Moisture in Air lines throughout shop

blbradford

New User
Bruce
HELP! I have neglected regular draining water or moisture from my air compressor tank.
This needs to be a regular habit because now I am in a terrible situation. I drained my air tank but water is in the air lines I have run throughout my shop.
After draining the water from the tank, I have pushed air through the lines several minutes but when blowing onto bare wood you can see the wood get wet. I cannot seem to find how to clean the lines via an internet search only how to prevent the moisture.
I have a California Air Tool 4620C with an aluminum tank so I am not worried about rust, just the moisture in the lines when blowing dust off my intricate unfinished wood project.
My I must have a cheap'o water trap filter because it does not seem to be working very well. Yeah, I can see some small water droplets in the glass trap but I guess I expected more filter efficiency. Maybe I have too high of expectations.
Two questions: 1.) How do I get the water/moister out of my installed lines throughout my shop because it does not seem to want to purge by running air through the line
, and 2.) What is the ultimate Water trap filter to help keep water from "point of use" in the shop?
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Air coming in is humid the issue is when compressing it increases within the tank. The way we do it out here in Hawaii are a couple of ways.

1. With running the intake from an AC fresh air source. You could pull air from your home if it is conditioned, this has been dehumidified by the AC system. You would need just a insulated flex line 4" run from saw a window with a piece of plywood with Styrofoam stuck to is to insulate it ------ That's the redneck/backyard quick fix, that would do it.
2. Desiccant-Type Twin Tower Heatless Dryer. Two identical towers are filled with a desiccant similar to silica gel which will "adsorb" water without combining with it. The water is simply trapped and held. The desiccant can be purged by a flow of dry air at room temperature through it. After a timed interval which may be from 3 to 5 minutes, the towers are switched so the first one can be dried while the second one is in service .- This works but you got to maintain it, but it is a passive way to do it as well


That will lower the relative humidity coming in. Then when going out the supply side use a double or triple filter system. Likely, if you are not by the ocean the triple filter system might be all you need. Finally a filter on the gun.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Beings you have installed air lines, add a drip leg with drain petcock below every outlet. Drain before each day's use and before starting the compressor, as the water will condense out as the air cools. This will greatly reduce the amount of water the water separator has to deal with.

Also, prop up any sags in your installed lines. They are probably pooling water.

If you don't want to install a water separator at each outlet, you can mount something like this to a 2 x 4 self standing frame, running a hose from the outlet you choose to use to this, and another hose to your air chuck or tool.

 

blbradford

New User
Bruce
Beings you have installed air lines, add a drip leg with drain petcock below every outlet. Drain before each day's use and before starting the compressor, as the water will condense out as the air cools. This will greatly reduce the amount of water the water separator has to deal with.

Also, prop up any sags in your installed lines. They are probably pooling water.

If you don't want to install a water separator at each outlet, you can mount something like this to a 2 x 4 self standing frame, running a hose from the outlet you choose to use to this, and another hose to your air chuck or tool.

Very helpful Thank you!
 

NCPete

Pete Davio
Corporate Member
seconding the suggestion for inline air dryers where ever you connect a hose, above that low point. between the tank and your line. it will reduce or eliminate new moisture in the lines. and - wow, I had forgotten how much they cost. an inline separator may also be a decent, and cheaper, option.
 
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Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
To expand on the idea of a portable stand with the oil/water separator on it, you can add an in-line oiler on the other side to use with rotary and piston air tools like sanders, brad nailers, grinders, etc. Just make sure you identify separate hoses for the oil free and oiled use (ex: use yellow hoses for paint spraying or blowing off dust/chips, and orange hoses for your tools needing a little oil and connecting to the air coming from the compressor).

When I was working aircraft, we did this for use on the flightline where we used portable air compressors. Your level of use may not make it necessary for an in-line oiler as a drop of oil in the tool is normally sufficient for casual or short term use. However, it is beneficial if doing a large job such as using a framing nailer when building a shed, or an air sander when repainting the bottom of your boat, for examples. An air pressure regulator can also be easily added.

Just make sure you don't swap the hoses used coming from the separator stand. The oil in the rotary tool hose (oiled) can play havoc with sprayed coatings as well as contaminate your work surface when blowing off the dust. If one of your "clean" hoses gets inadvertently contaminated, you might be able to flush it with DNA to clean light contamination. Just realize when you connect air to it to blow it out and dry it, the spray coming out may be flammable, so use due caution.
 

srhardwoods

Chris
Senior User
I would invest in a auto drain connected to the bottom of your air compressor, and I would also look for a air dryer to put inline right after the air compressor before it goes to the rest of the shop. Those 2 items will provide clean dry air and the auto drain will keep your compressor empty of water/oil
 

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