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TeamDoug2015
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Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:46 am

Dive shops around the world are reeling from the COVID – one of my local contacts called me about relieving them of a 2010 electric motor-driven Bauer PE 250 they pulled from an offsite resort operation. The offsite worked about 6 weeks a year for 8 years and had 20 tanks so the compressor was probably used to fill about 1000-3000 tanks, but mostly it just sat around in a humid environment. There is no hour count and it’s been sitting in a warehouse for the last two years.

After looking at it I have some apprehensions, but I know the reputation of Bauer is good and I know I can probably get spare parts. I’m not worried about the economy of the situation of having a compressor in general – I know that these things seldom are a money-saving venture, but I have a remote home near the sea with great shore diving and being able to fill my own tanks would be a huge convivence in a few years when I move back there.

1. If I’m filling just my own and friends’ tanks - say about 4-6 a week, is the PE 250 too big for my needs?

2. I’m trying to calculate how much I might have to put into it in terms of time and $$ to get it working properly. I got the shop to drop the price from $4500 to $1150 because they just want to get it out if the building before they close and turn the space back over to the landlord.

3. Does this seem like a reasonable price given it looks like there may some serious work to do and certainly some parts to buy? Is this price such a no-brainer that I would be an idiot not to at least give it a shot? Or will this thing be a money pit and I’m better off getting a PE100 and forget about the headache?

I have some mechanical abilities - I repair my car and rebuild regs, but I’ve never tackled a dive compressor so your unfiltered advice is eagerly solicited. I don’t have a full shop of tools here, but can generally get what I need, when necessary.

Some photos are attached.
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TeamDoug2015
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:04 am

Some more reference pictures.

And there is fluid halfway up the glass of the pressure gauge and some oily residue on the blue filter in the filter tower.

Thanks again for any input.
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tbone1004
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:51 pm

1. that's close to a 10cfm pump, you'll want a bank bottle or two to help buffer the fill rate. 4 of them would be ideal since you could fill a handful without running the pump but it's another grand to invest in it. I would at least try to fill 2 bottles at a time if you don't put a bank in.
2. there really is no way of knowing. $2k should be conservative provided it's a single phase motor. Add another $2k if it isn't.
3. the liquid in the pressure gauge is probably oil. They should have dampened gauges on there due to the vibration so that's normal. It started life full, but they leak. Who knows what's on the filter tower, but it could be anything. If it was running when it came out then it should be fine.

I'd try to talk them down a bit more to make it go away given that it looks like it needs some work, but I'd buy it at that price.

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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:59 pm

If that is a working compressor, the $1150 price is a good deal.
Luis

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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:50 am

If you know it works it is a good deal. If that's a three phase motor you may not be able to get three phase power to your house. That would require a new single phase motor and possibly some electrical wiring changes. If it's single phase you will be ready to go.

Can you get a photo of the motor data plate showing horsepower, phase type and amp draw? I could tell you more about the cfm capabilities that way.

You can fill directly from the compressor with no problem, storage banks not needed. The only thing is that the comressor should normally be run 15 or 20 minutes minimum when you fire it up so it reaches full temp. Short runs like 5 minutes to top up a tank can leave moisture on the head valves, leading to corrosion damage to them. The longer run time will actually be better for the machine due to that.
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:27 am

Thanks for the great advice.

I have three-phase power in Singapore where I live - believe that is what my washing machine is hooked to.

As for filling several tanks at once - now I have a better excuse to tell my wife when she asks why I have 20+ scuba tanks in the house. I only have seven with me now. I'm traveling light.

I'll get a picture of the generator data plate and post it tomorrow.

Thanks again - if I take the project on, I'll continue to post as I refurbish it. We're probably not allowed off of our little 20x40 mile island until next year, so this project may be just what I need. I've also found the Bauer Kompresoren supplier here on the island and they seem to have a stock of spare parts.

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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:03 pm

Looks like that Bauer model may normally have come with a 3 phase, 400 Volt motor rated at 7.5 hp. I couldn't tell from the specs I found, but there were probably other options. Hopefully there will be a spec plate on that motor to identify the the voltage and amp requirements.

You can quickly tell about the phase question by looking at the power cable. Three phase will have 3 hot wires plus one for ground, a total of 4 wires. Single phase will have 2 hot wires plus ground, and has the disadvantage of drawing more amps which requires larger wire sizing.

I don't have much info on the European Bauers, but that is basically the equivalent of a very popular US version often referred to as a Mariner. The block is the same, and filter tower is same. US version with a 7.5 hp motor will put out 7.5 to 8 cfm actual volume, and is rated up to 5000 psi. The PE 250 refers to Liters Per Minute, which is roughly 8.8 CFM by a slightly different way of calculating the discharge volume. The PE "might" stand for Poseidon Europe. Anyway it is a very popular basic block in the US. Lots of them in use at dive shops and fire departments.

Correction, the PE refers to Poseidon Edition.
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:39 am

OK - we'll I made the plunge and bought it. In any case, it will give me something to work on in the COVID times.

Tbone would be proud that I got the price down to about $550 US Dollars. Holy crap is that thing heavy.

I'll post my progress (and setbacks) here for your entertainment and advice. First up is the electric motor data plate.

tbone1004
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:02 am

if you only have single phase power, use a VFD. Much cheaper and better than switching motors and getting a soft start. Similar complexity to installing a soft start. Most of those motors can be wired to run on different voltages, but 400v is an oddball Euro voltage and Singapore runs on 230vac so you'll struggle there if it is actually a 400v motor.

It is also highly unlikely that your washing machine is on 3-phase power. Nothing inside of a house has any reason to be on 3-phase. Only air conditioners would have any justification for it, but most are not.

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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:48 am

Got it home, tucked it into a corner for now, and cleverly camouflaged it with a beach towel. I'll see how long it is before my wife notices it. She'll only roll her eyes anyway.

Of course, you're right - the washing machine just had a different wiring connector than the other household appliances.

VDF sounds like a good solution - I live in a high rise in the center of Singapore. I'll have to check to see if we have three-phase power accessible - the 10-room apartment has five large Mitsubishi AC units and the power comes into the same room in which I'll work on the PE250. The compressor was previously wired into a commercial building with 230vac power.

The house where it will be eventually be going in France (also 230vac) has the main power connection coming into the room that I'm going to put it in as well. Surprisingly, I also have the same Mitsubishi HVAC units wired into there, so perhaps, that may have three-phase power at the distribution box.

Would you still recommend a VFD?

Once it's ready to be used, I'll probably take it to the shipyard where I work. The noise won't be so out of place there.
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:49 am

Camouflage
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tbone1004
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:56 am

You will definitely have 3-phase at an apartment complex, however whether you have access to it is another discussion. It is nearly guaranteed that you will not have it at a residential property so I would just as soon invest in the VFD now and get it running on single phase power

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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:33 pm

Is there a specific model VFD you could recommend? I can get things shipped in from the US or Europe without much trouble.

tbone1004
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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:00 pm

not really a specific VFD. There are lots of cheap ish ones out there. The important part is that when using them for phase conversion that you double the HP of the motor. I.e. 10hp motor=20hp VFD. Technically it only has to be 1.73x, but 2x gives you some buffer for heat and what not which is not a bad thing.

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Re: Another Bauer Question – your unfiltered advice please

Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:05 pm

Looking at the manual, the PE 250 TE has a 5.5 kW motor (which corresponds to the motor data plate) and puts out 7.5 HP. So I'll start to search for a 15hp VFD.

I'll also call over to the local Bauer distributer to see about filters, belt, and parts for a 2000 hour maintenance.

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