An Air compressor is a piece of mechanical equipment used for compressing air and used for various purposes. Proper maintenance of this equipment is very crucial for its proper functioning. Amongst the various steps for its maintenance, draining is the most important one.
However, some people face trouble while performing this draining operation. Also, they often ask how frequently they should perform the draining. So, in this article, I will talk about how often should you drain air compressor and cover every detail about it.
What Happens If The Air Compressor Is Not Drained?
Well, draining the air compressor is very important. If the air compressor is not drained, it will reduce the capacity of the reservoir tank and may form rust. Also, these moistures inside the tank may cause an erosion of the tank and may explode. And there are several examples of such accidents.
A man and his son died in 2017 in an air compressor explosion in India, reported by the Times of India. According to the NBS Boston, in 2019 two people were injured in an air compressor explosion in Massachusetts. So you should take this seriously. Not just for yourself but also for people around you.
However, according to the experts on Quora, if you do not want to drain, it is recommended to dry the air before it enters the tank. But I guess draining is much easier than doing this extra drying step.
How Often Should You Drain Air Compressor?
Air contains a significant amount of water vapor. While air is compressed, the vapors get liquefied and deposit at the bottom of the tank. So, performing draining is a mandatory thing for maintaining the capacity of the reservoir tank. But how often should you drain air compressor?
Well, it depends on how frequently you use the air compressor. If you use it daily, we would recommend performing draining once or twice a week. This is because you are using compressed air regularly and are not storing them in the tank.
However, as an irregular user, draining every time after use is essential for you. Because the stored air may increase the incidence of rust formation. So as an irregular user, you should drain the compressor right after use.
How To Drain The Air Compressor?
Well, air compressor draining is not a difficult task at all. But the problem arises due to the different models of air compressors. Although you may face some trouble because of different models, the basic steps are almost the same for all models. So, let’s get into the basic procedure of draining compressors step by step.
Turn the machine off
Draining cannot be started with the machine on. So, the very first step to start the draining operation is turning the compressor machine off.
Find the safety valve and reduce pressure
Your second step for draining the air compressor is reducing the pressure of the reservoir. For that, you need to find the safety valve. The safety valve has a ring on it.
Pulling that ring will release the air inside and reduce the internal pressure of the tank. Continue that step until no air remains inside and the tank gets empty. Wear gloves, mask, and goggles while doing this step to keep yourself safe.
Find out the drain valve
Usually, air compressors have the drain valve at bottom of the tank. However, some models of air compressors may have it on a side of the tank. This type of compressor requires air pressure to drain the water out.
Also, this design with a drain valve on the side is not considered an efficient model. So we would recommend you to consider this before buying the compressor. And you should try to get one that have the bottom drain valve. You can visit quietest 80 gallon air compressor for getting some amazing reviews of the air compressor.
Start the draining operation
Now that you have found the drain valve, you can proceed with the draining operation. Open up the draining valve and you will observe liquid inside will start flowing outside. Wait for a while and let all the liquid inside come out.
Close the drain valve
Now that you are done with the draining air compressor, close the drain valve. And check out for possible leakage with soapy water.
For that turn the compressor on and place soapy water around the valve. If no bubble is visible, there is no leakage. However, if you observe any bubbles, get a wrench and tighten the drain valve again.
So, that’s how you will drain the air compressor efficiently. However, for more insight you can watch this video.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to find the safety valve in an air compressor?
Well, for finding out the safety valve, you have to check the labels in an air compressor. Most of the models have proper labeling of these parts. However, you can also take help from the user manual.
Should you drain an air compressor?
Of course, you should drain an air compressor and importantly on a regular basis. This will maintain your machine as well as prevent rust formation. Also, this will make you safe from unwanted accidents like explosions in the tank.
Should I have some air pressure in the tank to help draining it?
The answer is not at all. You must remove all the internal pressure from the tank before draining it. Air pressure inside never helps in draining. Instead, pressure inside may endanger your safety.
When you open up the draining valve, the gravity will automatically discharge the water inside. The pressure inside will interrupt this process and will cause spraying out water. So, never open the drain valve until all the pressure inside is removed.
Should I drain my air compressor after every use?
Well, it is always recommended to drain the air compressor after every use. And if you are an irregular user then draining after each use is essential for proper maintenance of your equipment. However, if you use it daily then you may drain it twice or thrice a week.