How to Keep Water Out of Air Compressor Lines – 6 Ways

How to Keep Water Out of Air Compressor Lines

Air compressors are popular for a number of home and business applications. And so, keeping note of its wellbeing is something the owner can’t escape from. One part includes dealing with the moisture inside air compressor lines.

Depending on humidity and temperature, there’s a lot you need to know about the moisture present in your air compressor. If there’s any sort of water accumulation inside compressor, moisture is surely going to ruin the system.

And that is why you have a bad day with painting using the compressor. Since spraying water with paint will surely cause disturbing visual and texture effects. And the finishing sheen will be a lot less than what you expect.

This is why we are here to discuss how to keep water out of air compressor lines. Let’s talk about that!

6 Ways of No-Moisture-Camp for Any Air Compressor.

A compressor with air will experience condense due to 12 times normal atmospheric pressure inside. And so, with the system cooling down, condensation keeps on occurring. This is usually the case during high humidity in summer.

No matter if you own a high-quality husky air compressor or any other one, there’s always a chance of getting moisture problems. However, it’s also not possible to stop moisture from happening. And so, you need to master a few ways to keep that water element out of your precious tool.

General Idea About the Whole Thing…

measure the water content present inside a system

Usually, to measure the water content present inside a system, a unit PDP or pressure dew point comes in use. There’s a certain temperature that makes a gas reach its saturation point. And after that, the condensation of liquid usually begins.

The PDP unit usually refers to this temperature. And this basically denotes that to maintain a tolerable condensate level, you need to keep PDP low.

A number of factors can play reliant roles in controlling condensate volume. These are pressure levels, intake air quality after cooling situations. Relive humidity and ambient air temperature are also two other factors.

Probably, during higher flow rates, water starts getting collected inside the compressed air system. This also happens when the ambient air temperature and inlet are high. And the same thing happens for low pressure or high humidity.

Got The Basics, Right? You’re Ready To Figure Out The Removal Rules.

Frequently Draining is Compulsory.

The very first step to keeping your compressor tank moisture-free is by draining it regularly. Air lines will surely collect the problem if you don’t do that on a frequent basis. I’m talking about drain that is located right at the bottom part of your air compressor pressure tank. This part usually collects all the oil and water mixture.

Now there should be one question coming into your mind, how often to drain air compressor tank? Well, answer is you need to keep draining after every time of using the air compressor. This will help to avoid any corrosion building up inside the tank as well.

Some of you may feel the draining is a bit difficult. Because there’s a need to reach the drain valve.

In such cases, installing a drain extension kit can save you from miseries. And also, this will help you a lot to periodically drain. But the point is that in any way you need to keep draining as it’s a direct matter of essential and safety.

Using Water Trap.

Using Water Trap

To answer the question of how to remove water from air compressor tank there’s no way to not talk about one great tool. It’s called water trap. Usually, this part has the job to deal with incoming cool air. This is probably the simplest way to remove water.

Here the air enters on one side and starts circulating around bowl. This is the bowl where usually water gets collected. Finally, it gets drained out. The air simply gets out using a filter. This part is where the impurities and air are trapped easily.

If there’s a need for an application that requires extremely dry air, then probably water trap becomes the most general method to get rid of moisture. However, the tool is a part of a whole multi-step system. During painting, powder coating and sandblasting applications, the use of a water trap is more common.

Cool Down the Compressor with a Refrigerated Air Dryer.

Now, this is something quite similar to air conditioning units. It’s a tool that connects with the air compressor. And then the air is cooled down to a specified temperature. This could be somewhere between the 1.5 to 10 degrees Celsius. The PDP here turns into somewhere between half to 3.8 degrees Celsius.

The water starts dropping out of air. Then it is separated and heated up. Next, it travels through lines to reach end-use. It’s a very efficient method but probably not a cheap one. There are two types of configuration usually with the refrigerated air dryer. It could be cycling or non-cycling type.

Desiccant Air Dryer Utilizing If Needed.

Using an air compressor dryer is definitely the best way to get rid of any dampness inside tool. One type is known for using a multitude of absorbent little beads. These together play the role of removing water from air. This type is called desiccant air dryer.

The mechanism is quite similar to a water trap filter system. Here air travels all the way through pressure vessel center and removes circulating water.

As soon as particular moisture content is gasped, air leaves the dryer. And it travels from lines to end-use. To avoid any type of water and oil sludge damage there is a pre-filtering mechanism. It’s a highly efficient coalescing type.

Moreover, there are usually three popular types of desiccants in operation with this air dryer. The first type is silicone gel. It is a water-absorbing quality silica amorphous form. The next type is activated alumina that is basically a porous form of aluminum oxide. It also includes silicon dioxide and known for being the best heatless air dryer option.

Finally, there’s molecular sieve type that is a zeolite formulated form coming with vapor and gas molecule absorbing abilities. If you need a method to get rid of a very high amount of moisture, then desiccant dryers are the best option. Usually, in an industrial environment, the dryer is more popular.

For an application requirement below two thousand SCFM, look for a heatless dryer. On the other hand, a heated dryer works well for application above that requirement.

Trying Deliquescent Air Dryers.

Now deliquescent air dryers are probably not as popular as the earlier option. This type comes with a solo tank. It also utilizes desiccant. Here the provided PDP is between 20 to 25 Fahrenheit lower than dryer entering air temperature.

At first, compressed air enters the tank in this system. Then it starts reacting with desiccant material. After that, there is a production of liquid effluent. This needs some draining out of the dryer. Finally, it is disposed of depending on dangerous waste regulations.

The type of dryer does not come with dried air containing tiny affluent particles. And that’s why they are not common for the industrial environment. Because this nature makes this dryer prone to creating problems.

Piping System Can Also Help.

There are various air compressor fittings that can help you with removing water. One idea is plumbing air lines. This will use a long metal piping-built length to get rid of moisture. The piping is usually a built of up and down patterns. It could be two or more in number.

Air starts to lose heat with the piping absorbing it. Then some gravity stuff happens and water starts reacting. It drops down to the piping system. And then the water goes into a drop leg. This is also common as a drip leg sometimes. Here the water gets trapped. A fitting is present to make that happen. Usually, it’s a water trap or T-fitting with a ball valve.

air keeps on moving through the piping. It travels with the up-and-down pattern while releasing water through each part. Every drip leg will start decreasing water content. Once the air is on its way through final segment, there shall be no remaining water on drip leg.

This method is probably the cheapest one out there. It’s a stand-alone technique of drying compressed air. You can try it for both business and personal use.

However, there are some elements to keep in mind while trying this formula.

The water should not settle inside piping, it needs to move along with air. And so, there needs to be a downward angle with every horizontal piping. It should be one in a hundred at least.

Observe the number of times piping needs elevating or vertical go. The drop leg should be exactly that number. This will help gravity to move water down dip leg and gradually vanish.

Every piping end should have a water trap or filter regulator.

There should be no electrical sockets close to drop legs.

Keep a note of how much piping is in use and the pressure drop affect.


There is a wide range of applications for air compressors. So, the method of removing water or drying it down won’t be same. Make sure you have the precise system to protect your air compressor used in a specific type of application.

Learning the right way on how to keep water out of air compressor lines is a very critical maintenance procedure no one should sidestep. It’s a matter of reducing leakage and machinery damage.

About Jeremy

Hello! My name is Jeremy Bloomberg. I have been passionate about carpentry and DIY. Over the years, my passion slowly turned into expertise and wider knowledge about electronics. I’ve been involved in numerous projects, both professional and personal. I want to share all I have learned with you. Welcome!

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