Air compressor question. Am I a moron?

Hello Everyone,

Great day at OBBN’s home as we finally got a real air compressor at the house. A full sized 80 gal, 5hp, 16cfm workhorse that hopefully should be the last compressor we’ll ever own. We purchased it at Lowes, it is branded under their name but is a Hausfeld Campbell. This is the compressor in question:|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating%7C1&facetInfo=

I was looking over it today preparing for the install tomorrow and noticed that there doesn’t appear to be a quick connect chuck anywhere on the damn compressor. I have looked everywhere, read and re-read the manual and I can’t locate it. Every single compressor I have ever owned had had the chuck right on the face of the thing. So, thinking that I am a moron I head over to Lowes to look at the display model and there isn’t one on there either. I ask the sales guy and his suggestion was to remove the pressure safety valve and put a chuck there. Well, the pressure safety valve is there for a reason.

So, am I a moron and just can’t see the obvious or is there some sort of inside compressor joke that I am not getting? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Well, I’ve never noticed a quick connect standard on a compressor. I have the hose threaded into the compressor on mine and quick connect on the other end of the hose. You can certainly get a connector to thread into the compressor. I don’t see why you’d remove the relief valve.

Okay everyone, nevermind. I went out and checked it again because it was really bothering me and it seems that the yamsacks at Lowes that put the damn thing together didn’t assemble it correctly. They followed the floor model and it is wrong too. The pressure gauge is mounted on the wrong side, the pressure safety valve is mounted in the front and it should be mounted in the back. The whole assembly is turned in the wrong direction and it is missing the chuck. Jesus Christ on a pogostick, can’t Lowes ever get anything right. A powerful compressor can be very dangerous if not assembled correctly, who do they have assembling these things? Some 16 year old high school kid in the back room?

The sales photo shows it coming with a quick connect, but if I have to get one that isn’t a big deal. That way you can choose your connector size. The problem was that the yamsacks put the damn thing together wrong and there wasn’t a threaded connector showing. Thanks for the reply.

You get get what you pay for. Sometimes. If you’re lucky.
You rarely get more than you paid for.

It was probably an 18 yr old idiot, if that makes you feel better.


Good for you. I always love to see a guy get a good performing tool or piece of equipment up front instead of working up through disappointing smaller stuff.

Now you’re not finished just yet. I don’t know what you’re doing at the OBBN home to require such airflow, but give this some thought.

You know you’re going to do X right here…
What if you need to do Y over there. Or even Q up in the driveway? Maybe not today, but while the future is unknown, you can prepare for it anyway.

Let’s get a hose reel or 2.

Then, let’s clean out the PVC shelf at Lowes and plumb us up some air. A few 1/2 inch hose hangers, PVC cement and a little elbow grease and a friend and you’ll be done by lunch.

I have a large compressor in the basement that never moves at all. Flexible rubber hose connects to the PVC over my bench, and I have a hose reel right there. Air tools, cleaning up, blowing the whole basement clean come spring - oh, there’s nothing handier.

What about outside? Yeah, you can string a few 50’ sections like a garden hose if you want, but why not go ahead and put another reel by the drive, in the garage, or even out back.
You know how long it takes me to fill my nephew’s pool floats? 14 seconds baby!

Plus you can always use high pressure air for cleaning tools, decks, lawnmowers and whatnot. I have 3 strategically located reels, and never have to hunt for a line.

I love grabbing a hose to blow out the den, clean the deck, blow cars clean inside and out;

You’re always going to find a dozen uses beyond what you’re planning. A couple of hours, and some foresight and you’ll be ready for anything!

I’ve done the system right. I have installed a fast air system in the workshop, piping through the walls with three aluminum block outlets around the workshop. One outlet goes tho a sandblast cabinet, the other to a 50’ reel hanging overhead and the third has a quick connect for whatever. Each outlet has it’s own water filter and pressure gauge. For once in my life I have been able to do my workshop the right way. I sold a house, so I had the funds to do so. I stated going cheap, but Mrs. OBBN encouraged made to do it right! Beautiful Craftsman cabinets, full lighting, heating , roll up doors. The compressor was expensive, but the blast cabinet requires minimum 14cfm and I will never have to wish I had gotten the bigger one. God I love Mrs. OBBN, she really is the best wife a man could ever hope for. My friends don’t have a chance of ever having a shop like this. But, it’s mainly for my boys, they are going to be doing the work, I’m going to be teaching them. Should be fun!

now would be a good time to add an automatic drain system to it. that will keep water from accumulating in the tank.

Well for the smaller compressors used in building trades I’ve never seen one come without a quick connect, usually an M style or ‘universal’ 1/4 NPT. That may be changed by the purchaser to a different style or size but it is standard. Adding manifolds, extra quick connects, nipples, filters etc, is pretty simple for any one familiar with threads I would think.

Removing the relief valve is an incredibly bad and uninformed suggestion by staff.

Using PVC pipe in compressed air applications can be very dangerous, if it breaks and shatters shards of it get sprayed everywhere.

This. You’ll never connect a tool directly to the compressor, so there’s no reason you’d want a QD right there. Standard practice is to permanently connect your compressor to either a piping system or a hose reel, and then your QD goes on the far end of the system/reel, enabling rapid changes of tools there.

If the sales guy at Lowes really did recommend replacing the pressure relief valve with a QD, he’s exposing Lowes to major civil liability in the event of a compressor tank rupture due to overpressure.


Good to know. I’ve only got a couple of feet exposed out of maybe 200 total.
I’ll look in to encasing it or replacing it.

Definitely replace with rigid pressure rated conduit. Even non-exposed PVC can blow out through dry-wall.

Always make sure you have a hose that can reach your kitchen so you can make Peking Duck.

I’d argue that the kids are the least of the problem. Something that’s dangerous if mis-assembled should be fundamentally designed to be hard or impossible to mis-assemble – particularly if it’s known ahead of time that it’s going to be assembed by non-experts. Having parts that are interchangeable enough that they can be put in the wrong position is just bad design.

Depending, 160 PSI grey plastic pipe works good indoors, Long term out door or anyplace it might get ‘whacked’ metal is better.

Always ask to assemble it yourself. If asked say, “I will read the direction.” Usually shuts them up.

Update: Ignorance fought today and the ignorance was mine. I went back to Lowes to try to figure out what the deal was. The sales associates on the floor were useless, knowing absolutely nothing. I did however, find a manager that was very well educated on compressors. What I didn’t realize is that I had always owned consumer grade compressors that were setup for ease of use, having things like chucks on the face of the compressor. The compressor I purchased is industrial grade and doesn’t come with such niceties. The connection is actually on the side of the compressor, a hole in the side pre-threaded to accept a piece of iron pipe, and then that iron pipe is connected to the air system. The Lowes manager spent nearly an hour with my covering everything I could ever want to know about compressors, I was very impressed by not only his knowledge, but his willingness to help.

So, bottom line I am a moron (this can be confirmed by asking my ex-wife). Crisis adverted. Now I need to go visit a hydraulic shop on monday and get a connector made to connect the compressor to the system.

The Lowes near me has a sign near the bathroom for “How do I compliment a Lowes employee that helped me?” If you found a manager who spent that much time with you, and really helped, you should make sure his boss knows how much you appreciate it.

FWIW I know of a shop that plumbed their system with PVC, and put the compressor in a closet for noise reasons.
compressing air heats it. Doing body work makes a compressor run damn near all the time. The PVC got so warm it started to sag on the wall.
He replumbed the place in galvanized pipe