Tank drained - still get water in the lines?

by Milan
(San Jose, CA)

Hi Bill,


I have drained compressor regularly and changes air filter, but still get water in the lines. This is a 5hp boyce air compressor.

1. What type of technician do I call? I checked yellow pages but these companies are into selling compressors and parts primarily.

2. Can you recommend a Company or technician in San Jose, CA

Thanks, Milan

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Milan, draining the compressor tank regularly is one important step in de-watering compressed air. It is not the only step. As I note on the pages about compressor water (see site map) the removal of water and water vapor from compressed air lines is a pathway. You move along the path, adding the equipment necessary, until your air is as dry as you need it.

As to technical folks where you are, please see the Repairs section on the site map page. If any compressor repair people have posted their information, it will be there.

I don't think you need a technician, necessarily. You need a better understanding of how water gets into the air, and how to get it back out, and that is available to you on this website.

Cheers,

Bill

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Stuck 1.5" pipe plugs at each end of my 20 gallon air tank

by Jim Richardson
(Hillsboro, Oregon)

I bought the compressor used so I know nothing of it's history.

My 20 gallon tank seems to have a lot of slimy gray gunk in the tank that I can't get all out through the bottom drain. What I would like to do is remove at least one of the 1.5" pipe plugs at each end of my 20 gallon air tank and use the open ports to power wash the interior of the tank and then leave open several days to fully dry out.

Both plugs have 3/4" square drive in the center. I have tried using my impact wrench over and over to no avail. I have also tried breaker bars and lots of PT Blaster. But so far I have not been able to budge either plug....not even a little.

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Bill says....

It sounds to me like if you add enough torque or pressure to remove the plugs (which also sound like they are welded in, which makes sense) you will destroy the tank in the process.

The concept of cleaning the tank is good. The reality is, I think, is either use it dirty with good air treatment downstream to remove air-borne crud, or replace the tank.

Cheers,

Bill

Comments for Stuck 1.5" pipe plugs at each end of my 20 gallon air tank

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Sep 02, 2011
Thanks......why
by: Jim

Thanks for the reply

Welded in.......why would they weld in the plugs?
There are no welds on the outside of the plugs/tank so it would have to been welded from the inside.

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If you cannot see welds on the outside, then I guess there aren't any. From the effort you put into removing the plugs, that's the only think I could think of as to why you weren't able to loosen either.

B.

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Leave the drain valve open or closed?

by Richard

After draining a compressor tank, should the petcock be closed or left open? I have received both answers on this.
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Richard...

Is it tomato or tomawto? :-)

As a general rule, I leave mine open. If the purpose of the drain petcock is to void the tank of water, I think that leaving it open allows moisture vapor to condense further inside the tank and drip out.

On the other hand, if you drain your tank after every use, leaving it closed shouldn't be a problem.

If you leave it open, you need to remember that when the compressor fires up you may not be able to hear that air is bleeding from the drain valve. Your compressor could run a long time with no pressure buildup in the tank as a result.

Bill

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Manual drain valves for portables

by Doug McCrary
(San Diego, CA USA)

Three valves for tank drains

Three valves for tank drains

You talk of auto drains, but not so much about manual valves.

In the auto drain section, you mention ball valves, so I'm guessing that would be your preference for a manual one as well. Most of those are fairly long, (right one in pic) so could be a problem with a portable...

The typical OEM valve seems to be the one on the left in the pic.
These seem to be a terrible design in that they tend to trap crud and grind up the seal as they are closed.

The one in the middle seems to be a better choice than the left, due to a wiping effect as it is closed, but you need to be more careful about it breaking.

So, what is your experience/preference with manual drains?
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Actually Doug I do speak about manual drains on the site, too.

I'm in favor of removing the typical tank drain and replacing it with an elbow, use a short length of poly tube to extend to the side of the compressor, and then installing a mini-ball valve you can obtain from any plumbing shop.

Mind you, that advice refers to workshop air compressors, particularly those large enough that you cannot easily get under and at the el-cheapo drains installed in the base of most tanks.

The typical tank drain is non-raising too, allowing the drain to be opened in tight footprint areas.

If it is portable, then yup, I agree. The current typical version is horrible for doing the job as they raise inside the tank, leaving a lip, which traps crud and the tank frequently cannot be fully draining. It would almost be better to simply use a solid brass plug (with hex socket) to thread into the hole to seal it up, then remove when it's time to drain the tank.

The problem with the plug idea is that typically the tank is under pressure, and removing the plug is problematical as it will go flying when the last thread lets go.

Bill

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