Compressors and dust

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Established Member
5 Dec 2021
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West Sussex
Hi all,

I recently acquired a little Senco air compressor, mostly for dusting duties but with a couple of nailing/stapling jobs in the pipeline. The manual warns against use in dusty environments, so my question is this: what do you use to keep dust out of your compressor? A quick search offered lots of industrial-grade options but these are entirely unsuitable for my tiny workspace (and equally tiny budget).
Mine came with a sponge type filter on it.
After two years it's not that dirty.
...what do you use to keep dust out of your compressor?

Location, location, location. And a filter on the air inlet as above.

That is the beauty of a compressor: you can put it somewhere that is not dusty and run a pipe from it to where you want to blow things.

At a pinch, you could install a duct on the inlet to the compressor and situate its end in a 'clean' place.

In addition to checking and cleaning the inlet filter, a part of your service routine, only really necessary in a place where the dust is really severe, would be to clean the cooling fins of the compressor itself.
Keep the compressor outside the dusty area, run pipes to where you need connections.
My take on this is if the environment is too dusty to be using a compressor in it’s too dusty for me to be working in, my lungs are way more difficult to replace than a compressor
Your lungs will be sucking in the same dust as the compressor is making airborne. Something to think on.
Brush or vac inside.
It will be fine. Why ?, because people have been using them pretty much everywhere since time began(in air compressor terms) and more than likely arent paying attention to any fine detail, hell i dont think anyone reads the instruction manual for the most part.

If you look at the manual it will probably include instructions telling you not to try to use it under water :LOL:
The inlet filters will probably stop wood dust or most of it, but they're not super-fine filters. Paint overspray can make it's way in and eventually clog the reed valves. When this happens the comp builds very slowly and probably doesn't reach cutout pressure, so runs & runs.
This happened to one of mine, long time ago I had to have the comp in the small garage I sprayed in. Didn't have room to box it in, and I failed to do anything to filter better (extended inlet tube, better filter etc etc).
After a while it needed a head sort-out, new gaskets filters and valve block. Not difficult though if you can get the parts.

With wood dust though it'll probably be fine. But could move it outside the dusty area, or make a box with a basic/cheap inlet filter. With either of those the bonus is it'll be quieter too.