New Air Compressor Set-up

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Forum topic by psient posted 04-26-2012 02:03 PM 2311 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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82 posts in 2342 days

04-26-2012 02:03 PM

Hello All:

Anyone willing to share how they have set up their compressor for draining water from the tank?

I accepted delivery of my new air compressor Friday last (4/20/12). The machine is a BellAire High Flowrate 80 Gal 5hp. The fitting size on the tank is 3/4” FNPT.

I have purchased a an air filter, desiccant air dryer, and regulator. These will be installed in the order listed.each is rated for the SCFM, and psi the compressor outputs. I also purchased the pipe and fittings from Rapidairproducts for a 1/2” distribution in my shop.

I have one remaining issue before I complete the installation involving the draining of the tank on a regular basis. I am seriously considering an automatic condensate drain valve. There are many out there and the installation seems to be simple. However, I could also fabricate a simple manual drain with a ball valve and some tubing. The problem is I know I’ll forget to purge the air from the tank. I’ve looked at the cheap harbor freight solution but will not consider that. I’m leaning towards the Devilbiss as it is the only one I can find with all-brass castings/fittings, including the ball valve.

I’m undecided but need to close on this today as I begin the installation and hope to have it finished by the end of the weekend.

Hope someone has some experience with automatic drain valves, as well as a forget-proof set-up.



4 replies so far

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4017 days

#1 posted 04-26-2012 02:25 PM

I’ve had good results with this one …

It works automatically off of the pressure changes in the tank … no wiring needed … every time the pressure changes by a set amount, the valve opens for a few seconds, blowing out the water.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3425 days

#2 posted 04-26-2012 02:36 PM

I recommend you put the filter after the dessicant dryer. As dessicant ages it has a tendancy to crumble and turn to a very fine powder.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View BobM001's profile


388 posts in 2359 days

#3 posted 04-26-2012 03:02 PM

The filter ALWAYS goes before the dryer to trap any oil that may be passed by the compressor. If you get oil on the dessicant, it will ruin it. If you fear the “crumble factor”, put another filter on the down stream side of the dessicant housing.

When piping your mains be sure to tap off the TOP of the line. You mentioned “pipe”. Is it copper or galvanized? Black pipe can be a problem if moisture gets in it. Copper is the way to go. At the very end of the main line have a riser with a blow down valve to “sweep” the main. An auto blow down valve on the tank is a nice thing to have. But if you blow the tank down once a week, you can save the cost of the valve. When you do your drops tap off the side of the line and have a “dirt leg” just for insurance. A strategically placed filter/regulator/guage(FRG) assy is a good idea too. These can be acquired in a “unitary” model.

-- OK, who's the wise guy that shrunk the plywood?

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2879 days

#4 posted 04-26-2012 03:05 PM

This luddite didn’t know there was such a thing as an automatic drain valve. Quite a cool gizmo.

Before I installed my vertical compressor some 17 years ago, I plumbed the drain petcock to extend out to where I can get to it easily with a pair of pliers. I drain once a month or so, just onto the floor, where it evaporates. This appears thus far to have been an adequate system.

I’ll report back in another 17, which would be 2029. Mark your calendar.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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