Compressor Water

Compressor water can be a problem. For anyone that's ever used a compressor for any length of time, they know that the process of compressing air generates water. Lots of water. Here is information about why compressors generate water!

What's the big deal with compressor water; water that the pump has forced into the compressor tank and through there into into your compressed air lines, anyhow?

Fish Eyes Is One Compressor
       Water Problem

You will know the answer to that if you have sprayed fish eyes onto your paint project from a compressed air paint gun. Water exiting the gun with the air / paint spray lands on the surface of the object being painted, and prevents the paint from adhering. That leaves the characteristic paint-free dot ~ a "fish eye" is the term the industry calls this problem!

The image is an example of what fish-eyes can do to a paint job.

image of fish eyes on paint job

Not that having to refinish your paint job isn't a big enough problem, but what else does water do? Here are more problems created by water in your compressed air lines.

If you've had a chance to look at the other pages relating to water in your compressed air lines, you have a good understanding now of where the water comes from, and what it can do to your compressed air systems. Water can be a real problem for the compressed air user.

Getting Water Out!

The process of air preparation and de-watering your compressed air is a continuum. By that I mean that you can have bone dry and pristinely clean air for every application in your workshop or plant and spend a fortune getting the air that way.

Yet there's not much point in spending the money necessary in preparing your compressed air to that level of dryness and cleanliness if your application does not require it.

You Decide How Much Treatment

Decide for yourself (or let your compressed air applications decide for you) how dry and clean your compressed air has to be, and only use the financial resources and equipment to get your air to that level. This will save you money!

Draining the receiver and modifications to how the receiver(s) are installed can help remove water at the source. Sensible plumbing of your compressed air supply lines can resolve a lot of the problems with compressor generated water. Here is more information on compressed air treatment through good plumbing.

Now, if you have installed your air mains sensibly, and you have ensured that your compressor receiver(s) are being drained regularly, and you still have a water problem at your end application, it is time to take compressed air treatment up a notch by adding some more equipment designed with the express purpose of ridding your compressed air of water in vapour or free water form.

This page has information on aftercoolers and refrigerant dryers used to remove water from the air stream.

So far, on this page, or the links from this page, we've talked about:

  • Where water in your compressed air system comes from
  • Problems that this water causes
  • Corrective and simple plumbing ideas to help reduce water in the compressed air system
  • Aftercoolers
  • Refrigerant dryers
Now. there's another level of compressed air drying you can move up to when you need absolutely "bone dry air". Here is information about desiccant dryers, to make your compressed air dessert dry.

Before you start on the journey to improving the quality of your compressed air through air treatment, you absolutely need to know your clean, dry air destination. How clean, how dry, how pristine does your compressed air supply have to be?

Do you need instrument quality air for the whole plant or do just certain areas need highly treated air, and most a basic level of water removal?

Thousands upon thousands of dollars can be spent to purchase air preparation equipment and even more will be spent on the energy costs to power that equipment. You do not have to spend the money if your application doesn't demand air of that quality!

Did you know that...

"Typically for a 1000 SCFM compressed air system, (nominal 250 HP) the annual volume of Condensate is about 80,000 gallons"