Compressor Drain

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RedneckGrump

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G'day, Everyone...

My question for my air compressor is, do I need to get on my knee's all the time to drain my air compressor... So I am wondering if I could come out of the bottom and swing it upwards with 1/2" copper pipe, and put the drain up near the top, so I don't have to get on my knees to drain her. I always empty her after every use, so water doesn't form in the bottom of the tank... Unless someone has a better idea... I am always all ears... Thanks in advance...
Cheers~
 

Sparky617

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I would think it would get most of the water out with the air pressure but you'd be leaving some water in the tank or drain line when the pressure was relieved.
 

bud16415

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I set my compressor up in the air so the bottom is about 3' off the floor. I plumbed a quarter turn ball valve to the bottom and ran PEX tubing off that down to and into a gallon jug to catch the mess. I don't open it every time I use it but do quite often. I also wired a switch to turn it on and off and off the same switch I ran a small light to let me know when the compressor is left on. Nothing worse than sitting down after dinner and she tells me the compressor out in the shop is running.

I agree with the above post the air will blow out 95% of the water if the tube were run up. You want a valve that vents fast to blow the water thru. If you just bleed it slow with the needle valve on the bottom you will leave more water. That's why you need a bottle or something to catch it.

I just remembered when I made my jug I drilled something like a .56 hole in the cap for a .5 hose and the first time I blew the tank the air couldn't get out of the hole as fast as it was coming in and the plastic bleach bottle exploded and scared the crap out of me. Leave the cap off for venting. 😮
 

bud16415

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Most homeowners power their compressors down when not being needed. Makes small leaks less important to fix. If I had a need for 24-7 compressed air I would look into an auto purge perhaps. Wouldn’t be hard to make from a solenoid valve and a 24 hour yard light timer if you could set a stop start point maybe one minute apart. Otherwise electronic timers are cheap, might need a timer relay.



45 years ago when I was an apprentice I was asked if I wanted to work Christmas day, I was told it was an easy job and I would be paid triple time. I rode around the plants many buildings all day on an electric scooter with a roll of yellow tape and a clip board listening and locating air leaks. Marking them and recording the locations. I found many 100s. It was the only day of the year that the place wasn’t so loud you would ever spot one. I remember later they told me how much money was saved a year by fixing these leaks and it was staggering. The plant covered 1 square mile and had 18,000 people working there and that day it was me and one guard at the main gate. I had to stop each hour and call him and report I was ok and where I was at.

An interesting side note was the air for that plant all came from one huge compressor room and the electric motors that ran it were designed to correct the power factor for all the rest of the plants inductive motor loads. I was told that the air was basically free as it saved more power than it consumed.
 

Eddie_T

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I once did inventory on Thanksgiving Day at EJ Brach & Sons for 2 1/2 time only to find out that in reality it was my holiday pay plus 1 1/2 time.
 

bud16415

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I once did inventory for 2 1/2 time only to find out that in reality it was my holiday pay plus 1 1/2 time.
That's the difference between being young and trying to afford all the things you want and viewing money more important than time off. All you see is extra money. Some point around 30 years in I figured out life has a finite time to it and the things I really wanted and needed I already had and time became more value than money. I used to every week when he would ask if i wanted to work Saturday I would tell him give it to one of the young guys they need it more. Now I get paid every month for doing nothing. Best deal ever.
 

Eddie_T

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That's the difference between being young and trying to afford all the things you want and viewing money more important than time off. All you see is extra money. Some point around 30 years in I figured out life has a finite time to it and the things I really wanted and needed I already had and time became more value than money. I used to every week when he would ask if i wanted to work Saturday I would tell him give it to one of the young guys they need it more. Now I get paid every month for doing nothing. Best deal ever.
Yeah, and now I realize I am going to run out of days before I run out of money.
 

RedneckGrump

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I set my compressor up in the air so the bottom is about 3' off the floor. I plumbed a quarter turn ball valve to the bottom and ran PEX tubing off that down to and into a gallon jug to catch the mess. I don't open it every time I use it but do quite often. I also wired a switch to turn it on and off and off the same switch I ran a small light to let me know when the compressor is left on. Nothing worse than sitting down after dinner and she tells me the compressor out in the shop is running.

I agree with the above post the air will blow out 95% of the water if the tube were run up. You want a valve that vents fast to blow the water thru. If you just bleed it slow with the needle valve on the bottom you will leave more water. That's why you need a bottle or something to catch it.

I just remembered when I made my jug I drilled something like a .56 hole in the cap for a .5 hose and the first time I blew the tank the air couldn't get out of the hole as fast as it was coming in and the plastic bleach bottle exploded and scared the crap out of me. Leave the cap off for venting. 😮
Hey Buddy, was wondering if you could post a couple of pics... Just curious... Thank you in advan ce...
 

bud16415

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Hey Buddy, was wondering if you could post a couple of pics... Just curious... Thank you in advan ce...
I will when I get a chance. I had a small wooden desk I was about to toss out and it was just about the perfect size and height for my horizontal tank compressor. It was a little light duty so I braced it up good with scraps I had around and hoisted the heavy unit up in the air. Glad I did it about 5 years ago because I don't think I have it in me to do it now. I used my truck ramps and slid it up and even then about busted my back.

Mine is just a 120V unit and I turn it on and off with a heavy duty wall switch. seems to work fine. I wired the switch to control an outlet and plugged the compressor into one and the light into the other. Used an old Xmas flood light socket and a regular bulb. hung it above the gage on the compressor and it lights up the gage nice along with reminding me it is on.

I also pulled out the taped plugs in the valve body and ran three lines around the shop for air. One thru the wall and into my heated workshop. one goes to the front of the garage for airing tires out in the driveway and such. Really nice not having hoses running around on the floor.
 

sadavis80

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G'day, Everyone...

My question for my air compressor is, do I need to get on my knee's all the time to drain my air compressor... So I am wondering if I could come out of the bottom and swing it upwards with 1/2" copper pipe, and put the drain up near the top, so I don't have to get on my knees to drain her. I always empty her after every use, so water doesn't form in the bottom of the tank... Unless someone has a better idea... I am always all ears... Thanks in advance...
Cheers~
YES.. plumbing the drain back up to a convenient location is perfectly acceptable. I used 1/4 poly 'brake' tubing - you need something good enough (copper would work fine.. just a LOT more a PITA to work with) to handle the max pressure of your compressor setup. I put a ball valve at the top of the tank and generally open it briefly (the other end of the valve goes to OUTSIDE) whenever I'm in the vicinity of the compressor. You need to make sure that your hose/pipe is big enough to evacuate a decent amount of air in a brief time .. otherwise it'll clog up - just like the 'twist valve' that's generally at the bottom of those tanks. You have to twist those things ~10 turns to have it move enough air to blow out the debris. The OUTSIDE Link of the 'dump valve' does NOT have to handle tank pressure since it's OPEN on the outside end.. so I use cheap 1/4" clear so I can SEE what's moving through the tube. Mostly water and bubbles, but I can easily SEE if the dump is slowing down and needs attention.
 

bud16415

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If the goal is purging water from the tank I would think the bottom of the tank would be the place to vent from.
 

sadavis80

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Agreed.... Obviously, I didn't make myself clear .. I run the 1/4" poly from the bottom of the tank up near the top to some convenient position where I mount the gate valve. The OTHER side of the gate valve is vented outside through a small hole in the wall for the 'stuff' to get outside without me having to clean it up at all.
 

swimmer_spe

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G'day, Everyone...

My question for my air compressor is, do I need to get on my knee's all the time to drain my air compressor... So I am wondering if I could come out of the bottom and swing it upwards with 1/2" copper pipe, and put the drain up near the top, so I don't have to get on my knees to drain her. I always empty her after every use, so water doesn't form in the bottom of the tank... Unless someone has a better idea... I am always all ears... Thanks in advance...
Cheers~
The short answer is maybe, but....

You want a drain line to be coming from the lowest point and keep going down. This is the same reason as to why there is a drain to begin with - preventing rust. Now, if I were to do that, I'd make sure the line you put in can take the pressure and that the valve is as low as you can go. As well, you want any line after that to be pointed down. when blowing it down, you will want it to be at full pressure to be able to push the water out.
 
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