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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody use the water-bucket trick for cooling down your air compressor line before filtering the condensate? Please tell and share pics!

I am building the air hose reel in Shoptnotes 41 and realized the black iron pipe won't take kindly to condensate (not to mention my nailers)
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I'll post a pic or two when done.
 

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I think it's enough to run your air line like the compressor manufacturers recommend. Run a pipe verticle up from the compressor tank and then down to your line air. Gravity will run the overwhelming majority of moisture back to the tank. I don't even use a water trap and I don't really get any water in my air however I live in a pretty dry climate in central Texas.
 

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Water in the line and in the tank results from hot/warm air cooling and condensing. The longer your airline is, the cooler the air will be. Along the way, the airline will collect moisture, and it will collect into enough to make water, not just a damp lining in the hose.

So, there is a method for trapping and evacuating water from the airline. In the picture below, it applies mostly to small shop areas, like one/two car garages. Since you don't have room for a long run, you pipe a route to extend the airline, and trap most of the water so it can be drained easily.
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Whatever you do, please do not use standard PVC pipe. I've seen it blow. Its not pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for replies Steve and Cabinetman,

Whatever you do, please do not use standard PVC pipe. I've seen it blow. Its not pretty.
No worries there, I'm not keen on PVC shrapnel injuries either.

As my sometimes-flooding ancient Pennsylvania basement is often 50-60% RH even with the dehumidifer, I'm still interested in doing more and still have questions....

This is the part I'm pretty sure about.... Lets say I lay a run or coil of copper pipe long enough that the compressed air flowing through it eventually reaches the same temp as my shop. Along the way, it cools off. As it cools, the relative humidity goes up. When it reaches 100%, that's the dewpoint and condensation starts in the line... so far so good.

Now for the "does this make sense?" part.....

As the temp in the line keeps falling to the ambient shop temp, doesn't the RH in the line stay the same (100%), and condensation keeps forming? Then, I think we still need some amount of run even at the ambient shop temp to provide surface area for the last bit of condensation to form, which will gradually drop off as you head down the line, so at that point the RH in the line is now at 95.5%.

QUESTION: Doesn't the RH in the line stay at 95.5% until the air in the line either (A) has a temp change, (B) hits dessicating unit, or (C) exits the line into the shop space [at same temp but much lower RH]?

If that's true, then it doesn't take much of a chill in our tools to grab some more grains of moisture out of the line, and that's why I was interested in over-cooling, catching the liquid where it exits the cooling apparatus, and then as the air in the line warms to ambient shop temp, the RH in the line should fall. That way, there's less work for filters or dessicators, or if you don't use them, the line air at shop temp should be a lot less than 95.5% RH.... so there's still little chance of condensation even in a tool that's slightly below temp, say, when you had it stored in the cold cabinet near the door.
 

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I think you're over thinking this a bit. The principle is really pretty simple in that the ambient RH has some affect, but, the fact that compressing air and moving air creates friction...hence heat.

For the best results, add a dryer to your air system. In lieu of that, just add a disposable filter at the air tool being used.






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