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Water in air compressor lines


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  #1  
Old 03-10-2019, 11:26:40 AM
Clement Rook Jr. Clement Rook Jr. is offline
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Default Water in air compressor lines

How do i get water out of my air compressor tank and lines when i am sand blasting? when i start everything works fine,then after awhile only air comes out of the sandblast gun but the sand doesn't. i have a water trap on the line coming out of the compressor and one on the harbor freight pressurized sandblast tank. anybody else have this problem
thank you
clement
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2019, 11:30:49 AM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Would think it's necessary to drain your compressor tank and water trap(s) periodically.

Bill
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:44:15 AM
Clement Rook Jr. Clement Rook Jr. is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

bill, i drain the tank after every use and the water seperators before and during use. thank you
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:49:55 AM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Sometimes it's necessary to install a water trap on the inlet to the pot.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2019, 11:57:28 AM
Clement Rook Jr. Clement Rook Jr. is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

pat thats where i have it, thank you
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:17:13 PM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Sandblasting is a huge air hog. And, as you noticed, it does like dry air. A tough combination!

So, definitely start with the tank and water trap drained, but you'll need some additional water knock out.

Since you're asking the question, probably no where near the scale where you can justify a refrigerated dryer, but still options.

If your compressor is stationary, you'll get a little help from a run of black pipe before your flexible hose. Either vertical or sloped well enough that you can drain it easily too.

A water trap after that or the end of the flexible hose; if you have an extra: before and after. Then a desiccant or paper filter at the blaster. Just make sure that each one is rated for at least the volume of air you're using - also that final filter will take frequent filter swaps, but in both styles I'm thinking of, the media part can be dried and re-used if you have spare media to swap in.

I had put about a 4ft stand of black pipe before the paper filter at the blaster too, and was surprised that it would even have a little water at the bottom.

If your air consumption is right against your compressor's capacity, keeping your nozzle size small and changed often enough to not be worn a size up will help some too - especially if it's a suction system instead of a pressure pot. A two stage compressor, with head unloaders, will stay a little cooler if you're shopping [though probably not!], but the unloaders only help if you're not consuming air as fast as its compressing. Either way, an auxiliary tank between your piping and flex hose is another cheap addition for water condensation, as well as maybe giving the compressor an occasional break - which still doesn't happen if right at capacity, unless blasting short durations.

These are the paper filters, I've used. I just randomly linked Amazon's listing; no idea who has the best deal on them.

Last edited by GreasyIron; 03-10-2019 at 01:16:41 PM. Reason: Added link
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:17:42 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Well dang, On humid days, it's hard to keep water out. Is the one on the pot seem to be collecting any moisture?
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:11:25 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

I do a lot of media blasting. I have a 20 horsepower 65cfm Quincy industrial compressor. Right off the compressor I have a 1-1/2" npt full flow Parker 40micron filter, then a length of copper pipe which feeds my Zeks refrigerant air dryer. From there the air is regulated to 90psi and filtered to 5 microns. I do not have any issues with moisture, and I can blast on a humid or rainy day for hours and not have issues with moisture. The key is having good filters, a big air dryer, and a huge storage tank. After 3 hours of blasting I can drain a gallon of water from my compressor, about 6 ounces from my Parker 1-1/2" filter, and the rest is caught and removed by the air dryer. I have yet to drain any moisture from my 5 micron filter on my blast cabinet. You need to size your filters and air dryer to the demands of the blaster and the capacity of your compressor. Blasting is expensive and can be very dangerous. You should read up on silicosis, and media blasting before you attempt to do so again. There are people out there that actually use sand for blasting...tisk tisk. Without seeing your setup, you answered your own question. The problem lies in the words Harbor Freight. You need real filters, copper lines and an air dryer. Rubber air hose will not dissipate any heat at all. Until you can get the air temperature to drop under the dew point, you are going to have major problems with moisture.

Chris
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:44:36 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

I got a couple hundred extra feet of air hose and dunked it all in a cold water trough.

Your air is getting wet because it's getting hot. The trap can only remove liquid water. Vapor goes right through, and then condenses out in the cold sand.

The more marginal your air system is, the harder it works, the hotter and wetter the air gets. When your compressor is sitting, the air cools down and the moisture drops out. If you're going right from the compressor into the air hose, it can't cool much more. If you went into a building air system of metal pipe, it would act like a radiator and let it cool a bit.

IMHO draining your tank "to keep the air dry" is pointless, and may make things worse, a pool of cooler water at the bottom of the tank can only help a bit (the water will improve heat conduction to the metal and should be cooler). Of course you should drain your tank periodically to prevent rust. And of course, you have to drain moisture traps because they just seem to flat out fill up....

I considered when I build my shop to put in a metal radiator (iron pipe, copper, the new aluminum stuff, I aint decided but all work better then plastic), similar to what is used on steam locomotives, which is usually a few loops of pipe back and forth, followed by a moisture trap.
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:44:41 PM
I like oldstuff I like oldstuff is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Keep the hoses off the cold ground helps a bit.

Make a simple heat exchanger/water trap. Get three 8 foot pieces of copper tubing and put them vertically on a wall. Connect the tops and bottoms with elbows, so air comes in one pipe, goes up one, down the next then up and out the third one. At the bottom elbows put a drain cock on each one. You'll be surpised how much water this kludge will collect.

Now to automate it, connect a small drain tube to each bottom elbow and run them to this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Timed-Elect...frcectupt=true
You can power it from the pressure switch that controls the compressor motor.

You also can connect all three elbows together with small 1/4 tubing and only run one tube to the auto drain.

Last edited by I like oldstuff; 03-10-2019 at 03:22:46 PM.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:09:31 PM
Greg Mosley Greg Mosley is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Greetings. I might suggest an auto blowdown on the tank drain. They are available in different voltages. You can set interval time as well as dwell time. A decent one runs about $100.00 or so. Take note if you purchase one. Some models dump the air upon power failure. PIA. Enuf Said
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2019, 10:05:40 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

BTDT! moisture is a real PITA. i have not tried this but it was suggested to me to use a air conditioning coil as a cooler either out of a junk window unit or perhaps the outside unit of a heat pump may work well also. you would have to put some kind of drain in it as well. i agree heat is your problem here.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:49:55 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

On my compressor, I piped in 3 - 8' sections of copper 3/4" baseboard radiation It was mounted vertically, with a 3/4x1/4 female IPSx34 tee mounted at the bottoms. A drain was mounted on the 1/4" connection Air fed in thru an 8'section of type L copper, at the top. A tee, as described and an ell completed each loop at the bottom and 2 90 degree ells completed the tops of the vertical sections. At the last element, the last 90 fed a water eliminator. Most of the water in the air was caught by the elements. I did not exceed 125 PSI, and used the set up for over 30 years, until the old I-R compressor burned out.

My grandfather used an old cast iron radiator on his air system, Worked OK, but every now and then he would get rust in the filter.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:11:00 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

Google" Franzinator" lots of ideas on a home brew air dryer.


I've got all the parts to put an auto AC evap core inline with my bead blaster air line. Just haven't got to it yet.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:48:25 AM
b7100 b7100 is offline
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Default Re: Water in air compressor lines

I have an old compressor tank that I run the air through. Air comes into it and hits the cooler sides of the tank and condenses before exiting it. Probably not the ultimate solution but it was cheap.
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