What Happens When Water Stays in My Compressor?

Every time that you turn your air compressor on, it inhales air from the outside. This air contains water vapor that is then sucked into your air compressor tank. Due to an increase in air pressure within the tank, the air molecules in the spaces increases as well. Following this, the water vapor then condenses causing water to settle into the tank of your air compressor.

You basically have two choices – dehumidify the air going into the air compressor with a dehumidifier, or add an in line water filter.

You may be tempted to let the water stay in your tank but this is something that you certainly should not do. Find out what happens to the water that stays within your air compressor:

Accumulation of Water

If you continue to use your air compressor while neglecting to drain the tank, there is going to be an accumulation of water. The more that you use it, the more water will form in the tank. Eventually, your tank is going to be filled with all of the gathered water. The problem here is the material that the tank is composed of. Air compressor tanks are made of steel. Steel rusts in the presence of water. Thus, if you leave the water in the tank without cleaning it out, you are damaging the air compressor tank. With enough of corrosion taking place, you will weaken the tank beyond repair.

Air Compressor Tank

When to Drain

The importance of draining your air compressor tank has been established. This now leaves the question how often should it be done. If you really want to ensure that there is no rust forming in your air compressor tank, you are going to have to do it quite regularly. In fact, it is advised to empty out the tank every time that you use it. This way you can completely prevent the accumulation of water and the formation of rust. Let the tank drain be open for a couple of hours after you use it to ensure that it has been completely dried out.

Draining Your Tank

All air compressors come equipped with a drain valve as they all need to be drained frequently. This typically can be found at the lowest part of the tank. This valve is placed here because this is where all of the water will pool when the air compressor is position properly. To truly empty out all of the water from the tank, you are going to have to open up the valve fully. Opening it up only a little will cause some of the water to still remain within the tank. As mentioned, you may want to keep the valve open for some time to ensure all the water has been drained.

Do not forget to drain your air compressor tank on a regular basis. This is the only way to ensure that you will not have to replace your tank all too soon.


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