If you own an air compressor, you must be aware of the issues with moisture and water getting into the unit. Air compressors help you run power tools and fill up tires using pressurized air. Moisture can be very harmful to an air compressor and cause rusting. However, it is very easy to prevent this using a water separator. Learn how to install a water separator on an air compressor by going through this article. Let’s go!
What is a water separator?
A water separator allows you to remove water and moisture from air compressors. A clean air supply is ensured by preventing the entry of any solid, liquid, or vapor particles into the air compressor. Also known as a filter dryer, this machine can easily remove up to 60% moisture from the unit.
It draws up vapors from the air vent of an air compressor using centrifugal force. It allows the air compressor to deliver dry and clean air, by eliminating moisture and vapor from the air.
Importance of Water Separators
Compressed air produces moisture as a byproduct which is called condensate. Air becomes saturated when compressed which leads to the production of condensate when the air cools down. Condensate consists of both water as well as oil.
Where does the oil come from? Oil is used for lubricating the inner parts of the air compressor. Some of this oil evaporates once the unit heats up and mixes with the compressed air. For this reason, the condensate consists of both oil and water. You can not just dump it in the drain and that is where water separators come in. You don’t want water particles to get into your power tools or inflatables, therefore, it is important to use a water separator.
Tools required for installation
Following are some of the tools that you will need in order to install a water separator on your air compressor:
- A crescent wrench along with a thread seal tape for tightening the connectors. You can also go for Teflon for greater strength.
- For use as a quick cone connector, you will also need different sized coupler plugs.
- You also need special gear for ear protection.
- Finally, you should also have 90-degree elbows that will allow you to comfortably tighten the hose.
Where to install a water separator on an air compressor?
Let’s move towards the most important question on your mind. Where should you install this water separator on the air compressor in order to prevent moisture or oil from contaminating the pressurized air? The hose pipe is attached to the pressure gauge using a proper attachment. The water separator needs to be placed between the pressure tank and the hose pipe connector.
The place where you install the water separator should be easy to access as you will have to frequently change the filter cartridge.
Steps for installing a water separator
Before you begin installing the water separator, make sure you are wearing ear gear to protect your ears as the process will produce a lot of noise. Also, make sure that the main switch of the air compressor is turned off before you begin the installation.
Once you have done this, begin by following these steps:
- To make Teflon, wrap thread tape all around the quick connectors. This will help prevent any air from coming in between the 90-degree elbow and the coupler.
- After this, you have to properly screw out the male plug connector which is in the 90-degree elbow’s inlet hole in order to properly fit it in. You can tighten it more using a wrench later on.
- Next, tighten up the separator’s inlet hole into the 90-degree elbow’s outlet hole. Make sure you use Teflon and use a wrench to tighten it with ease.
- Use one more 90-degree elbow and screw it into the water separator’s inlet hole.
- Using a wrench, tighten the hose tube onto the air compressor.
- Finally, pin the water separator into the tank input of the air receiver. Do this at the point from where the hose has been unplugged.
How to maintain the water separator?
Firstly, you will have to frequently drain out the condensate that collects in the water separator. You can keep an eye on the water filter using the clear canister. It is very easy to drain out the unit. All you have to do is use a drain valve or any other system that has been put in place.
You should do this when the condensate levels reach about two-thirds of the tube. If you’re using the unit too often, you will have to regularly monitor the water separator and clean it up. You should also consider dehumidifying the air entering the unit if you live in a humid area.
Water separators are very important for the maintenance of air compressors. We hope this article helped you get an idea of where to install a water separator in an air compressor. Make sure you follow all the steps correctly if you want to get this right. Let us know if you have any other questions. Good luck!
How far should a water trap be from the compressor?
Answer: The water trap or separator should be around 30 feet from the air compressor. This will help prevent moisture from affecting your tools or paintwork.
Does my air compressor need a water separator?
Answer: Moisture does get into the air in your compressor at some point. Therefore, it is very important to use an air compressor for proper maintenance.
How does an Air Compressor Water Separator Work?
Answer: It collects the condensate that builds up inside an air compressor. This helps prevent the moisture and oil from contaminating the pressurized air.