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Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Old 03-14-2019, 10:23 AM
  #1  
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Compressed Air System - How to remove water

I have a fairly elaborate compressed air system setup for a home tinker guy. Compressor is located in shed just behind garage sitting at ground level. Feeds up hill to garage until it hits ceiling height. then runs across ceiling and back down to various connection points thru out the garage. This is all thru 1/2" copper tubing.

What I haven't done is dry the air.

Any of you guys have experience drying the air? What works best for you?
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:14 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

I have a pretty fair sized 'coalescing' filter on mine. Works great. (got it from a body shop that was closing its doors.) Put it near where you want to actually USE the air.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:20 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Depends on how dry you need the air.

I have a background in industrial compressed air and vacuum systems.

You have options - desiccant or refrigerated dryers. They make small desiccant canisters to attach to your paint guns, etc. Refrigerated dryers are most commonly used for body work applications.

There are MANY options for tank drains. Float drains, robo-drains, simple manual valves, etc.

GD
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:57 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

On any of your vertical runs you need to have drains at the lowest point. Also when it turns up you want to make that a T not a 90 degree. You want to do a 6 inch to 1 foot run down to the drain. This will both catch moisture and dirt that falls out of the air as it sits in the vertical column, the longer the "down pipe" the less it gets disturbed when air is flowing.

When you are done with it for the day, open those drains and the drain at the bottom of your compressor to git rid of the water. Anytime the air goes through a temp difference (shed, outside, to inside the shop) I would have one of the simple bottle filter/dryers. That would do it for most air-tool operations. If you are painting then I would buy a drier designed for paint guns and put that at the air drop that you use for the spray gun (also good to use this drop for tire air so you don't put moisture into tires). I would also purge the tank, filters, and the drains of water before painting every time, and if painting a car each re fill of the paint gun or between coats.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:19 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

I too am a home DIY'er with an I.R. single stage 135psi 5hp compressor. I don't have a lot of space so I have some piping on the wall with a coalescing filter at the end. The key to getting the water out of the air, if you can't refrigerate it, is to have mass in the delivery system. I used black pipe since it has more mass than copper tube. It helps keep the air temp more constant until the pipe starts to heat up. I also did exactly what Aviator857 said, I have "T's" at the bottoms of my vertical runs with 6" nipples and ball valves at the end, plus another drop right before the air/water separator and the paper air filter. I think I have about 18 feet of 3/4 black pipe before the hose and it works very well except for EXTENDED use of the compressor. Eventually the extended use will start heating the pipe and it can no longer keep the air cool, so the water falls out of the air more at the air/water separator and in the paper filter. Once the paper filter is saturated I start spraying the water out of the hose. At that point I will stop, let the compressor tank cool, open my drains, and swap out the paper filter for a dry one. If I let everything fully cool again I can use it for another couple hours before that happens, but if I start again while it's still hot I can get another 30 minutes or so of use before it is overwhelmed by the heat in the system.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:41 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

One of these mounted at the compressor and a tee fitting at a low point inside the garage to drain any condensation created inside the lines

https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-...ter-69923.html
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:31 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by scooter View Post
I too am a home DIY'er with an I.R. single stage 135psi 5hp compressor. I don't have a lot of space so I have some piping on the wall with a coalescing filter at the end. The key to getting the water out of the air, if you can't refrigerate it, is to have mass in the delivery system. I used black pipe since it has more mass than copper tube. It helps keep the air temp more constant until the pipe starts to heat up. I also did exactly what Aviator857 said, I have "T's" at the bottoms of my vertical runs with 6" nipples and ball valves at the end, plus another drop right before the air/water separator and the paper air filter. I think I have about 18 feet of 3/4 black pipe before the hose and it works very well except for EXTENDED use of the compressor. Eventually the extended use will start heating the pipe and it can no longer keep the air cool, so the water falls out of the air more at the air/water separator and in the paper filter. Once the paper filter is saturated I start spraying the water out of the hose. At that point I will stop, let the compressor tank cool, open my drains, and swap out the paper filter for a dry one. If I let everything fully cool again I can use it for another couple hours before that happens, but if I start again while it's still hot I can get another 30 minutes or so of use before it is overwhelmed by the heat in the system.
This compressor?

I have this one. 10 years old, only 250 hrs actual run time on it, and it just seized. The bottom of the connecting rods have dipper fingers screwed on. One had red Loctite, the other one didn't. The screw loosened and the dipper fell off, and that rod seized on the crank journal. Even though the Harbor Freight 5 HP pump is nearly a perfect match for a replacement, I just got done repairing mine. I should be able to test it tonight. New connecting rods cannot be found in the US, but I found them in China.

Edit: OOPS, my bad. You said Ingersol Rand, not Campbell Hausfeld.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:45 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
Edit: OOPS, my bad. You said Ingersol Rand, not Campbell Hausfeld.



Yeah mine is a single cylinder, but I think it has two pistons or an oval piston?
This one https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...xoCbp0QAvD_BwE
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:57 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

You want a home compressor for the ages - you find a used Quincy QR-325. Order up a rebuild kit and then someday 50 years from now you hand it down to your grandchildren.

Also much less annoying in the shop at it's nominal RPM of 800 vs the 1800 or even 3600 RPM of these modern reed valve imports.

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Old 03-14-2019, 10:21 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by scooter View Post



Yeah mine is a single cylinder, but I think it has two pistons or an oval piston?
This one https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...xoCbp0QAvD_BwE
I just read through all the reviews of your IR - not good. Better made 10+ years ago, not now. Hopefully you got a good one, but I wouldn't count on it lasting.
Does any company believe in QUALITY anymore?
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:43 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Yes. But it costs money. Atlas Copco bought out Quincy but they do still make the QR compressors in Quincy, IL. For the moment anyway. Last I checked a new QR-325 cost about $3000. That's just for the air end. No motor, tank, or controls.

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Old 03-14-2019, 10:46 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

just ordered two of these. gonna try the recommended configuration in the photo. will start with this and see how it goes.
Amazon Amazon
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:51 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by scooter View Post
The key to getting the water out of the air, if you can't refrigerate it, is to have mass in the delivery system. I think I have about 18 feet of 3/4 black pipe before the hose and it works very well except for EXTENDED use of the compressor. Eventually the extended use will start heating the pipe and it can no longer keep the air cool, so the water falls out of the air more at the air/water separator and in the paper filter. Once the paper filter is saturated I start spraying the water out of the hose.
wondering if you can find a way to cool the pipe. i.e. cheap fridge or a/c?
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:51 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

For others reading, Royal Purple has a synthetic oil specifically for reciprocating piston-type air compressors.


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Old 03-14-2019, 11:09 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

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Old 03-15-2019, 11:17 AM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Just ran across this:

Piping System Air Drying

You can plumb your air lines to remove moisture from compressed air. By using longer lengths of metal piping built into two or more up-and-down patterns, the air is cooled as the piping absorbs the heat. Reacting to gravity, the water drops to the bottom of the piping system into a drip leg and gets trapped, either by a water trap or a T-fitting and ball valve.The air continues along the up-and-down piping, releasing more moisture through each segment so each drip leg will have less water. By the time the air moves through the last segment, there should be no water left in the drip leg. This can be used as a solo method of drying compressed air and it’s the most common and cheapest way to dry compressed air, either for business or personal use.

https://mi-air.com/how-to-remove-moi...ompressed-air/
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:41 AM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

I have a IR compressor I think the same as scooters bought it in 2013 and haven't had issues with it.

Small shop so my lines are simple but I don't have water or leaking issues. I know the gas piping will eventually rust inside but so far it's good.

technically I should have turned the top up so it wasn't a straight shot, but I add a second dryer when I use that port for painting.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:12 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
I just read through all the reviews of your IR - not good. Better made 10+ years ago, not now. Hopefully you got a good one, but I wouldn't count on it lasting.
Does any company believe in QUALITY anymore?
I bought it in 2010

Originally Posted by Aviator857 View Post
technically I should have turned the top up so it wasn't a straight shot, but I add a second dryer when I use that port for painting.
That 6" nipple under the ball valve isn't doing much, lol. You should swap the 6" for the 2" above the ball valve. You also have room to do like I did. I'll take a shot of my setup and post it, you would probably benefit from it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:18 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by scooter View Post
I bought it in 2010



That 6" nipple under the ball valve isn't doing much, lol. You should swap the 6" for the 2" above the ball valve. You also have room to do like I did. I'll take a shot of my setup and post it, you would probably benefit from it.
I put the 6 inch extension there so it helps muffle the sound when I depressurize, it didn't really help but I left it there. It's been like that since 2013.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:27 AM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

You do realize that your oiler also fills the air line on your reel with oil.
When you blow yourself off, you get an oil spray. Do not use that line for painting.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:40 AM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
You do realize that your oiler also fills the air line on your reel with oil.
When you blow yourself off, you get an oil spray. Do not use that line for painting.
Yep that is air tool only, the other port is what I use for painting and blow off air.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:50 PM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

Originally Posted by Aviator857 View Post
Yep that is air tool only, the other port is what I use for painting and blow off air.
I thought as much, I just wanted to mention it for the other members.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:08 AM
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Re: Compressed Air System - How to remove water

got both of them installed. will let y’all know how it works. all my lines are sloped back towards compressor until it hits the straight away. that was an lucky accident. last photo is a cheap way to make a manual drain



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