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How To Build A High-Pressure Air Compressor? [2 DIY Methods]

If a compressor packs more than 150 psi, it is considered a high-pressure compressor. This is the maximum pressure that a typical garage compressor can produce. Also, this is the starting level of pressure for any high-pressure compressor. For example, an arctic compressor may provide pressures ranging from 1000 psi to 6000 psi. 

However, you don’t have to necessarily buy an air compressor that creates this much pressure. Many people have taken their shot at making their own high-pressure air compressors at home. Now you might ask, how to build a high-pressure air compressor at home? 

You can build a high-pressure air compressor either from a PCP gun compressor or a refrigerator compressor. You’ll need a few necessary tools such as cables, wiring, hoses, valves, cylinders, etc.  

You can build your own high-pressure compressor if you know the steps. Let’s get into the details. 

Pre-Checks For Building A High-Pressure Air Compressor 

These steps are for every kind of compressor that you might use. First and foremost, you have to know the process of all the piping that is linked to the compressor. Then, 

  • Inspect for leaks in cylinders and pipes. 
  • Disconnect tools to examine debris in the parts of the compressor. 
  • Examine the pressure connections and pipe setup. 

Building A High-Pressure Air Compressor From A PCP Gun Compressor  

An air compressor is one of the most demanding tools for air gunners, as PCP airguns use them and PCP guns have the highest demand on the market. These guns use a high-pressure compressor to function. To use this for other tasks, except for PCP guns, you will require several accessories. 

The PCP air compressor uses pressurized air to fill the storage rank of an air pistol or air rifle. The pressurized air is stored at a pressure of 4500 pounds per square inch or 300 BAR, which easily matches a high-pressure air compressor. 

To begin the process, take the PCP air compressor. Then plug the compressor into a power socket that carries 100V or 220V of electricity. The vehicle battery is a good alternative. Then you are good to go to use it for other necessities. 

This compressor is extremely beneficial since it eliminates the need for manual pumping. When selecting this kind of compressor which you would like to convert into a high-pressure air compressor, keep these following requirements in mind. 

  • Whether the air compressor is portable 
  • Whether the tank is big enough and made of carbon fiber. 
  • The filling time of the compressor. 

Building A High-Pressure Air Compressor From Refrigerator Compressor 

A refrigerator compressor may be readily converted into an air compressor of high pressure because it can create pressures of more than 500psi, which is what you need in a good high-pressure air compressor. 

The conversion procedure is simple and clear. Just follow these steps: 

  • First, get a refrigerator compressor. You can get a salvaged one from an old appliance store, or you can purchase one from the junkyard. 
  • Install the necessary cables and wiring  
  • Add a control switch. E.g., an on/off switch. 
  • Connect fittings to the tubes that are added to the outlet. 

That’s the most basic form of a high-pressure compressor, and it’s enough for some applications, such as loading spud guns or fun experiments. But you can improve it by installing air reservoirs, a pressure sensor, and a pop-off valve or safety valve.  

Precautions: Well, you might think, what could be hazardous about compressed air? Well, there are dangers. These refrigerator air compressors are capable of creating very high pressure. The usual air pressure they maintain is 500 psi, which is 3 times the pressure you will find a shop compressor creating. So what you need to do is: 

  • Check all the equipment for its resistance. Make sure they are certified to take that level of pressure. 
  • Try to use metal tools for this project. 
  • Install safety valves 
  • If you are adding a hose, choose one that is longer than the requirement. The hose must be at least one to two meters long. It is a preferable alternative since it protects compressors, items, and hoses. 

Perks/Cons Of Using A Refrigerator Compressor 

One con about turning a refrigerator compressor into a high-pressure air compressor is that it works slower than other high-pressure compressors. This means it will pump a lower volume of air for a certain period. However, there are many perks. Which are, 

  • It is very cheap to buy and maintain. 
  • It is easy to build into a high-pressure compressor. 
  • It may be utilized as a vacuum pump. 

Also, one of the key features that may appeal to individuals is that it is virtually as quiet as a refrigerator. So no trouble with getting loud sounds. 

Why Doesn’t My DIY High-Pressure Air Compressor Work? 

This checklist is if you have done every procedure right, but your compressor doesn’t work. These are the basic troubleshooting suggestions. At first, 

  • Check whether the inlet filter of the air compressor is free of debris or not. 
  • Survey if your air container has any unnoticed leaks. 
  • Ensure the tubes and hoses are perfectly tightened. 
  • Ensure the inlet valves open properly. Make sure the safety valves are not leaking or having any other issues. 
  • Look at whether any excess oil is left that might impact a compressor’s pressure building ability. 
  • If your compressor operates on a belt-drive, look for any malfunctions in it because it might be the one causing low pressure. 

Final Verdict 

Now you have detailed information on how to build a high-pressure air compressor. By following all of the above steps, you can turn your compressor into a high-pressure air compressor. But only building a compressor is not the end. The appropriate maintenance of the air compressor is required.  

If a problem arises, you may contact experienced experts who will strive to resolve the issue within several hours. If you opt to do the regular daily maintenance by yourself, you must replace the oil, check the air filter and drive belt tension. 

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