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Thread: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

  1. #1
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    auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I'm looking for options for a self-draining water-separator to install before a refrigerated air-dryer. Current CFM capability is ~55 CFM, but it might be higher in the future. I want something that will auto-drain, while in-use, meaning without having to depressurize. So I was told I want the water to be collected and then the float-actuated drain will expel it all completely on it's own. Seen options in Amazon already, so I've done basic research already, but not everything is on Amazon. I've seen stuff from Tsunami and some other brands, but I want to make sure I know what I want. I believe I want two components, one of which is the water separator, and the other is a float drain, but it looks like there are units that are both.

    https://www.compressorworld.com/50-c...1999-0131.html

    I tried calling them with no luck. Who has actual experience with such a beast?
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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    No experience with commercial units, just the one I built myself. My theory was to not store any water in the tank, and it "should" reduce vapor in the air. So far it seems to be working. I have a drier 30 ft downstream from the compressor (5 HP 2 stage Ingersol/Rand) and I have yet to put any pellets in it. I also have filter/regulators at each drop with automatic drains, but I have yet to see them collect any water. The unit is just an old hydraulic cylinder with the piston rod removed and replaced with a sealed scrap bolt. The petcock was removed from the bottom of the air tank so it constantly gravity flows into the cylinder, which is held at an angle so the water drains to the outlet end. I turn the compressor on and off every day I'm using it (which is probably 4 days of the week) and hit the drain valve each time, so twice a day (up at a very handy level). The valve drains the water from the cylinder into a vented plastic jug due to air pressure. I close the tank when I turn it off, so it stays up to pressure while the lines are allowed to drain and activate the auto drains at the drops. I've probably posted this here before, so my apologies if it's old hat.
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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Always been curious. Why do you need to reduce pressure in the tank before you drain it???

    I just let 'er rip, and shut the valve when it runs clean. Am I missing something?

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Auto drains are generally spring loaded (at least the ones on my regulator/filters are) so they only drain when pressure drops below 5 psi. When I drain my POS cylinder drain, I, as you say, just "let her rip..."
    Last edited by whtbaron; 11-08-2021 at 07:35 PM.
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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I like the hyd hose BTW. No need to plumb with expensive, hard to work with, hard line. Mine's the same way for areas where there's a connection, or weird bend. 2500psi should be all you need for any compressor.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    No experience with commercial units, just the one I built myself.
    Yup I remember seeing it, but some of my air tools will not let my 10HP compressor stop. At All. Hence there is no way to count on air cooling down in the tank. However it does cool down on the 100ft trip to my garage, which is where I need to focus the water-trapping at.
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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    The rubber stall mat is a little over the top though (I'm just kidding.......I have the same). Does the vibration/noise interfere with your enjoyment of Vivaldi's Four Seasons?

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I've dealt with 2 refrigerated air dryers at work and some big industrial units in the past. All of them had a built in auto drain. I can't see any reason to add another. On my compressor at home I have an ingersal rand electric auto drain. That one has a timer for how often it purges and length of time for purge.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I had some lines in really good shape that I had removed from equipment I wrecked for parts, so they got incorporated into the build when I plumbed the shop with black pipe. I also have fittings and a manual press so I can make my own. 1/2" for the outlets to the black pipe, and "I think" 5/16 to the cylinder drain. Not affected by oil when the compressor gets older, and yea, I've never blown one at 175 psi. It was another reason I chose the old cylinder for water storage. The only caveat is that you don't want it in a location that could freeze.
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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Yup I remember seeing it, but some of my air tools will not let my 10HP compressor stop. At All. Hence there is no way to count on air cooling down in the tank. However it does cool down on the 100ft trip to my garage, which is where I need to focus the water-trapping at.
    Jeez man, what are ya runnin' with that thing?? I gots a Champion 80gal 5hp unit, and it never runs dry...........even painting, or running die grinders, drills, etc............ Hell, even the plasma cutter doesn't kill the capacity/pressure.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Yup I remember seeing it, but some of my air tools will not let my 10HP compressor stop. At All. Hence there is no way to count on air cooling down in the tank. However it does cool down on the 100ft trip to my garage, which is where I need to focus the water-trapping at.
    I've run the 5 HP steady for quite a while with no issues. Basically my cylinder and drier (without pellets) serve the same function if you had one at the compressor, and one at the shop.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    The rubber stall mat is a little over the top though (I'm just kidding.......I have the same). Does the vibration/noise interfere with your enjoyment of Vivaldi's Four Seasons?
    The best part is the doghouse it's in... that used to be the front door into my hog barn before the building conversion. I really don't get a lot of noise or vibration as long as that uninsulated door is half shut. Of course, I guess if you really wanted the thrill you could sit on top... my son's in-laws are into horses so I got the matting for free. Works great.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    I had some lines in really good shape that I had removed from equipment I wrecked for parts, so they got incorporated into the build when I plumbed the shop with black pipe. I also have fittings and a manual press so I can make my own. 1/2" for the outlets to the black pipe, and "I think" 5/16 to the cylinder drain. Not affected by oil when the compressor gets older, and yea, I've never blown one at 175 psi. It was another reason I chose the old cylinder for water storage. The only caveat is that you don't want it in a location that could freeze.
    If you're crimping hyd hose on your press, you need to put up some pics of the dies, and the dimensions. I'd love to have some dies. You get raped when they make lines.

    But, in hindsight (there's always a catch), I'm wondering if those dies are heat treated.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Jeez man, what are ya runnin' with that thing?? I gots a Champion 80gal 5hp unit, and it never runs dry...........even painting, or running die grinders, drills, etc............ Hell, even the plasma cutter doesn't kill the capacity/pressure.
    Didn't you see those 50 HP air grinders he was playing with?
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I can do dies for crimping cable, although I never get around to it. But hyd hose....................I'm gettin' a woody just thinkin' about it.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Jeez man, what are ya runnin' with that thing?? I gots a Champion 80gal 5hp unit, and it never runs dry...........even painting, or running die grinders, drills, etc............ Hell, even the plasma cutter doesn't kill the capacity/pressure.
    3M 28824's and 28826's. I actually added two smaller 120V compressors in parallel, and all 3 just barely keep up with 1 of those bad mamma jamma's.





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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    If you're crimping hyd hose on your press, you need to put up some pics of the dies, and the dimensions. I'd love to have some dies. You get raped when they make lines.

    But, in hindsight (there's always a catch), I'm wondering if those dies are heat treated.
    It's somewhat "like" a press, but purpose built for hoses. The problem with dies is that everyone tries to alter their fittings so only their dies will work ... no such thing as a "generic" hydraulic die system anymore. When I first picked this unit up, I could pick up cheap fittings at Princess Auto and everything worked great. They updated their line and I might have to do some creative grinding to make the old dies work again. I haven't tried it yet, so yes, they may be very hard to change.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    It's somewhat "like" a press, but purpose built for hoses. The problem with dies is that everyone tries to alter their fittings so only their dies will work ... no such thing as a "generic" hydraulic die system anymore. When I first picked this unit up, I could pick up cheap fittings at Princess Auto and everything worked great. They updated their line and I might have to do some creative grinding to make the old dies work again. I haven't tried it yet, so yes, they may be very hard to change.
    So...........it's a press with the collet thing. Not a straight upsy downsy press. I get yaName:  tkqe4fh-smiley-two-thumbs-up175028_285604.gif
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  24. #19
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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    I've dealt with 2 refrigerated air dryers at work and some big industrial units in the past. All of them had a built in auto drain. I can't see any reason to add another. On my compressor at home I have an ingersal rand electric auto drain. That one has a timer for how often it purges and length of time for purge.
    I have an old timer kicking around and thought about wiring it in for an auto drain system (basically the timer/solenoid valve would just replace that release valve on the wall), but so far my twice a day draining seems to suffice.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by oscar View Post
    3m 28824's and 28826's. I actually added two smaller 120v compressors in parallel, and all 3 just barely keep up with 1 of those bad mamma jamma's.





    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I go kick the valve open once in w while when i read an auto drain thread. Got enough problems without adding some more fussy gadget to the system. Got them plumbed to a common tube thru the wall. You do not have to drain every 5 minutes.
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    Last edited by Sberry; 11-08-2021 at 08:33 PM.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I go kick the valve open once in w while when i read an auto drain thread. Got enough problems without adding some more fussy gadget to the system. Got them plumbed to a common tube thru the wall. You do not have to drain every 5 minutes.
    That depends on how much heat, how much air and how much humidity you are dealing with. I suspect Oscar is close enough to the gulf to have lots of all 3...
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    My worst time is when we get into the 70* dewpoints during the peak of the Summer.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    I wonder how it was done before the gadget? Not that tech isnt good but a simple valve every once in a while is super reliable. Some water sitting in the sump doesnt hurt.

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    Re: auto-draining water separator for compressed air

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I wonder how it was done before the gadget? Not that tech isnt good but a simple valve every once in a while is super reliable. Some water sitting in the sump doesnt hurt.
    And once the tank gets a rust hole you have your auto drain.

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