A visitor to my site used this search string “how to make a water separator for air compressors ” to find my compressed air information site earlier today. I find that usually if one person is looking, there are many seeking the same information, so, here is my response to that visitor and anyone else looking for information on how to make a water separator for air compressors.
I will not get into the extensive description of how the compressing of air generates water, except to say, that the higher the volume of air being compressed the higher the volume of water being sent into your compressor tank, or directly into your air mains. More information about water in the compressor or compressor air lines is found elsewhere on this site.
That flow of compressor-generated water down your air lines will have a negative effect on any downstream air equipment, whether they be air tools, valves, cylinders or air drills and the like.
How to make a water separator for air compressors?
You can tinker and build your own water separator, I suppose. But I have to ask the question why?
Compressed air equipment manufacturers around the world make – largely low cost – and quite effective water separators.
They are called compressed air filters, and one is pictured above.
How Compressed Air Filters Work
- Air from the compressor tank flows down the line and enters the cap of the filter.
- The flow of air is directed down into the bowl by the cap design.
- The compressed air is then forced to flow in a tight, cyclonic path within the bowl.
- Liquid water and debris that is typically in the air stream is thrown to the outside of the bowl by that cyclonic flow of the air.
The crud drains down into the bottom of the bowl past a barrier to help keep it separate from the air stream.
Auto drains help empty the filter bowl regularly, other wise the bowls do need to be manually drained regularly to prevent water and crud from being forced back into the air stream.
Since water vapor in the compressed air stream can condense out anywhere along the flow path of the air, it is important to have a compressed air filter installed before each compressed-air-using piece of equipment or air tool to remove the water that condenses in the lines between the source and the air tool.
How to make a water separator for air compressors? Why bother? Just Google “compressed air filter” and you will find a host of suppliers. No need to reinvent this particular wheel!