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View Poll Results: How often do you drain your Compressor

Voters
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  • After each use

    21 36.21%
  • Weekly

    6 10.34%
  • Every other week

    1 1.72%
  • Monthly

    16 27.59%
  • It has a drain??????

    10 17.24%
  • When It Sprays Water

    4 6.90%
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  1. #1
    Returning Member Mt. Gomer's Avatar
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    How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I currently keep my AC drain plug open after each use. It keeps it dry but it can be a real pain when I need to do a quick inflation or something and I have to crawl under the workbench to tighten the drain, wait for the tank to fill, use the air compressor, empty the tank, crawl back under and open the drain.... Is this overkill? If so, what's a reasonable maintenance period? Once a week, every other week, once a month???

    Travis

  2. #2
    Returning Member Ray Martin's Avatar
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I voted on 'every use' but that's major use and more like (almost) always. The truth is that if I'm just going to do a couple of quick jobs, maybe including the odd refill for a pool toy, I'll often let it go for a few days. So far, I haven't had any problem. When I do drain the tank, the water generally has a little bit of brown in it; I guess I do have some rust in there.
    I cut that board twice and it's STILL too short.

  3. #3
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    Michael Shelley (66)
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I have a 60 gal horizontal and depending on how much air I use daily, I will usually open the petcock once a week and let the moisture bleed out. Never has too too much but if I have been really eating up the air, spraying, etc then naturally it will condensate more and hence more water to bleed. I have not noticed any color to the water so that's good. I never bleed it down all the way. No need to. Keep it charged and ready to go. Why tax the motor / pump any more than necessary.

    JMHO

    Mike
    "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    http://carolina-heirlooms.ncwoodworker.net/

  4. #4
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I don't have one at home, but at work we have one at each station for the apparatus and the plymo system that runs every time a truck comes in or out. We drain them daily.
    As for having to crawl - there are spring loaded cocks that you can attach a cable to, saving you from crawling. We have them on several apparatus in the fleet. Since the city paid the bill, they can't have cost too much...
    We drain them only until liquid/moisture laden (misty) air stops coming out.

  5. #5
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    Travis,

    Harbor Freight sell an automatic drain kit that hooks up or replaces petcock (cant remember).

    It drains, automatically after each shutdown (vaccum activated). Works great, as far as I can tell.

    Run about $10.

    M
    -You feeling lucky, trunk?

    -Go ahead, make my tray! :bcool:

  6. #6
    Returning Member Mt. Gomer's Avatar
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splint Eastwood View Post
    Travis,

    Harbor Freight sell an automatic drain kit that hooks up or replaces petcock (cant remember).

    It drains, automatically after each shutdown (vaccum activated). Works great, as far as I can tell.

    Run about $10.

    M
    Hmmm. That's very interesting! Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    Thar she blows
    Automatic Compressor Drain Kit


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    Automatic Compressor Drain Kit


    Item # 46960
    Automatically removes condensation to prevent rust formation.
    • Extend the life of your compressor tank
    • Automatic clog-free discharge
    • High quality brass construction
    1/4'' NPT street T1/4'' petcock1/4'' tube fitting x 1/8'' male NPT fitting8 ft. of 1/4'' 145 PSI polyurethane tubingBe the first to review this product

    Only:$9.99

    Add Items to CartQty: Add to Cart


    Availability: In stock
    -You feeling lucky, trunk?

    -Go ahead, make my tray! :bcool:

  8. #8
    Returning Member MrAudio815's Avatar
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I'd have to agree with RayH.


    I picked every use, but if I only have it going for a few minutes, I don't drain it. Now if I had it going for a few hours like when I built my shed I drained it a couple times. It's just humid in NC.

    Normally I do drain it after each use, but I am human and do forget from time to time, especially if I am using it for a turning project. I'll blow off the dust, then get back into the turning and forget all about the compressor.

    Good forum~!
    -----Matthew----- Custom Home Audio If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it! Logan, Utah. USU Student~!

  9. #9
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    Here are a few fixes:

    Link1

    Link2

    Link3
    "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."~ Sir Winston Churchill

  10. #10
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I drain mine at least once a week, if not more often, but I don't make an effort to do it after each use. It's a 60 gl. vertical tank located outside the shop, under a shed roof, so it's pulling in a lot of moisture. To make draining easier, I removed the plug in the bottom and inserted a 90* elbow, then attached a length of black iron pipe running out to the side. At the end of the pipe I installed a valve. I just open the valve and let it blow until it's clear w/ no moisture coming out. So far it's always just water, w/ no sign of rust. I've had it there for about 5 years now.

    Bill

    PS: Welcome home Travis. How was the vacation?
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


  11. #11
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    As far as draining it after each use, if you don't drain it after the tank has cooled down (air heats when it is compressed), you're wasting your time. This is because the hot air inside the tank retains the moisture and does not release the water until the air has cooled down.

    It's much better to drain the tank when cool. For most folks, this is when you are ready to use the compressor, as that way you get the maximum amount of moisture out. If you are out in the shop and the compressor has not cycled much, then it doesn't hurt to drain when you leave the shop for the day.

  12. #12
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    Well, Scott may have rendered my reply moot: I drain my small Craftsman compressor (125 psi) after each use.
    The thing that holds up all my woodworking is simply getting started.

  13. #13
    Returning Member 4yanks's Avatar
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splint Eastwood View Post
    Travis,

    Harbor Freight sell an automatic drain kit that hooks up or replaces petcock (cant remember).

    It drains, automatically after each shutdown (vaccum activated). Works great, as far as I can tell.

    Run about $10.

    M
    I bought one of those kits for a verticle tank compressor. Just before the tank reached capacity the drain valve blew open and stayed open. I may have had a defective unit. At the time I chalked it up to expecting too much from a $10.00 piece of equipment and removed it.

  14. #14
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I'd say I'm more in line with Scott Smith's statement. Not on purpose though. I usually forget to drain it after I use it, but usually drain it before the next time I use it.
    Woodworking will teach you both patience and how to overcome adversity. The more patient you are, the less adversity you will have to overcome.

  15. #15
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    Re: How often do you drain your Air-Compressor?

    I voted for once a week but in all reality it happens whenever I happen to think of it. I replaced the petcock? with a valve that only requires 1/4 turn to open fully. much easier now and that translates to it getting done more often.
    fred p If it ain't broke you aint trying hard enough

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