Up and Running... Finally!
- A lot of mistakes and fixing of mistakes later... I have the Tornado/Kidde up and running. When we left off I was fixing the fan shaft seal that I screwed up by over filling with oil. Fortunately Jim Shelden had some replacement seals for me. I installed the first one badly. But the second try sealed that fan shaft up nice and dry. Some might question the ice pick method for removing the bad seal. It was to avoid disassembly. (see below)
- So I've been testing the filter system at the same time and proceeded to fill my test tank 25 times with no problems. This compressor is supposed to fill at 4 cfm at 3700 rpm. My motor runs at 3450 rpm and that calculates to 3.68 cfm fill rate. Just about every one of the 25 test fills r an a 42 cf tank in 11.5 minutes... Which works out to 3.65 cfm. Needless to say, this compressor unit is working perfectly.
- So then I figured I would hook up the automatic pressure switch. I had already tested it for function using a volt meter and pressurizing it. AND, I already figured the correct place to wire it on my starter switch. But once again I think I got too rough in trying to fit the wiring into tight places. Some how or other, I broke the stop/reset switch on the motor starter. Dang It!
- So, I was able to replace the Stop/Reset switch function with a toggle switch across the pressure switch jumper. Since I have an overpressure valve for safety, I decided I don't need the pressure switch... You can see it in the plumbing but its not wired in. I did a neat installation of the toggle on the starter switch housing, closed up the patient, and called it finished. It fills tanks faster than a raped ape... (compare to my RIX SA3 and Mch-6)
- Explanation of the Plumbing: I'm testing those filters under proper Scuba conditions... By that I mean; I'm using the proper filter media, I'm using a check valve in front of the filters, and I'm using a Back Pressure Regulator (BPR or PMV) after the filters... to maintain a minimum 1800 psi in the filter system for proper efficiency. I had to make a re-packable Lawrence Factor filter to get the proper filter media... Which is 13X Sieve, Carbon and Hopcalite. The check valve is the long skinny tube coming up to the filter system. The BPR is the rectangular piece on the end of the fill whip. The thing that looks like an upside down gauge is actually the original pressure switch... It's not wired in.
- "Don't Fix What Ain't Broke"
- I have a tendency to keep screwing around with stuff and that made for some unnecessary and tricky repairs that I caused myself. I told my friend Jim Shelden, I'm going to quit fooling around with this compressor and restore it to simple operation... I will simply QUIT BREAKING IT! Jim told me an interesting story to confirm my decision. He says these Kidde compressors are built to last forever. The 4th stage pistons don't have rings but they fit like a glove and they're hardened so they don't wear out. Same with other pistons and rings. But they DO wear IN... So if you take them apart and put them back together, they're not thje nice worn in fit they were before you took it apart. So, don't take these things apart unless you absolutely have to.