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Why Do I Have Water in my Compressor Lines in the Winter When I Have a Dryer?

The ambient temperature in an air compressor’s environment can greatly affect your air compressor’s performance. All air compressors will generate some amount of water, but depending on inlet air conditions some can produce large amounts of water. Making sure your air compressor is properly ridding itself of excess water is crucial to keeping your machine running properly.

Many air compressors are equipped with water separators that remove water from the airstream. However, the air leaving your compressor is typically warmer than the ambient air around your compressor. As that warm air cools inside of the piping, any moisture will condense and build up in the piping that needs to be removed. This is when your dryer takes over, by cooling down that warm air to 35°F and removing the condensation. However, if your pipes cool down to 35°F as well, this is when you will run into excess water in your pipes. Winter weather around this temperature can pose the problem of excess water in your compressor’s pipes. In some cases (mainly colder climates), a desiccant dryer may need to be used to drop the dew point lower to avoid any water.

If you are using a dryer but are noticing a considerable amount of water in your lines, there are a few common areas you can check:

·       Check and make sure the dryer bypass valve is closed.

·       Check to make sure that the drains on both your compressor water separator and your dryer water separator are both draining properly, if available.

·       If you are using a desiccant dryer, make sure the purge exhaust mufflers are not plugged.

·       Feel for a temperature difference between your inlet and outlet air. If there is no difference, you may need to contact Technical Support.

·       Make sure your dryer is not being overloaded by a higher inlet temperature than it is rated for. Rising temperatures create more water vapor in the inlet air and some dryers cannot process higher amounts of vapor in a short amount of time.

Although colder ambient temperatures are usually better for your compressor, winter climate can also affect the amount of condensation and overall water in your compressor’s lines. It is always important to regularly check for common condensation issues on your compressor, especially during harsher seasons.

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CP service technician in fron t of CP compressor
Whether you have questions about which compressor is right for you, or if you’re ready to improve your operations and start saving on expenses. Chicago Pneumatic has been around for over 100 years because we offer reliable and hardworking air compressors, as well as expert advice and support.

You ask, we listen. Please join us every Thursday with #CPTechThursday posting common questions you would like answered. Our passion are our machines and helping our customers. Reach out anytime.

Steve Shrum , Technical Support Manager for Chicago Pneumatic

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Please contact [email protected] for additional information. For tech support for any Chicago Pneumatic product, please call us at (877)861-2722, opt 1. Or email us at [email protected] . We look forward to helping.

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