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Compressed Air- Water Separator

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  • Compressed Air- Water Separator

    The attached is my "Rough Draft" of a smaller version of Franz's separator. Man's best friend is providing support.

    Rocky D,

    Notice "textured" (it seemed appropriate) legs and tail. of part of an upcoming project.


    "Old Springs Never Die"
    Last edited by Dave Haak; 05-16-2003, 07:10 PM.
    "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"

  • #2
    Dave,you got a little artist in you.Very nice dog.

    When Franz say deliquescent are way more money than other ways to get water out,I have to disagree somewhat.Here is my setup,and it uses calcium choride briquettes. Buying the 50 lbs box for about $30.00 is really pretty cheap for a one man shop.I think it takes about 3 to 4 pounds to fill mine.It also seem to last a long time.Mine is the single style one.I bought it at a decent compressor shop for $150.00 used,but it was like new.It has 3/4 air lines,and a drain in the bottom.It works so well I have never thought of adding copper air lines to my shop.I do have a big blast cabinet to really test the air.I run it though a decent Curtis compressor,which also helps the water problem.I did have a motor guard for years,but it finally gave up from being opened too much.It was not in the best of shape to start with.In a pinch,you know that toilet paper rolls fit those didn't you?Not the best but with a after-filter to catch the little white fuzzy things,it will do a good job on a complete car paint job.Don't ask about the white fuzzy things in your black paint job!

    Van Air Systems D-Series Compressed Air Dryers are single tower deliquescent compressed air dryers for stationary applications. D-Series Dryers remove harmful water vapor from compressed air lines.


    • #3
      Cool pooch, Dave....if I built something like that, my dogs would probably attack it....ouch!


      • #4

        Great dog.

        Why the "blind" end on the water separator?

        Also in general what type of piping is needed for compressed air? Is standard black iron or galvanized plumping pipe ok to handle the pressures?




        • #5
          Dave, I have a feeling you may have missed something important in your seperator, the air coming in to mine is sent downward via a 90 elbow, and then has to work its way back up to the top.
          That turn is real productive in terms of water seperation.

          Toilet paper also works well for removing oil from compressed air, and those little white fibers are **** on air tool motors as well as in paint.

          The greatest efficiency in removing water from compressed air is rapidly lowering the temperature of the compressed air. I just installed a very expensive Ingersole Rand with an air exchange aftercooler that cost the guy another $500- and only drops the air temp 5 degrees for all that money. He could have had a refridgerated unit for less dollars that would have given him far greater water removal, but the salesman assured him the aftercooler was the way to go.


          • #6
            Oh MAN I whant one of those dogs!! that cool!

            Red Tomstone W/ HF for TIG
            Old Miller Engine Driven 225 Amp AC Stick Welder
            Smith O/A X 2
            Harris O/A
            MSC cut off BandSaw 6X12"
            And more!
            Shop Mechanic for Brinks Coin


            • #7

              I'm not the expert on this...........but.......

              Blind end was/is because I did not need a fitting on that part of the trap. I may be mistaken but I'm under the impression that the larger the structure, the better it is. In other words the more volume or surface area on the inside, the more condensation that can be collected. I don't quite understand the chiller concept. To me it would seem that if you add chiller coils on the outside to create a greater temperature differential, to collect more condensate, you are in effect creating more moisture in the system. Maybe the moisture is there anyway??? and the cooling just lets you collect more of it before it gets to your appliance. I'm going to consult an HVAC friend of mine for more on this.


              I believe that galvanized or black would work fine, I'm just trying to avoid rust with the galvanized. I believe that threaded pipe is better than trying to "weld something up", don't want things coming apart.

              "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"


              • #8
                Scott V,

                The web site you posted won't come up this morning.

                Is the dryer you have, something that could be manufactured?

                "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"


                • #9

                  From your earlier post photo I couldn't tell that the inlet was a 90-degree ell down. See attached. It just appeared that the inlet needed to be in the center of the elevation. How 'bout I make my inlet where I now have the pipe cap (at the top, opposite side from the outlet)? and make it straight down?


                  "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"


                  • #10
                    Dave,I can't even get the google link to open.It worked last night.The dryer is pretty thick tube,and end caps welded on.It has 3/4 pipe fittings welded in.You fill from the top,and draw the air from the top side.The inlet air is pushed though the bottom side,and it also has a drain in the bottom.It would be pretty easy to make.I could see no reason you could not just make it out 4'' or 5'' pipe.They have a larger size that looks like a propane tank also.It is not galvanized either.Dave it's the exact one,the single tube one.


                    • #11
                      Well guys, sorry I didn't get here earlier today, but lets just say today ended with winching a forklift out of mud because 1 guy didn't listen to instructions, and that was the least of the problems of the day.
                      Let me save ya a lot of time, 2" pipe works best, and delivers maximum efficiency. Inlet should be a 1/2" L pointed down, located at or just ablove midpoint of the stack. There are a **** of a lot of air dynamics that occurr inside the drier stack, all of witch were explained to me long ago, by the man who taught me to make these. Bein naturally lazy, and a poor typist, I hope yall won't make me go into vortexes and swirling as well as refridgeration by expansion inside a compressed air stream.
                      If your compressor discharge is larger than 1/2" pipe, you will be best served by using multiple stacks.
                      The water removed by this seperator is already in your compressed air, because 1 cubic foot 80psi compressed air was about 90 cubic feet of air at atmouspheric pressure, at whatever relative humidity intake air contained.
                      The main operating principal is cooling the compressed air will cause the water to condense on the cold surface. Cold here is a relative term, but then, compressed air leaving the compressor is often at 200 degrees farenheight. Compressed air @200* can hold a lot more humidity than the same pressure compressed air @190* per cubic foot. Since it is easiest to drop air temperature right after the compressor, the seperator acheives maximum efficiency.
                      Once the water condenses on the inside wall of the stack, it remains there due to surface tension and adhesion to the wall, and drips down the inside to the collection well at the bottom.
                      As to material, Black Iron is best, because Black Iron radiates heat at a far greater rate than galvanized or copper. If you had unlimited budget, and could surround the chamber with a cooling jacket, or refridgerant coil, copper might be best, but for atmouspheric cooling, copper is NOT radiant, so it's less efficient.
                      Re: rust inside the column, it's never been a problem in over 25 years I've been building and using these seperators. The air simply doesn't stay in the drier long enough to pick up anything.
                      The stack I posted the picture of is an experimental model I was playing with, where I intended to run chilled water thru the tubing wrapped around the stack for additional cooling. The experiment got sidetracked, and I never got back around to playing with it, but I have a hunch it will work well, if I ever get to play with it.
                      Hopefully, I covered everything, but if I didn't feel free to ask.
                      As to the idea of acheiving the same effect by running the incoming air into the stack via a dip tube, it may well work, I've just never tried it, so I can't say. It would sure be easy to ream out a compression fitting and run a copper tube into the stack from the top and experiment with it. If somebody trys it, I'd be interested in hearing the results.


                      • #12

                        Thanks for all of the input.

                        "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"


                        • #13
                          OK just to be sure I'm clear on all this..
                          I know I"m being slow today..

                          2" pipe..
                          Drain at the botom
                          Air out at the top..

                          The inlet to the L is pointing down outside the pipe and it enters the 2" at 90deg to the pipe.

                          This all goes between the compressor and the tank..

                          My Devilbiss has an interesting block between the pump and the tank..

                          1/2" line from the compressor feeds into a cast iron block with cooling fins. mounted to this block is the pressure switch for the motor..

                          the outlet to the tank is 1" iron pipe.

                          I'll get some pictures when I get home.
                          Scott Schering


                          • #14
                            OK, now everybody knows I also can't draw, but here's a quick & dirty sketch.


                            • #15
                              Ok Franz,

                              I have it figured out except for one thing. What is the 1/2"L made of and how do you get into the pipe?

                              You have to explain everything to us southerners!!
                              Todd Eldridge
                              [email protected]
                              Newbie Hobby Welder