A cheaper alternative is to replace the original drain valve with a
length of pipe to a valve mounted somewhere convenient on the upper
side of the compressor.
If, like many people, your compressor is pushed away under a bench or
acoustic cover, this can make the difference between draining the tank
whenever you switch off, or never draining it at all. it can also
help avoid the "leaky puppy" effect on the workshop floor.
I'll see your Harbour Freight "complicated pneumatic device for only
$10" and raise you my "lifetime's scrapbox of assorted plumbing
Do I hear any advance ?
Do I hear "truck breakers yard, and a real automatic water-actuated
compressed air brake reservoir drain valve ?"
Har! I happen to have one of them there complicated devices [*] in my
(prolly shorter-lifetime) scrapbox of assorted plumbing fittings! So,
there, they're free! (G)
Interesting, that idea. What is it, and how's it work? I love to put a
tossed-out part back into good service somewhere.
[*] Which item, by the way, reminds me of an issue. The "complicated
pneumatic devices" don't work so well on a negligent friend's compressor
tank what went undrained for seven years. Even after emptying, his tank
still spit mud -- I.e., oxidized receiver innards -- and clogged up the
auto-drainer-valve works for weeks. Eventually, we just gave up on it and
stuck in a ball valve instead. He tells me he's going to replace that
Speaking from 27 years experience as a truck and heavy equipment and
supervisor, I'd have to say that they don't work all that well and I
wouldn't bother with one that came form a scrap yard. Every air brake
truck made still has a manual drain valve installed on the air tanks.
They work by voodoo. Or something. Had them to pieces when I was a
kid, never really worked it out.
I think it relies on a diaphram with a balanced presure on each side.
There's a pinhole leak (one on each side ?), and if the pinhole fills
with water then it stops being a leak, the pressure on one side
increases and the diaphram deflects, triggering the drain valve.
They work fine when they work, but I think they're touchy about air
that's not clean, or has rust particles in it from the tank.
Can you please elaborate on this? I'm having trouble understanding how
the water is released when it is higher than the base of the tank. I'm
not trying to be a smarta$$. (That comes naturally) I have seen
compressors with strange pipes connected and was wondering what they
On 16 Nov 2004 05:39:34 -0800, email@example.com (mnterpfan) wrote:
Doesn't matter - so long as the connection to the tank is at the
bottom of the tank, then you can hang as much pipework on the outlet
as you like. After all, there's 130psi of air in there to blow it out
(that's a couple of hundred feet straight up).
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