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Compressed Air Regulator/Filter

BigFlo

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I need to get a new Air Filter/Regulator for my air compressor. I'm using it for everything from air tools to media blasting to (hopefully) painting when that time comes.....but I'm getting water in my media. I've got a 60 gal 5HP unit - it's not plumbed - just using a hose. Anybody got any suggestions for a good brand, style, etc that's not going to break the bank?
Also - for air tools - I have seen the inline oilers but I think I need a dedicated line/hose if I choose to use that, or I'll be putting oil in my media and paint. I'm thinking of putting a manifold on the compressor outlet and splitting off one hose for dry air and the other for oil mist. Is this the best way to do this? Anyone know of an all-in-one unit that will do this?
 
The small compressor works hard and produces a lot of condensation. I have a similar unit and have a professional grade Sharpe transformer (oil/water trap with a replaceable filter) in line. I still get water through my lines. Two things will help a bit... keep your airlines off of the cold concrete floor as much as possible and throw a fan on your compressor to help with heat transfer. The cooler the compressor, the less condensation, and conversely, if the lines are not on the floor, warm air is less likely to condense in a cool air hose. There is no perfect answer without spending big bucks and investing in an air dryer (refrigeration unit).
One other thing, if you are doing bodywork, never use in-line oilers. I have air tools that have lasted over 20 years with simple oiling daily...3-5 drops!

Hope this helps.
 
Small compressors don't produce any more condensation than large compressors. Condensation comes from the humidity that's in the air that the compressor is taking in to begin with. Once that air is cooled then water vapor is allowed to condense into a liquid form. Hot air will 'hold' more humidity than cooler air so running your compressor cooler may help your problem by allowing more of the water vapor to condense in the tank before it's used.

Several things you can do:

1) Take your air off of a high point on the tank
2) Drain the tank frequently or better yet, use an automatic drain.
3) A separator on the discharge of the tank will remove most of the bulk moisture.
4) Air dryers are available that use different technologies. Refrigerated dryers remove moisture by chilling the air down to about 35*f and condensing the humidity. Desiccant dryers use adsorbtion technology and can produce super dry air with pressure dew points as low as -40*f or better. Membrane dryers use a molecular sieve to 'screen' out moisture.

I agree with 66 B, don't bother with automatic oilers. They put oil into the lines that will eventually make it into a tool that you DON'T want oil in, like a spray gun.
 
I've had the same problem with my lowboy..........I just replaced it with a big upright 7 horse unit taking air from the top of the tank......Gonna try a Devilbiss water system and see what happens.......I expect it should be a lot better than what I had.......

I could only work 10 minutes or so before my blasting cabinet started to pick up moisture and clog on me.......Frustrating........
 
Thanks for the tips. My unit is an upright unit with the outlet at the top of the tank. But the hose is sitting on the concrete floor, so I'll find a place to hang it! Maybe a good excuse to get a nice hose reel!? I have an existing separator on the output - don't know how old it is because I bought the compressor used - and it does take some of the water out.....but too much still gets though. I think I'll look into a new separator and maybe a dessicant filter.
 
I've read on several tool and welding forums that locating the filter a good distance away from the compressor tank (like 50 feet) allows the water to come out of suspension making it much easier to get trapped by the filter. makes sense from a physics standpoint. I've been pricing iron pipe and fittings and tring to let the "back of my head" work on the engineering and routing.
 
I've read on several tool and welding forums that locating the filter a good distance away from the compressor tank (like 50 feet) allows the water to come out of suspension making it much easier to get trapped by the filter. makes sense from a physics standpoint. I've been pricing iron pipe and fittings and tring to let the "back of my head" work on the engineering and routing.

I agree with that. I have my shop plumbed with plastic pipe ( I don't run more than 100PSI). I have it hung from the ceiling with a seperator (they can be found cheap) and a filter on the other side of the shop. I can drain the seperator after a couple of hours and get maybe a 1/4 cup of water out of it, when it's humid. The filter I use is made by Motor Guard and it uses a roll of toilet paper as a filter medium. Works real good and I've always got a roll of toilet paper for an emergency. :pottytrain4: The filter is a little pricey, though. I've used the plastic pipe (CPVC) for more than 25 years without a problem. It's cheap and easy.
 
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