Clearman

Finding Leaks in an Airbrush

18 posts in this topic

When I use my airbrush, the compressor runs until it comes up to the set pressure.  Then every 30-45 seconds, it kicks back in for 1-2 seconds and then stops.  Everything I've read seems to point to a leak somewhere.

 

I've gone through all the connections, applied teflon tape, and made sure the connections are snug, but it hasn't helped completely.

 

What else can I do to correct this?

 

The airbrush is a Badger Patriot 150.  Compressor is a Badger TC908.

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Water with a bit of dish soap in it.  Apply it to the joints and look for bubbles. 

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On the hose connections, or are there places on the airbrush or compressor I should check?

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Posted (edited)

Passche guy myself, so I'm not sure about your Badger, but there may be a leaking gasket (rubber washer) in the air line to brush connection or a similar gasket up in the brush body that seals around the needle. Your manual should have an exploded view of the brush where you can check for the gaskets. If not, try checking on line.

 

Good luck with it!.

 

Edit: on second thought, is the compressor supposed to operate continuosly like my elderly diaphragm Binks compressor? Most compressor that shut off do so because an air tank has been filled or the unit has reached its duty-cycle and overheated. If it overheats on a regular basis, then something is wrong. Is it getting proper ventilation?

Edited by GlenP

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Yes, it would help a lot if you told us wha compressor model you were using. I don't have a tank so mine basically operates continuously. I don't adjust the pressure until I pull the trigger as that's the actual PSI I will be working at.

If it is leaking and you don't want to do the soap bubble trick you can submerge the line in water and check for air bubbles. Otherwise I'm with Glen and it's likely to be a seal inside the airbrush.

Are you noticing any decreases in the airflow while painting?

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The compressor is a Badger TC908 Aspire.  It is tankless.  

 

I have the regulator set at ~30 psi.  When I turn it on, it comes up to pressure, and then cycles.  The needle on the regulator doesn't appear to move. 

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So the pressure doesn't drop when you star airbrushing? Why is your PSI set so high?

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Correct.  Pressure isn't dropping.

 

As for the pressure setting, I need to plead some ignorance, or that I haven't really put much thought into why I have it set at 30 PSI.  I'm currently only using the airbrush for priming.  It sounds like you would recommend a lower setting? 20 PSI?

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For your priming, try this thread out.

 

(jeesh, just noticed the dates in that thread......:blink:)

 

Jester is a master of using the airbrush. Good info to have.

 

My Testors compressor looks similar to that one. Mine constantly runs when I toggle the switch. Can you adjust the knob?

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Thank you.  That was a helpful post.  Gave me some things to try regarding paint consistency.

 

I will also adjust the pressure down.

 

My compressor also runs constantly when I push the airbrush trigger down for air, and will continue to run until the trigger is released.  Just not sure if this was standard behavior when air is not flowing.

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Does the compressor have a tank? 

No tank is constantly running off the bat...

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2 hours ago, knarthex said:

Does the compressor have a tank? 

No tank is constantly running off the bat...

 

He is using a tankless compressor. You can expect the compressor to run continuously while you are spraying paint., It should only shut down when you release the trigger (that also depends on the compressor) the higher end tankless compressors, like my Iwata, do shut down when you aren't spraying, lower end models will run continously. I really don't think you have a leak.

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What Heisler said... My old Binks is from the stone-age, but it still works. It runs continuously once a I plug it in (it doesn't have an on/off switch). When it dies, I'll look at a tankless semi-auto compressor. I'm curious; doesn't the owner's manual address this feature?

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1 hour ago, Heisler said:

 

He is using a tankless compressor. You can expect the compressor to run continuously while you are spraying paint., It should only shut down when you release the trigger (that also depends on the compressor) the higher end tankless compressors, like my Iwata, do shut down when you aren't spraying, lower end models will run continously. I really don't think you have a leak.

 

I disagree here. Mine is one these high-end compressors, no tank, and shuts off when not in use automatically. Basically it detects system pressure and if it drops, it kicks in to hold it. When you press the trigger you generate a continous small drop of pressure as the air escapes and so it runs, but when you are not using it it will shut off.

 

And for the first 6 months it stayed off when not in use but now... it does the same, kicks in for a second every couple minutes when not in use. I am sure it is a leak somewhere, especially because it did not do this when new. But I also added a lot of complexity in the line with the quick-connect, two water traps, etc... and I don't feel it is so important. My best bet is the gasket-less connection of the quick connect, but I have not tested it.

 

As Rahz said the age-old bubble trick should tell you where you have the leak. 

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