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How to Setup a Garage With an Air Compressor [2010-12-20]


An air compressor is a worthwhile addition to any home workshop or garage, whether it is used occasionally to air up tires or every day to power pneumatic tools, spray paint, or drive nails. Before investing in an air compressor for your garage, check your air tools to determine the CFM (cubic feet per minute) they require and buy a compressor with an output large enough to handle the load.

Provide a dedicated circuit for the air compressor if possible, and plug the power cord directly into the receptacle. Use a longer air hose if necessary, but not an extension cord.

Orient the compressor so you can read it's pressure dials and reach the on/off switch, air filter, drain valve, oil fill plug, and safety release valve.

Follow the owner's manual instructions to set the tank pressure regulator. Set it higher than the pressure in PSI (pounds per square inch) that your tool requires. Set the output pressure regulator to the pressure needed by the tool.

Attach the air hose to the hose fitting near the output regulator. Choose a hose with a quick disconnect coupling to connect both to the tank and to your pneumatic tools so you can remove them easily. Pull back on the outer sleeve of the coupling and press the fittings together. Make sure the two halves are seated, and then release the sleeve.

Follow the instructions in your owner's manual to check and, if necessary, fill the oil reservoir before each use if your compressor has one. Check and clean the air filter at recommended intervals.

Shut down the air compressor by using the on/off switch. Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank to drain condensate and residual compressor oil after each use. Close the valve after draining.