Toolbox Talk: Air Receivers

By Published On: October 17, 2022

What is an Air Receiver? 

An Air Receiver is the metal tank that a compressor uses to store the compressed air. They maintain a steady flow of air when multiple tools are being used on the same compressor which is better for the safe operation of tools and equipment. 

The tanks on an air compressor at the local hardware store are Air Receivers. They can also be purchased and added to a compressor, for example when a carpentry crew runs several hoses and nail guns from one large compressor. 

You can also build a receiver, however with the strict testing requirements for ASME, ISO, ASTM, and UL standards it is easier to buy one.

The requirements under this standard are specific to the use of compressed air hand and power tools, such as those used for cleaning, drilling, hoisting, chipping, and nailing. This section does not deal with special problems created by using compressed air to convey materials or the problems associated with working in tunnels, caissons, or other confined spaces. 

Subpart: Tools – Hand and Power CFR1926.306

Why do they need a Safety Standard?

The hazard with Air Receivers are that they can be very dangerous if overfilled or poorly maintained. Think of it as a metal balloon, if you fill the balloon with too much air it will pop, in this case at a very high pressure sending metal fragments flying. 

The Facts

  • Safety Valves shall be installed and maintained in accordance with ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII 
    • This is for tanks up to 10,000 psi and outlines the tank assembly specifications
  • Drains and Traps: A drain valve shall be installed at the lowest point of the tank to allow the release of moisture to prevent the accumulation of liquid inside the tank. (Liquid = Rust = Weakness)
  • Gages and Valves: Each Receiver shall be equipped with an indicating pressure gauge, readily visible. Safety Valves shall be located so that they cannot be made inoperable by any means including weather elements. 
  • All Safety Valves shall be tested regularly to determine they are in good working order.

Job sites that start out safe, usually end up safe. Check out this Toolbox Talk for Job Site Hazard Assessments 

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