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Thread: Ideas to silence an Air Compressor?

  1. #1
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Ideas to silence an Air Compressor?

    I just finished wiring and plumbing a new Ingersoll Rand 60g 5hp compressor. It's in my shop/garage and currently located next to water heater but not bolted to the floor yet. I'm some what limited regarding the location but can move it around some at current location. It runs great and provides the needed pressure for spraying, my main need for the new rig. The issue with the compressor (and previous one for that matter) is the noise level. I teach covering and painting seminars for Stewart Systems in my shop and with the compressor running, it's pretty much impossible to talk in the spray booth. Moving the compressor outside would be ideal but not very practical as that would require extensive electrical and plumbing modifications and not in the cards at this time (may build a new shop in the future). For now, I need to come up with some way to reduce the noise without restricting the heat and air flow needed around the compressor.

    Anyone out there have any ideas, resources, or pictures of a workable solution? I'm sure this is an issue for many who have a loud compressor in the shop have to deal with so I bet there are great ideas out there.

    Thanks,
    Marty

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  2. #2

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    The older ones have a pleasant "falump-falump" sound. The newer ones go. BRAAAAA! I hate that sound. Install it in an out building about 50 feet away, put anechoic foam in the out building, and a moisture trap in the line in your hangar.
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  3. #3
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    The older ones have a pleasant "falump-falump" sound. The newer ones go. BRAAAAA! I hate that sound. Install it in an out building about 50 feet away, put anechoic foam in the out building, and a moisture trap in the line in your hangar.
    I would love to do an out building but by time I run power, build the building, and plumb for air I would have way too much $$ invested just to make it quiet. I'm kind of stuck with the current location until I build a new shop or hangar.

    Thanks,
    Marty
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  4. #4

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    Perhaps...move the compressor and place it under the air drier. Enclose the space. Install sound dampening foam. Install a ventilation inlet and outlet. Johnson supply and others sell louvres with either squirrel cage or standard fans to push air. Purchase one fan driven to exhaust hot air from the space. Another louvre that opens with air flow. You can either operate the exhaust fan with control voltage from the compressor or air temperature within the space. If the space is on an exterior wall...that is.

    If not... through the attic space to an exterior wall or through the roof with appropriate hood type vents...use 8” duct that is very similar to a cloths drier vent line. Fantec sells the ducting, and round ceiling vents. Then install an 8” diameter duct fan in one of the ducts.
    Personally I’d go with an air temperature sensor to supply control voltage to a size zero full voltage stater or a relay rated for the load.


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  5. #5
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Give it to your neighbor as a gift and run a hose to your house

    Glenn
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_Moyle View Post
    Perhaps...move the compressor and place it under the air drier. Enclose the space. Install sound dampening foam. Install a ventilation inlet and outlet. Johnson supply and others sell louvres with either squirrel cage or standard fans to push air. Purchase one fan driven to exhaust hot air from the space. Another louvre that opens with air flow. You can either operate the exhaust fan with control voltage from the compressor or air temperature within the space. If the space is on an exterior wall...that is.

    If not... through the attic space to an exterior wall or through the roof with appropriate hood type vents...use 8” duct that is very similar to a cloths drier vent line. Fantec sells the ducting, and round ceiling vents. Then install an 8” diameter duct fan in one of the ducts.
    Personally I’d go with an air temperature sensor to supply control voltage to a size zero full voltage stater or a relay rated for the load.


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    Good idea. Also remember, compressors and dryers make heat so put in some ventilation to the outside (maybe high and low that you can block off if necessary in the winter). Sound wise, a 2x4 wall construction with multiple thickness of sheet rock (2 layers or 5/8" on one and 1/2" on the other with one layer separated from the studs by a hat channel really helps and put batt insulation in the annular space of the wall and you'll be amazed for not a lot of bucks. For access at the door put sheet rock over it on each side of a hollow core door.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  7. #7
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Could you just build a plywood or aluminum box (ventilated) with some insulation (it’d be ugly) to mount on the metal platform your pump is on and enclose the noisy bits?

  8. #8
    Speedo's Avatar
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    You might get some ideas from www.soundproofing.org. Based on their info, it seems like some anti-vibration pads and an enclosure with mass loaded vinyl might help.
    Speedo
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    Most of the noise is probably coming from the intake. Routing that outside should help. Talk to ingersol rand.
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  10. #10
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I sent an email to soundproofing.org and will contact Ingersoll Rand, thanks. A couple of videos I came across mentioned the intake; something I would never have thought was causing the noise. Thanks guys. The more ideas the better.
    Marty
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  11. #11
    Grant's Avatar
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    The intake filter contraption is where much of the sound comes from. I have that same compressor but have never tried to make it quiet. I'm so deaf now that I can barely hear it anyway.

  12. #12
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    I should read the previous posts before giving my opinion, but I am as stubborn as I am deaf.

    So there......
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    Bose A20 with Bluetooth
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  14. #14

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    I have the same compressor, It works well. Get it up on rubber feet and run the intake outdoors. Make sure the filter has a good rain shield around it once it is on the side of the building.

  15. #15
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Mine is right outside of my main fusebox. Left two sides open because it gets rather warm here. It probably annoyed Tom when he was living in the brick apartment when Clifford and I started work early on Saturday morning but not to noisy in the shop.
    20160306_173644.jpg

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  16. #16
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Marty,

    I added a large pancake felt filter to the intake on my similar 5hp unit and it cut the noise considerably. I had to make an adapter plate and braze a pipe fitting to the plate it cause the filter was way too large. I searched for a filter like it online but, seems they have mostly gone to paper elements now. P_20150706_135647 (2).jpg



    I found this on youtube that shows a muffler similar to those used on central vacs in addition to a filter. Seems to cut the noise a lot. With your skills, it shouldn't be too difficult to fabricate. I also used hockey pucks under the feet with a metal disc between the pucks and compressor. I drilled through them and added a carriage bolt to hold everything in place.

    Wayne

    PS does anyone know how to wrap text around pics?
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  17. #17
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    That monster compressor got quieter when I cut 6" tire treads out of an old tire and put them under the feet. Stopped the building from vibrating also

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  18. #18
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Great ideas so far. I do have isolators to put under the feet when I get the exact location figured out, that will help. I might possibly be able to move the intake outside but it would be a 20' run along side to the front of garage. Intrigued by reducing the intake air sound as an option. I would love to move it outside completely but one side of shop is parking for our motorhome (guest room and doubles as shop rest room), back side is our hot tub and patio, other side is the living room so no options close to the house at all. So, inside it will likely remain.

    I did move the compressor some from the previous picture and now, it could be surrounded by an enclosure of some type.

    IMG_6240.jpg

    I need to move a few things off the back wall than I'll cover the two existing walls and ceiling with Rock Wool Sound barrier insulation to reduce some of the sound into the house. I'll move the dryer on the shelf above the compressor over to the right some so I can put up a wall between the compressor and the water heater and insulate that with Rock Wool also. Maybe a sound curtain in front of the compressor? I came across this yesterday, looks interesting. https://www.enoisecontrol.com/products/sound-curtains/

    Anyone have any experience with this idea? Their web site shows some interesting ways to vent an enclosure; allowing air flow but controlling the sound. If I do completely enclose the compressor it would be easy enough to have a temp probe inside and an alarm of some type if temps get too high inside.

    I'm sure I'm not the only guy stuck with this set up so I'm determined to reduce the noise to a tolerable level. Keep coming with the ideas.

    Thanks,
    Marty
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  19. #19
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Build a box around it with 2" foam insulation, foil tape the front, 2 sides and top together and a couple pieces of Velcro to hold it to foam board on the back wall. Pull 3 sided box away from wall to service.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  20. #20
    flybynite's Avatar
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    Marty, I think you said your laundry room is just inside the door to the garage. You could move your compressor in there and put the dryer in the garage. Much quieter that way and you wouldn't have to build a separate enclosure..
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  21. #21
    sub3's Avatar
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    an insulated attic is ideal for a 2 stage horizontal air compressor.

  22. #22
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Here's where it stands today. The closet is 48" deep and about 34" inside, 78" high. Back wall is insulated with rock wool over the existing drywall. I had to work around some existing pluming on that wall. Sides have OSB on the outside, and will have rock wool between the studs, and covered inside with Sound Stop Fiber board. Top will be same as the sides and the dryer will be on top, outside of the box. I will need to figure out how the copper tube will exit through the top as it's very hot coming off the pump. Front will be similar and hinged so I can open to turn on compressor. I'll use a squirrel cage fan to force air in through a sound deadening baffle; outflow will be the same. I'll work on it more next week; off to the Copperstate Fly-In on Wednesday to do some covering workshops.

    Thanks for all the advice, lots of it used here. Will report more when it's finished.

    Marty

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  23. #23
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Here's where it stands today. The closet is 48" deep and about 34" inside, 78" high. Back wall is insulated with rock wool over the existing drywall. I had to work around some existing pluming on that wall. Sides have OSB on the outside, and will have rock wool between the studs, and covered inside with Sound Stop Fiber board. Top will be same as the sides and the dryer will be on top, outside of the box. I will need to figure out how the copper tube will exit through the top as it's very hot coming off the pump. Front will be similar and hinged so I can open to turn on compressor. I'll use a squirrel cage fan to force air in through a sound deadening baffle; outflow will be the same. I'll work on it more next week; off to the Copperstate Fly-In on Wednesday to do some covering workshops.

    Thanks for all the advice, lots of it used here. Will report more when it's finished.

    Marty

    IMG_6245.jpg
    Looks too close to wall, it will have a spec for flywheel side to wall for cooling properly.... or turn it around...

  24. #24
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    Looks too close to wall, it will have a spec for flywheel side to wall for cooling properly.... or turn it around...
    Picture is kind of deceptive. Flywheel to wall spec is 12"; the compressor flywheel is currently sitting about 19" out from the rear wall. Picture really doesn't show depth very well. It's out that far due to some plumbing on back wall. I need to make it some what easy to remove in case I have to get to the plumbing down the line. Thanks for the look Mike.

    Marty
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  25. #25
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    At the risk of sending this thread a bit sideways, has anyone compared the loudness of the IR vs Quincy air compressors? I spoke to Bill Rusk about his choice of compressors and he feels Quincy is the way to go. I am planning to install one or the other in my newly remodeled hangar. Marty57, thanks for initiating this thread. It is my guess that the same challenges will be present whether IR or Quincy.

    Randy
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  26. #26

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    That's about how mine is, against the wall in my upstairs loft above the shop bathroom. Good point about air flow, it would be easy enough to get a 240 VAC squirrel fan to kick on with the compressor. This outfit has things like that, cheap, been using them for decades. www.surpluscenter.com Something like this maybe: https://www.surpluscenter.com/Electr...er-16-1462.axd I do know that if one is on the can in the bathroom below when it unexpectedly kicks on, it will expedite the process. It's loud and creates a low frequency rumble of the entire room. Bolted to the floor with no give is why, not worth changing it as it does keep me regular.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    At the risk of sending this thread a bit sideways, has anyone compared the loudness of the IR vs Quincy air compressors? I spoke to Bill Rusk about his choice of compressors and he feels Quincy is the way to go. I am planning to install one or the other in my newly remodeled hangar. Marty57, thanks for initiating this thread. It is my guess that the same challenges will be present whether IR or Quincy.

    Randy
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  28. #28

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    On the IR VS Quincy question, my personal opinion is Quincy on all counts, but for me unfortunately for me due to economic reasons I bought an IR upright three years back. The IR is a perfectly fine unit but having had a Quincy in a shop a few decades back they are a top end unit. Not the only top end one though.

  29. #29
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    On the IR VS Quincy question, my personal opinion is Quincy on all counts, but for me unfortunately for me due to economic reasons I bought an IR upright three years back. The IR is a perfectly fine unit but having had a Quincy in a shop a few decades back they are a top end unit. Not the only top end one though.
    Thanks, Charlie!

    Randy

  30. #30
    Marty57's Avatar
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    You can't beat the price of the IR and the performance seems up to the task at hand. I'm using the compressor primarily for painting and using it during the Stewart Systems seminars I hold in my shop. The HVLP gun needs minimum of 13 CFM to operate and needs to maintain 23psi at the gun with the trigger pulled and material flowing. My olde compressor was marginal at best and would not maintain the 23 very well during running of the compressor; the lower pressure leads to orange peel. The IR maintains the 23psi at the gun with the regulator on the gun turned back a bunch. There are times when more gun pressure is needed and the IR had no issues at all going higher as I adjusted it up. I was only testing the set up before taking things apart to work on the noise. I think with the sound addressed, the compressor should work great and is a good, economical compressor for someone setting up a shop to paint using an HVLP gun. Oh .... and the weight is 300 lbs

    Marty
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  31. #31

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    I bought an American Standard 3 ph 10hp. 175 psi four cylinder compressor on eBay for $1,100. The vendor was in the San Francisco Bay Area. Guaranteed to function. Ship via Northern Air Cargo. Told them slow boat to China. NAV did expedited shipping to the tune of +$3,200. Had to be air freighted out of Anchorage to Platinum. I complained... they’d already made a bundle off me that year resulting in a reduction to zero on the freight bill. Turned out the compressor head was toast. Bought the parts and rebuilt it. Vendor paid for my labor and parts... in the end the compressor cost me $221.00

    Installed the compressor in the basement. Uses 110 vac control voltage. I could install a plane old light switch up stairs in the main shop area to turn it on and off.. as it is I have walk to the compressor to turn it on... if we had a switch upstairs I wouldn’t be keeping a close eye on the oil level.

  32. #32
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Back from the Copperstate Fly-in and worked on the compressor enclosure today. It's ready to slide the compressor in and bolt it down and run the plumbing. I'll use rubber isolator feet and see how that does reducing the vibration. The enclosure has 7/16" OSB on the outside, framed in 2x4's. The inside is 5/8" sound board and cavity is filled with rock wool all around, including the ceiling. Working inside, it is kind of strange how the sound is just dead. The A/C condenser that I use will be on top. There is an opening on the side for forced air in, and opening on the top for exhaust. Both will use a sound box to muffle the sound around the openings. I found the info on the muffler boxes on a site that specializes in this sort of set up. I haven't started on the door yet but it will be about the same construction.

    Marty

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  33. #33
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I finished up the compressor enclosure. I mounted the fan on the side and added a power strip as a switch. I downloaded a decibel meter and did some testing. With the door open and compressor running, the meter read 91 decibels. With the door closed, same distance away, the meter read between 76 and 80 decibels. Lets say about 15 decibels reduction. What does this mean? I don't know, but I can carry on a conversation in front of the enclosure when the compressor is running. I'm pretty happy with the reduction in noise. A few pictures below.

    Marty

    IMG_6328.jpg

    IMG_6330.JPG

    IMG_6329.jpg
    N367PS
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