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captain
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:40 am

I always put a stop watch on when filling tanks. I have acquired a pretty good feel about how long it takes to fill a tank depending on temperature and humidity. Any significant deviation and I start looking for leaks or other issues. One issue is leaking relief valves, you can't hear a leak while it is running and and they usually stop as soon as the compressor is shut down. I put masking tape over the outlet of the valve and make a pin hole in it, if it is leaking soapy water will bubble where the pin hole is.
Captain

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SurfLung
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri May 13, 2016 4:19 pm

scubasteve59 wrote:I just love it when a plan comes together! (A Team). Your set up is pretty nice there......I already have relatives "queing up" for fills off my SA6 for our annual 4th July family dive & get together. Nearly five years now and based on my experience I have nothing but thumbs up for these units. Pretty bullet proof.

BTW....one of my separator towers cracked in the same place as yours...I by passed it into a Walter Kidde moisture filter from another compressor I had and then final into a modified Sprague Hydraulic Accumulator with filter media. Works great.
- That's interesting to know that the same thing happened to your moisture tower. Somebody told me it might have been associated with embrittlement from the automatic bleeders releasing pressure too quickly and stressing the metal (it had automatic bleeders when I got it). Like you, I bypassed the cracked separator at first but later I was able to get a replacement separator tower for only $300 (discounted from $380). So now I am running thru the two factory separators PLUS the first tube of my filter array is a separator... Unlike the RIX cyclonic separator, it has what looks like a scuba valve dip tube only it points up from the inside bottom of the first tube of the filter array. Then on the second filter array tube, I have another moisture bleeder spigot at the bottom and 13X sieve above it. Then the 3rd tube is all 13X sieve. And then the fourth tube has 1/3rd 13X sieve, 1/3 Hopcalite, and finally 1/3rd activated charcoal ( just got brand new prepacked filters from Lawrence... Very nice BTW.

- Anyway, I almost NEVER see any moisture when I bleed the 3rd (dip tube) separator... Only when its really humid out. The original two RIX factory separators seem to get all the drainable moisture out.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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scubasteve59
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri May 20, 2016 9:58 pm

Uncanny. Anyway love the RIX!

Steve

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SurfLung
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Re: RIX SA3E

Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:29 pm

Trouble with my RIX SA3E...
- I was just finishing pumping up a bunch of vintage tanks from 1800psi - 2250 psi and went to pump up to two Aluminum 80s. As the first one reached 3000 psi, I hear a little burpy sound puff puff puff puff. Turned off the power and noticed the leakage was coming out of the 2nd stage over pressure valve. I though maybe it was just hot as I had been running it about 2 hours straight in 85 degree temps and high humidity. After a cool down, I tried pumping the other AL80 and the puff puff puff started at 2500 psi. Turned it off quickly and noted the leak was coming out of the 2nd stage overpressure valve.
- I texted my Compressor Guru AntiqueDiver and he said it probably was the 3rd stage head leaking pressure backward into the 2nd stage (Thank heavens for AntiqueDiver). So I got out the manual and took the head apart. The O-Rings were extruded on the edges and the middle one looked kind of cooked. I cleaned everything up and put it back together with new O-Rings. Turned on the power switch and it ran for a few seconds and stopped. What the heck?
- Opened up the switch box and found two wires had come loose. NUTZ! I'm no electrician so I called the electrician and he's supposed to be coming over to wire the switch today.
- Odd to have more than one thing go wrong at the same time... Especially after running so well for 2 years straight.

BTW: These things take Viton 90 Durometer O-Rings. In searching online I found a neat O-Ring supplier. It's called http://www.theoringstore.com/. They have everything... Even colored O-rings in Scuba diver kits! They have some "square" O-Rings too... Which look like washers. I'm going to see if the have one that fits the reserve side of a USD Twin Manifold.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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SurfLung
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Re: RIX SA3E

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:38 pm

Got the 90 Durometer Viton O-Rings and serviced the 3rd stage head. The electrician came out and discovered there was a problem with the power coming out of the outlet. He fixed that. Then, completely re-wired the switch. Turned it on and it worked. So, the next day when I went to turn it on to test the head, the re-wired switch flipped out. It was kind of grumbling and rumbling in my hand and then everything went dead. Got the electrician out again while I was at work and he left a note saying the "starters" were burned out. Cripes.

Man, you don't know how much you rely on your compressor until it is out of service for awhile. Its like, I won't be right with the universe until this thing is running again! :)
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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antique diver
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Re: RIX SA3E

Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:31 pm

Eben, I am concerned that dealing with your Rix is causing you much unnecessary stress that is detrimental to your health. :(
As a friend and fellow Rix afficianado, I feel compelled to offer you my assistance, and will be willing to take this health-robbing stress-causing piece of machinery off your hands. I will even pay the freight. Or you can drive it down here and pick up some of my excess steel cylinders for your trouble. :D
The older I get the better I was.

SeaHuntJerry
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:03 pm

I'll trade him my 2 cfm Cornelius gas compressor for it eve :twisted:

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SurfLung
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Re: RIX SA3E

Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:14 am

All Fixed... I Think.
- I had a talk with the electrician and told him to put whatever switch on it that he's most used to working with and has parts for. He came out while I was at work Friday and fixed it good... Switch works. Motor runs, etc.
- Testing my re-built 3rd stage head was a different matter. The darned 2nd stage overpressure valve kept leaking. I was wondering if it goes bad and has to be replaced after giving out the first time. Or, if the 3rd stage was still leaking.
Image
- Then I remembered Bill the AntiqueDiver (and compressor guru) mentioned putting a gauge on it. I rummaged around in all my stuff and found a pressure gauge that fit. Pulled the overpressure valve and put in the pressure gauge.
Image
- I turned on the compressor and built up some pressure then turned it off and watched the gauge. Sure enough, the pressure at the 2nd stage continued to rise after turning everything off... Which meant the 3rd stage head was still leaking back into the 2nd stage.
- So, I disassembled the 3rd stage head again and cleaned the parts more aggressively with 0000 fine steel wool and 1500 Emory paper... Quite a bit more fouling came off. Especially the thin little reed valves. I basically laid the 1500 Emory paper on a flat table and wiped the reed valve surface across it. That worked a lot better than the "Joy" dish soap recommended in the manual. The parts were definitely clean when I got done. I re-assembled the 3rd stage head with the cleaner parts and the new Viton 90 durometer O-Rings and put the compressor back together.
- And it worked! This time when I built up some pressure and turned it off, the needle on the gauge at 2nd stage stayed put... No more leaking.
- So then, I put the overpressure valve back on and ran the compressor up to 2000, then 2500, and then 2700 psi and the 2nd stage over pressure valve never leaked again.
- As a final test, I re-filled my Twin 38s from 700 psi to 2000 psi in about 20 minutes... Which is about 2.5 cfm... The fill rate at which it was running before the 3rd stage head leak problem.
- Thanks for the generous offers Bill and Jerry... But, I think I'll keep the RIX for now. :)
- And Thanks Again AntiqueDiver Bill for all of your help!
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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antique diver
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Re: RIX SA3E

Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:49 pm

Good job, Eben! I know you are happy to have your baby working again!

BTW, I like a piece of glass for a good flat surface on which to lap valves.
The older I get the better I was.

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SurfLung
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Re: RIX SA3E

Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:53 pm

Adjusting the Air Pressure Shutoff Switch...
Image
- This adjustable pressure sensing switch was installed on my compressor when I received it. It was screwed on in place of the 3rd stage factory 3600 psi over pressure relief valve. I think this is what was giving the electrician trouble with the original RIX on/off switch. I was assuming it would turn off at the max pressure of 3600 psi but I never took the compressor up that high to find out.
- After the electrician wired in the new power switch, he was kind of insistent that I check to make sure this pressure switch was: #1 Working, and #2 Adjusted properly. So last night while pumping up some aluminum 80s, I tried adjusting this pressure switch downward to find out where it would turn off. It was actually adjusted so tight in the high pressure direction that I had to use a wrench to grip it tight enough to back it off.
- I kept adjusting downward and the compressor kept running until I thought maybe the pressure switch wasn't working. But then at about 2400 psi, I gave it another turn and sure enough the compressor stopped. I turned it in the other direction and the compressor started up again. OOPs... I'm supposed to release pressure before restarting. Okay... So when it stops, turn off the power before adjusting the pressure switch upward.
- I can see where this would be a handy feature to set the pressure switch to cut off power when your tank is filled... A precaution in case you get distracted and forget to stop a fill at the target pressure. In my case, I'm mainly using it to keep the compressor from pumping up too high of a pressure and damaging itself. So right now, I have it set for 3300 psi which is 10% overfill on an aluminum 80 and 300 psi UNDER the maximum pressure spec of 3600 psi for the RIX SA-3.
- The specs on the side of this switch say it goes up to 7500 psi. As tight as it was originally adjusted, I really doubt if it would have performed a shut-off within the max pressure of 3600 psi. So, this latest episode in the RIX SA-3E Saga has taught me a lot more about compressors than I previously knew. AND, I now have a properly set over-pressure safety switch.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

Tommy
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:36 pm

Who sells this switch and how much?

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antique diver
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:18 pm

Tommy wrote:Who sells this switch and how much?
Here's one place:
http://www.augustindustries.com/shopdis ... e+Switches

The SWT-160 is like Eben's, with three wire leads; common, normally open, and normally closed. Typically wires in series between one terminal of the starter activation coil and the electrical power switch to the compressor, using the common and normally closed leads. cap off the normally open lead. Leads are identified in the instruction sheet or attached tag.

The SWT-257 performs exactly the same functions, but has a plug-on wiring receptacle/connector. You connect your own wires into the connector and plug it onto the body of the switch. With the connector off, the SWT-257 looks similar to the SWT-99, but slightly different shape to the terminals.

When wired as above, and the compressor manual switch is on, the pressure switch is making a direct connection from the power to the motor start relay at any pressure lower than the adjusted shut-off point. When the compressor runs up to that pressure, a tiny little spring loaded piston is pushed against the internal micro-switch, opening the circuit. This shuts off power to the coil which is magnetically holding the motor relay terminals together. They open, disrupting the electrical supply, and motor stops. When the pressure drops several hundred pounds, the little spring loaded piston backs away from the micro-switch, and turns compressor back on.

Now for a more complicated version: Eben's compressor starts and stops via use of separate "on" and "off" buttons if I remember correctly. That set up requires a more complicated wiring arrangement than described above for a simple on-off switch for the compressor. He pushes a button to turn on, then the compressor still turns off at the max pressure set, or when off button is pressed... but will not turn back on automatically when the pressure drops again. It will only start again when the start button is pressed again, and the pressure is lower than the start point.

Either arrangement absolutely requires a motor start relay. You can not operate these pressure switches directly between the power source and the motor. Too many amps for the pressure switch, which will only handle enough amps to activate the relay.
The older I get the better I was.

Tommy
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Re: RIX SA3E

Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:07 pm

Where can you get a motor start relay ?

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SurfLung
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Re: RIX SA3E

Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:55 pm

I have a NEW Issue with my RIX SA3E...
- After servicing the 3rd stage head, I've pumped quite a few tanks just fine and I think it has even been pumping a little faster than it used to.
- But recently, it takes a little while for the compressor to start building pressure. When I switch it on, I can hear a leak for a little while and it doesn't build pressure. Then the leak stops and the pressure builds normally.
- The leak sounds like it is coming from the open bottom of the third stage cylinder. The manual says the 3rd stage piston is the one that needs new rings more frequently. I'm thinking the newly serviced cylinder head is sealing so well it may have put just enough more pressure load on those well worn 3rd stage rings to push them into overhaul condition?
- The compressor seems like it leaks until it warms up enough to seal the leakage. Once, opening and closing the 3rd stage moisture valve seemed to flick it to stop the leaking. Other times it just has to run awhile and then it seals.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

SheriffDiver
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Re: RIX SA3E

Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:11 am

If it's any consolation Eben, I threw a belt on mine today. Went to parts store and got the same number. No way in hell that belt was going to go on. Back to the parts store and got next size bigger. That was the correct one. Pretty much had to unbolt the motor off of the frame to get that belt on. Back pumping tanks again.

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