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Thread: Air Compressor: Where to install filter/ regulator?

  1. #1
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    Air Compressor: Where to install filter/ regulator?

    I have a small Porter-Cable compressor which I installed in sound box. It has no air filter and I can no longer reach the regulator valve because of the sound box, so I bought a combination mini filter regulator. Problem is, it does not indicate where and how to install it.

    I want to install it on the wall immediately above the compressor where its easy to reach, about waist high. Secondly, can I just plumb this thing in with pressure hose, hose nipples and hose clamps? The set up is used for very light spraying on a daily basis. Any advice appreciated, thanks.

  2. It's good to have the regulator higher, condensation will tend to drain into the tank. My concern would be access to the tank drain valve. The tank needs to be drained pretty often in some climates. I think Harbor Freight sells a drain valve that drains regularly, you might think about something like that. I don't know what pressure you are running but hose and clamps will work at lower pressures.
    DP
    Dale Probst
    www.wardprobst.com

  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Probst View Post
    It's good to have the regulator higher, condensation will tend to drain into the tank. My concern would be access to the tank drain valve. The tank needs to be drained pretty often in some climates. I think Harbor Freight sells a drain valve that drains regularly, you might think about something like that. I don't know what pressure you are running but hose and clamps will work at lower pressures.
    DP
    Dale's right you need to be able to drain the tank daily since you plan to use it everyday. The easiest way to do it is to remove the drain valve and replace it with a right angle barbed fitting. Run a hose from this fitting to a ball valve mounted on the wall. Attach another hose to the ball valve to allow you to drain the tank outside.

  4. #4
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    Good comments by Dale and Jack re tank drainage. McMaster also sells an automatic tank drain valve, US mfg by Wilkerson for about fifty bucks. The HF unit is a copy of the Wilkerson.

    Re regulator/filter location, "theoretically" if you place it closer to your spray gun you will trap more moisture and have more accurate pressure at the gun. The reason why re the moisture is that the warmer the air, the more moisture that it absorbs that is not removed by the filter. By placing the filter further away, you give the air in the line time to cool and condense.

    From a practical standpoint, most folks locate their regulator adjacent to the compressor. An auxilliary air storage tank plumbed into the system can help to reduce compressor cycling and moisture volume in the line.

  5. #5
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    So I take it I can install the regulator filter anywhere, does not have to be where it presently is on the compressor. Okay, thanks, I wasn't sure whether there was some reason it had to be AT the compressor.

    Its a 150 psi compressor so hose and good clamps should be able to handle that, I hope.

    The drain cock is an inch from the floor, so the compressor has to be removed from the sound box and turned on its side to drain, a real PITA to do. Installing a 90* elbow, a bit of hose and a petcock is a great idea so maybe I'll drain it more than once a year! I bet I drain a gallon of water out of that thing and its amazing that I wasn't spraying 50% water but only got minute traces.
    Last edited by Harvey Pascoe; 09-26-2011 at 6:42 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Northfield, Vt
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    Just finished my shop air project yesterday. 25 years ago I worked in the service dept of a place that sold industrial air compressors. Might be a little rusty but I'll tell you how I plumbed my system up.
    First of all you've already gotten some good advise and some of mine is the same.
    Run a drain line from the bottom of the tank out with a ball valve, keep it lower then the tank for best results. Drain every morning.
    Run a hose from the disconnect on the compressor to the water separate/filter then with the use of a brass nipple add your regulator. From there you can run lines to several drops.
    Depends how anal you want to get about your drops, instead of going from the drop directly into the hose you can plumb the line into a long leg so any moisture that makes it that far would have to fill the leg before making it to the hose.
    I didn't bother going to that extent, just wanted to mention it.
    After racking my brain about what to use for pipe I decided on truck air brake tube and fittings. I used "Velvac" air brake products. The air lines are rated at 150 max psi along with the fittings, this turned out to be the best solution for me. Velvac is made for air lines, rated at 150, inexpensive, easy to find by either finding a truck equipment shop that works on heavy trucks, internet or your local auto parts store. I used all brass fittings and found them to be much less expensive from an auto parts store then the hardware stores. Brass doesn't rust!!
    Hope this helps..

  7. #7
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    I am making some HUGE assumptions about your setup here, but assuming your compressor is along a wall, down low...

    #1. Run your "jumper" hose up from the compressor, so that the filter / regulator is above the compressor, by at least a foot or so, more would be better. Any condensation in the line will tend to travel downward, and thus drain back into the tank and out the drain valve.

    #2. Connect to your hose, and shop air plumbing from there.

    Remember you are going to have to reach the regulator to make adjustments, so make sure you mount it somewhere easy to reach. Also mount it somewhere that isn't likely to have objects come in contact with it. You don't want to be moving stock around your shop and accidentally bash your regulator...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Pascoe View Post
    So I take it I can install the regulator filter anywhere, does not have to be where it presently is on the compressor. Okay, thanks, I wasn't sure whether there was some reason it had to be AT the compressor.

    Its a 150 psi compressor so hose and good clamps should be able to handle that, I hope.

    The drain cock is an inch from the floor, so the compressor has to be removed from the sound box and turned on its side to drain, a real PITA to do. Installing a 90* elbow, a bit of hose and a petcock is a great idea so maybe I'll drain it more than once a year! I bet I drain a gallon of water out of that thing and its amazing that I wasn't spraying 50% water but only got minute traces.
    The regulators are where they are from the factory so that they are solidly mounted and somewhat reasonably protected from damage. What got me to reply to this though was your comment about draining the tank. You REALLY need to drain it more often. Condensation that stays in the tank will rust it from the inside out, weakening the tank, and possibly causing a tank rupture. Installing an elbow, with a piece of pipe, not hose, and a drain valve outside your sound box is probably your best bet. In large installations, the drain valve is a lever operated ball valve.
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
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    3,220
    I remove the factory installed drain valve and install the needed parts plus cutoff valve and cut a slot in a shovel handle [broken shovel blade ] to slide over the valve so I would not have to bend over to open the VALVE AGAIN, I read somwhere about keeping a air hose coiled up in a big tub of cold water so that the HOT AIR +STEAM would condense QUICK

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