Locating Compressor and Dust Collector in the Same Small Room

Air supply and filtration are the issues when a compressor shares a small room with a dust collector. April 19, 2011

I am currently enclosing my Delta Single Bag dust collector in a cabinet in a separate room for neat storage and soundproofing. I also house my air compressor in the same room, therefore I want the air to be as dust-free as physically possible. I am completely surrounding my dust collector with plywood, and building in furnace filters so that the equipment can still breathe, yet the air is double filtered upon exiting the cabinet. Does anyone see a problem with added resistance on the filter bag side of the dust collector? Will this result in additional load on the motor or reduced CFM?

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection Forum)
From contributor J:
Depends how many furnace filters you're using. I'd think that if the area of each layer of the filters was as big as (or bigger than) the surface area of the DC's bag, you'd probably be okay.

From the original questioner:
That was also my first impression of the design, however, unfortunately, the cabinet will not have room for that much surface area to be covered by filters. I have installed two filters 12x24. The DC seems to run perfectly fine without restriction. My main concern is that in a few years of heavy use the motor might begin to see premature wear as a result of very minor back pressure. Obviously I don't want any added resistance on my equipment.

From contributor D:
Any restriction will reduce the load on the motor, not increase it. It is designed to move air and if it is moving less air, the load is going to be less. If you have a shop vac, put your hand over the hose and you will hear the motor speed up; no air, less load.

From contributor J:
Contributor D makes a good point, but I'm not sure he answers the question here. Restrictions may reduce the load on the motor and allow it to speed up, but isn't there a point at which the additional speed could cause bearing or impeller damage? Also, even if motor damage isn't a problem, restrictions clearly reduce the machine's ability to actually collect dust.

From contributor D:
You are correct, but the motors on most shop vacs are universal motors and they will speed up but not enough to cause damage. I was just using this as an example that you can usually hear happen. Most motors on dust collectors have a nameplate that indicates the RPM. Usually 1725 or 3450, and these motors will not speed up, load or no load, but if they are loaded enough to drop the RPM much, they will soon burn up. Any restriction will lower the load, but not cause an increase in RPM.

From contributor J:
Okay, that helps. It sounds as if any extra resistance is more likely to compromise performance than cause damage.

From contributor O:
I have the same type of setup. I have two 2hp double bags and a 5hp compressor in a 4x8 plywood room. I cut the holes out of the ceiling oversize, have a man-door on one end with no threshold and no door knob (for extra air). I have one of the lower plywood panels hinged so I can empty the bags from the outside. It's far from airtight, but still confines fine dust and keeps the noise down. The outlets are outside, so they stay out of the dust. I haven't had any problems in 5+ years.