Drain Valves for Air Compressors & Air Dryers

Drain valves are like an umbrella, if you don’t have one you will get rained on. Now you may not personally get rained on, but the equipment using your compressed air with likely be drowned with water.

Even small commercial air compressors require a drain valve to remove water that has collected in the compressor. Although commercial drain valves are cheap, slow to release and end up failing – they need to be there. There is moisture in air, but when you compress air it could multiply that moisture by like eight times! So the somewhat humid ambient air you felt outside just turned into a tropical rainstorm inside of your air compressor!

Let’s get our umbrella out and cover the most common types of industrial drain valves available for compressed air lines.

Ball Valve Drain Valve

Motorized ball valves are used in many applications including air compressors, compressed air dryers, separators, tanks and even cooling towers. Ball valves can drain basically any fluid. There are two methods two drain condensate:

  1. The ball drain valve is controlled by signals from a liquid level sensor.
  2. For demand drain applications, a good ball valve will only drain liquid and eliminates the air or gas loss and subsequent loud noise.

Electric Solenoid Drain Valve

Electric drain valves automatically remove condensate from your air system. This saves not only time by eliminating the need to manually drain valves, but also a lot of money because operators typically leave lines partially open to partially remove moisture – and waste expensive compressed air! An important feature to look for when shopping for an electric solenoid drain valve is an integral strainer so the valve itself doesn’t get clogged… not fun.

Pneumatic Drain Valve

Like the name implies, pneumatic drain valves require compressed air to operate. But, you’re probably trying to use a drain valve to get the moisture out of your compressed air line, so you’ll be OK. The benefit to a pneumatic drain valve is along the same lines, it requires no electricity! When dealing with remote installations, portable units, or hazardous area classifications – there are major advantages to a pneumatic drain valve.

That’s the 1, 2, 3's of drain valves for removal of condensate in compressed air lines and gas lines. Drain valves can be used with air compressors, compressed air dryers, air receivers, air dryers, separators, tanks, receivers, drop legs, pipes or any industrial equipment requiring regular condensate removal.

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