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I recently bought an air compressor for airbrushing and other uses. I'm not familiar with air compressors so I was wondering if it was normal for the air tank to have sand/gravel inside it? When I tip it over from side to side, I can hear something like sand/gravel moving around inside. The manual doesn't say anything about it.

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None of the compressors I've used has had this. When you open up the drain valve on the bottom, is the condensation that drips clear, or does it have a lot of rust? – BMitch Oct 3 '11 at 2:09
I bought it new and I don't see any rusting. I've never used one before and there's all these warnings about combustion with rusting inside the tank, etc. I'm just worried that there'd be problems in using it. If this isn't normal behaviour, I'll just go and exchange it for another one. There's quite a bit inside, sounds like there's half a mug of sand. – Jack Oct 3 '11 at 4:33
For a new one, I'd definitely exchange it. – BMitch Oct 3 '11 at 11:06
NOT NORMAL! usually means something inside the pistons are giving way and disintegrations and pieces of metal are now inside the tank or somebody somehow put something in there bypassing the filter or messing with the piston system.. Maybe that's why you got a bargain..It needs inspecting or you might have a serious problem later. – ppumkin Oct 3 '11 at 11:11

No, there should be nothing loose inside there by design. If it is a used compressor, then I'd expect it is some rust that has broken loose. If it is new, then it is probably a piece of scale from when the tank was welded, or some other junk that got left in the tank. If it was a cheap compressor, then you got what you paid for.

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It's a new compressor $100 that was on sale for $50. If there's not supposed to be something in there, then I'll exchange it for another one. I'm just worried if there'd be any problems using it. – Jack Oct 3 '11 at 4:27
I don't think it is a problem, unless there is so much stuff in there that it impacts the amount of air that can be stored. If you move it around, can you feel significant mass shifting, or is it just noise? The only other reason why it might be an issue is that if the "stuff" in there is steel crap, it will tend to rust and possibly cause future problems. – user558 Oct 3 '11 at 13:41

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