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How are you dealing with water in your air lines?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rcnut223, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. rcnut223
    Joined: Oct 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    from wisconsin

    Need to come up with an econimical solution to water forming in my compressor and air lines. Has anyone found and econimical solution?
  2. SecretAgent
    Joined: Jan 6, 2009
    Posts: 34


    I run a cheap water separator/regulator I got from sears. Seems to work fine
  3. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,274


    Depends on what you mean by economical. Best thing I did was run a 3/4 copper line 50' from the compressor to the first outlet (I have over 100' of copper airline total). Works like a radiator to cool the air flow. Added a couple cheap dryers on the outlets, I have 0 water issues now. Of course here in the dry Southwest we probably have less problems then some.
  4. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,529


    I live in Houston and the average humidity is around 70%. Water is a byproduct of compressing that moisture laden air. The moisture condenses and settles in the air storage tank. When the air leaves the tank it carries the moisture throughout the system.

    There is only one way to deal with it and that is to buy or build a moisture seperator/filter to trap it before getting into the air lines. You also need to drain the tank at least weekly to get the collected water out.

    I bought a system from ATI that will take out all water and oil down to less that a micron in size and has easily serviceable replacement filters. It was about $300 but one ruined paint job or air tool will pay for it. Most paint supply stores stock the parts.
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  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,085


    Valve on the bottom of the tank and drain it every day when you are done is the absolute best way to deal with it.
    When I worked at Frank Weaver Pontiac in Waco, Texas in the early 70's we knew it was quitting time every night as the service writer went out and shut the air compressor off and opened the drain valve. No one had problems with air tools in that shop due to water in the lines and the painter in the body shop never had problems with water or moisture. You still need an air dryer but draining the tank every day is step one in the process.
  6. Here in South Florida we have 90% Humity over 300 days a year. You just get into the habit of before you turn on the compressor each morning, you drain the tank. Make it easy on yourself and see if you can plumb in some gate valves like you have for water spickets on your house. Not the magic bullet your looking for, just my friendly suggestion. And of course some type of water seperator down stream from the tank, you'll be fine. TR
  7. Here is a simple and cheap water seperator. Works good and easy to make. I put drain valves on each bottom pipe. Do not look at the wiring done by my brother-in-law, he is a certified electrician :eek:


  8. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,218


    Like was said about more pipe to act as drainbacks/condensing..

    ...and I use a big truck air-brake dryer. These dryers have stuff inside that look like tiny beads, that also have a chemical on them to attract water, then a simple air trip valve on the bottom to blast the water out once a week.
  9. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,336

    from Maine

    A buddy of mine runs his air through a copper coil inside a 55 gallon drum filled with cold water. The coil has a drip leg to the outside. You can blow out collected water once in a while, or adjust the valve for a continuous bleed off of the water.

  10. It's desiccant, how is that working for you?. I have 2 regular water traps and when I use the blast cabinet for 10 minutes it goes past the traps. I don't have room for the pipes above and the truck air drier sounds like it might work.
  11. Truck brake air dryer works excellent. It's a little loud though and scares the crap out of people at first, but you get used to it.
  12. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,673


    Buy a small refrigerated air dryer. Watch Craig's list and eBay. You'll find one pretty cheaply and you'll never regret putting it in. It cools the air so that the moisture drops out in the filter, then the filter drains it out. If you do a lot of sandblasting, grinding or bead blasting, this is the only way to go.
  13. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 854

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    If you buy a dryer make sure it is rated for more cfm than your compressor. A common mistake in industry was to cut cost by buying an undersized dryer then complain about water in the compressed air.
  14. TexasT
    Joined: Dec 25, 2007
    Posts: 54

    from Texas

    Nice. Those look like fire sprinkler fittings. I bet it gets the water out.
  15. shanesflames
    Joined: Dec 21, 2005
    Posts: 139


    DAD 500 devilbiss..dry the deseccant in the oven..done.
  16. callcoy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 132

    from Nashville

    I drain the tank as often as possible and use the Frantz toilet paper oil filter. I am cheap so when the paper gets wet I take it out, exchange it for a dry one and set the wet aside to dry out, to be used again later. I have been very lucky the past 3 years finding 4 units the first two used for $5.00 ea. This year I bagged a used unit, a new unit, distributors manual with sales literature and about 5# of new brass fittings for $10.00. I went online to check current pricing, $165.00 a unit plus frt. These really work for me, I have made slip on mounting brackets so I can move them from garage space to another for differant air related tools.
    Steve-Santa Rosa
  17. I put a six inch drop from a "T" with a drain just before the hose attachment.
  18. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,673


    My old dryer just crapped out. I tried recharing it but it has a leak and I'm too lazy to fix it. I found a new, not used, HF air dryer for $200. I bought it. Hell, they make these little cheap dorm refrigerators for nearly nothing now. An air dryer is even more simple, IMO.
  19. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,917


    You need to run about 14 feet of metal pipe to condense the water, then place your separator. I ran a line like the attachment (from TP Tools website) and oit worked wonders, no more water.

    Attached Files:

  20. seventhirteen
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 721

    from dago, ca

    buy a chiller/dryer they are great, saves on your tools, it will seriously change your life, they can be picked up for around $200 often, collect cans, get a paper route, or sell your soul if needed

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