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Technical Air Compressor Water Problems

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fedcospeed, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    Hey, I have a 20 year old upright 80 gallon Igersol-Rand compressor. 220. 1/2"pipe outlet. two separators,one at the tank and another about 10 into the pipe line. Lately I have had all kinds of trouble with water in the tank and getting past traps. I am thinking the problem is with the compressor because I get large amounts of water I need to drain out the bottom of the tank. The shop is heated and I never have a sweat problem on surfaces.
    Separators are 1/2" in and out. I am constantly draining those too. Throw some #s at me.Maybe my setup is wrong somewhere but the water in the tank is where I think needs attention. Thanks Jim F Fedco
     
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  2. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 933

    evintho
    Member

    Do you not have a petcock setup to drain the tank?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. D you run it day and night???I only run mine ocasinally and still drain it daily..
     
  4. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 648

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    This will 100% eliminate water... Between compressor head/tank, Remove that line, buy 50' of copper line same size, 55 gallon barrel or close, large garbage can could work, flair both ends of copper line hook up in place of line you removed, the rest of line coiled in barrel filled with water/antifreeze... This works 100%
     
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  5. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,283

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    If you had no problem in the past then you have changed something or are doing something different and could be as simple as using more air which makes the compressor run longer, make more heat into the air and more water to condense out..Here are some ways to remove the water https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=air+compressor+condenser
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 648

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    The problem we have back East is Extreme temperature change, lately it's been single digits going below zero Fri., The problem is heated air going into a freezing tank, summer time, we have ridiculous humidity, Air hose can look like a garden hose here, He lives on an island about 40 miles From me, on lake Ontario... Completely different than the Dry west...
     
  7. Humidity in the ambient air will make a big difference too...
     
  8. What I do in my garage/shop is to take a long length of copper tubing, either the rigid plumbing, or the tubing unrolled from a coil, then starting at the top of the garage wall, zig zag it downward to the bottom of the wall.
    That makes a very efficient cooler/condenser/dryer for the hot, moisture laden air coming out of the compressor pump.
    I run the compressor pump directly to the top of the copper line. As the air follows the pipe downward, the air cools a bit and lets the water vapor "drop out" as a liquid. At the bottom end of the cooling lines I fastened to the wall, I connect a larger diam water pipe, only slightly slanted, continuing the downward slope as a pathway for the air & the water that has dropped out during the cooling process in the long copper pipe.
    That foot or two of larger pipe lets the air flow along slowly for a bit without reducing flow or pressure. That is where I put in my extra drain valve to periodically drain off the condensed water.
    Then the cooled dry air goes to my tank, where the usual drain valve is located.
    When your air tank feeds the normal hoses in the normal manner, you will have the driest cleanest air you can get.
    When I drain my tank, there is almost always no water. When I drain my "cooling pipe" I get a lot.
    Another advantage is that the oil vapor from a worn compressor never seems to get to the air tank anymore. No more occasional fish-eye in paint jobs!
    Dry air.
    Air tools such as die grinders, which used to spit water after a couple hours of heavy use, do not dribble water any more.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh my, I didn't realize how ugly my rig has gotten with the dust, the cobwebs, and extra extension cords draped over the cabinets.
    sorry for the ugly mess.
    It was all hidden behind cabinets about 3 inches from the wall for many years :)
    I added a few extra home made water traps at every low spot to collect at every low spot in the system. Some homemade traps near the beginning collect quite a bit.
    The homemade traps farther down the line collect almost nothing, since the air has been dried so well during the first few feet of cooling line.
    I also plug in a couple high pressure propane tanks in the line to give myself a huge capacity for painting and air tools without needing a huge compressor.
    I have painted many cars since the 1970's with this rig. (no commercial use)
    Before anyone jumps in and declares that I will explode and blow flames because of re-used propane tanks that have been hydro-tested past 1,000 lbs - I fill a tank completely full of water, rinse, fill again, then when the water is poured out, the only thing entering the bottle is clear clean atmosphere air. over 38 years in service. I may take the two heavy heavy thickwall bottles to have them hydro tested again soon.



    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  9. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    Polishing wheels on hand held die grinder and Dynablade runs the most.The problem has gotten worst and worst over time and now I need to do something because its got to the point of more than just a little water.
     
  10. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    ^^^ PM sent. "cooling air" makes sense. Iam sure my separators are okay,its the air getting to them. I do have a bottom drain on tank. The unit is in a corner kind of surrounded and most likely doesnt get much air surrounding It.

    I knew this was the place to ask!! Thanks
     
  11. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    Nope
     
  12. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    Iam at the other end of the lake. My heater keeps a constant temp well in winter and its nice in summer with doors shut.
     
  13. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    I havent ever had a sweat problem or things rusting up at all.
     
  14. If it has gotten worse over time, you might be using it heavier without noticing the gradual change, as the other guy said- maybe changed the layout or lines, OR - I have noticed a big change in indoor humidity according to the method I use to heat the garage.
    Old fashioned gas furnaces make the air really dry because they take cold air holding low mousture, then heat&expand it = pretty dry.
    The newer wall mounted ventless heaters actually add humidity due to steam being part of the combustion process.
    It may be my imagination, but I find that when I use a woodburner, it falls in between those two.
    Well, anyway, my point is that "no humidity" vs "high humidity" in the air is greatly influenced by heating type, air leaks, and whether you are heating up ice cold outside air, or re-heating inside air, bla bla bla.
    If your system hasn't changed, the amount of moisture collected in water traps still can be influenced more than you might think by dry weather vs humid weather vs heating method.

    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
  15. Hey, I just spotted this reply.
    This is great, and certainly cools air quicker than my air-cool coils on my garage wall. I like.

    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
  16. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 648

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    Rite-On! I didn't believe it till I drove out to buddy's shop, 25 yrs. ago, It's Really that simple! Cheer's.... Ordinary people worry me!
     
  17. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 3,478

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I stuck a timer controlled petcock in the bottom of the tank that opens every hour for a few seconds to evacuate any tank water. From the tank I ran the air up hill into a copper cooling tower I built out of 60 feet of copper, then down into a tee. The side of the tee enters my receiver/dryer and the bottom of the tee runs into a water trap with a ball that floats up when water is present allowing air and water to escape and then seals the tube when the water is all gone. No water in my system now. A lot of work but it beats water in your air tools to say nothing about what it does to paint.
    upload_2018-1-3_12-35-39.png
    I only like water in my bourbon, and then just a touch.
     
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  18. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 1,762

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just to add, you need to be at least 30 feet from the tank with your water separators. I use a 50 foot roll of 3/8th copper tubing...I don't put it in a barrel as mentioned above, just coiled up then to my water separator, I have to drain mine manually though. Neighbor has with a much larger trap and a float that pulls up a plunger and drains his automatically.
     
  19. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    Well I needed a good reason to get rid of a catch all shelf thing near this machine so thats next and a said setup will be put in place. A new Hot Dawg furnace was installed so maybe this humidity thing was increased.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 22,832

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When I worked at Frank Weaver Pontiac in the mid 70's we knew it was quitting time every day when we heard the service writer go out and shut the compressor off and drain the tank. Never had water in the lines and never had a problem with air tools in the time I worked there.
    A few years ago I worked for a dairy farmer who had two compressors in his milk barn and argue as I did I couldn't get him to have the workers drain the tanks on a daily basis but we were chaining air cylinders almost daily due to the water in the lines.
    That said, I and others will suggest that the simple solution is to drain the tank on a regular if not daily basis. No need for a bunch of extra equipment if you do that and it doesn't cost anything except time.
     
    Wrench666 likes this.
  21. go over to the Garage Journal page and either ask the same question or do a search of existing threads. those guys have dozens of threads on compressor installations and water removal that are pretty impressive.
     
  22. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,048

    6inarow
    Member

    Ha you just made what we call in dentistry as a "deaquavator/dryer" and yes it does work. Great reply!!
     
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  23. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,292

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    Sorry I do not have a picture but I have an automatic drain on my tank. It is hooked to the starter switch and drains every time it starts through out the day. You can not beat it. Check out automatic compressor drains.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  24. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,374

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    We used electric drain valves on the compressor tanks set to open for 10 seconds every 30 minutes on compressors in heated areas. We ran the air lines high at one end of the building sloping down to the far end. All air was taken from the top of the 1 inch pipe brought down to a T with a 3 foot long drain leg. At the low end of the pipe at the opposite end of the building, a down pipe was installed with another automatic drain valve.

    Trucks and equipment with air brakes use air dryers.
     
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  25. Indy47Caddy
    Joined: Nov 8, 2012
    Posts: 151

    Indy47Caddy
    Member

    I had the same problem when I first moved into my garage. With a line directly from tank, my water/oil traps would fill quickly and bypass. I did basically the same as mention above only I used black pipe because I had some available to use.

    If you can see past the clutter... rubber line from tank to a black steel pipe, runs to ceiling and then about 15 ft. downhill to the blue cabinet, drop pipe to floor with a ball valve for draining, the T joint is higher up on the drop pipe so condensed water stays at bottom of the drop pipe. A run of another pipe back 25 ft downhill to another drop pipe with ball valve. An above T then runs through my traps.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Works well... I can sandblast all day and only need to drain once or twice depending on humidity... most times the final water/oil traps do not have much. Drain at end of work so water doesn't sit in steel pipping.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  26. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 648

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    No separators, No valves, No traps, No engineering, Clearly it couldn't be this simple... Tubing, Reservoir, Water... Cheer's. PS: It has to be a decent size reservoir, a 5 gal. Pail will not do it, You will be amazed at how warn a 55 gl. Drum Will get....
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  27. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,368

    oldolds
    Member

    You said it has been getting worse? Water comes for condensation. That comes from the heat the compressor makes. If it has been getting worse it means you compressor has been getting hotter. Hotter means it is working harder. Something simple to check is the air intake filter. Harder to suck the air in, runs hotter. Something easy to check. Also make sure the fins on the pump are clean as well as the pulley. It is the fan the cools the pump.
     
  28. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,965

    Fedcospeed
    Member

    May also be time for a new unit. This thing owes me nothing! First piece of equipment I bought new just before I built the shop.We will rig up a coil system and see what happens. Try that and do some thinking about a new pump.This thing my just be whopped. I have cleaned the filter and should give the fins some cleaning. I watch the site glass on oil.The tube from pump to tank is only around 24".I always thought it wasnt my separators but something with the pump. Everyone has explained it to me well and I welcome more comments. Thanks !!! Jim f
     
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  29. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 1,942

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Intake air temp has always been the biggest problem for me, back in humid Ohio, and here in high desert Wyoming. We had an air filter assembly vibrate apart at work a year ago, maybe longer. The owner's son cut a piece of foam from a polishing pad and taped it in place of the broken one. We have had water in air problems ever since, but they refuse to believe the air restriction is causing it. I wa
     
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  30. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,374

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    If the compressor isn't water cooled, it has no place to get water from except what is in the air it is pulling in. Around here, in the winter, the air is very dry because cold air can't hold as much moisture. Some people use a non vented propane heater. Burning a hydrocarbon creates water and carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. Warm air in the shop can hold more moisture. If you have cold dry air outside, it would be better to pull the air from outside. It's fairly easy to extend the intake and put the air filter outside.

    I have my air compressor outside on a separate concrete slab. It cuts down on noise and heat but I do have heating tape and insulation on the drain.
     

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