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Air Compressor World

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Air Tanks

Air Tanks


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Compressed air is the 4th utility, tanks are a critical role in every air compressor system as they store the energy and help maintain balance in air pressure and can actually minimize the maintenance costs on your compressor when properly sized.

Tank Styles

Tanks are either vertical or horizontal with and without top plates and the pressure ratings range from 137 PSI, 150 PSI, 165 PSI and 200 PSI and all tanks should be ASME Coded for the U.S.A. market. Air Tanks with top plates are used for piston compressors, rotary screw compressors, gas compressors and vacuum pumps.


Sizing Air Tanks

It is recommended to have 4 gallons of storage for every 1 CFM for load/no load (start/stop) piston and rotary compressors and 2 gallons of storage for every 1 CFM for variable speed drive compressors. Remember, you can never have enough storage for your air system.

Air Tank Installations

Their are a lot of theories when installing air tanks within your compressor room. Compressor recommends to install your air tank after the compressor to help with the controls and reduce energy consumption. Textbook will tell you to install a tank after the compressor and after the air dryer, one tank acting as a “wet tank” and one tank acting as “dry tank”. Please note; your air lines do not act as air storage, your air distribution is a very important role of your air system, air distribution is covered in the air piping category.  

Air Tank Replacements

Older air tanks do fail, water does rust the bottom of the tank and stress does wear on the welds.  Steelfab and Manchester tanks do have tank replacements for vertical and horizontal tanks with top plates.  These tanks are universal and can be installed with minimal work.  Gas/Service compressors have tanks fail prematurely because they sit outside in their service truck, the most common would be their 30 gallon horizontal tank with top plate. 


If you are replacing or installing a new air tank, remember to replace or install the following items:

  • Safety Valve
  • Pressure Gauge
  • Tank Drain w/ Valve
  • Vibration Pads
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