How to Drain Your Compressed Air System

Draining extra water out of your compressed air system is essential to keep up the longevity of your system and maintain moisture out of your compressed air provide. Happily, draining condensate out of your compressed air system is straightforward with both guide or automated drain valves. Be taught why draining your air compressor, air dryers, receiver tanks and different parts of your compressed air system is vital, what sort of drains you want, and the way usually to empty your air system parts.

Why do I want to empty water from my compressed air system?

Draining the condensate that builds up inside your compressed air system is essential. Moisture is an inevitable byproduct of air compression. It comes from the humidity within the consumption air. As air is compressed right into a smaller quantity, additionally it is heated and thus capable of maintain extra moisture. As air cools, water vapor condenses again right into a liquid and enters the compressed air stream. Additional condensation occurs as air cools as a result of hotter air holds extra water vapor than cooler air. This ends in condensation forming at varied factors within the system, together with the compressor, air dryers, air receiver tanks and the compressed air piping. 

This condensate is unhealthy information in your compressed air system. Moisture buildup contained in the tank, pipes or compressor will trigger corrosion over time. Corrosion weakens the structural integrity of pipes, tanks and different metallic parts, decreasing their lifespan. It additionally creates contaminants that may get into the air provide or create blockages in your distribution system. 

Moreover, extra moisture will find yourself within the compressed air provide. As air the airstream cools, dropping the temperature by 20 to 25 levels, it creates water inside objects utilizing compressed air. This may injury instruments and tools that depend on clear, dry air. Moisture can also trigger high quality issues for merchandise, resembling corrosion of metallic merchandise, spoilage of dry items, injury to air instruments and cylinders, and poor end high quality for paints and coatings

What’s an air compressor drain valve?

A drain valve is just a tool that permits extra moisture to be drained from the compressed air system. It’s used at low factors within the system the place water collects. The valve mechanism will be opened to permit water to empty out by way of gravity and closed to forestall air from escaping as soon as water has drained. Drain valves could also be discovered on compressors, air dryers, air receiver tanks, inline filters and at low factors within the compressed air piping. They need to be used wherever moisture might gather within the compressed air system. 

How do I drain water from my air compressor?

The air contained in the compressor itself could be very scorching. This retains many of the moisture within the air whereas it’s contained in the compressor. The air rapidly cools as soon as it leaves the compressor, and that is the place moisture will fall out as condensation. For this reason water collects in your air receiver tank, air dryers and distribution system. In case you have an after-cooler in your air compressor, that is the primary place the place water will gather. The after-cooler may have a drain valve on the backside, which can be guide or automated. If it’s a guide drain valve, it needs to be opened regularly to empty extra liquid. Automated drain valves will open on a timer or utilizing a float mechanism to empty liquid as required. 

How do I drain water from my air dryers and receiver tanks?

A lot of the moisture in compressed air falls out of the airstream after it leaves the compressor. Because the airstream cools, water vapor condenses again right into a liquid. This liquid will gather in your air receiver tanks and your air dryers. These parts needs to be outfitted with a drain valve to empty the collected water. 

Draining the air receiver tank is straightforward. The valve can be put in on the backside of the tank the place water collects. If the drain is guide, simply open the valve and let the water run out. This course of ought to solely take a number of seconds. Shut the valve promptly when water stops draining to scale back air loss. Automated drain valves can be utilized to scale back guide upkeep necessities. 

Refrigerated air dryers drop the temperature to 38-40°F and should be drained on a steady foundation with an automated drain. These dryers work by chilling air to permit further moisture to fall out of the airstream. This liquid collects in a water lure, which is drained with the automated drain valve. 

Desiccant air dryers work in another way. As an alternative of chilling the air to kind a condensate, they use   desiccant (often activated alumina, silica gel or a molecular sieve) that bonds with the water vapor chemically to take away it from the air. As soon as the desiccant materials turns into absolutely saturated, it’s regenerated to take away the collected liquid and permit the desiccant for use once more. These dryers want filtration earlier than the dryer to take away any oil and water and defend the desiccant from contamination. Automated drains are used right here to take away the oil and water. 

Do I want drains for my compressed air piping system? 

If air is correctly dried earlier than coming into the distribution system, there needs to be little extra water within the pipes themselves. Nonetheless, on heat days, if the dryer is just not outsized for the temperature, it’s attainable for condensation to occur within the pipes as air cools. This condensate will gather at low factors within the distribution system. These low factors needs to be outfitted with both a drip leg or a drain valve. Drip legs are a passive system that merely permits gathered water to drip out of the piping system by itself. Drain valves will should be opened periodically to permit water to empty. 

How usually do I want to empty my air compressor or receiver tank?

Drainage necessities will rely upon elements resembling your utilization patterns in your air compressor, the humidity of air going into the compressor, and the kind of air drying system you’re utilizing. You may cut back upkeep with an automated drain valve. 

What sort of drain valves ought to I exploit in my compressed air system? 

Guide drain valves are easy, however they’ll create a excessive upkeep burden to maintain water out of the system. Most operations counting on compressed air for industrial purposes will profit from an automated drain valve. Automated drain valves can be utilized wherever {that a} drain valve is positioned.

  •  Electrical drain valves open on a timer to empty water. They are often set to open for a number of seconds at a time on a daily schedule, resembling as soon as a minute or as soon as an hour. 
  • A zero-loss drain valve makes use of a float mechanism to set off the valve opening. This reduces air loss as a result of the drain valve is simply open when wanted. 

If you happen to’re seeing extra moisture in your compressed air system, or have questions on drain valves, contact us for assist. 





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