? about air dryer

I'd like to make something to help take the water out of my air compressor line. I've got one of the water traps but it doesn't get it all. How about a loop of copper tubing in a bucket of ice? Would that help? How do the refrigerated dryers work? Upstream or downstream of the compressor?

This is for occasional use. Suggestions welcome. Gary Brady Austin, TX

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Gary Brady
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David Billington

snipped-for-privacy@aol.comNOSPAM (Gary Brady) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@mb-m28.aol.com:

The bucket of ice is ok, but all that water you condense out of the line will just stay in the coil in the bucket, and be re-introduced to the air stream. One trick we used, was a coil of copper tubing running vertically out of the tank with a drip leg. Not as effective as a dryer, and even less so in hot weather, but in moderate temperatures, it works pretty well.

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If you go for the chilling system (an OK idea for low cost) reduce the air pressure after the chiller, as the pressure is reduced the dew point goes down and you end up with air that is a bit dryer. For very dry air you need either a desiccant or molecular sieve (also called heatless) type dryer both are rather expensive but can produce air with -40 dew point.


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Jack Hayes

Add another tank inline, larger is better. More volume, air has more opportunity to cool. Isolate with valves for periods of non-use and the compressor won't have to pump up from zero pressure because of system leakdown overnight, for example.


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The copper coil in a 5 gal bucket of water worked for me. I added a filter/seperator downstream to get the condensed water out. If you leave the water in the bucket very long it will grow all sorts of nasty stuff around your colis and limit the heat transfer

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I made an aftercooler from 3/4" copper pipe brazed with returns (sort of looks like a ladder) with a drain at the bottom. This is placed between compressor and receiver. I get almost no water in the receiver now, but as I am in Redding, CA (dry) and you are in Austin, TX (really wet), your mileage will vary. It is cheap and easy though. I have heard of folks doing the same thing and placing the run of pipe in a fridge, etc. There are a bunch of ways to dry air. I ran across a small regenerative desiccant setup at a junk yard yesterday but have passed on it so far, as I think it will use too much air through the regenerating side to be very efficient on my five HP compressor.

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