Garage Sale Life

So, there was a 40ish year old big bruiser of a sears 20 gallon air compressor here on Craigslist for $100.  The last 2 I got on CL didn’t last all that long, so I didn’t want to pay $100.  After it was still there a month later, I offered $50 and the seller was happy to get rid of it.  It came with his house and he already had others.  It looked in good shape and I was excited to try it out.  That was on Friday. So I get home and want to try my new used compressor.  When I tried to plug it in, I noticed it had a plug with one of the flat blades at 90 degrees to the other.  Oh well, I’ll have to change the plug end. On Saturday, Jeff and Teri picked me up  to garage sale.  At the first one was exactly the same big Sears air compressor, only with a plug with the flat blades parallel to each other.  That would plug right into any modern 110 V outlet.  And it was only $30 and in a little better shape than the one I had bought for $50.  There was a second smaller compressor there, too, for $40.  Next garage sale – of course, another air compressor! But I figured I already had mine.  I think we saw an air compressor at a third garage sale, too. I just thought mine had an old style plug, so I cut it off and put a standard 110 V plug I bought for $5.00 at the hardware store – with the flat blades parallel to each other.  I plugged it in, and the motor labored for a short time and slowly quit as if running out of gas.  I read some of the text on the motor cover, and it said one reason the motor wouldn’t run right was if the 220 V motor was only getting 110 V.  It was a 220 V motor!  I read through the manual, and sure enough, there were several models made.  Some 110 and some 220. So, I pull out my instant repair manual – You Tube – and look up how to put in a 220 circuit.   When I wired the garage, my good friend Leon advised me to run 2, 110 wires up to the garage so I could run 110 as normal but have the option to run 220 if I needed to.  That advice was about to pay off. Turns out, adding a 220V circuit is a piece of cake.  I bought a double 20 a breaker, a replacement end to change the compressor motor cord back to the one I’d cut,  off, and an outlet box and outlet.  I had a chunk of 2-12 conduit wiring from some flourescent lights in the garage, so that completed the parts list.  $35 dollars later, I’m back in business with a new 220 volt outlet and the air compressor charged right up. But then I heard a hiss after it reached pressure and shut off.  It was the drain valve.  Back to the internet,where I found they are easy to replace.  I ended up just putting on a 1/4 inch quick connect valve that I had laying around so no futher expense. So, paid about three times as much as I could have got it had I waited a day. But now I know how to wire a 220 V outlet from the fuse box, know what a 220 V cord end looks like, and how to change out the drain valve on a compressor.  I say money well spent.

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