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Old 03-31-2021, 06:59 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default Linear Compressor issue... WTH ????

I'll try to make make my issue concise....
When trying to diagnose why some basement lights were not working in a storage section where all my utilities are located, I isolated the issue to an outlet with a GFI, next to the fuse box. There was only one thing plugged into that outlet, something called a 'Linear Compressor'. When I unplugged the compressor, I reset the GFI and amazingly, the basement lights came on ! I plugged the compressor back into the outlet, it tripped the GFI switch. That said, I left that compressor unplugged.

History of house..... When I bought the house several years ago, I noticed this strange device sitting on a shelf at the corner of the inside of foundation.
I had no idea what this Compressor does, and no one at the time of house purchase could explain either, still remains a mystery ???

Note, one end of the compressor has a plastic hose/PVC attached, which goes through the foundation, coincidently this comes out where my septic system is located. My septic tank is a fiberglass version with three opening lids, and I've been told is 'state-of-the-art'. I should know more about all this as a home-owner, and have no excuse for lack of knowledge. I believe this compressor is somehow all connected to the septic system for some purpose ?

I have taken picture of the compressor, which identifies the company as Pentair Sweetwater Aquatic Eco-Systems in Apopka FL. I have their tel# and will contact them tomorrow.

In the meantime, can the Forum chime in on my Post, and give me information the purpose of this compressor ?

Thanks for your feedback, greatly appreciated !

Last edited by bigdog; 03-31-2021 at 07:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:52 PM   #2
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I could tell you but...

I have no clue!

Did you try plugging in something else?

Your mystery device might not have a problem.

I have replaced about six gfi receptacles in my house.

When they fail they trip with little or no reason to do so.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:42 PM   #3
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Is this what you have?

https://pentairaes.com/sweetwater-ro...4-to-2-hp.html

Is there a radon issue in the house?
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:10 PM   #4
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TiltonBB

This is what I have, but my model has a totally enclosed cover.

I have no idea if the house has radon, it's never been tested ?
I do know that the builder of the house, added a lot of upgrades to the entire house, and may have added this feature, as a selling point ?

I didn't try plugging in a different appliance to this outlet to test the GFI, that will be my next step. If this test trips the GFI, I'll have to assume that the 'compressor' is OK, and the GFI outlet switch is bad, and needs to be replaced.
Process of elimination !

Thanks TiltonBB for your comment !
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:32 PM   #5
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Aa follow-up, the more research I've done about this compressor, it's purpose, and where it is placed, a light-bulb went off !

These compressors can be used to remove toxic vapors out of area, for safety.
Being that this unit is placed in the area where my 'propane gas' hot-water heater, and gas furnace is located now makes sense, that the purpose of the compressor, would be to suck up gas vapors and push it of of the house..

Comments ?
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:31 AM   #6
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Very strange indeed.

I have a radon mitigation system and itís nothing like that.
Itís just a fan that creates a negative pressure under the foundation.

Pulls like 20 watts and runs 24/7.

Itís funny though, I have variable speed pool pump by pentair and
they are known to give some GFCI brands fits. I had an issue when
with a branch new GFCI breaker and had to swap for a different branch.

Electrical supply shop knew exactly what the problem was and said here this breaker will fix it.

My guess is it has something to do with septic system and preventing back gases or something.
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:36 AM   #7
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Good Morning,
You are the proud owner of an aerobic digester; a pretty sweet (and expensive) septic system.
That compressor is designed to run 24/7 to supply air to your septic system.
If you open the middle chamber of your tank, you will probably find it filled with thousands of golfball sized media and effluent; all happily bubbling like a witches cauldron.
The air supplied by that compressor is critical to the specific bacteria living in that chamber. That bacterial colony is essential to the operation of your septic system.
Keep that compressor running! Get an electrician in your house to run a dedicated circuit for it; without a damned GFI. And then, get a qualified septic man (specifically trained & equipped to work on aerobic systems) to pump out your tanks and do a thorough inspection of the entire system, including the leaching field.
Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a miniature waste-water treatment facility ..... pretty cool!
Feel free to ask questions,
J
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by root1 View Post
Good Morning,
You are the proud owner of an aerobic digester; a pretty sweet (and expensive) septic system.
That compressor is designed to run 24/7 to supply air to your septic system.
If you open the middle chamber of your tank, you will probably find it filled with thousands of golfball sized media and effluent; all happily bubbling like a witches cauldron.
The air supplied by that compressor is critical to the specific bacteria living in that chamber. That bacterial colony is essential to the operation of your septic system.
Keep that compressor running! Get an electrician in your house to run a dedicated circuit for it; without a damned GFI. And then, get a qualified septic man (specifically trained & equipped to work on aerobic systems) to pump out your tanks and do a thorough inspection of the entire system, including the leaching field.
Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a miniature waste-water treatment facility ..... pretty cool!
Feel free to ask questions,
J
If itís plugged in, it should likely have a GFCI.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by root1 View Post
Good Morning,
You are the proud owner of an aerobic digester; a pretty sweet (and expensive) septic system.
That compressor is designed to run 24/7 to supply air to your septic system.
If you open the middle chamber of your tank, you will probably find it filled with thousands of golfball sized media and effluent; all happily bubbling like a witches cauldron.
The air supplied by that compressor is critical to the specific bacteria living in that chamber. That bacterial colony is essential to the operation of your septic system.
Keep that compressor running! Get an electrician in your house to run a dedicated circuit for it; without a damned GFI. And then, get a qualified septic man (specifically trained & equipped to work on aerobic systems) to pump out your tanks and do a thorough inspection of the entire system, including the leaching field.
Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a miniature waste-water treatment facility ..... pretty cool!
Feel free to ask questions,
J

Thanks for your response Root1... I think ???

This is exactly what my septic system has 'golfball sized media' in the tank,
you nailed it ! I knew the system was state-of-the-art, when I had the tank pumped 2 yrs ago.

The compressor is connected to a dedicated electrical line to the fused-box on it's own Breaker switch. I just tested the Outlet where this is plugged in
(disconnected for this test) by connecting another electrical device (radio), and the GFI switch did not trip. I then disconnected the radio, and plugged the compressor back in, and the GFI tripped, and also saw a flash of electricity at the GFI. That said, it makes me believe their is a short circuit in the compressor unit.

My question to you and any others, right now the compressor is
not connected, how long can I keep disconnected and not running, and what are the consequences for long term disconnect ?

Will contact Lamprey septic to see if they are familiar with these systems.
If not, will have to search for other companies in the area who service these type systems.

Thanks !
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:01 AM   #10
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Default Linear Compressor issue

The posts responding to the original post on this subject demonstrate exactly how this Forum can work to everybody's benefit. Thank you to each of the posters.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:22 AM   #11
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Follow-up....

Just called the company 'Pentair' and they were able to identify my model compressor. Can purchase directly through them and not a whole-sale reseller.

Going to contact a local septic system familiar with these systems, to have tank pumped and compressor installed.

Thanks to all for their feed-back !
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Follow-up....

Just called the company 'Pentair' and they were able to identify my model compressor. Can purchase directly through them and not a whole-sale reseller.

Going to contact a local septic system familiar with these systems, to have tank pumped and compressor installed.

Thanks to all for their feed-back !
You may want to let your local Septic company quote you on the compressor before you purchase direct from the manufacturer. I doubt a local septic company will want to install or warranty work on a system with customer provided parts. When was the last time you went to a restaurant and asked them to cook the steak you provided? I'd be surprised if you were not paying list price from the manufacturer for the pump and in reality you don't even know if it's a pump issue or a wiring or GFI issue.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:15 PM   #13
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Hello,
There is only one source of linear compressor I would trust: HiBlow. While Pentair is a wonderful company, you have to understand that linear compressors are a commodity item (manufactured offshore) and are marketed worlwide by many, many wholesalers & distributers. It has been my experience that HiBlow (manufactured and distributed by Takatsuki) is the only brand (my opinion, only) which provides long term consistent sales, service, and parts availability. Other 'flavor of the day' brands come and go by the month.

Linear compressors are an electrical reactive load which leads to all sorts of problems ..... one of which results in 'consumer grade' circuit interrupters to unnecessarily trip. These compressors should be installed (again, my opinion, only) on a dedicated circuit without any GFCI or AFCI. You indicated that the lights were on the same circuit .... remove them. I would also recommend that an alarm be installed in the air circuit which triggers a buzzer when the pressure goes too low; alerting you to a problem.

If the compressor has not been functioning for quite a while it is not too big a deal ...... as long as no appreciable solids have been flowing into your leaching field. Any septic system will fail if the leaching field is 'fed' a large diet of solids. An aerobic system is typically very efficient in separating the solids. But all bets are off when, for lack of oxygen or the system is pushed beyond its designed capacity, it biologically crashes. The good news is that when the compressor resumes operation and supplies oxygen to the middle chamber, the bacterial colony will re-establish itself within a month or so.

Have all three tanks pumped and the entire system inspected.
Replace or rebuild the compressor.
Put the compressor on its own circuit.
Install an air pressure alarm.
Enjoy (and smile every time you flush the toilet)!
J
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by root1 View Post
Hello,
There is only one source of linear compressor I would trust: HiBlow. While Pentair is a wonderful company, you have to understand that linear compressors are a commodity item (manufactured offshore) and are marketed worlwide by many, many wholesalers & distributers. It has been my experience that HiBlow (manufactured and distributed by Takatsuki) is the only brand (my opinion, only) which provides long term consistent sales, service, and parts availability. Other 'flavor of the day' brands come and go by the month.

Linear compressors are an electrical reactive load which leads to all sorts of problems ..... one of which results in 'consumer grade' circuit interrupters to unnecessarily trip. These compressors should be installed (again, my opinion, only) on a dedicated circuit without any GFCI or AFCI. You indicated that the lights were on the same circuit .... remove them. I would also recommend that an alarm be installed in the air circuit which triggers a buzzer when the pressure goes too low; alerting you to a problem.

If the compressor has not been functioning for quite a while it is not too big a deal ...... as long as no appreciable solids have been flowing into your leaching field. Any septic system will fail if the leaching field is 'fed' a large diet of solids. An aerobic system is typically very efficient in separating the solids. But all bets are off when, for lack of oxygen or the system is pushed beyond its designed capacity, it biologically crashes. The good news is that when the compressor resumes operation and supplies oxygen to the middle chamber, the bacterial colony will re-establish itself within a month or so.

Have all three tanks pumped and the entire system inspected.
Replace or rebuild the compressor.
Put the compressor on its own circuit.
Install an air pressure alarm.
Enjoy (and smile every time you flush the toilet)!
J
Wow! I wish all of the questions posted to this forum were answered with this much precision and skill! Great added value here!
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Old 04-02-2021, 01:20 AM   #15
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Donít assume the pump is bad.

Plugging in a radio vs that pump are entirely different.

Pump might have a ground fault that could be easily fixed as well.

It very well may be the pump is bad, but donít assume it.
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:20 AM   #16
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMRndwty2FQ

https://www.septicsolutions.com/sept...ptic-solutions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cStxlBW7QuY
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:48 PM   #17
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Default Replying to Root1 response

Quote:
Originally Posted by root1 View Post
Good Morning,
You are the proud owner of an aerobic digester; a pretty sweet (and expensive) septic system.
That compressor is designed to run 24/7 to supply air to your septic system.
If you open the middle chamber of your tank, you will probably find it filled with thousands of golfball sized media and effluent; all happily bubbling like a witches cauldron.
The air supplied by that compressor is critical to the specific bacteria living in that chamber. That bacterial colony is essential to the operation of your septic system.
Keep that compressor running! Get an electrician in your house to run a dedicated circuit for it; without a damned GFI. And then, get a qualified septic man (specifically trained & equipped to work on aerobic systems) to pump out your tanks and do a thorough inspection of the entire system, including the leaching field.
Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a miniature waste-water treatment facility ..... pretty cool!
Feel free to ask questions,
J
Hello Root1....

I've replaced the failed compressor (16 yrs old running 24x7), can't ask for more than that !

You stated that the purpose of the compressor is to supply air to the septic system, what is the purpose of that do ? Does this cause the system to percolate ???

Thanks,
Bigdog
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:53 PM   #18
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Default Replying to Root1 response

Quote:
Originally Posted by root1 View Post
Good Morning,
You are the proud owner of an aerobic digester; a pretty sweet (and expensive) septic system.
That compressor is designed to run 24/7 to supply air to your septic system.
If you open the middle chamber of your tank, you will probably find it filled with thousands of golfball sized media and effluent; all happily bubbling like a witches cauldron.
The air supplied by that compressor is critical to the specific bacteria living in that chamber. That bacterial colony is essential to the operation of your septic system.
Keep that compressor running! Get an electrician in your house to run a dedicated circuit for it; without a damned GFI. And then, get a qualified septic man (specifically trained & equipped to work on aerobic systems) to pump out your tanks and do a thorough inspection of the entire system, including the leaching field.
Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a miniature waste-water treatment facility ..... pretty cool!
Feel free to ask questions,
J
Hello Root1....

I've replaced the failed compressor (16 yrs old running 24x7), can't ask for more than that !

New compressor is working fine, and have it connected to a surge protector, before connecting to GFI outlet, nothing like being too careful !

You stated that the purpose of the compressor is to supply air to the septic system, what is the purpose of that do ? Does this cause the system to percolate ???

Thanks,
Bigdog
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:49 AM   #19
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Default Bacteria are your friends!

Hello Mr. Dog,
The compressor provides two functions: it supplies the necessary oxygen for the aerobic bacteria; and the bubbles stir the tank providing an even distribution of warmth (provided by the bacterial metabolic function) & 'food' (such as it is, provided by you).
Without the compressor, the tank will stratify and the bacteria colony will basically shut down from oxygen starvation. But the real damage happens when the tiny bits of 'undigested bacterial food' get washed down the line into your leaching field and (eventually) irreparably plug it all up .
J

Last edited by root1; 04-15-2021 at 03:50 PM.
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