Where to Install Water Separator on Air Compressor?

Water Separator on Air Compressor

Many people are not aware of the water separator which is installed in an air compressor. It is very important to know where it should be located because if you do not install it correctly, then your air compressor will stop working. The air compressor can work for many years without any problem if you install the water separator in proper place.

Now, you do not have to worry about these things. This article will provide you all the information which is required to install the air compressor water separator in your unit. So read this article carefully and keep it in your mind for future use.

What is a water separator on an air compressor?

The job of a water separator is to remove water from the air. This article will also provide you all the information about how it functions. It is very important to know how it works because if you do not install it properly, then it will cause damage to your unit.

Although there are a few air compressor models in which the water separator is built in, but still, most of the air compressors have a separate water separator. The main reason for this is that you can remove it and clean it easily if your machine requires this after some time.

There are two types of drain valves; one is automatic valve and another one is manual valve. Many companies use automatic drain valves to release the condensation from their units because these valves work automatically. You do not need to worry about anything else once you set up an automatic drain valve on your unit, as it will function properly without any problem. On the other hand, many small units use manual valves for draining purposes because they are cheaper than automatic ones.

In case if the water separator is not working properly, you can clean it easily without making any big effort on your part. You just need to remove this small device and clean it with the help of some cleaning solution.

Some people use air compressors without installing a water separator on them. But if you want to increase the life of your machine then do install it in some place which is easy for you to access later on. If you are using an automatic drain valve then it becomes very easy for you to drain out the condensed water from your compressor after completing its work cycle.

How does it work?

When you turn on your air compressor, the cooling fan starts rotating. This fan gets rid of the hot air from inside the unit and takes this hot air outside through a hose. It also sucks cold air inside the unit which is then pushed into the tank by tanks piston. As soon as it reaches to its maximum point, you can hear some changes in noise level because after that only it starts working again.

At this time, there are two types of water droplets present inside your machine namely larger droplets and smaller droplets. Now if these water droplets reach at right angles to each other then they will not be able to move further forward but they will go straight to the drain valve because their weight is very small compared with their speed.

Most of the people do not know or they are unable to understand this small or complex difference between these two droplets, so they do not install a drain valve because many people think that it is useless to install this device if there are no water droplets present inside your machine.

If you want to check whether you need to drain out some water from your unit or not then use your hand and try to push up the piston by putting some pressure on it with your hand and see what happens next. It will come down after moving backward for a small distance. This means that now the tank is full of compressed air now and now only you can start using your machine for its purpose.

Now let us see where should we install this important device for an air compressor

There are certain things which you need to consider before placing this device in your machine. Now let us discuss these points one by one:

1: Always set up the drain valve at a place where you can easily access it and use it when needed.

2: Never put this device on moving parts of your air compressor because if its cord or hose gets broken then it will damage other parts also which is not good for the performance of your unit. Also do not set up this valve near your tank because water will overflow from there and may damage some other components of your machine.

3: If possible, keep this device always above the tank level because if water again goes into the tank due to any reason then it can be drained out quickly without wasting time on finding the valve.

4: If you are using an automatic drain valve then fix this device with electrical tape because if it falls off accidentally during its working time then this situation can be dangerous for your machine also. You do not need to worry about anything else if your unit uses manual valves because they work automatically and prevent water from overflowing into the tank.

How to install?

Now let us see how can we fix up this small but most important part of our air compressor. First, check out all places where you should set up this device by yourself without taking help from other people. The bottom line for installing a water separator is that one must always keep in mind that there should not be obstacle between it and the drain hose and nothing should be in the path of the airflow. This is very important to maintain because if an obstructed airflow prevents proper water drain, it becomes useless and may damage your machine also so always keep this point in mind before installing a drain valve.

Always look for any type of leakage from inside the unit and then check out all possible places where you can set up your device because removing leakage is not an easy task to do. If you see that there is no leakage present on your machine then remove its top cover and place it somewhere safely without creating any obstruction between moving parts and moving air.

If there is a battery in your unit or any electronic circuit which can get damaged when exposed to water vapor outside then make sure that these devices are not under any kind of moisture while positioning your automatic or manual drain device.

If you want to use a manual valve then only try to expose the water which is present inside it for draining out by making some holes on its cover and if you do not find this option available in your machine, take help from other people who are expert in using tools because letting too much vapor inside can damage your machine also.

Always remove the unit’s tank before setting up this device or at least drain all the water which is present inside because without doing so, proper working of this device cannot be done.

Now let us read about where should we position our drain valve for best results:

1: Always put away your equipment from moving parts of the machine for efficient water removal.

2: Never put this device near electronic parts because it can damage your pump also due to moisture entering into the unit.

3: If possible, always choose a place on top of tank level because if some leakage occurs then it can be drained out quickly and there is no need to search for the valve.

4: Always try to choose a place where you can easily access and use it when needed and working air hose should never go over the drain hose because both these hoses work together and if one breaks down during its working time then other will also fail which is not good for your machine at all.

Always check out your manual or automatic drain valve whether it removes all the water from tank or not because sometimes there is a problem with its design and it does not work properly. Now after setting up your device, you can perform all your activities without worrying about how much water vapor is inside the unit because only if proper steps are taken for installing this small but very important part of our machine, the life of your unit will be extended as well as its working time also.

Finally, keep this thing in mind that if you feel any leakage from any part of your machine then remove it immediately for preventing damage to electronic or gas parts.

The different benefits of installing a water separator on your air compressor are:

1) It prevents your machine from moisture damage which can harm your appliance.

2) This device also stops oil mist entering into the unit which is very harmful for compressor’s inner parts and electronic circuit.

3) Water separators or drain valves are completely necessary if you want to increase the lifespan of your air compressor because it takes away all wet air in seconds.

4) Having an automatic water removal system is much better when compared to manual drain system where you have to pour out water after every use.

5) If there is no remote filter for removing moistures then its time to change that with a new one because this will let your appliance give proper performance while working on different tasks at the same time.

6) Using a remote filter can give you maximum protection but if your compressor does not support it then try to use dryer or desiccant system for protecting your appliance from moisture damage.

7) Always follow the guidelines written in user manual for efficient working of automatic drain valve because every machine has its own unique way for working properly with this device.

8) Some machines have their water drain valves located on bottom so always check out the place where manufacturer want you to put this part and after that complete job by making some holes which will let vapor escape quickly.


Now this is very clear that how important it is to install a water separator system for removing all the excess moisture which will be present in air after tank gets drained out. Every air compressor should always have an automatic drain valve and if they do not then it is better to look for a unit with built-in drain valve because having an external filter or remote system can cause some major issues and lot of money and time will also be wasted as well as proper working cannot be done if these two things are not installed properly on surrounding area of equipment.

Water separators, desiccant dryers, automatic drains etc. are those parts especially meant for removing moist and water vapor from the air before it enters into tank. All those parts should be installed properly if you do not want to face any kind of problems in future after buying your machine.

If you feel this blog is informative then share it as much as possible and do not forget to inform your friends about proper installation procedure of a water separator system because I have noticed that most people use hand operated manual drain valves which only causes more damage to their equipment rather than providing them benefits.

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