than 15 amps and you will have your air.

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As mentioned above, use the light socket, although you won't have a ground for the compressor (which would be dangerous if you have an insulation fault in the compressor or the light has been wired backwards). Depending on your landlord (it might not hurt to ask), you might be able to add a jiffy box and outlet next to the light switch, or the landlord might let you pay to have one installed in your space. Husky makes a 3.5/2.8 SCFM compressor that only pulls 12 amps and is available at Home Depot. GL! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, if you have a portable compressor and don't need a lot of air, you can run one of those little tire-filling compressors off of a car battery, or just fill an air tank in your apartment and carry the tank down to the shop. Harbor Freight sells an 11 gal. tank for $40.

http://www.harborfreight.com/11-gallon-portable-air-tank-65595.html

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At my new apartment complex, you lease a garage separate from your place. As a result, the garages have no running water or electricity (besides the light, of course). This is a problem because I can't have an air compressor plugged into the wall, and I'd rather not throw down the money/inconvenience for a gas powered one. Is there another decent alternative?

Mainly I would use it to help clean little areas (e.g. spark plug well), so I'm not concerned with having high pressure to fill tires, for example. I thought maybe a little can of computer compressed air would be OK, but is there some industrial/automotive high powered version? Having trouble finding one.

Thanks,

Zeke

Actually I have been using compressed air in a can a lot recently. I just re-jetted the carb on my 2 stroke and loved the convenience of it. I bought a couple of cans at Wallymart. One brand was 3M and the other I can't remember. With the straw attached I get a good blast of focused air in the places I need it. Works great for stuff like that. Obviously will not replace an air compressor for the bigger stuff. IMO it is a perfect solution for certain jobs--I'm hooked!

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Use Nitrogen. I have a bottle of nitrogen and a regulator with quick connections and 3/8" air hose. I take it camping or to the dunes with me. I air up tires, run air tools or any thing I would use my air compressor for. The air tools use quite a bit so I try not to use them too much. Plus Nitrogen doesn't expand like air when it gets hot, so your pressure is always the same.

The reg. adjusts from 10psi up to 400, way more than you would need. It costs about 17.00 to exchange the empty bottle for a full at the local welding shop.

I actually have a spare setup for sale if any one local is interested.....$100.00

0620002007.jpg

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when i read your post i immediately thought of the computer compressed air and i actually use it to clean out small places and jets some times and works well but like some of the other guys mentioned get one of those screw in sockets for the light bulb

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Same deal here, garage is separate from the apartment so I plug my compressor into the light socket adapter.

When we moved in here, the manager gave me a garage directly across from the main office, I'm always getting dirty looks from the management for working in the garage with the door open.

I don't think they expected someone in there rebuilding suspensions and such.๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคฃ

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Don't go to the apartment complex office and ask them about putting in the adapter. They will freak out. Besides around here it's against code to run an outlet and lights off of the same circuit (not that it doesn't get done anyway). I remember when I lived in an apartment and they found out I had a dirt bike in the garage. They questioned, you've got gasoline in there? I said yes in a metal can just like in the gas tank of cars parked in there. They said oh, I guess your right. I don't know why these places freak out about dirt bikes. I did cover the windows with paper (meth lab style) to keep prying eyes out.

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I did cover the windows with paper (meth lab style) to keep prying eyes out.

Lol wow. Yeah, I figured they wouldn't like the idea of me sucking all that juice through the light (there's a reason they didn't put outlets in), but whatever. On the other hand, is it dangerous or something? Do tell. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Lol wow. Yeah, I figured they wouldn't like the idea of me sucking all that juice through the light (there's a reason they didn't put outlets in), but whatever. On the other hand, is it dangerous or something? Do tell. :banana:

Good point on the outlet. I guess that I've had cool landlords in the past. One allowed me to rewire "their" basement (to our mutual benefit since I was renting the entire propery at the time). Then again, I'm qualified to do the work and I suppose they didn't care about metered usage. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the second part: It can be dangerous to use a light adapter.

If you don't have a ground (which you probably won't using the two-prong adapter - unless you jerry-rig a ground wire to something that actually is a good electrical ground...), then two cases can happen that can kill you:

1) The light circuit was improperly wired hot to the shell (instead of hot to the pin) of the light socket. Now the neutral in the compressor is "hot" and any insulation fault can make the metal of the compressor hot and *zap*, you're smarting or dead.

2) Even if the light socket is wired correctly, unless you have a two-prong compressor plug to begin with (and the compressor would be "double-insulated"), an insulation fault on the "hot" side in the compressor could energize the metal of the compressor. Since neutral doesn't connect to the compressor shell and there's no path to ground, the same thing happens: *zap*, you're smarting or dead.

Edited by davidl9999
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two cases can happen that can kill you

Holy shit, why didn't anyone mention this? ๐Ÿ™‚

I've seen 2-prong to 3-prong adapters where a ground loop is given like so. Where should I wire that ground loop to safely operate the socket adapter? I'm always unsure of what piece of metal is to be considered "properly grounded."

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Holy shit, why didn't anyone mention this?๐Ÿคฃ

I've seen 2-prong to 3-prong adapters where a ground loop is given like so. Where should I wire that ground loop to safely operate the socket adapter? I'm always unsure of what piece of metal is to be considered "properly grounded."

That little tab goes under the screw that holds the socket cover on.

IF (and it's a *big* "if") the socket is properly grounded and the screw isn't painted in a bad spot, then the third tab becomes a ground and the two-prong socket becomes a 3-prong socket. :banana:

So for using a lamp socket adapter, you *can* put in the socket adapter, then use a 2-to-3-prong adapter like in the link, and crimp/screw/whatever a ground wire to that tab and connect that wire to a known-good ground; perhaps the light socket's jiffy box (if the box is grounded - not all are). You should be able to look inside the box and see a ground wire screwed into the metal of the box (if it's a metal box), or a ground wire connected to the shell of the fixture. There are many possibilities; you'll just have to look and see what you have. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sometimes you can find a 2-prong adapter with a ground wire instead of a tab than can make the job of connecting to the box/ground wire easier.

Here's a link for some reading on the subject:

http://www.extension.org/pages/The_Third_Wire:_Using_Three-prong_Plugs_with_Two-prong_Adapters

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For like $30 you can get just a regular old tank that you fill and empty, it can use regular air guns and a tire valve etc but no tools really. You fill it up for free at most gas stations that have the air hose outside for use.

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