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Discussion Forum

Air dryer

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Author  [Modern View]

08-21-2011 18:06:27

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I do very little painting, a job every three years or so. I am concerned about moisture so I have not finished the tractor that I was working on last winter because of humidity. I got an idea for a DIY dryer. My idea is to get a piece of 1" copper about 6 feet long and mount it vertically to the wall about 20 feet from my compressor and tank. I will plumb air to it about a foot from the bottom and plumb in a drain valve at the bottom. I will come off the top with the outlet and plumb it down to about four ft. from floor for hose to attach to. I keep the temp in the building at about 70 in the summer and 40 in the winter unless I am doing something like painting. Does it sound like this would catch most of the moisture?

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Dick L

09-01-2011 18:16:12

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to showcrop, 08-21-2011 18:06:27  
Put a second large air tank (50 to 80 gallon) close to where you are going to be painting. put the air in at the bottom of the tank with a drain valve and take the air for your gun out of the top. You will have dry air. The large volume of dead air will let the moisture drop to the bottom of the tank.
I am using an old 50 gallon hot water heater tank. I never see a water spot in my paint. My 80 gallon compressor tank is about 20 feet from the 50 gallon tank and when I remove the hose from the bottom of the tank I always have a small amount moisure at the bottom but none comes out the top. I have a water seperater in line at the compressor.

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08-27-2011 11:51:10

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to showcrop, 08-21-2011 18:06:27  
I did something similar using steel pipe and it seemed to help. I also use a 12 gallon tank as the last line of defense just before the gun. I check the dew point online and try to avoid running the compressor for whatever reason when the dew point is much above 60. I have noticed from looking at the weather info online that the “absolute humidity” actually doesn’t change that much throughout the day, even though the relative humidity tends to drop as the day progresses, so if it’s a humid day you’re just as likely to have condensation problems in the afternoon as in the morning.

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Red Ford

08-23-2011 19:12:06

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to showcrop, 08-21-2011 18:06:27  
Moisture in the air depends on a variety of factors. That's why you may have trouble sometimes and other times not.

The best(and most expensive) air drier is one that is essentially an air conditioner that cools the air enough to condense out most of the moisture. If needed(normally isn't), follow-up stages can be added that remove most of the air not removed by refrigeration.

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Rod (NH)

08-21-2011 18:46:09

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to showcrop, 08-21-2011 18:06:27  
Sounds good. You might want to consider an increase in cooling efficiency by using a length of copper fin tube, the kind used in hot water baseboard heating, instead of just copper tubing. However, plain copper tubing will promote cooling and condensation better than other materials. You have the drainage issue taken care of correctly. I might add that it would be best and most efficient from a functional standpoint to locate any cooling leg UPSTREAM of a pressure reducing station. Reduce your line (~tank) pressure to your usage pressure at your wall station that you attach your hose to.

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08-22-2011 04:04:47

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to Rod (NH), 08-21-2011 18:46:09  
Rod, thanks for that, I believe that I may have some fin tube lying around here somewhere.

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Rod (NH)

08-22-2011 05:59:49

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to showcrop, 08-22-2011 04:04:47  
Another thought. It's always best to have the condensate drainage flow in the same direction as the air. That tends to assist drainage instead of retard it and reduces the chance that any water droplets could carry over downstream. This is not mandatory but is preferable. Consider an arrangement like this:

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08-28-2011 13:30:46

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 Re: Air dryer in reply to Rod (NH), 08-22-2011 05:59:49  
I second this idea much better
to get even more water out then make an enclosure around it and fill full of ice when painting
a nother way to do it is to run a fan blowing air across the fin coil when in use
water cooled condensor would work also
even a coil of soft copper in a bucket of ice or cold water

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