taking water out of air supply

I've wired in a new 220v, 60 gal. air compressor and am in the processing of plumbing the air lines. At one location I want to install a separate regulator and something to remove water & oil from the air. What is a good source to find what I need to do it? Oh, I live in SoCal; or what's left of it. TIA. Vic Redlands

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Standard practice is to put in 25 to 50 feet of piping before the first air drop, with a drip leg with a drain valve, to collect most of the water before it reaches the regulator, filter, dryer, etc. You need to consider sloping the lines to the drain valve as well.


a6016 wrote:

Reply to
Richard Ferguson

If you run the air system hard, put an intercooler radiator between the compressor output and the receiver tank, and a refrigerated air dryer between the receiver tank and the shop piping system. Between the two, they will catch most of the moisture before it gets into the shop system air lines.

And if you've never been told, DO NOT use PVC plastic water pipe for air line systems, EVER. Much bad mojo when the pipe shatters and explodes like a grenade, which can land anybody unfortunate enough to be nearby in the hospital - or worse, the morgue. They make special plastic pipe that is rated for compressed air use in hazardous (usually corrosive) industrial applications, but it costs more than copper. Black iron pipe will eventually rust through and will put rust scale into your air system, but it won't explode.

You need a drop leg on the air line from the overhead main trunk line right before the outlet that will catch any condensed water in the shop air lines, and a petcock or small ball valve to drain it periodically. The tap off to the drop leg should come off the top of the trunk line.

(And there should be another drop leg and drain valve at the far end of the trunk line to drain it also. Belt and suspenders.)

Then a ball valve for servicing.

Then a coalescing air filter - bowl type to catch any oil, water, and small bits that are in the air (varies from 5 to 1 micron depending on the element). And check the air flow CFM rating. They sell these at the Borg if you need it today - Home Depot, Lowe's, good hardware stores.

Then a pressure regulator with a high enough flow rating to handle the tool you want to run.

Then if you are running an air tool off that line, a mist lubricator. And make sure that any air hoses used on this outlet are ONLY used for air tools, as now they have air tool oil mist inside them. Oil in painting air is very bad - fish-eyes everywhere.

You can use a different air coupler on those hoses, but it only works for a one-person shop - there are dummies who will change the connections and mix that oily tool hose in with your clean painting hoses, or vice versa.

Or if you are painting, you want a final desiccant air dryer with an indicator desiccant in it - when the indicator crystals in the desiccant turn pink, it's time to replace and/or reclaim it in an oven.


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman

Make a day trip up to Taft, near Bakersfield, and you can go through my rather large crate of seperators, regulators and so forth. Free.

Bring a cat carrier.


"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.

Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner

Reply to
Gunner Asch

Who makes the dessicant type filters?

Thank you.

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Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®

Holy Crap! You really messed up MY day! All I got is a two horse compressor and some hose. I never suspected I needed all those things.

Oh, well, like I NEED a reason to go to the tool store.

Steve, who's going to be antsy knowing I need all this stuff, and most stores closed tomorrow.

Reply to
Steve B

Relax - you don't need to go that far if all you are doing is filling a few tires and an occasional tire change with an impact wrench. But when you go to install a permanent air line plumbing system in your shop, it's far easier to do it right the first time.

My 4 Horse 80-gallon compressor is still in the front corner of the garage sitting on it's shipping pallet, next to the 36" solid-core door I bought for the outside closet - that I still have to build. With a chunk of 8-3 SO cord plugged into the welder receptacle. A pipe extension from the tank drain coming out to a 1/4" ball valve. Oh, yes - And some hose. ;-)

First I need to pour a 3' x 5' slab, build, roof and stucco the compressor closet outside the garage back door. Move the compressor out there, bolt it down (with vibration isolation pads under the feet) and permanently wire it in. Then I can get a vibration flex line for the tank and run 3/4" M Copper silver-brazed for the trunk line through the garage, then run the trunk line through the house attic in the other direction to the back patio which is the default 'woodworking shop'. And then I can hook up the two hose reels...

I'll leave a space for the refrigerated dryer, but I don't plan on painting any cars in the near future, so that will have to wait till I either really need it, or I find "An offer I can't refuse."

The only real important things are to keep your tank drained, and run a regulator so you don't break nail guns or other tools with too much pressure - especially if you have a two-stage compressor running over 150 PSI.

You need to have a filter inline if you are running anything dirt or moisture sensitive (impact wrenches aren't), and add a dessicant dryer if you are shooting paint. If nothing else, they sell disposable inline dessicant dryers you simply throw away when they turn pink.


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman

It depends on what you are using the machine for. If you don't need dry air, adding a desiccant dryer is wasting your money and adding a maintenance point to service the thing.

I have a two horse, 6 gallon portable and some hose that I use to inflate tires and to blow swarf around into places it shouldn't be.

All I've done is install a Milton #1018 micro filter in front of the O.E.M. regulator after replacing the regulator a couple of times due to impurities in the air. It protects the regulator from dirt and takes out enough moisture to make me happy. The compressor is oil-less, so oil is not an issue. I'm quite happy with the set up for what I use it.

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Bruce L. Bergman wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:

In addition to the excellent advice given by Bruce, I would suggest automatic timer drains on the tank and your drip leg out of the main line. If you can't go for the refrigerated dryer, a 50' coil of copper tubing ran vertically out of the tank to act as a cooling coil, with about a

3"x12" receiver at the bottom of the coil will help get rid of water.
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automatic timer drains on the tank and your drip leg out of the main line.<

A simpler and less expensive method might be to add an auto "level" drain inside your filter. Wilkerson and other manufacturers offer a small float operated drain for very little $.

dennis in nca

p.s. Grainger's used to have a page or two in their catalog addressing proper air system design; anyone have a copy around?

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Gunner - is that a C.A.T. or kitty Cat ! - Sounds like a local explosion occurred. Oh - the earthquake a few months ago... :-)


Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder

Gunner Asch wrote:

Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

Kitty Cat of course. While a lot of my stuff is free..there is a toll to pay.


Reply to
Gunner Asch

All good suggestions. If you are piping air, here are a few more ;

  1. If your main air pipe is overhead, make your pipe taps off of the top of the air line, in other words the tee points up and you elbow down to the outlet.
  2. Be sure to put a blow down valve at the end of the line.
  3. If you put in drains or drip legs, place the valves where they are easilly accessable.


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