How To Manage Water Accumulation In Your Air Compressor

When you run an air compressor, one of the things you need to be attentive to is the accumulation of water both in the tank and in the lines. Since the compressed air condenses the water vapor that naturally occurs in air, this is an ongoing concern as long as you use an air compressor. The accumulation of moisture inside the tank and lines can threaten the components, causing corrosion of the metal pieces. The best way to protect your air compressor is by installing a water separator on the compressor lines. This will help eliminate the water inside the lines, which can extend the life of your air tools, because it keeps the water from reaching the inside of the tools in the first place.

Choosing the Right Separator

To get a water separator that's going to get the job done, you need to start by evaluating your tools. Look for a separator that has a higher rating for both the cubic feet per minute and the pounds per square inch than your highest rated tool for the compressor. If you're not sure what your tools are rated at, they may be stamped with the details, or you can find the information in the owner's manuals for each tool.

Installing the Separator

Start by unplugging the compressor. You need to be sure that it isn't going to turn on accidentally while you're working. Then, pull the drain plug at the base of the tank and let it drain any residual water that's inside.

Remove the output regulator from the pipe that it's attached to. You'll need a wrench to loosen the pipe fitting. Once it's disconnected from the compressor pipe, you can connect the separator. Wrap the exposed threads of the pipe with plumber's tape, because it will create a good seal when you attach the separator. This preserves the air pressure in the system.

Screw the "IN" port of the water separator onto the pipe attached to the compressor. Then, attach a half-inch brass pipe nipple on the opposite side, which should be labeled as the "OUT" connector. Use the plumber's tape on the "OUT" threads as well, because you don't want to risk losing air compression.

Screw the regulator back into place on the "OUT" side of the water separator. Make sure everything is hand-tight. Then, use the wrench to tighten each of the fittings an extra turn. Close your compressor's drain valve, plug it back in and you can restore its operation.

Make sure you empty the separator regularly, as it will retain the water that it's drawing away from the lines. For more information about compressors, visit Regional Truck Equipment.