Shopping cart
Your shopping cart is empty


Your expert on Mobile Air Systems Trailers, Fire Trucks, Slide-in Cascade Units and Custom Designs

Please call 1-800-937-2479 for custom quotes.

Selecting a Compressor

If you are uncertain about filling out this form or have questions, please contact our sales department at  1-800-937-2479. If you have never had a system before, we've provided some key information below this form that you should consider reading prior to completing this online form. Breathing Air Systems is ready and available to help you select the right compressor to meet your needs now and in the future. Just give us a call or fill out the form below!( If you are going to be applying for a FEMA/ or other grant, remember you must purchase products that are NFPA compliant.

In addition, if you qualify for GSA purchases using "Schedule 84" we offer many GSA approved high pressure breathing air systems, compressors, fill stations, and related equipment for the Fire Industry, Military, Homeland Security and any municipality or government entity that can purchase on a GSA schedule.

How To Choose A Breathing Air Compressor System

What pressure of SCBA are you currently using?:

Do you have any intentions of going to high-pressure 4500-psi SCBAs in the future?:

A Cascade/storage system is recommended, in that a storage system can help when you need quicker fills, have a power outage, or want to fill SCBAs without being subjected to compressor noise, etc. Will you be using one?:

Note: If all you will be filling is 2216- or 3000-psi SCBA units, a 4500-psi Cascade System and 5000-psi compressor will be fine. For anything over 3000 psi you should consider 6000 psi.

Will you be involved in mutual aid, or filling for anyone besides your own department?:

What electrical system do you have?:

If mobile, what power source will you use?:

A Class 2 containment style fill station is recommended by NFPA for safety while filling SCBA cylinders. How many SCBA do you want to fill at a time?:

Do you want cascade controls built into the fill station, or do you want to do the cascading at the cylinders?:

Purification — All systems typically come with a purification system matched to the size of the compressor's output. Do you want your system to be monitored electronically?:

Compressors — Today's systems for the most part are packaged to meet all of today's standards for safety and reliability, and will meet all state, local and federal standards to include NFPA.



Never had a system before?
Answer a few questions and we can help you make the right choice.

#1 — There are several questions that need to be asked when choosing a compressor, but one of the most important considerations is the future!! A typical "Bauer" High Pressure Breathing Air Compressor will last for 20 to 25 years with the proper service and care, so you need to plan for tomorrow, not just today.

#2 — The second is pressure of the SCBA units being used. Let's say you're using 2216 cylinders now, but what will you be using 10, 15, or 20 years from now? The following is also very important– If you are involved in mutual aid and will be supplying air to your surrounding community, what are they using? And how often will you need to fill their system?

#3 — A typical system will normally consist of a "compressor" in 5000-psi or 6000-psi, an electronic CO Carbon Monoxide Monitor, a "cascade or storage system" in either 5000-psi dot, or 6000-psi dot or dual rated ASME cylinders up to 7000-psi. A "Class 2" containment style protective fill station to protect operators, bystanders and property (NOTE:) A Class 2 filling station is also recommended by NFPA 1500 and 1901. Plus, there are other options; such as electronic monitors for Carbon Monoxide CO moisture H2O, carbon dioxide CO2 and oxygen O2. In most installations, you will want to include a Carbon Monoxide monitor.  Placement of your system can be a factor as to the monitors that should compliment your system especially in mobile applications where the system is driven by gas or diesel engines.

Some of the main considerations when choosing a system are cubic foot per minute (CFM), Pressure rating, 5000-psi or 6000-psi, Available power source, (1) phase or (3) phase. Note: if you only have single/1 phase electric your max allowable horsepower is 10 horsepower and finally "options" add-ons to a standard unit or system.

(CFM) How fast do you want to fill?

(PSI) What SCBA pressure will you be filling? (For yourself and others)

(Power) These systems are available in 230, 208 or 460 volt only, do you have single or three phase electric?

(Options) Upgraded purification systems, electronic monitors, computer read outs, hose reels, regulated remote fills on the fill station, refill hoses for mobile system, booster pumps etc.

My first recommendation when choosing a compressor would be to call us at 800-937-2479 to help; you decide what will best fit your needs. You don't want a system that is too small or too large. A 6000-psi system is no safer than a 5000-psi system. An oversized purifier won't purify better, just longer. Too large of a system can fill a SCBA too fast and make it hot.

The largest cubic foot SCBA being used by fire departments today is approximately 90 cubic foot capacity (1 hour pack) or there are 67 cubic foot (45 min packs) or 45 cubic foot a (30 minute pack). Most departments fill SCBA units with their cascade system and then use the compressor to refill the cascade system. The following is an example on how to choose what (CFM) cubic foot per minute machine you may need. As an example, I will use a ten horsepower (13) cfm "charging rate" unit. Charging rate is (the time it takes to fill a 3000-psi scuba cylinder to 3000 starting at 500 Psi, or 10.8-cfm (FAD) free air delivery is the rate of filling at the compressors maximum out put, Which in this case is 6000 psi.

A 6000-psi dot cylinder holds 509 cubic foot at 6000-psi, a typical system is (4) bottles that equals 509x4=2036 cubic foot of air when full. Because we will need to use both a charging rate part of the time and free air delivery part of the time. We will split the difference at about 11.9-cfm to help with accuracy in the amount of time it will actually take to fill 4 / 6000-psi cylinders from "empty". Simply divide 11.9-cfm into 2036 cubic foot = 171 minutes. Now divide 171 minutes by 60 minutes to give you hours which comes to 2.85 hours to fill all (4) cylinders from 0 to 6000-psi, also keep in mind that the faster a compressor pumps the more it will cost!! Also keep in mind, that the majority of the time your cascade cylinders won't be empty and will only take a fraction of that time to refill.

FEMA Grant Help

Fire Departments nationwide are investigating whether they can obtain FEMA Grant funds to purchase equipment or enhance their ability to face a crisis.

Learn More

Compressor Selector

Choosing the right compressor can be complex. Let the experts at Breathing Air Systems help!

Learn More

Customer Survey

At Breathing Air Systems, we sincerely value your feedback as a customer and greatly appreciate if you could complete our online survey.

Learn More