Installing An Air Compressor Tank

Installing An Air Compressor Tank: A Simple Guide

Air compressor tanks are one of the most essential tools for any mechanic. They help mechanics perform repairs and maintenance on vehicles, air tools, air compressors, and more.

Air compressors are mechanical devices that work by expanding air pressure to create pressure to drive mechanisms such as air tools. While air compressors are vital tools for mechanics, they can be difficult to work with. That’s why knowing how to install an air compressor tank yourself is essential. This blog will cover the basic steps of installing an air compressor tank, ensuring that you follow all the necessary safety measures.

Installing An Air Compressor Tank

5 Easy Steps Installing An Air Compressor Tank

Installing An Air Compressor Tank

Air tank installations are vital to the health and efficiency of your air compressor. They ensure that adequate air is available at the required pressure, without any loss. There are two types of air tank installations: a “wet tank” and a “dry tank”. In the wet tank setup, the air compressor draws air from the dry tank. In the dry tank setup, the air is drawn from the wet tank.

The main difference between them is that in the wet tank setup, water gets accumulated in the air compressor’s internal components and can cause damage over time, while in the dry tank setup, water doesn’t accumulate within it. Air tanks should be placed after the compressor and after the air dryer. This helps remove moisture from the compressed air before it is released into the surrounding environment.

Another factor to consider when installing an air tank is mounting it under the vehicle or in the engine compartment, which can be wet, muddy, dusty, or hot. By properly selecting and installing an air tank for your compressor, you can ensure optimal performance and longevity of your equipment.

1. Location

Pick a convenient location for the extra tank with a hose or pipe long enough to reach from one tank to the other. Generally, this should be at the top of the air compressor so that it can access both air tanks simultaneously.

This setup allows you to drain both air tanks regularly to maintain adequate air capacity. Additionally, it reduces the time required to refill one air tank and ensures consistent pressure throughout the system.

If possible, ensure the air compressor is on isolator pads to stabilize and lower noise from vibrations. Air compressors create a lot of vibration given their high output, so it’s important to choose a location with sufficient room for work and tool applications.

2. Ventilation

An air compressor tank is a vital part of the system and often plays an integral role in compressing air for the air dryer. It must be installed after the compressor and air dryer for optimal performance.

Forced ventilation with an exhaust fan or an exhaust duct can help maintain an ideal temperature inside the compressor room. Some air compressors come with built-in air tanks that can automatically collect compressed air to be reused, saving costs and reducing waste.

However, these tanks should be installed after the compressor and air dryer for optimal performance. Besides, compressors should be installed indoors and with full enclosures to reduce noise levels.

3. Electricals

An air compressor tank is a reservoir that stores the compressed air from an air compressor. It is essential to ensure that the wiring of the air compressor tank matches the voltage on the compressor nameplate and is within +/- 10 percent of the compressor nameplate voltage.

For air compressors with single-phase motors, it is important to use a three-phase motor whenever possible. This will ensure the efficient operation of the compressed air system and reduce the risk of damage or failure.

4. Air Storage

Air Storage

When replacing an air storage tank, it is important to ensure that the new tank matches the air compressor for maximum efficiency. An air storage tank is typically a large cylinder of aluminum or steel, and it contains air used by the compressor or air tools.

If your air compressor doesn’t have a compatible air storage tank, you may run into issues such as reduced performance and decreased efficiency. So be sure to match the size and type of air storage tank to your compressor.

5. Piping

Air tanks must be installed after the compressor for better control and energy savings. Air distribution plays an important role in an air system, and it should not be used to store air. An air compressor should be equipped with a filtration device at the air outlet to prevent condensation and lubricants from ruining paints and finishes.

Air tanks must have a liquid separator placed after the compressor (which has a built-in aftercooler) for liquid removal. An air main charging valve should be installed to protect the air treatment components while the air network is pressurized.

Air tanks must be installed before the air system, as they allow the compressed air to be stored. They also help regulate pressure in the system. A good air compressor should have all of these components to ensure efficient operation and long life.

Benefits Of Installing An Air Compressor Tank

Benefits Of Installing An Air Compressor Tank

An air compressor tank is a convenient and cost-efficient way to store compressed air. It can provide an endless supply of compressed air, which is useful for applications such as air tools and compressors.

This type of tank is typically made from sturdy plastic or steel and comes in different sizes, depending on the amount of air needed. Installing a tank after a compressor and air dryer can create a “wet tank” and “dry tank” configuration.

This setup allows you to keep the compressor running when not in use and to use the air dryer when it’s required. It also helps you save power and money by reducing the need for electricity to operate the compressor.

An air tank can be conveniently installed under the passenger seat in a JK Wrangler, providing a clean and cool environment for your passengers. The wiring harness, relay, hose, fuse holder, switch, and manifold are all included with an air tank purchase. Thus, you don’t have to spend extra money on these items when you install one in your vehicle.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Installing An Air Compressor Tank

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Installing An Air Compressor Tank

Installing an air compressor tank can be a rather daunting task. Here are some of the common mistakes you should avoid when installing an air compressor tank.

Not installing an auxiliary tank is a common mistake while installing an air compressor tank. The main reason is that it is used to store compressed air, which can be useful for long durations without refilling it. Getting the right size of piping and valve setup is vital for ensuring a specified pressure drop and output.

Also, not testing the machine for leaks before using it can cause malfunctions. This will affect the performance of the air compressor, leading to poor air quality or a damaged machine. So, it is essential to test the air compressor after each use and check for any potential leaks.

Choosing The Right Location For The Tank

If you plan to install an air compressor tank, it’s important to consider the surrounding environment and the needs of your application. In general, the air compressor tank should be mounted somewhere that is clean, dry, and cool. This ensures that the tank can perform optimally and last for years.

You can also choose between a standalone air compressor system or a kit that includes an air hose, wiring, and air tank. Pay attention to the type of pump and size of the tank according to your requirements. Additionally, the power rating and electrical requirements should be taken into account when purchasing an air compressor.


Air tank installation is one of the most vital aspects of your air compressor setup. They ensure that you have a constant supply of compressed air to use for your tools and equipment. The tank also allows you to save on the cost of buying air for each job by providing compressed air on-site.

If you are planning to install air tanks, you must understand the requirements of the work area first. Do not be overwhelmed by the information we just gave. You must follow up with further research and setup if it is your first time installing an air tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Add A Tank To An Air Compressor?

Adding a tank to an air compressor can help provide an adequate supply of high-pressure air. For load/no load (start/stop) piston and rotary compressors, it is recommended to have 4 gallons of storage for every 1 CFM. For variable-speed drive compressors, it is recommended to have 2 gallons of storage for every 1 CFM.

How Do I Hook Up An Air Compressor To My Truck?

To hook up your air compressor to your truck, you’ll need the following:

Select an appropriate area to mount your air compressor in your truck.
Determine the necessary hose lengths and fittings for the attachments.
Power the compressor from a nearby outlet and activate pneumatic tools.
Consider purchasing a complete air compressor kit including compressor, hose, wiring, and air tank.

Where Do You Mount An Onboard Air Compressor?

Generally speaking, onboard air compressors can be mounted either underneath a vehicle or in an engine compartment. Underneath the vehicle is typically the preferred location due to its weatherproofing and protection from dust, moisture, and extreme temperatures. However, these locations can be exposed to poor air quality that can affect the compressor’s performance and lifespan.

Do I Need A Large Tank On An Air Compressor?

Typically, an air compressor requires a large tank to operate correctly. This tank will house the compressed air and will reduce the load on the motor as it does not have to cycle as often to refill the tank with air. A larger tank size also offers greater capacity than a smaller tank, which is why vertical tanks are an option if space is limited.

How Thick Is The Steel On An Air Compressor Tank?

The steel on an air compressor tank should be at least 2 inches thick to support the weight of the compressor. If the steel on an air compressor tank is not at least 2 inches thick, the tank may rupture during use.

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